Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Social Justice Event: Gen Silent

Attended on 4/27/16

Gen Silent was a film about elderly LGBT people in the Boston area. It focused mainly on a lesbian couple, a gay couple, and a transgender. It really focused on how these people had to remain silent about themselves when they were younger due to discrimination or hate that they might receive. Some of them still feel that they need to be quiet today for fear of treatment they might receive. The gay couple of Lawrence and Alexander, and WWII vet, met in the 70's. Lawrence was a black man in his 20's and Alexander was a white man in his 40's. The reason Alexander became quiet about being gay was his old lover was openly gay. He was harassed and discriminated against so much that he committed suicide in 1951. Now, they are both openly gay. However, due to the fact that Alexander was so much older, he was in a nursing home. The first nursing home they went to were not very open to gays, and both men did not feel comfortable. They were not being paranoid either. There have been reports of care taker abuse due to someone being LGBT. Also, 50% of nursing home employees have reported that their colleagues were intolerant of the LGBT community. By the end of the film, Alexander had become very ill, and Lawrence could no longer see him. They film did not say, but I believe he passed away. Lawrence however, while upset, started writing poetry and actually fell in love again. Lawrence said that one thing that saved him from depression was the Emanuel Cafe in Boston which would have luncheons for elderly LGBT. The Cafe made me think of August and Safe Spaces because these people always felt like they needed to keep quiet or they would not be safe. The Cafe made it so they had a safe space to go, and could finally actually be themselves. These males lives also reminded me of SCWAAMP. They always felt like they were the only gay people, so they had to stay in hiding. It wasn't until they were much older and had their "tap on the glass" moment where they realized that it was okay to be gay.

The lesbian couple had been together for 40+ years. They are big activist in the LGBT community. They faced horrible discrimination at a younger age. They are both very happy and proud to be who they are. Towards the end of the film, these two actually partake in the LGBT rally that they have in Boston, and while they are very happy it has come this far, they feel like the younger generation of LGBT have no idea the struggles that they had to go through. This couple was different and reminded me a lot of Johnson. They had no problem talking explicitly about their sexuality. However, they talked about being lesbians before a lot of other LGBT people realized it was okay to talk about. They suffered a lot of harassment and discrimination due to this. But they didn't care. They were proud of who they are, and they were not going to let anything get in the way of that.

The finally person the film talked about was a transgender who went by the name of Krys. She was a male for 50+ years of her life. In the film she was 59 years old, and was also a Vietnam veteran. When she was a male she was so upset, and suffered from severe depression. She actually attempted suicide twice. When she got the operation done to become a woman, she said she felt extremely happy and relieve, but there were some serious consequences that came along with it. Her family refused to talk to her. She was all alone. She was also terminally ill with lung cancer, which is something she also had to face alone. After her health took a turn for the worst, she had a support group of others in the LGBT community that started to take care of her. Eventually they reached out to her son that she had not talked to in two years, and he agreed to come meet up with her. Krys ended up passing away at the end of the movie, and while she never could rekindle the relationship her son and her once had, she was happy that she got to see him and talk to him before she passed away.

To be honest I went into this movie thinking it was going to be something pointless, and I just had to get it done for an assignment. But i'm really glad that I actually went to this movie, because before it, I never really thought of an elderly LGBT community. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Education is Politics

