Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Construction of Adolescence 

In the reading, they explain about a third grade teacher, Danielle. She is seen as a favorite teacher by most students with her high expectations. However, she has been dealing with a student who does not care for her. She said that this student, Antwon has been disrespectful towards her. One part that stuck out was that neither the teacher or student confronted the other person. 

In my short 22 years of life, I have seen how important communication is. The concept of communication becomes even more important as adolescence is such a difficult time in a persons life.   Now in my 20s, I will look back a few years of when I was in my adolescence and gets the shivers. It is such an awkward time because it begins once middle school begins. I remember that middle school was quite strange as I dealt with changes in my environment occurred while my physical and emotional state took quite a turn. I remember the feeling when i realized that I looked and acted different from the other girls in my grade. In my perspective it seemed like I was that weird girl who never wore shorts. Then while dealing my physical state it would affect my emotional state because people thought it was a good opportunity to make fun of me in multiple ways. For example, when people noticed that i was administered modified tests. The comment that I associate with this is "SPED." I get that it is acronym. However, it can have such a negative connotation especially if children hear it. One time I tried to stand up for myself and it failed hopelessly. It was such a defeating moment when other people laughed in agreement. 

Antwon had mentioned that he was dealing with challenges in his peer groups but he kept it from his teacher, Ms. Peterson. When there is something that is bothering a student it can make very negative effects. Socialization between young students and adults is so vital. It is hard to speak to someone who is more experienced in life, it may be imtimidating because a teacher may comes off as un approachable. If Antwon finds Ms. Peterson un approachable then he will not be likely to speak to her when he needs advice in friend situations. Despite that fear of speaking with his teacher, it may help Antwon to see the teacher as a friend in a mentoring sense. Personally, I have a teacher who has been a life long mentor. She has given me great advice that has taken me far as it has been realistic so I can handle challenges in my life. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Are you Color Bind or Color Brave?

Melody Hobson began her speech with her story of assisting a friend in political campaign. She described their moment of attending an event that would put her friend running in the campaign. When they first arrived they were greeted by white person and took them back down a starkly light hallway, that lead to a dim light room. Hobson remembers the person asking where their uniforms were. While listening to this story, I was shocked. What I found not so appalling was Hobson expression to this encounter. Hobson stated that she grew up in a very blunt atmosphere. Hobson was not surprised as she continued on with stating how her mom believed in the importance of being very truthful.  

Initially, I thought what a strong personality she has. Melody was so bold her making her statements, she did not seem afraid of people making negative remarks at her. She made it clear that to fix an issue you must be comfortable about discussing an uncomfortable subject, we must learn from we did wrong. Hobson said we must face problems like race head on. For example, when I was in preschool my teacher noticed my struggles in cognitive and neural development as I made multiple mistakes and spoke very infrequently. My teacher talked to my parents because she knew whatever problem I had would not go away and my parents along with assistance faced my issue right where it hurt me. Accomplishing activities, such as reading books, reading comprehension questions and speaking in class were not a walk in the park. However, I was pushed by educators to really put my best effort forth so one day in middle school I began to push myself. 

This woman held a strong force of power, she accredits much to her mother who taught her that she could be anything she wants to be.  I think I can accredit myself a sense of power because of the challenges i have faced and passed with flying colors. Hobson and I can relate on our parents as her mom always said she could do anything she wants as long as you work hard for it. My mom and dad said a similar thing. Anything that you want to conquer may be difficult but holds much worth once you conquer your dream.  This speaker brings light that we have all faced difficulty with her personal story. For my life, my mom tried to utilize people that  were well known for their success in their life. For example, people such as Anderson Copper . Anderson Copper is a news anchor for CNN. He dealt with dyslexia as he explained his difficulty. He said how lucky he felt that his diagnosis was caught so early on. This helped as he had grow up in a home where reading and writing held such importance. Copper stated how he felt the need to hide because if other kids knew school would become a place he did not want to be. Copper already had stated that being at school, he would feel isolated simply for the diverse way he learned. Despite that, he said that having teachers who understood or could sympathize for his struggle made all of the difference in finding a drive to work hard. Cooper stated how hard he worked but he said how much he gained from that hard work as he moved past high school to admission into Yale University. 

