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Bold and Raspy

“Repeat after me, Sha-lom, mah ha’ inyanim.”   

“ Sha-lom, mah hah-in-yah neem.”

“ Good, good. But say “yah” with more throat, like you’re spitting something up” my teachers voice growled.

I could feel my face turn a little pink, they were all staring at me, expecting me to say this unattractive hebrew word and then spit up a loogie on the table.

“ Mah- chah-in- yach neem” ew, the word sounded ugly coming from my mouth. I hate this language. It’s bold and raspy.

The language itself isn’t extremely hard to learn, but I started learning hebrew when I was 6. When I was really little my sister and I would get so excited to go to synagogue on saturdays, and put on our pretty little dresses and stand next to my dad. As my sister and I have gotten older hebrew school has gotten worse and worse. The people who belonged to the synagogue were quite interesting. The women would wear conservative clothing with obnoxiously huge hats, face caked on with makeup. The men wore suits and would be the first ones upstairs for the kiddish (Lunch). A group of women would sit at the end of the table, holding wine cups and shoving food in their faces. They had a typical Jewish lady accent, they all sounded like Fran from the show “The Nanny”. “ Ya know Mooolly, ya don’t look varry Jewish.” One of the women said to me as I walked by her. The sound of her voice made me cringe, I began to turn away slowly, but then she began to talk again so I turned back to hear what awful thing she was going to say next.

Her face was too close to mine and she smelled like alcohol. I got that a lot, I don’t look very Jewish. I look alot like my mother, who is irish-catholic. We both have light hair and blue-green eyes. My dad is Israeli and looks it, tan skin, dark hair, dark eyes. My sister got that from him.

“ Yeah, well I look alot like my mom.”

“ i’m surrrrrrre ya do, ure sista looks so botiful and Jewish.”

Wow, I wasn’t going to let myself be offended by this old drunk lady. Her voice made me cringe, so winey and nasally.

I went back into the shul and looked around. Everyone had dark hair and tan skin. I looked different. I do not look Jewish. I do not sound Jewish. It did not bother me very much. So what? I was born with blonde hair and dyed it darker every now and then. My sister looked exactly like me, just darker, longer, curlier hair and big brown eyes. When I used to dye my hair darker people used to get us confused and believed me when I said I am half Isreali. But hair dye fades and people started saying things to me in synagogue again. I didn’t like people to judge me but then again, I do not want to change for anyone and I didn’t want it to bother me. It was all extremely confusing. After studying for years I finally had my bat mitzvah, it was nothing really special; I felt extremely uncomfortable having all the attention on me. I somehow convinced my dad to let me stop going to hebrew school. My argument being that it was stressing me out to go there every saturday. My hair dye faded fast and I forgot a lot of hebrew words. Hebrew is rarely spoken in my household but my dad does call me be my hebrew name “Mishk”. Overall, I don’t like the idea of you being born into a religion. Everyone has their own different beliefs therefore it would make more sense if everyone just chose their own religions. I’m not from Isreal, my father is. Therefore, I’m not typically Isreali, so I should get to chose my religion; whatever I believe in. I thought about all of this for a while. Then I realized, religion does not really matter in my life right now, i’m only 15; i’ll find my way and fit into my own category.  


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The Origins of My Language

I have an eclectic language. It is specific only to me. It’s like a house furnished with tables and chairs from around the world. My specific dialect has morphed throughout my life with every new experience I have and every community I spend an extended amount to time with. I’ve been to 3 different schools with 3 very different cultures and I’ve joined a few communities too, although I’ll only talk about one of the most prominent ones. Something else I should note before I start is that I don’t count the language spoken at home as a dialect, it’s more of a baseline that one builds from. Languages are sort of like our personalities, your experiences throughout your life shape and form who you are, all of your communities and experiences add things to your language, everyone had their own, here’s mine.


“Hey Erica” I would say to my teacher “When you get a second could you come here and tell me what the heck I’m doing wrong?”

“Sure or you could come talk to me during choice time”
 I started elementary school at Miquon, a small private school in the woods outside of Philadelphia. The school is an incredibly informal place where students call their teachers by their first names. There is a specific dialect spoken there because it is so secluded, words like “Monkeyland” or “choice time” make complete sense to anyone from there but to an outsider they’re useless. Now “Monkeyland” is a wooded hill just south of the creek where kids build forts out of logs and trade for things using a particular rock called quartz crystal as money. Choice time though is an easy translation, it’s just their version of recess, it happened twice a day once in the morning for half an hour and one right after lunch for an hour and a half. During choice time kids play in the creek, take care of the chickens, if it’s snowed, you can go snow tubing on the large hill outside the gym and if it’s summer you can go swimming in pool below the basketball court. The “jargon” has ceased to appear in my everyday language, but an innumerable amount of smaller things have. One of them being my ability to speak informally and maturely with adults.

My innocent “Heck” soon turned into a “Why the hell can’t he shut the fuck up?”

“He’s never stops fucking talking” my friend would reply as we sat together on the couch in the corner of english class talking about another boy in our 7th grade year. After graduating miguon in 6th grade, I transitioned into Project Learn, an even smaller co-op school in Mt. Airy. It would be fair to say that it wasn’t the best influence on me. I became best friends with a girl who cursed out teachers on a bi-weekly basis. Now I never cursed out a teacher, but fuck, hell and shit became quite frequent in my informal speech. Luckily I was able and am still able to code switch when I’m in a more formal environment. Along with the addition of cursing, I also gathered new vocabulary as I suppose one does when one goes to a new community or place. My vocabulary had to shift from talking about trees and dirt to buildings and concrete. Sadly my time at Project Learn was short, after 2 years I had to head off to high school.

“Your benchmarks are due a week from today, It needs to be submitted to moodle, you have a work period for the rest of class so take out your laptops and get to work!”