Education is Politics
By: Ira Shor


The article this week really made me think about my high school experience. Shor really emphasizes how children in school should be challenged, and that they should feel free to question what they are being taught. After thinking about Shor's main points, I tried to think of classes in high school that challenged me, and classes that I felt free to speak out and express how I felt in. While you have classes like math and science, where it is hard to teach anything but math and science, there are also classes that I felt could have been expanded on, or taught differently. For example, I was required to take an art class in high school. I decided to do clay building. The teacher I had was so strict, and it was either her way or the highway. First off, I think art is a class that I knew would challenge me to think differently. Also, I feel like it is a class in which you can express yourself. The teacher I had made it clear that we had to do it her way. First, she would show us how to do something, and then, we would do it. We would basically get graded on  how closely our project was to her example. I remember one project, I made a clay alligator. I spent weeks on it. It was by far the best work I have ever done. The most artistic thing I have ever made. The teacher gave me a feakin' B- on it. I was devastated and didn't do anything the rest of the year. But on the other end of the spectrum, I had an English teacher who always challenged us, and actually gave us a say in what we would learn. While we had required authors we had to go over, the teacher would let us choose the pieces of literature we would read. She would give us multiple pieces to choose from, give us the synopsis of each of them, then as a class we voted. I really had a wide variety of teachers, and how they ran there classroom. While I had some that just focused on the 'rules and codes of power', I had others who would actually allow us to think critically. Like Kamryn said, it is difficult for high school teachers to freely change the syllabus or allow the children to be challenged. They have rules and codes of power that are set forth onto them. They must abide by them. For some students, the first time that their opinion is ever asked about schooling is in college.

The quote

 "... The students who decide to what extent they will take part in the syllabus and allow it to form them.  many students d not like the knowledge, process, or roles set out for them in class.  In reaction, they drop out or withdraw into passivity or silence in the classroom.  Some become self-educated; some sabotage the curriculum by misbehaving."

really hit home for me. I have two very good friends, that are a couple of the smartest people that I know. They both however barely passed high school. They hated the system, and hated how systematic everything was. They always felt like no learning was going on, and that they were just expected to memorize and repeat back. One of them actually freaked out in class one day, and refused to go back. He freaked out over how they never learned anything new. He was then punished for voicing his opinion.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:

A question I have to the class is what was your high school experience like? Were you challenged? Were you allowed to voice how you felt? Or were you just constricted by the rules and codes of power?

“Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome”

“Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome”
By: Kliewer

This is the first semester of my collegiate career that I have actually thought about children with special needs, and what I could do to help. Actually, between this class and one of my physical education classes, we have been focused on children with special needs for the past couple of weeks. What I have learned is that every single classroom can have modifications done to make sure that all students receive a "Free and Appropriate Public Education".

What we have been going over in my Physical Education class is how to use adaptive physical education in order to make sure every single person can participate, and that it is still a fun and engaging task. One example of this could be a tag game. Say in your class you have two children with Down Syndrome, one child who is restricted to a wheel chair due to an accident, and another who is in a wheel chair due to Cerebral Palsy. The tag game that could be made would be a version of capture the flag. Each team would have brightly colored pennies so that everyone can see who is on which team. The two children in wheel chairs can be the "Flag Defenders". Giving them a special role is very important. Instead of normally just sitting out to the side, they are given a very important position on the team that doesn't involve them moving around too much. Give each child in a wheelchair a pool noodle as an extension, so its easier for them to tag. Since the child with Cerebral Palsy may have a hard time moving his upper body, he may have a child with out disabilities as a partner who can help him tag. All of the other children who aren't "Flag Defenders" can be put in pairs, making sure that the children who have Down Syndrome are with children who do not have disabilities. That way, this adaptation to the game makes sure that everyone is included, while still making the game fun and competitive for all. (Sorry I went off on a tangent here, but Adaptive Physical Education is something that I am really interested in.)

Like many others in the class, I would connect this text to "Safe Spaces" by August. No one likes being excluded or looked at differently. While people with disabilities may not feel the same as people who are LGBT, they still want to be included in the classroom, as well as in society. This text would also go along with SCWAAMP. Since able-bodiedness is one of the A's in SCWAAMP, it is very connected to children with disabilities. Society values people who are able-bodied, and look down on those who are not. Again, no one likes being looked down on or excluded from things, which is why this is important.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:

One main question I have is how would you include children with disabilities in your classroom? It is different for me because I am going to be a PE major, and part of the degree is taking classes specifically on how to accommodate to children with special needs in the classroom.