So over the past weeks I've been feeling differently about how our society is. I'm beginning to believe that nothing can change. I think that is what I wanted to express in my slam poetry last Sunday. I feel like most of time we forget that ESEM is just another required class and while this was a great class, taught by great teacher, that provoked so many ideas and emotions, I sit here wondering what will be different. These will only become memories that we carry along with the rest of our accumulating baggage and we will reflect back on it once in a while. But has it really touched any of us? Are the people who sat their quiet during this process suppressing their thought, hesitating what to let go and share with us, really any more open? Or are they that much more closeted? Are the people that came to this class oblivious of many classed ideas really feeling the empowerment? Or was it just one of those little 'take a chance' moments we tell our kids about one day? With my poem I wished to have people think about the question, can we really change? I think as a group, we described our class on 'class' the way the people in the world do - differently. All these differen't connections and emotions that fill up a room, that create tension, silence, noice, freedom; I though were all conveyed in our group slam. I just wonder if anyone really heard us.
My piece is titled 'We All Live in a White Man's World' The color represents the different perceptions in the world. I could not find a canvas anywhere so I resorted to using paper. The white is suppose to represent the the upper class that shapes our society and controls what is 'proper' and what is not. I used a typewriter to create the words. The picture in the middle is the close up of the center of the piece. It reads 'see past the colored lens, look in their eyes' and I also put the single words a majority of us chosse in class, 'noise' and 'jail' because I thought they were not only great descriptions of class but of my piece connecting that the 'white man's world' is a jail and the perceptions are the noise. If I had a frame I would have framed it and hidden on the back is a clipped on 'Guide to Naming Your Class.' I spoofed on an old-aged article of who is who.
Academic Writing stays in the realm of academia. I think when talking about an issue that is very relevant and affects everyone, such as class, should be directed towards the main stream. But the writings of college grads, researchers, other unheard of intellectuals aren't going to get through to this generation. What media I think could touch many different groups is music. Music has been known to create change and influence how we think, dress, talk. The topic of class in built in many songs already but more as a description of what society is like currently. If we could utilize music in way that will foster change in how we view class I believe it will get the attention of a larger audience.
I really liked interviewing for research purposes because I love working with people more than working with readings. But I feel like it's hard to combine all three interviews into one thesis. For me there were a lot of conflicts between each of the interviews. I think it's easier though to shape your paper by interviewing people on what you want to know instead of pulling and stretching the ideas found between the lines of our weekly readings.
So I remember in the very beginning of this semester the topic of gender popped up in class. The question 'is gender discrimination still an issue' was brought up but we didn't have time to discuss about it in depth. So here is a link to the video my friend showed me that I thought would be interesting for everyone to watch.
It's a trailer of one of the films that are in the 2011 Sundance Film Festival - 'Miss Representation'
I feel like I have experienced a lot in only 2 months. I have never really been in an environment where discussion is so open and productive as it is in ESEM. I think over the past weeks our class has grown to become comfortable with one another and we always end up running out of time every class period. I think Serendip is ingenious but I still feel like some of classmates continue to be hesitant about what they post on here. This class has allowed me to improve the way I interact with people and how to create ideas from one's thoughts instead of just recieving information from a teacher. I also learned how to frame my questions so it's asking a more general question that can be built on when I post my thoughts on the internet. I think my writing needs more work in ways like how to argue more effectivly and how to reach a larger audience. I can't wait for the rest of the semester.
I thought the slient board was a GREAT discussion tool. It really made me start thinking about the high school. I like to come into a new environment with out expectations except the expectation to learn from it. But when we were writing on the board someone put on the board 'I wonder how it would have been if we had gone to another school without the high school's resources.' I think that would be a very different experience. Even though we're going to a high school in Philadelphia, this specific school requires entrance exams and has a strong partnership with a Liberal Arts College. I wonder if our presence will make more of an impact at the high school or would it have made more of an impact on a more disadvantaged school?
So after today's class I went to lunch and began to think what direction I want to go in for this week's paper. I think I have formed two thoughts on how to level the education's playing field.
My first idea.
In order to level the playing field of education the Community and School CANNOT be two separate entities they must become one.
I believe this because schools try to create their own culture without factoring in all of the cultures they're trying to assimilate. Communites begin to become distant from the schools and as their own educational tool. Most people like Ricardo Rodriquez had to choose between the two. If they because one big unit each one can work off from each other collaborating to create an even more broader well-rounded education for their students.
But this is not the only thing needed which leads me to my second idea.
While society has become more preoccupied with individual needs and wants such as customized cars, houses, ideas, cable packages..etc. the istitutions of this society such as health, education, etc. remain generalized.
Writing my 4th paper on how school doesn't level the playing field. I see that school can be a hinderance or a tool based on one's class status. People from the upper class and middle class have better access to resources such as new text books, tutoring, advanced technology. This factor gives people from the upper and middle classes an upper leg in getting a formal education (college degree). People from lower class tend to be forced to worry about certain obstacles like finaces, etc. before they can even think about excelling in the class room. Moreover schools want to standarize every student's ability and compare each student based on annual income instead of true potential making the chances of a student from the lower class to get into a top college slimmer than a student from the upper class.
In my paper on the relationship betweenaccess and education I argued that class is the major deciding factor in how much and what kind of education one gets. But as I was writing my paper and reflecting on Thursday class's discussion I came to the conclusion that no matter what kind of education one gets 'too much' of a good thing can be a bad thing. Whether one takes the path of formal education, etc. one can go too far down on either path and becomse cut off from the rest of the world. An education gives access to a range of opportunities bases on what kind of education one is given so perhaps the real question is, when does education become detrimental to individual and when does it become detrimental to society?