For the past two years I have attended Science Leadership Academy. A school right in center city Philadelphia. If you go there you know it’s a unique place, It’s a 1 to 1 laptop school where kids have lots of control. Coming to SLA presented a few challenges in terms of “language barriers” for lack of a better term, here I was a little boy from a background of proper-ish speaking hippies dropped into an inner city school with people that speak with all sorts of accents and with dialects that were incredibly different from mine. It wasn’t hard to break the “language barrier” but the initial culture shock was an interesting phenomenon to see, the difference in language just within one city. When I came to SLA there were an abundance of new words that I adopted, mostly having to do with technology, like “moodle” a place for teachers to display and accept assignments with/from the students, “SLATE” an acronym for “Science Leadership Academy Technology Experience” is the blog network built into the SLA website. SLA being a diverse and very social environment, is always a place to learn new slang, In the movie “American Tongues” it says that slang and passing popular phrases don’t count, but I disagree. New slang pumps through the building like blood. School isn’t the only thing that’s shaped my language though, I’ve always been parts of communities outside of school.

About 6 months into my my first year at SLA I came out as gay, I was lucky enough to get involved with Mazzoni Center, an organization that works for LGBT equality especially with youth. I’m part of a group that helps GSAs (Gay Straight Alliance) in schools around the city, being part of this has opened many doors for me. One of which was being able to fly to Kentucky over the summer for a national GSA conference. While I was there for 4 days I must have learned 20+ new words. “Werq” may have been the most prominent, “werq” is a term that is used in the LGBT community a lot. Slang isn’t supposed to be considered part of a language, but contrary to popular belief “werq” had been a staple in the LGBT community for years. It originates from the drag community, during a performance spectators yell things like “you better werq” or simply ”werq” it’s a way of praising someone for a good show or for just being really good. Nowadays it’s meaning is more general and you can just use it when your friend looks really good today and you yell down the hall “you bettah werq!” That would probably be followed by a “thank you hunty”.

“Hunty” is another word originating from drag. Hunty is an endearing word that can be used in infinitely more situations than “werq”. “hunty” can basically replace any “honey” or terms of endearment. It’s origins are from combining the word honey and cunt and was used as an insult of sorts, but over the years has grown into more of, as I said before, a term of endearment. These aren’t words that I get to use a lot though, you really have to be in a group of queers to not sound crazy, although other words from that community have recently surfaced like “shade” although straight people have misconstrued the meaning and the actual meaning has been lost. These are in my repertoire, but I don’t find myself using them too often. If someone walked in looking really good I would probably be more inclined to just say “you look good today” to which they would reply “thank you”. But it all depends on the environment I’m in. I think I have a pretty well rounded language. I’d like to say that I’ve worked hard to create it, but the fact is it’s easy. I’ve gathered it from community’s, schools and home, and I’m sure it will continue to develop until the day I die.

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All About Christian

My slide shows a few things that I like. My favorite of different categories. This slide shows my favorite football player and basketball player. This shows that I like sports. It also shows the college that I want to go to. Since its all about me I found a picture with that bolded and put it in the center. The things that are all about me are all around it


The first thing that I added to the slide were pictures of football stuff, since this is my favorite sport. Cam Newton is my favorite player in the N.F.L so I put a picture of him doing his signature Touch Down celebration. On the opposite side diagonal to that is a picture of his cleats. Also on this slide there is a picture of a football hemet. 


In the future I want to go to the University of Oregon. So I put a picture of the Oregon logo. If I go to this college I would want to play football. This is why I have a picture of the Ducks mascot Puddles.

All About Me

  At first I thought the project was easy to make a slide. Then I found out that we had to explain the advertisement of the slide not the slide itself. It hard to explain why I did something a way if it was random. Now I learned from my mistakes.






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Sophia Deoliveira Language Autobiography Post

Being normal and speaking normal in today’s society has impacted the way people view others. If you don't speak a certain way, they might judge you. If you pronounce a word a certain way, they laugh at you. You have to speak in a way that people understand you, apparently. There are many people with accents or a lisp, which i happen to have. Those two things might make people look at you with a confused look on their faces. But what does speaking normal mean? When you look on the TV, how do the people sound? Do they have weird lisp, and weird accents? usually, no. People that have a simple tones in their voices, no accent, no lisp, are considered speaking “normal” these days.

Ever since i was a little kid, i spoke “weird”, as people would refer to it. Some said it was  “cute” or unique, and they couldn’t quite imagine me without the lisp. I completely agree with them. Without my lisp, it doesn’t make me unique from others.When i talk, i try to speak in a manner others can understand me. But sometimes, the words just stumble out of my mouth, tripping into the air mistakenly. Simple things i say can be entertain meant to others.

“hey, does anyone have a chore-ja?” i say curiously.

“A what?”

“A chore-ja”

“Hahahhaha, yeah i have one, just say charger one more time”

If indians speak with an accent and they speak with their native language, that is just a normal routine for them since they talk that way everyday, and they were raised. The same is with me. I was raised where at home, it was okay to speak sluggishly, and not care if i pronounce a word wrong. My family would still understand me. But i got so accustomed to it, that whenever someone tries to correct me, i am somewhat confused.  People would consider those on TV, speak quite normal. Not everyone speaks normal, because that is them. Speaking “normal” may not be part of their character. I think everyone speaks normal, because normal is what makes that person them. There is no “correct” way to speak, its just correct if others can understand you.

Try to imagine this :

Say today is a new start. You are about to get a new job as a commercial advertiser, and you are excited to apply. Now this job requires that you speak to advertise certain products, or introduce a clothing line, or whatever the case may be. Once you get there to apply, you sit and wait for this process to go through. After you fill out your information, you take a “speaking evaluation” so they can hear how you sound. After speaking the lines they provided for you, they announce 

“Sorry, but you don’t have the qualified, normal speaking voice”. Your heart shatters right there on the spot.Thoughts spin around over and over like merry-go-round. As you mope your way home, you wonder...