Hobson reminds me of Robert Reich, who has spent many years working for the government. While Robert Reich held the position of Secretary of Labor during Clinton's time in office, he learned very much about what happened to our worlds economics. Reich found that there was a strong sense of income inequality, where the rich became richer and the poor lost more while the middle class were screwed. While watching the documentary, Inequality for All Reich said the most important thing you have is knowledge. He explained that it was power and he used his power to make the world aware of what kind of inequality U.S. citizens were dealing with. 

In thinking about this group of established citizens, Hobson, Reich, and Anderson Copper I find that knowledge can be powerful in any avenue I pick. I realize that I can speak up and fight for change. Regardless of making change, I am finding that I want to empower myself with my knowledge. In a previous paragraph I mentioned that I deal with a learning disability. In my time in the education system, I have been told negative thins about my future, immediate and far away. That I will never be successful in a career path. Yet, I was able to pass classes in Johnson and Wales baking program that only allows three hundred students per year, pass the reading and writing section of 
the core, where my area of difficulty is and being less than 2 semesters away from graduation. 

Overall, Hobson is right. We need to get past our concerns for how our knowledge is viewed and take chance of speaking about your knowledge as it holds much power. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 3

Youth Work is...Youth In Action

After reading only the first page of the article I was blown away. It was crazy to read about an organization that is solely run by youth. I admire there establishment because they wanted a space where they were not excluded from opportunities. YIA was created in 1997 so that means they have been thriving for 18 years. I hope respect for them as I have leaned in my non profit studies class that a business faces the struggle of staying afloat. How did the group of youth handle the complexity of running the organization while going to school and dealing with the hectic atmosphere of life?

The article continues on by stating that youth are the best kind problem solvers. I honestly had not thought that children can be helpful in solving problems. What I remember most from school was our lack of ability to voice our opinion in issues such the way tests were taken. Every student comes in with a different strengthen, such as some students test well as they have a great ability to memorize. 

However, not every student is like this when testing is involved. Think about students who have documented anxiety that leads to minor anxiety about taking a test. Do you think they would test well? Personally, I have found that it is not successful as I deal with anxiety. Having to memorize important elements of learning to be examined upon is more stressful for me than actual studying or learning. Some students such as myself test better when a teacher asks us questions verbally, we do no have the pencil and test paper staring us down, telling us that something must be written down. Other students find verbal communication for testing as they may deal with a language disorder. I find that speaking about something is much easier than writing something. The ability to form sentence structure is so difficult for the way my brain operates. 

In thinking about problem solving, I found a website that breaks down what problem solving should look like. While skimming the site, I read that children should be a part of the solving process. This reminds me of when I was young and would be frustrated with my homework assignments. My parents would attempt to find way to calm me down. Despite their efforts, sometimes it was in me to clam myself down. To view the situation from outside of myself so I can internally be calm. If children were not a part of the whole cycle, how would they know how to clean up their mess or relocate something they lost. 

In situations like these youth need to be able to hold power to vocalize what they need. For example, this article that is linked describes how a student handles assignments and deadlines. In my personal experience, I was able to find a voice in some parts of my life. When I entered 7th grade i was invited to my PPT meetings, where my parents, educators, and principal would discuss my successes and where I needed improvement and what would be on my Individual Education Plan  for the next year. In 7th grade, it was my first time to speak up and looking back I remember I was scared and weirded out as I was talking about myself. Despite all of those mixtures of feelings, I felt empowered. I had a sense of control, something I had never been able to hold on to. 

One sentence i read stood out so clearly to me. It was a youth who see themselves as powerless then they will see that no change can take place for improvement in our world, and will give up any sort of hope.  An impact of positivty or negativity has such a strong effect on children. The article refers to poverty as being a problem. if that is considered a problem, youth should feel energized to make that change even if it that means slow and steady change. Mark Redmond wrote an article about a camp that brought kids from poverty to a more serene place. He found that using Martin Luther's "I have a dream speech" it assisted in holding a belief for the youth. MLK was also of a smiliar descent as these youth so it was a way for these kids to look up to MLK and his speech. This pushed the youth to think more positvely so they can have a more hope filled life. It seems that this is situation that kids are handed lemons and they have to make the lemonade. We only have one life to live so why wouldn't we live it to the fullest.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

In reading Youth Work: preparation in practice I found that I did not feel as enlightened on the message behind this piece of writing. The confusion continued on as I was not sure what were the 7 characteristics of Youth Work. What I catch onto were the topics within the writing, for example educational practice, social practice, social justice, involvement of youth, influence, welfare and the element of holistic.

