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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Of the Search of the Meaning of Social Justice and Transformative learning

This is going to be the biggest hunt for an answer this coming year for me. I have a writing in social justice class, an introduction to social justice class, and an introduction to sociology class. This should be good!

I, of course, am very excited! I am especially looking forward to learning something new. Generally, I believe that school does not "teach" you things, rather it is designed to enforce redundant, and minimally different,  memorization. In essence, teaching should be about opening new avenues of thought, and expounding the experiences that we are familiar with through means of open discussion. Discussion, because diversified class settings can complicate what would qualify as a new experience, idea, opinion, knowledge, etc.

What is a possible way to reach an answer, or a method to reflect the composition of opinions, experiences, and knowledge within a diverse class setting? That may well be transformative learning. I learned about the term from a colleague of mine this summer. I find it interesting and inspiring.

I believe transformative learning really creates a vision of change in learning and teaching. It allows educators to develop ways of analyzing the opinions students have, and challenging and enlightening them through a well thought out curriculum. The term is not relatively well known, especially in English courses. To apply the term into practice would be absolutely ground-breaking because it is non-traditional. There is nothing wrong with trying something that is new and promising. Doing so would morph the modern, sometimes narrow, mindset and attitudes towards English courses in post-secondary institutions.     

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fellow Potter fans (and enemies),

I, and many others, cannot believe that Harry Potter has come to an end. It is not really the end. Remember, he is still around in places you do not expect. I say this because Harry Potter is not just fiction, it is not only a book and a movie. It is a very fantastic story, going way beyond extraordinary and entertaining. It is real.

I have grown up with Harry Potter, movies and books. He and his friends have done things, seen things,lived things (fictionally, yes.) that those who are the same age would never dream of doing. I believe that the message shined by Ms. Rowling's brilliant and touching gift is phenomenal. She has created a marvelous and very different world. While the magical aspect of the books speak a foreign language, the themes, motifs, symbolism, parallels, and lessons are ones we can understand.

It takes a lot more effort to truly understand this, and a lot less to discredit a work of art that has rightfully earned praise, love, and respect from people young and old. Harry's story is one of courage, endurance, struggle, love, sacrifice, loyalty, determination, strength, and unity.

Clearly, this story is not only for one to escape from everyday horrors, daunting tasks, or sadness. It is a beautiful story that shows us that we are not alone. The negativity in life is undeniably inescapable, but we can act against it. We can change the course of bad energy, one step at a time, but in honest faith. J.K Rowling wrote this story for a reason, and a very good one. To let us ALL know that it is never too late to be the change we want to see.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A career to define yourself


Being a college student is really changing me, and the person I hope to be. When I was going through the application process, I never thought I would attend an institution that revolves around social justice; I am now majoring in it!

I am still trying to figure out what that is going to mean in the future for me. I have a sense of what social justice means, and the impact of the field on human prosperity. I picture myself making a difference in peoples' lives, and helping others be aware of how vital it is to support children who have disorders, or women that need help getting out of shelters to have a happy and thriving life. I hope to do volunteer work for women shelters, ultimately to grow in understanding how torn families can harm children, and their parent's ability to give them the best life possible.

I believe that jobs are not soley about making money, because then what we do would turn into a desire to have the most money at the expense of innocent human beings. I feel that it is my duty to make sure families can resolve issues that arise in the home and beyond. I know that, one day, I will be changing peoples' lives.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why is always the best question because it is the most difficult to answer!

So, what is the rant of the day? There is a new wave trend that says that there is a disorder called orthorexia. It is believed to be a disorder of eating overly healthy. Those with the disorder are claimed to be people who avoid processed and seemingly unhealthy foods. This is a story I saw on Yahoo news. I think this is false.

How can avoiding unhealthy processed foods a bad thing, or even a disorder? This is most likely an attempt control how people eat. I believe the real sickness here is not realizing that we have choices in what we choose to eat. How could the consumption of processed foods not be considered a bad thing? This is because it feeds the disorder of mankind.

The disorder is the sacrifice that the wealthy take on the weak and the innocent. Who is the wealthy? The wealthy are the big companies that keep filling the Earth with destruction. They want us to continue to consume food that we are clueless of their effects. There are many things that we eat that are processed in which we have no control of what is being put into them. If we really think carefully, we have never had a choice as to what we can eat. This is because we do not choose what goes in and what stays out. So called healthful fruit juices are not what they claim to be. Many of them actually contain the enemy: high fructose corn syrup. So if you think you are in so called control of your diet, you are most certainly not.

So what is the deal with obesity? What is it? While it is the disorder of over eating, it is not the disorder of eating processed food. There are many reasons why eating that type of food is dangerous, but there has not been a real categorized disorder that says that. Why? Because it disrupts the order in which these big companies make their money. Why is supposed “over” healthy eating bad categorized? Well, so that people can get their supposed “treatment” for an illness that is not real. Rather, it is an excuse so that people can go on medication (the solution to rebellious disorganization) and visit doctors. I am sure that is an exaggeration of the situation and it is far too young a battle to determine whether or not to believe this. All in all, I think this is a fake and that it is a scam to get people to eat more of the things they shouldn’t.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fake Haikus

Day lily

Lily, where are you
I saw you weeping tonight
All alone, dying

Douglass Fir

Prickly Friend of mine
Speaking tall and silently
I, your gentle muse

Butterfly

I saw a soft trap
Hoping, I look to the sun
A most breathless dream

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In Insanity

From birth
Love fades, mother nurture is forever in the sky.
My body separates from reality
And I live in a question mark,
Wondering about my existence.

Trapped in a lonely world with ceaseless voices, echos, and cries,
The mind wanders to places I never hoped to cross.
Suppressed life within the self becomes a being within a being.
How can one begin to be sane, when all humanity impatiently counts the milliseconds that you take in formulating incomplete thoughts.
Am I alive?

Working on a new research paper...what do you think?

The CPS Student Code of Conduct has enforced a punitive approach to handling delinquency in schools since 1998. But, what exactly is considered delinquent behavior in CPS? Many offenses considered delinquent are often minor, such include: swearing, uniform infractions, frequent tardiness, and the like. Though these offenses can be considered as disruptive to the school community and possibly the safety of students, they can also be resolved through peer jury. Another restorative justice approach that can accompany peer jury is peace circles. Peace circles consist of, but are not limited to, students who volunteer to gather together with teachers and members of community organizations who help administer discussions about various issues pertinent to the area, school, and individuals. Students take turns using a talking piece to talk about a topic or answer a question that was presented by the facilitator. Students are able to connect with their peers, and express their concern for issues without worrying about being wrong. Participants of peace circles are also free to propose possible solutions for problems in their school such as: inviting parents for discussions, asking security guards to listen to students, or going to classrooms to encourage their peers to speak out.

Though the CPS Student Code of Conduct has been revised to adopt restorative justice as an option for misconduct, it is still not properly enforced to effectively serve students. There are roadblocks that limit the influence of progressive coalitions like the High H.O.P.E.S Campaign that have worked excessively to represent the juvenile justice system and restorative justice programs. On April 2, 2011, the coalition invited Mary Richardson- Lowry, President of CPS Board of Education to Roosevelt University to endorse their campaign. However, Lowry denied ever receiving any of the information about their cause and the actual endorsement sheet.