“What is the right way to speak?” What is the normal way to speak?” “How do i speak correctly?” 

As an american, a person living in the community, I can say that there is more than enough diversity in my neighborhood. We have people from different countries, with different accents. There is a wide selection of accents. Some that are common around my area is Chinese, Indian, Southern accents, and european accents. I myself have a “Boston” accent. I talk in a different manner than some of my friends do. They sometimes have to ask me to repeat myself again. Talking the way I talk, makes me who I am, and its a part of me. Its been a part of me all of my life. Now who’s to tell me I don’t speak normal? They would surely be talking to the thousands of others who have accents and lisp. 

Why are people expected to speak normal? What if being normal isn’t really quite them? Being who you are “reveals the private identity and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger,public, or community“ (quote from “if black isn’t a language identity, then tell me what is” by James brown). What does your language say about you? Language should not only build your character up, but show to the world your identity. This includes your personality, where you are from, and your diversity in the way you talk. It makes you feel confident or low about yourself. Its decides whether you wished you didn’t have that accent or lisp...or if you take self pride in it. Even if you don’t speak people expect you too, that automatically does not make you “weird”.  You have something that they don’t have, and thats a cool way to speak.People still are amazed by the way I speak. Its somewhat like entertainment to them. It makes them laugh. I have adjusted to my speech. I’ve had speech classes and therapy for this “disability”. People have been trying to correct me for years. I’m okay that I don’t speak like the regular people, with just regular speaking voices with no accents, and no speaking disability. That not only goes for lisp and accents, but it also goes out to the people who have mental diseases like down syndrome, which tends to make their speech slurred. I’m glad I don’t speak normal. It makes me the person I am,while building my character up. I believe that speaking normal, isn’t quite normal at all. Its just that some people sound like one another, and they consider that normal. Everyone is special in their own way, and everyone talks slightly different from others. Thats what makes them normal, in my opinion.

All in all, i believe that everyone is different by the way they talk. Some accents sound the same, some sound completely different. Me and my friends that have lisp speak more clearly than others. Its what makes us different. People may look at us and judge us by the way we talk, but they don’t understand the people who we truly are. There is no normal way of speaking, The way people hear you is just the way they consider you normal or not. You are normal no matter how thick your accent is, or how bad your speech is slurred, you will still be normal because there is probably hundreds of people out in the world who sound just like you.

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Why Can't I just be Myself

“ Hello my name is Arshelle. What is your name?”

“ uggh my name Shay” 

“ Oh nice to meet you.” I say politely 

“ Why you be talking like that” Shays asks

“ Like what?” I ask bewildered 

“ Like, you be talking like a white person” Shay says rudely


No one has every said that to me, I don’t believe that I speak any different from anyone else. I was around the age of ten when this incident happened at summer camp. My mom sent me there because she had work during the day even though I really didn’t want to go. When I meeting this girl Shay  was probably the worst day of my life. She kept telling me that I didn’t fit in and that my voice was to different. She said I didn’t talk like a black girl. The girl Shay seemed to be the “leader” of the group of black girls so they of course they agreed with her. I had never been ignored or made fun of before because the school I went to and the people I was around spoke the same way I did. I told my mom that they were not being civil and were calling me white girl, she said it was because of ignorance and the fact that they were unaware of people that spoke in a different way. I understood what she was saying sort of, but I did not understand that I spoke a different way. I was taught to use correct words and to say please and thank you. I was taught to say yes not yea. 

When I was at that age I did not know that there is a right and wrong way to speak. I just knew what I was taught. When growing and even now my parents have a mixture of friends but one thing they all have in common is that they are all educated. I guess growing up around people with a good education and a good job has rubbed off on me.


In the essay by James Baldwin called “ If Black English isn’t Language, Then Tell me What is” he talks about how black english is a language that blacks should speak. He also talks about how it is a part of the culture. He then talks about how when the slaves came over they didn’t know english so they learned from listening and they made their own words. He thinks that blacks should speak black english which in America is viewed as incorrect english. In the essay he says “ We, the blacks, are in trouble, certainly, but we are not doomed, and we are not inarticulate because we are not compelled to defend a morality that we know to a lie.” He is saying that the english language to blacks is a lie.  

I do not believe in any of his views. In the world that we live in now if you do not speak the correct way you are looked down on. The black community is looked down on in a way cause people say they do not speak well. That it is to “Ghetto”. In our society getting a job can be a very hard thing to do. Employers look for a well rounded person and someone who can speak well. People make assumptions  just by the way you speak. They can tell where you are from how you grew up and your education. Baldwin writes “ It goes without saying, then that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power... It reveals the private identity.... or communal identity.” I think he is trying to say that the way you speak determines what kind of power you have in society. The people who have the higher paying jobs speak what we Americans call proper english. 

In the short story “ How to Tame the Wild Tongue” by Gloria Anazaldua she says “ Chicanos and other people of color suffer economically for not acculturating” The definition of acculturating is to assimilate the cultural traits of another. This is saying that some cultures suffer because people do not understand the cultural traits of others. This can be related back to Baldwin’s essay society doesn’t understand why some blacks speak the way they do “ black english”. Society has set a standard of speaking and if someone does not speak in that way they are seen as different or wrong. In the short story “ How to Tame the Wild Tongue” the author is talking about how people don’t understand way she speaks the way she does. She talks about how people suffer because of that. The way you speak doesn’t always determine how smart you are. Every person is an image of their environment. 

