Sunday, June 04, 2006

Exhibition

On Friday I presented my last exhibition paper as a requirement to graduate. It felt good to know that I was one step closer to being "done" but it was also extremely scary to know that, my paper might not be good enough or my presentation might not be good enough and that would delay my graduation process. I worked extremely hard on my creative writing piece because I was extremely engaged with the idea of writing a biography on someone. But for me, it wasn't just someone, it was my mother. And this made it a bit more interesting because ive known her my whole life. Thinking back on the process of writing the biography, it took me three months to complete the whole process including interview, drafting and editing. The biography process was the best part, writing the paper comparing it to two other books wasn't as fun and I wasn't as such of that paper as I was about the bio. When I shared the bio with my mother to see what she thought of the final product, as usual she "loved it" but she says that for all my writing and I didn't feel like that was enough of a reaction. I had multiple people read the bio and they all "loved it" im not looking for someone to hate it but im just looking for something else, maybe someone to ask my questions or for someone to be able to relate to my mother's story or to the way I wrote it. Writing is physically and emotionally draining for me but I love the feeling I get afterward. Its like falling asleep on a Friday night knowing you have no where to go the next day after a long week of non stop motion. Maybe next year I'll expand the bio, maybe one day turn it into a book. It would take a lot of time and maybe a lot of money, but it seems like a good idea. I'm worried that I don't have enough drive or even patience to do it. But I wont know until I try.

Assignment 10

There are times when people consciously (or even subconsciously) do things as a way to resist. Pre teens that plan secret rebellion towards their parents by rolling eyes and talking back. The student that fakes sick as a way to get an extra day off from school. The city worker that gets his/her doctor to write a note as proof for their boss as to why they needed that day off. We all do it as forms of resistance. But resistance from what? In school when I feel like class is boring and my body begins to shut down, I put my head down or I prop it up on my hand to get some rest because this is how my body is reacting. If my mother is yelling at me for some reason I tune her out because I cant deal with the annoying argument over nothing. What else could I have done as my ways of resisting? I like to avoid situations that I find uncomfortable by just going the other way. If my mothers wants to argue, I just don't say anything, so she feels like she's talking to a wall. If class is boring I just tune everyone out, If I don't want to go to work, I just don't show up. These are my ways of resistance. There are no promises in these methods for creating social change. Ive been practicing these methods for long periods of time now and im still in these situations. I don't even think that my situations need to be socially changed. This is my everyday life. Im not even sure if I want my life socially changed, yet. Not listening in class is a limitation because im missing out on the lesson. ide probably be gaining more by listening and being engaged rather than dozing off and day dreaming. In larger societal issues such as Illegal immigration, I don't think that ignoring someone or not showing up to work would help their (illegal immigrants) situations. For them, a method of resistance would be to protest. I think that would and has been working well for them. Get the public involved and let the world see how much America is built off of illegal immigrants and if they weren't to go to work, yes, America would be crippled because so many businesses have immigrant workers. But the workers wouldn't benefit because if they don't work, they don't get paid. That's why I wouldn't recommend that as a method of resistance.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Presentation

Issue: Pre-Teen girls and their social issues with each other. Goal: Improve the social behavior of 6th grade girls in SOF. Action: Have a mini workshop with myself and the 2 girls (Alexis and Nomei). Data collected: May. 17th Had a mini workshop with the girls and I observed their attitudes with each other. It didn't go so well. They were uncomfortable and talking over one another. I ended up being a guidance counselor which isn't far off of what I was suppose to be doing, but it didn't feel good when they still weren't friends, or even made up. May 19th I had a follow up meeting with the girls and they weren't talking to each other. My goal is to improve their behavior towards each other, so if there is no relationship at all, im not sure if my goal has been accomplished. Evaluation: I thought that making the workshop private would benefit the girls and myself. There would just be the girls and myself and no one else to interrupt. But now looking back I feel like I needed to have an all out workshop that involved myself and all the 6th grade girls in SOF. Alexis and Nomei have friends who also are effected by their issues and I think that it was unfair for me to just conduct a meeting with them two, but not include the people that witness the nasty actions at hand, their friends and classmates. New plan: Conduct a workshop with the 6th grade girls that will benefit everyone not just Nomei and Alexis. Maybe with their friends present, they will feel more comfortable to share the full story.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Assignment 8

Today I tried to talk to Alexis and Nomee, two girls 6th graders that have issues with each other. First I sat them down and heard both sides of the story. It went well because both got the chance to speak but it got heated when I asked why they don't stay away from each other if they don't like each other, and why is there a dislike for each other in the first place. I choose to take this action because I care about the well being of the girls in SOF, and girls in general. A lot of girls are nasty to each other because of jealousy that starts out at young ages. I felt like if they had some guidance, it would make a difference that would last with them for life, hopefully. Before I took this action of talking with the girls, I felt pumped and ready to make a difference, then during the conversation, I began to lose hope and I wanted to just go home and forget about it. When I felt that way I thought that maybe I didn't care about this issue as much as I thought I did. After the whole ordeal, I felt relieved and tired. It took a lot of energy, (mentally and emotionally) to get these girls to change for the better. I honestly don't think it worked.