In thinking about educational practice, youth workers are acting different from a teacher's role. They do instruct but in a "play" kind of way. For example, a youth worker could teach children on how to swim. The group of children would be learning something valuable, however it is something fun and interactive. An establishment such as the YMCA would be a great example of this. Personally, as a child who learned how to swim at the Y, I can say that it was fun to learn how to swim. I was not sitting a classroom on stiff uncomfortable chair being talked with the expectation that I and others will learn something.

I define social practice as an association or organized group of people with a common purpose or common interest. The word social simply means to speak with other people around, more than likely people who hold a similar interest that you hold. This could be a group of people who enjoy working with kids who deal with a disability. For example, the camp Hole In the Wall Gang is a designated space for people to hold a career helping kids have fun in life so they forget they deal with an issue. There mission and statement are...

Our PurposeThe Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is dedicated to providing “a different kind of healing” to seriously ill children and their families throughout the Northeast, free of charge. It’s a community that celebrates the fun, friendship and spirit of childhood, where every kid can “raise a little hell.”

Our GoalTo ensure that every child with a serious medical condition has the chance to experience the world of possibilities that camp has to offer. Through the generosity of others, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp community provides this unique healing experience to kids in need and their families, including those who may not be able to come to Camp.

Another aspect is social justice. Ideally youth workers would aim to assist kids who are excluded by any sort of stereotype or barrier. The article held importance in find a good way to address power that has an imbalance instead of stating what should be said. I think another part that weaves well is convincing youth to be interested in saying something to improve a possible issue. I think the goal is to help youth by showing how an issue such as improving a stereotype that has been said and caused pain. This reminds me of the freedom writers. The character that did help the students was their teacher. However, the teacher acted like a mentor who was willing to listen but be stern when need be. The educator allowed the students to open up by writing in journals. She made this opportunity so the students could write about anything and she allowed it to be confidential or share between the student and teacher. This teacher showed the beauty of learning in an interactive way almost like an youth worker. For example, she utilized field trips where hands on learning occurs. The class went to the holocaust where they learned about history with less than kind people. 

In helping someone, welfare which is all about holding compassion for one another so that person can find guidance. In giving guidance,a holistic nature is vital. Holistic means a whole thing is comprised of many parts so to make change, some areas need improvement while things change it will alter the whole. In the movie, The Freedom Writers, the student felt empowered by this teacher because she believed in them. They found respect for her because she did not talk down upon them but instead made time to get to know them and give them a chance to show that they were smart so they could be something successful. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hello YDEV friends,
as anyone who reads my blog it is clear to see that my name is Emma. I also go by Em.  I will respond to either one. Originally, I am from Stonington, CT which is right near the Mystic Aquarium. I have two older sisters, Hannah and Sarah along with two sweet kind hearted weird parents. My sister Hannah is an engineer who works on nuclear subamrines. My sister Sarah is a preschool teacher who works at a daycare. My dad is also an engineer that works on nuclear subarmines and he is a great handyman! He can fix almost anything. My mom has been a stay at home mom since my sister Hannah was born. My mom is a an amazing cook and baker! Another favorite person in my life is Sloan. My sister Sarah had a baby girl, Sloan. Sloan recently turned 2 about two weeks ago. Sloanie is my favorite! I watched Sloan grow from day one in the hospital to now, it has been beautiful watching her grow. Sloan is the sunshine of my life.
This is one of many favorite sweet videos of Sloan
Making cookies was quite a to do in my house growing up. It was a pleasure had by all Holman girls especially after Thanksgiving.
This was my senior prom, my date was my best friend Amy.
I meet her in 3rd grade at back to school night. Since that day we have been glued to the hip. 

The humor of children is the best as Sloan thinks the ocean is really a pool.  
As an aunt it has been beautiful watching Sloan see things like animals for the first time. 
 In the picture above are my sisters, Sarah is on the left and Hannah is in the middle. 
Becoming an aunt for both Hannah and I has been a whirlwind of excitement! 

My dad is on the left, with the funny bucket hat. He is an awsome thought and nurturing dad. The other figure is my Grampy, my dad's dad. He is hysterical, thoughtful and loves his kids and grandchildren. 

 I have been raised by my mom to be independent and I love that this is a nature I am accustom to. However, I do make some exceptions when I think I meet the right person for me. This time I lucked out with Franklin. We are friends as well as more.