The way I speak has really been a big role in me becoming the person that I am. I feel as though your voice can be used as a tool to get the things you want in life. I think there is a right and wrong way to speak but only because that is what I was taught. In other neighborhoods of the city people speak differently cause that is what they were taught. I do not believe that your speech should hold you back from becoming a “Model Citizen”. Grant it when you do speak standard english in the corporate world it looks better but because you speak “wrong” shouldn’t stop you from doing want career  you want.  I feel as though you should not be labeled as uneducated by the way that you speak. 

Growing up was harder for me cause when I went to middle school I ran into the same problem. Even though my middle was one of the best in the district there were still black students that did not understand why I spoke in the way I do. I got to the point where I would wake up in the morning and not want to go to school cause they would always torture me. I still did not understand why they made fun of the way people spoke.


We have been told what is the right way to speak and what the wrong way to speak is. In our society when black people do not speak in a way people think they should, it is a surprise. I guess I am the surprise, I don’t believe that I speak white because I don’t believe that you can speak white. I think there is a right way to speak english to pronounce words right and understand what you are talking about. But I don’t think that proper english belongs to just white people. Anyone can speak proper. I am comfortable with the way I am and I know that I should never change it. 

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Southwest Philly

Richard V. Yoeun

Autobiography of language

“Southwest Philadelphia”

“Yo Nigga!”

“What you want Tommy?”

“Kumar, me Daquan and Teion chillin today you in?”

“Ardd Nigga holds the fuck up.”

 

            The way I grew up speaking was with a strong emphasis on a lot of words. Speak Loud and Fast. Southwest Philadelphia has had a huge impact on me and I didn’t even notice till all my friends said that I speak weird. I can tell the difference between South Philly and Southwest Philly because there is a gap there because they speak with a strong Italian accent. I speak very loud when I’m in my neighborhood. Cursing 24/7, using the “n” word multiple times within a sentence or just plain out saying

              “Where the fuck you at Nigga?”

 Southwest usually takes out some words or use improper words such as

“What this be?”

 or

“That jawn over there be hype as shit.”

I grew up going to a Catholic school and spoke proper english when needed and spoke my “native tongue” of Southwest when I felt it was appropriate. Southwest usually intimidates the other neighborhoods by raising their voice or speaking with multiple curse words. For example

“You better watch the fuck out before I shove my foot down your fucking throat, you fucking bitch.”

 Intimidating words, I rarely do such things but I do catch myself doing it when I’m mad. I speak freely when I’m with my friends that I’m most comfortable with. I could call them anything without them getting mad because they know that is can’t be taken seriously. “Yo you see that fine bitch ovr’ there, she checkin you out homie” Usually what most of my ghetto friends say to me when they tried to embarrass me because I never really had a liking to black girls, relationship wise but it grew on me.

           

            I always thought that speaking like that was a sort of speech impediment, but it’s just how people from Southwest tend to speak. We speak by imputing ridiculous words in place of another like “Can you get that book” to “Can you get that jawn.” We speak loud and sometimes on some occasions we change the pitch of our voice. We may be speaking like “Where is this place at?” to

“AYO!?! Where this jawn with the thing be at?”

 There are different types of ways to speak in southwest. You can have your proper ghetto people to where they speak proper when needed and ghetto when not or you can just have people that talk nothing but curse words and use so much slang. “Wha’da Fuck yous doin’ nigga? (Simply what are you doing?) I’m fuckin’ based God, Don’t mess wit’ my Clique tho.’ Nizz off Nigga.”(Meaning don’t mess with me because I can beat you up)

Just pure slang and that’s what I grew up around, it even rubbed of on me the way I speak to my friends and parents. My mom would always yell at me to never speak like that within the household. Not just because it’s vulgar language but the fact that it’s improper and that I should know how to speak properly.  She would always use to tell me how to pronounce words even though she didn’t know any English herself. My parents basically had the same struggles I did, but their speech wasn’t that “English” that was necessarily needed. They had that Asian accent and couldn’t pronounce words like “Pollution or Policy” It’ll always be like “Follution or Fallicy.” I had that problem but now I got over it and just can’t pronounce my “Tha’s” sounds, People say I just say a “Da” instead of “Tha.” I think I say it like a “Tha” but I don’t. It really sucks being made fun of.

           

            My siblings always say that I’m becoming like “them” and cursing here and there like it was no problem, but I don’t think I do. My parents say that my words have lost meaning. In the story “The Women Warrior” by Maxine Hong Kingstan, this quote was said that reflected on how this situation I was in told me. “A ready tongue is an evil.” This to me basically says that since I learned how to speak and learned those words, most of what I will be speaking would be evil or inappropriate.  Through the course of my middle school age, every time there wasn’t a teacher around, a landslide of curse words would just leave my mouth for no specific reason. The way I speak living in Southwest Philadelphia had a great impact on my speech. Not only how we speak to when we a literally yelling at the person close to us but the fact that we just use so much slang.

 

            When I was in my catholic middle school, that’s where I had my whole speech change. Going to that school made me speak differently, proper, grammatically proper and just polite. I would say “Excuse me, I think you said something that wasn’t needed to be said and you should apologize.” Instead of going all out cursing saying “Yo!? Watch yo fuckin’ mouth before I pop da shit outta you.” This made me, speaking properly and politely. I enjoyed speaking proper because it made me feel like I wasn’t ghetto anymore or that I was free from all that cursing and slang. My middle school helped me from that type of language but it felt as if it also stripped me of it. My identity of what I was originally from and how I originally spoke. That’s why I chose to go to a Public High School so that I can be free from the properness and that I can just speak freely, to regain my identity and finally speak without percussions. Southwest Philly sculpted me to who I am now and for that I am grateful to speak how I do now. Not from my parents but from my community and without it I wouldn’t really have that “specific” language; I’ll be the outsider and just be lost in it.