Assignment 7

My component goal is to Improve the social behavior between the 6th grade girls at SOF. When I volunteered in Lauren Cohens class one Wednesday morning, I couldn't help but notice the nasty attitudes some of the girls had towards each other. I could sense that the issues were being drawn from deep within themselves (personal self esteem problems that they don't know how to deal with so they take it out on each other). My action plan will be to conduct a workshop between some of the girl, and two in particular that have a feud that I feel is very serious and dangerous on a certain level. In class we learned about SWOT. SWOT stands for strength, weakness, opportunities and threats. Things that we should think about when planning our social change action research agenda's. For me the strength that would be involved in my situation would be that I previously volunteered in the class where I saw the problem, so I have experience with these girls. My weakness would be that I don't know how the parents of the girls will react. Do I need permission to privately council these girls? An opportunity that may arise is that these girls can set an example for their classmates and social change can really take effect and their attitudes towards each other will truly be improved. A threat that arises is that these girls might not care about me or what I have to offer to them. Just because im older doesn't mean that they look up to me and adore me like a lot of teachers may believe the younger students feel about the older students. I hope it works out though because I really do care about these girls and how they treat each other.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Assignment 6

Action research is a form of reassures that is mostly used in education. Its an old method that allows hands on experience. The point is to try and become who/what you are researching, to go below the surface. For my research project I have decided to try and improve the social behavior between 6th grade girls in SOF. To do that I plan on conducting a workshop where I will be providing a space for the girls to express themselves and talk about their issues, because after volunteering in a class of 6th graders, its clear to me that a lot of the girls have voices that aren't really listened too, and that causes them to form personal issues with each other and themselves. I was once a 6th grader and it can feel impossible to do anything, socially things are changing and more obviously, physically things are changing. I really want to form social change by helping these girls overcome any fears they might have and let them know people are here to listen and help. I have decided agaisnt working with any of the boys, because I don't know how to deal with their issues. I don't know if it would be doable for me to help them overcome their personal issues that they might have today because I don't think that I can relate. I found that Alexa and Kizia have similar ideas as mine and we might work together. Maybe my idea was fairly common because two other girls had very close ideas, but its a good thing because now we can work together and make the workshop three times as better as it would've been.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Analysis:
The techniques that I came up with in class with Blanca and Kathy were much more creative than the eleven that we came up with in class, because those are the ones that are mostly used by the public. The ones that I came up with, with Blanca and Kathy seemed radical and thoughtful. These techniques offer more of an opportunity to get the public involved. My favorite was the dressing like authority figures and having an old fashion protest. That way we will look like cops or F.B.I agents and that would draw the attention of the public. This type of a protest would probably draw more attention from photographers and media, that way we cane get on T.V. and get our message across that way. Even though throwing a pie in someone's face who you don't agree with, isn't one of my techniques, I think that its brilliant and I would do it. Its humiliating and that is a promise within itself. I just think that a limitation would be that the person throwing the pie can get charged with assault? Right?

Assignment 5

Description:
Create a porno that would have our message in it at any random moment.
Burn the budilings that the corporation or person works in.
Dress like authority figures such as the cops and have a protest in the street and subway stations.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Analysis

What went wrong was that I don't think that ENOUGH people DON'T eat from major fast food chains such as Mickey D's. Change happens with large groups, usually. There is always a few that start the uprising but many more have to follow to turn the motion into a social change. The boycotting would have to take place for a significant amount of time before any money has been lost by the company, so the boycotting couldn't just be for one week and then the following Saturday everyone would take their kids out for happy meals. That would defeat the purpose, but I am not sure that that is clear to a lot of people. The majority of the public wouldn't boycott fast food chains such as McDonald's, because they don't see what's so bad about it. To get the message across that the "food" they serve isn't healthy and your digestive system doesn't digest it so it sits and rots inside of you, and capitalism is the real reason why McDonald's and other fast food chains just like them are so nasty rich. It doesn't seem right to me, and im sure if the message got out to the public in the right way, many more would agree as well. A technique for getting the message out would be by postering and graffiti art. This would grab the attention of the public and possibly attract followers for the boycott. Each technique would probably lead into the next in some way or maybe just a few of the techniques would lead into some of the others, nicely. But boycotting is still the most effective because it affects the company directly. With no support from the public, they cant prosper.

Boycotting

Description:
Boycotting would be the most affective technique out of the eleven choices, and I've boycotted major fast food companies before. My reason was because I had just seen Fast Food Nation and the idea of unhealthy processed meat and billion dollar corporations combined, just made me sick. My effort of boycotting didn't have a huge impact on anyone of the companies because they are still in business today continuing to rake in the money. Boycotting was enjoyable because I felt like I was being a better person by not associating myself with a group that I feel like is harmful and wrong. It was hard at first because I was so used to eating the junk food, but when my body got used to not needing that garbage in my system anymore, it was a breeze to walk past a McDonald's and not drool out of the corner of my mouth and stare at the front window with deep dreamy eyes with cheese burger pupils.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Analysis

A promise in volunteering is that its related to kindness and that can be spread with one person. You volunteer and that becomes a chain effect where people see this kind act and they appreciate it. This can create social change because when someone is nice to you, you don't forget that. Almost like "Paying it forward" it sticks out and sometimes, you want to do something good for someone else. Volunteering for Lauren and her class meant a lot to her but most importantly I know it meant a lot more to the kids because they like when someone else who they look up to can come in and teach and make things more fun and interesting for them. Voluntarism is a good way to spark social change because it keeps everyone busy and everyone doing good for everyone else. When people are lazy and selfish, its hard for them to get up and help because all they care about is themselves. That's probably why there hasn't been a change so far (a significant change) because people want to "do them" and that's not going to benefit anyone else but themselves.

Volunteering

Description: I volunteered in Lauren Cohen's 7th grade class. It was a lot of fun because the were writing mini essays. The essential question was "Do you think that America has a caste system similar to the one from ancient India?" That question immediately drew my attention because I think about that too. It was interesting that everyone said that America does have a caste system similar to that of ancient India. I like working with kids because its easy for me to relate to them. They look up to older kids and that means that they can trust someone like me before they can trust their own teacher. That's how I felt when I was their age. Teaching how to write an essay isn't that easy but they had previous knowledge from their practice in class so it was that hard. A lot of them are really good writers and I was impressed.