“Just don’t go gay”- a conversation with a child 

It’s been a very long time since I have taken the time to blog. My life this summer has become so busy and exhausting, which is how I imagine a teacher’s life feels. I have been working two jobs and one of them is at a day camp. This job is really testing my ability to interact with children and how to deal with difficult situations, which is essential for the field I’m going into.  I’m also gaining skills with collaborating with coworkers, whether that is coming up with an activity together or asking for advice on what works for individual children that they have worked with. I didn’t make this post to talk about what I have been doing for my job, however.

I wrote this blog post because I wanted to talk about a conversation that I had with a child the other day. It started out with the child asking me if I was married and I responded by saying no and that I was not in any rush to be married. The child responded by saying, “just don’t go gay”. I then asked the child why they thought this way and explained that we need to be kind to everyone, even if their beliefs are different. I’ve thought about this situation quite a bit over the past couple of days and I wonder if I should say more. In my past classes, we’ve talked about social justice and how we can spread awareness and encourage acceptance. I’ve been so confident that I could do it, also, but I felt awkward in that situation. I can’t just change this child’s beliefs that they have had throughout their life in their catholic household.

So I guess I’m making this post to ask others about what they would have done in this situation. How would you talk about social justice if it goes totally against their religious beliefs?

Women as Objects

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This will just be a quick little post, but I’ve been meaning to share my thoughts about this topic.  A couple of weeks ago, one of my Facebook friends shared the photo above onto her profile.  She used the picture as a form of empowerment, but it had the opposite effect on me.  I think this picture is further objectifying women, even if it was intended as an empowering statement.  The quote is pretty much saying, “Women are cars”.  The fact that there are women in the picture that look like they are from the fifties also gives me the impression that we are expressing the ideals from that time, which was not a time for women to shine.  You see so many commercials, magazine ads, billboards, etc. with uncomfortable images of women as objects.  For example, here are a couple of images where a women literally become a part of a product: 

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Even though the first image is not really painful to look at, I believe that it has hidden messages in it that makes it very oppressive to women.  I just feel like people are finding comfort and power in the wrong ways.  Yes, it is great to be proud of who you are, but comparing yourself to an object is not helping your situation very well.

I’m curious about other opinions on this matter.  Did you feel the same way I did? Do you feel empowered by this picture?

 

Zite As An Educational Tool

For ECMP 355 last week, I decided to check out the app called, Zite.  This app is pretty much like your own personal magazine because it shows you intriguing articles based on your interests.  I downloaded this tool on my iPhone a while ago, but I just revisited it to actually give it a try!  The app is free and can be downloaded at the App Store.  The sign up process was very fast and convenient!  Navigating is very easy to figure out, which is very beneficial.

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You have a Quicklist of the categories you are interested in and you can navigate that way, or you can click on “Your Top Stories” to navigate articles from all of your interests.

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You can customize the font size to your liking, which is pretty cool!

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A great feature of this app is that you can post articles from Zite onto Twitter.

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Unfortunately, it was not working for me and I am not sure why.  Anybody have any suggestions? I’ll try a different day and see what happens!

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This tool would be great for students because they can search up a very global variety of material on politics, history, pop culture, anthropology, and many more!  Zite is a great way for students to explore their interests and share content to others.  This would be a great source for blogging material because there’s a bottomless pit of content, whether that be an opinionated piece or an educational source!  This is also a great tool for teachers because they can educate themselves about new and noteworthy information and upgrade according to that.  I looked at the Education category and there are tons of articles about ways of teaching and different approaches to use in the classroom.  There’s also a category for crafts, which is a dream for us Pre-K to 5 teachers!  This tool is just great for everybody because it catches you up with current events and new and upcoming ideas, trends, etc.  I think it’s beneficial for anybody to learn about global issues and content and I believe that this just opens up our minds to all sorts of ideas and practices!

Have you used Zite before? How did you implement this tool into the classroom?

Copyright and Its Limitations on Creativity

We were asked to watch “RIP: A Remix Manifesto” for our ECMP 355 class for this week.  The documentary is all about the history of copyright infringement and how remixing music is difficult to work around these laws.  I thought this was quite interesting to watch as a future teacher because teachers are so open to share their original ideas for lesson plans and activities to the open public.  A big part of the job is exchanging ideas and collaborating with coworkers and friends!  What if we all refused to let anybody use our teaching ideas for their own classrooms?  These exchanges encourage healthy relationships and allow room to learn and grow!

A big idea in this documentary was the idea of Intellectual Property, which is defined as:  “Law. property that results from original creative thought, as patents, copyright material, and trademarks”

We are all lead to believe that when we download music illegally or modify music, it is the artists we are directly harming and fighting against.  This may be true in some circumstances, but a lot of the time, the companies that artists have sold the publishing rights to are the ones that have a problem with people meddling with “intellectual property”.  This is not the original creative thought of the whole entire label, so why is it deemed the publisher’s “intellectual property”?  This confuses me because the individuals who are creating and performing these songs are not directly affected and don’t vocalize their concerns for copyright most of the time.  A whole array of people are recognized, rather than individual people.  Some artists encouraged their music to be downloaded free and for people to remix their music.  Radiohead gave the public the freedom to pay as much or as little as they wanted, which challenged the ways of record labels.  Artists are not even affected by the copyright laws because all the money from copyright infringement goes to the label.

I feel like these very strict laws put a barrier between ourselves and our creativity.  Remixing music is a form of expression and art.  If anything, the remixer is paying homage to the artist by creating new renditions of their music.  The final product of remixes do not sound the same and are noticeably different, so why is it such a big deal?  A big thing with music and remixing is sharing!  We share our ideas to the world in hope that someone will see/hear our projects and share their own experiences.  We want to learn new things from others’ work and to put our own twist on what we see.  From an educational standpoint, our ideas would be limited and not creative without the input of others and the sharing that goes on between educators.  I believe that any form of expression is great and should be celebrated.  Remixing music is a way to pursue a person’s passion for music and the passion to create new things out of the past.

What do you think of copyright laws in regard to remixing?  Do you think copyright laws limit our creativity?

 

The Moment of Truth

I haven’t posted in a while, but I have some very important news…  Yesterday, my mother called me and told me that I received a letter in the mail from the University of Regina… I can’t even explain how nervous and terrified I was.  My palms were sweaty, my heart was racing, and my mind was all over the place!  I couldn’t decide on if I wanted her to read the result to me or if I wanted her to wait for me to arrive back home.  I’m currently studying and preparing for finals, so rejection is the last thing I need right now.  My mother opened the letter anyways, without my permission I must add, and……

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I GOT IN!! You are now looking at a future PreK-5 teacher! I am so incredibly excited and happy!! I can’t even remember the last time I have been THIS happy!! The funny thing is, I expected my reaction to be a lot different than the way it was!  I expected to be screaming with joy and jumping up and down.  Instead, I bawled for about 5 minutes straight!  Apparently, I cry  when I’m really sad and I also cry when I’m really happy! This reminds me of Kristen Bell on Ellen.  I now can relate to her hilarious experience and I realized I also have an emotional scale haha.  If you haven’t seen the video, here it is: .  I’m so excited to start my journey and learn all sorts of new things!  I want to thank my family and friends for all the support they have provided me throughout the years and I also want to thank the people who have provided me with opportunities to gain experience with youth this summer!