            

English Benchmark
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Two Tongues


As a bilingual speaker, language plays a big part in my life. It represents me as a person from two separate countries, meeting at an invisible line and separated by the border of language. In the essay “Borderlands/La Frontera” by Glona Anzalúna she writes “Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity.” For me personally I find the quote to be totally true. My ethnicity is Mexican and it does reflect on my identity of a Spanish speaker. Yet I also know how to speak English which creates a second persona.

My parents brought me over to the United States from Mexico when I was nine months old. They came here knowing close to zero English, thus making Spanish the first language I learned to speak.

Di: Perro”

“Pero”

“No, Pe-rr-o”

My parents would ask me to pronounce words that desired the famous Spanish “rolling r”, like “carro” and “padre”, and being  2 years old,speaking was something new. My parents brought me over to the United States from Mexico when I was nine months old. Learning a language that was full of accents, “ñ”, double r’s and l’s was tough. My parents taught me how to speak, read and write Spanish. After a while it began to come to me naturally. It was all I knew how to speak. Spanish was the only thing I needed to know how to speak.

When my parents decided to enroll me in preschool I kind of looked forward to it. I remember the first few months of preschool as being really tough because I lacked English speaking skills. The only words I knew were “no” and “yes”. I had trouble communicating with the teachers and other students at first. 

“Me usar el baño”

“What? Speak up.”

“Tengo que usar el baño!” 

“Hey! You, come here and tell me what he wants”

The classroom was always full of children who were English experts compared to me. Not being able to speak English in the class room made me the outsider. With the help of my teachers I began to speak English and use it to communicate with the other kids. My difference began to fade away slowly as the year progressed. I remember how I would use stencils that came in all sorts of shapes; insects, animals, and cars. I would choose one and make a booklet filled with stencil drawings. Then my teacher would help me write out my name under every picture I made; to show that I was the artist yet learning to spell at the same time. 

From then on things were a lot easier. Being with people who only spoke english for 7 hours, 5 days a week really helped shape the way I spoke English for the rest of my life. It was a matter of learning English or continuing to use hand gestures like an advanced gorilla for the rest of my life. 

Being a bilingual has forced me to switch from Spanish to English and then back again depending on my situation. My parents’ little knowledge on the English language makes me their main translator. In elementary school, whenever I mentioned that I spoke Spanish. People would ask me things like: “Are you fluent?” or “Do you speak Spanish at home?”. Being bilingual sort of gave me a title. I didn’t understand why my friends were so amazed when they heard me speaking Spanish with my parents. I guess they saw it as a gift. In my opinion it was just who I was; I didn’t choose to be bilingual. Some people take courses or get a tutor to learn another language. I just happened to have Mexican parents who helped me learn Spanish before English in a country where English was the dominant language. 

I don’t speak much unless I’m close to the person I’m speaking to. The amount of words I say also depend on what language I’m speaking to them in. I speak English with my siblings and cousins who all grew up here and learned English as a second language too. English represents my “Americanized” persona; the part of me that feels like English is my first and only  language. This probably comes from the fact that I have probably spoken more English than Spanish in my life, because of my environment. I usually only speak Spanish whenever I’m talking to a relative or my parents.  My parents also never forget to remind me of my ethnicity and encourage me to speak to my brothers in Spanish so I won’t lose touch with the language. I don’t talk to my brothers in Spanish because they were born here and had me to teach them english before they started school. I see that as an advantage and that creates a difference between us. When I do speak Spanish with someone, especially with someone who doesn’t understand it quite well, I tend to feel a sense of pride. I take into account that it was my first language and it represents my Mexican nationality. 

I do agree that my linguistic identity is a representation of my ethnic identity. I am what I speak. In “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me. What Is?” by James Baldwin he speaks about the relationship between language and identity, saying “It is the most vivid and crucial key to identity”. Knowing how to speak two separate languages gives me two different identities. Using spanish at home and the houses of my relatives I am more formal,using words like “usted” instead of “tú” and “mande” instead of “que”. Speaking with people who are fluent makes it seem more normal and that makes me speak more. This is my identity as the polite Spanish speaking, culture proud Mexican. The part of me that is more seclusive around non-hispanic people.  Anywhere else I use my other identity, the Americanized English Speaker. I grew up learning English and using it most of my life because everyone around me spoke English. Learning English as a second language made me into a part of the American society, where it is useful to know to speak the common tongue. 

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Domestic Animal Cruelty #2

Hello everyone, this is Jiwon Choi writing another blog post about domestic animal cruelty. In blog #1, I talked about why abusing animals should have a stop to it and different types of facts about animal cruelty. For example, about the You and the World Project, the percentage of domestic animals getting abused, and some reasons why animals might be getting abused. From my previous blog post, I have found that another problem to domestic animal cruelty is that animals that were neglected and were abused end either being homeless or killed by their own owners. For this blog post, I researched more information about animal abuse which includes articles and my self-created research which was an interview. The articles that I mention in this blog post tells us why animal abuse needs to stop.

       According to New York Times Article, Bronx and Queens in New York do not have animal shelters since 1985 because they thought it was unnecessary to pay the amount of money they need to just for animal shelters. This resulted animals that are neglected by their owners or have been abused to be in the streets homeless. In Bronx and Queens, without anyone rescuing these homeless animals, they have to find their own food and own shelter. If animals were not abused or neglected by their owners, they wouldn’t have been on the streets in the first place. (unless of course some pets ran away from home) I know that some pets might have ran away from home and end up homeless, but not many pets run away from home that makes about 300,000 stray animals on the streets.

Bernadette Ferrara decided to bait the kitten because she was worried about it roaming around. The kitten was eventually rescued and is now safe.

       Another example of why animal abuse needs to stop is in the ABC news article. In ABC News Article, Mieczyslaw Zwolinski stomped on a cat when he saw it in his yard. The consequence of this man stomping on this cat at least six times, the cat’s owner took the cat to the veterinarian to get treated for the pain in the ribs and the bleeding cut in the cat’s mouth. According to the police, this man is going to the court for the charges he will be held to. Even today, people continue to abuse animals that did no harm to anyone. This article explains a lot about our current situation about domestic animal cruelty. A lot of people like this man that abuse animals because they know that they are stronger than animals are all over the world. Every year, there are about 1,880 animal cruelty cases reported.

