Saturday, September 26, 2015

"Aria" - Richard Rodriguez

The short story of "Aria" is one that seems all too familiar to such stories that still take place in present day 2015. The constant pressure for all citizens or immigrants to fit into "American Culture" is evident everyday. Take for example, students in public schools pledge their allegiance to the American flag everyday before the school day begins.

With the background in mind, I personally have a similar connection to this story. Living in an area that is bilingual and full with people of different backgrounds, one day the house up the street from me went up for sale. Within the next three to four months, a Hispanic family had moved due to the relocation of the fathers job. There was a young girl, Sadie, who was a few years younger than me. One day her and I finally met. Although she could speak very good English, she had told me that she did not have much relation to her family. From the outside looking in, her father (who always talked to my father) could speak very good English. This man was typically always at work and never home. Her mother however knew very little of the English language and almost filled her sentences with half English and half Spanish.

After reading this short story I made the connection that maybe this is why Sadie was not very close to her family. With her father always working and her being an only child, the house was always just her and her mother. Sadie could not speak very good Spanish, but the mother could not speak very good English. This makes me think now that I'm older, how frequently does this happen? What are the effects of a bilingual family? Coming from a family where English is the first and only language spoken I tend to wonder are their many houses out there that are broken up due to a language barrier? 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

"Amazing Grace", Jonathan Kozol

Argument: Kozol argues that the circle of poverty is one that is near impossible to break out of, and from an outsider looking in it can be hard to understand
. In this reading, Kozol brings up many points that Kristof brought up in his "Land of Limitation". The difference is Kozol brings these points up in a manner where you can feel the connection based on the stories being told from his time in the South Bronx. The significance of Kozol's stories is that he was an outsider doing studies or LIVING in this totally different world, "I felt a long way from Manhattan". These outsider stories that Kozol provides to us shows the difference in cultures and the realization of the water in which different cultures swim. To Kozol, being in the South Bronx was a total culture shock to him. For others such as Ms. Washington or young Cliffie, this was their world. Many could recognize that this area full of drugs, illnesses, and deaths was not a desirable place. However, like Kristof argued, poverty was nothing more than a cycle or a system in which the poor have a hard time breaking out. It is clear to see this when Kozol explains the second time he visits Ms. Washington at her home, as he explain her welfare issues.

With Manhattan and the South Bronx being so closely connected with two different cultural lifestyles and poverty levels, I began to think and notice how many places there are in Rhode Island alone with different cultures and poverty levels. The question to me is do we as people all see this poverty breakdowns in our cities, states, and country? Or do we "swim in the water" ignoring what could be happening next door or down the street from us?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Nicholas Kristof-U.S.A., Land of Limitation?

Argument: This author Kristof argues that your social status and the environment that you grow up in has a direct effect on your success and well-being later on in life. Kristof uses a lot of different ideas and examples to explain his theory. The quantitative data from Kristof's research shows that his theory may indeed be correct, as "a child born in the bottom quintile of incomes in the United States has only a 4 percent chance of rising to the top quintile". Kristof also uses qualitative data in explaining his theory by reflecting on his late friend, Rick Goff. Kristof uses Goff as a qualitative example to show how he was born into this idea of a "lower system" and how it effected his life in schooling and his attitude towards discipline compared to people born into a "higher system" of living. This evidence showed Goff knew his limits whereas people who never are disciplined tend to not know their limits. Kristof's data overall brings up the theory that many tend to turn their eye to, which is are children born into some sort of social status? Based on the evidence shown in this piece, it is hard to not believe or feel this way, and as Kristof shows in his example with  Goff, this isn't an idea that was born over night, rather this has possibly been happening for decades or even centuries.

After diving into this piece of writing the question arose to me, is it possible that one day we can live in a society where people will not be pigeon holed into an economic sector of well-being? Is it possible to one day have children viewed as equal no matter what the upbringing?
About Me
My name is Austin Raposa. I am from Cranston, Rhode Island. This is my second year at RIC, as I am majoring in Physical and Health Education. Over the summer I worked for ADP Payroll Services, as I delivered payrolls all over the state of Rhode Island. Typically when I'm not in class I am at the gym, on the golf course, or working. I am looking forward to another great semester.

Over the summer my friends and I participated in a flag football league.
We fell short in the finals.

My favorite place to be during the summer.

Enjoying some Mexican food at midnight.

One of my favorite things to do, go off-roading with my jeep around Rhode Island.
This picture was taken in Exeter.

Some of my first trials with a GoPro.
It's very hard to keep your eyes open when you're looking into the sun.