        For more information about animals that are neglected and or abused, I went to the Morris Refuge for my self-created research and interviewed a woman named Kerri that works there. In an year, there are about 3 to 4,000 animals that come to the Morris Refuge every year and about 200,000 cats in the streets currently. She says the world needs to be more educated about animal cruelty and the consequences of abusing these animals. Kerri says, “... Because I think that a lot of people don’t understand that animals are living organism not non-living objects like shirts or pants...” During the interview, I was also able to find out that animals that usually come to the animal shelter are skinny, might have scars, or injured, or they might even be frightened to see human beings so they move away. Domestic animals are tamed to fit with human beings and the fact that they shy away from people is not usually a normal sight.

      In my opinion, I think that more people needs to be aware about animal abuse and neglect. After that step, people should follow the rules and stop hurting animals because animals have feelings also. I understand a lot more about animal cruelty and more reasons why people are abusing animals. As Kerri stated, if people understand that animals are also living organisms like human beings, I think domestic animal cruelty can lessen a bit. If everyone puts effort and care into this issue, I know that there will be less domestic animal cruelty in the future. For my next blog post, I will make announcements in my school (Science Leadership Academy), go to other high schools to announce this issue if I am allowed to, and make posters to let people aware about the laws about what is illegal about domestic animal cruelty. I wish that people put more care into this issue.
This dog was abused, and you can see that this dog has scares, and is injured. This dog is very skinny and the fur cannot really be seen in some parts of his bodies either.

Click here for my bibliography. Click here for the link to my interview with Kerri from Morris Refuge.


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New Tech Slide

After observing the critiques my classmates received during tech class, I decided to reinvent my slide. I started out by knowing that I wanted to keep the same picture as before, but I wanted the colors to be more eyecatching. So I enhanced the contrast of the slide, bringing out the bright colors. I then deleted the background color of the picture, making it white. After reading the Zen Presentation, I learned that colors such as black and white are good combinations for making something stand out, so I left the background white and since I wanted the text to stand out as well, I made it black. I realized that there was a lot of empty space because of the white, so I used a dark green (matches the plants in the picture) to fill it. This then created a good color combination.
techslidver2
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Tech Blog


Script:
My slide is about my favorite things to do. My influence for the slide was I had to make one slide about me so I chose some of my favorite things to do. I chose the pictures that represent some of my favorite things to do. 
What I learned:
I changed my slide because it had too many words and the pictures were not the same size. I learned that you shouldn't have a lot of pictures or words when presenting. And don't have water marks on your pictures.
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David Leonard
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New tech slide

From the other slide, I am mimicking the same idea of the rules of the third. Like I said in the other slide, the giraffe is too big to fit in the tiny slide. So, I split the giraffe into three separate sections it make it more visually. I changed the background from the dark granite color to a very light cream color because it matches the accents on the giraffe. I also changed my lettering color to match the colors on the giraffe. I also alpha on the white parts of the pictures to blend into the cream background. I split the quote into two, the part about the sky is all the way on the top; the land part of the quote is at the bottom. 
Amanda'sTechProject
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New Slide

This is my new, re-resigned slide. I felt that my old slide had way too many words and it was all bundled together. So I took out all unnecessary words, and kept the ones I wanted the most. I also lowered my pictures and followed the rule of 3rds, while keeping everything symmetrical.
New Tech Slide
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White Chocolate- Julian Makarechi



White Chocolate

“Yo Jul! You commin’ to go play ball latah?”

“When?”

“After school, we haven a stream game.”

“Oh arright, sounds chillin brah. Imma fry! just watch!”

Being asked to go play basketball by my friends was something that pretty much never happened to me before I went to SLA. When I started going to high school, everyone was always talking about basketball: basketball video games, SLA’s basketball team, college basketball, but mainly the NBA. It was really different for me because nobody in my household was really into basketball. My parents are from Iran and Italy so the main sport in our house was soccer, but there was also a lot of American football because of the Philadelphia Eagles’ success when I was younger. However, basketball never really came up until the middle of 8th grade; maybe because only a select few of my classmates followed it or maybe because the Philadelphia basketball team had been playing very poorly lately. Anyways, during my last year in middle school, I started playing occasionally and watching Philadelphia 76ers games when I had the time or did not forget about them. Then, when I went to high school, I was surrounded by such a basketball enthusiastic community that I developed an obsession with it too. Of course I rooted for the Philadelphia 76ers because I have “Philly pride,” even though they had not been doing so well. Once my close friends realized that I really liked basketball, they started inviting me to games and gave me a chance. I had never been that good at playing but I always had a great time. As weeks and months went by I started talking like my basketball friends did. I picked up on all the terms that they used on and off the court and in a way they started accepting me more. It was like I became one of them. Speaking in that manner was becoming who I was. I would use them all the time; at home, school, with my friends. The year before that I did not really talk with that much slang and modern expressions. It would even effect the music I listened to; it got to the point where I could sing along to rap songs with my friends. When my older brother got back from college for Christmas break, he was very surprised and thought I had changed. It was odd for him because I balance in between my original self and the new person I changed to. I would go up to my friends that use very proper english all the time and mess with them by using slang. They would either react by laughing because in their minds it was different or weird for a “white boy” to be speaking like that or they would just feel awkward and not say anything. I became the “go-to guy” for those friends when they did not understand what somebody said.

“Yo she bad for real!” Jaaz said.

“Hey Julian,” Emalyn whispered “What does he even mean!?”

“He’s is trying to say that she is hot or pretty” I responded. This was different for me because nobody really asks me about what things means unless it is in another language or about sports.

Then one day at school things changed. 

“Yo Nigga whatchu up to after school?”

“I’m not sure yet man, but yo I’m white.”

“Naw Nigga you black! You an inside out Oreo!”

I never really thought that would happen and frankly I did not exactly understand why. I did not ever think that the way I talked or the music I listened to or the sports I played could influence some one to call me a “Nigga.” Personally, when I speak, I do not use that word at all. It surprised me that the way one pronounces things and speaks can cause somebody to refer to that person as something that they are not, based on what society racially profiles them as. This showed me how language and how we all use it has an effect on how people think of us. I never hated it when they called me that but I never pushed them to call me that more. I just let it be, because I know my friends use that term to show me that they accept me and that they have respect for me. Now a days, that is what that word can refer to. 

I feel like the use of bad words or derogatory expressions have become part of our everyday language in my high school community. On the other hand, I find my parents using curse words very seldom. For them, it is only necessary to make them a part of their vocabulary when they are in rough situations, but my classmates and I use them as a way to express ourselves at any point in the day. There have been times where a curse word or two slipped out in front of my parents. Since my brothers and I are maturing they do not usually “freak out” but they do not encourage speaking in that manner. I also feel like it is not right to go home after a long day of school and say all types of profanity in the presence of your parents. This why my conversations with my friends at school can sound very different than with my mom or dad, even if we are talking about the same thing.

I feel comfortable talking to my friends like that because they are part of this generation as well. “Fuck this bullshit. Bullshit of course is everything you and the others fear is beyond you: books, essays, tests...”(I Just Wanna be Average by Mike Rose). That is something that I would say to my peers at school if I feel that certain way, but never to my parents. Even if I was okay with saying anything like that to either one of my parents, they would still not comprehend the slang and expression that I use regularly. 

I conclude that society and age affects language. Communication is something used everyday and how we use it can have an impact on our personalities. Language can influence someone and their relationship with other people. All these experiences changed who I am and how people view me.

Digital Story:

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Language - Jennysha Cruz

Language Is All Around Us

Jennysha Cruz

 

It’s funny how a simple “hello” can sound so differently depending on where you are or whom you’re around. The variety in accents could be different from country to country even town to town. Through geographic location and public exposure people take on accents to better adapt to their environment. You learn and change the tongue you use to fit in with others, to feel comfortable, and most of all welcome in the community that you’re in.

 

“W-AH-T-ER, that’s how I’d pronounce it.”

“Really? People from Philly usually don’t say it like that, more like W-O-T-ER with an “O” sound ya know?” That right, I lived in Philadelphia all my life and commonly hear people pronounce water like that. It’s a normal thing to hear that though. On the other hand, he’s a Jersey person if anyone spoke with an odd accent it was him, or at least that’s what I thought.

“Or what about the way people say orange” I asked.

“Like AR-ANGE”

“There’s an “O” in that ya know. It’s OR-ANGE, no “R”.”

“Well you know people usually pronounce things differently depending where they were raised or how their parents expect them to speak.”

 

This was the first time I was actually confronted about the way I spoke, it was in 7th grade my math teacher over heard a conversation I was having with another on of my peers and he explained to me that people don’t only say things different because of where they lived but the way they were raised. He went on to tell me the way he pounces creek isn’t like I would say it but more like “crick,“ instead. It’s an odd thing language is but it’s what got me thinking, do I speak right to others or do I sound as goofy as my math teacher when he tried to say creek. A difference in language was always something I could recognize easily. Though the thought of sounding a certain way depending on where you were from never really occurred to me. I use to think people from different countries had some big fancy accents like the Austrians who greeted one and another with a cheery, “Good ‘ay mate!” or “Top of the mornin’ to ya” as the British would say. Through out middle school I was quite the observer. I didn’t speak much but sure as hell listened a lot. Though once I went to an international camp I was flooded with all different types of accents from so many people. “Hello,” “Hi-ya,” “Ello,” and “Howdy,” were the new greetings instead of my ordinary “hey,” or “what’s up”.  I pretty much had this image of everyone sounding completely the same because; well we were all from the U.S. If anything people from different countries were the ones that sounded differently. I didn’t recognize that there was such a great variety in accents.

 

I went to a camp in 2009, this was my first ever time staying at an actual sleep away camp. People my age had a similar way of communicating yet different at the same time. I made lots of friends that could fit into the stereotypical New Yorker accent or Jersey accent. The Jersey girl had an odd way of saying; “talk” hers would sound more like “twalk” instead. Living in Philadelphia one would think since Jersey isn’t so far away but really she did sound a bit funny to me when she spoke but I’m sure she got the same feeling toward me as well.

 

I took these observations home with me I suppose I can honestly say I started noticing things differently. After camp I thought of the way people spoke and that is how I became interested in making my speech better. Becoming quite the grammar Nazi when I spotted someone saying something incorrectly. I was often judged by my brother’s friends or other family members because I didn’t have the Latin tongue that they had. They’d call me white or the smart one in the family because of the way I spoke to them. I didn’t change from English to Spanish like others in my family did. I spoke English with them, mostly because it was my comfort language. I do have to say the names they’d give me were pretty strange, “blanca” or “cana” which were both words to describe a white girl. My family had this idea that because I spoke properly and didn’t mix my Spanish and English tongues together that I was considered white. They were stating that race had a direct connection with the way someone spoke. Also, they’d frequently told me I was expected to do well in school because I spoke properly. They were always judging me because of that one thing, my speech.

 

Even though my family often judged me I wasn’t always the victim especially in my immediate family, when household members would pronounce or say a word wrong I’d often correct them. For example, one that was commonly used in my house had to be the word of possession “mine” when my parents or brothers tried to say something belonged to them they’d say “mines”. It was really annoying for a long time. Even today they still use the wrong words. I’d still correct them on their mistake though I realized with my brothers especially he couldn’t break the habit. Unlike myself I go to a magnet high school while my brother goes to my community high school. So you see I’ve learned that accents can be found not only in an international environment, such as my camp but also in different communities and where people tend to spend their time the most such as their school. 

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Language has feelings.

Every city states, country, continent has their own unique ways of speaking, or communicating. Language is a big part of our day's. It has always been something that brought us closer. Language has has feelings too, It would tie all together if we let them have their bonds, but for those of us who actually let it happen, know how it feel like to have a united tongue in your mouth. Language can make your identity glow or make it look trashy.



 Language has feelings too


September 1, 2008, was a new beginning for my family and I. It was our first day In America, This was my family’s dream, that one day they’ll see the status of liberty and be able to tell people back home, how awesome America is. It was a dream come true for them, but not me. You might be asking why was that??? Well you’ll find out as I get more and more into the story.

I somehow knew that Mandingo was not too relevant to Americans. Since I was in Africa I always had this thought of why can’t other people be able to speak their languages or express themselves, without being laughed at in America “Land of the free”.  I mean at least that’s what we was told, and this feeling of I will not be accepted because of the way I spoke or what language I knew was going to be a problem. As I got use to the society I saw was I was afraid of.

Right before we landed, the flight attendant was announcing things, and the only phrase I remembered him saying was “Welcome to America”. The plane landed and since we were at the back of the plane, we weren’t out until ten minutes later. After waiting for the others to get off, my family started to get off; I was the last person to get off. When I walked out I started to look everywhere, with a very confuse and slightly happy smile on my face. Everything was beautiful and I was happy because my family was having the moment of their lives. Then we walked to the front desk where we got our bags, and paper work done. The person behind the desk was speaking English to us, and none of us, could understand anything that came out of her mouth. Therefore they found us a Translator who can speak both Mandingo and English. He did an awesome job at translating what my mom was saying. At the moment every English word sounded like gibberish to me. I wish I knew what they were saying. Most importantly I wish I knew what the flight attendant was saying, until this day, I’m still curious of what was said.

        What most people in our Country don’t realize is that English is not the only language that you can use to communicate with others. A language like Mandingo would be totally irrelevant to Americans, most people would think that well since Mandingo is not a well known language and doesn’t break or make us, how about not worry about such thing in our country,  which make sense when you’re thinking of what language will get you more jobs and things like that. It was very shocking when I found out that “America” Has a Mandingo speaker that can actually translate Mandingo to English. It was a sign of respect.


        The night before first day of school was so exciting for me, I was all set for first day of school. I had my uniform whitch was blue tops and khaki bottoms, and a new sneaker I didn’t care about the brand because it didn’t matter to me back then. I tried to go to sleep early, so that the night can go fast, and apparently it did. In the morning I got up and rushed in the shower, after getting ready my dad took me to school along with my brothers and sisters. I was happy and I thought it was going to be good day, but it turned out I was wrong...
        Sitting in the office for about twenty minutes, waiting for somebody to come get me so that I can go to class. After walking up the stairs, and  walked into my new class. My heart was beating very fast like I had just ran a million miles, and if I’m not recording this wrong, I almost peed on myself. I felt the negative energy killing my vibe. I was convinced that I was nothing but a stupid African girl who is going to be bullied. I knew it, I had the feeling. I was up front nervously moving around as the teacher introduced me to the class, and said “be nice to her she’s from Africa and doesn’t know anyone.” Then she assumed I was from Mali and introduced me to a girl named Nahawa. I had to sit with Nahawa, even though I was not Malian I just pretended She was right because I couldn’t say anything to save my life. I sat there and Nahawa and I spoke Malian, I can only understand because I used to live with people that spoke Malian. As the day go by, every time Nahawa and I speak the students in my class starts to laugh and make sounds and noises, trying kill our vibe. They personally had me, because I was very mad about what they were doing, they tried to make fun the language. I was sitting there thinking to myself, do you know what you are dealing with, I’m not quite. Not knowing how to speak English didn’t mean that I was stupid, or anything. But that’s the message they got from me not being able to say anything.
        Some students in America, don’t know what diversity of language means, they just assume you are stupid because you don’t sound like” OMG what is for dinner” Or ayo my nigga what was the homework” Which makes it hard for people like me because not only that I was struggling from language problems, but it also became a form of bullying. Language doesn’t make you smart it  just make you different, and to me if they didn’t think that being different was a good thing, I guess I didn’t want to be in school, nor be bilango. I started losing my identity because I felt  like I could not be cool speaking a language other than English, and when I spoke to Nahawa from that day on I whispered, Not because I was scare but because I wanted to be accepted and cool, but now I can speak any language at anytime, with any accent.
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The Struggle to Learn Spanish

By: Jasmine Nieves

“The Pressure to Learn Spanish”


My two languages that I speak are English and Spanish. My first language that I really didn’t get to know as I grew up was Spanish. Since I don’t know Spanish as much even though it is my “official” language I should be speaking, everybody talks to me in English and it has always been like that. I should be speaking this language because my family and parents were born Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans speak Spanish. I should have known how to speak the whole language already.  My Everyone trys to speak to me in Spanish.It can be hard for me to keep up.“¿Como es tu día para hoy?”say’s my aunt and I would say “Mi día estan bien”.  “No estan muy bueno, porque no muy bueno.”


After this point, I try to answer and then I start to freeze up, I still try to explain myself but it gets too hard. There are times when my original Spanish language gets caught up with my mind and I start to freeze up. But other times when people other than my aunt talk to me in Spanish, I feel more confident but still a tad bit shy about speaking because I might mess up. I guess I have to understand that it’s okay to make mistakes when I try to speak my Spanish language because I’m just learning the language


“¿Qual es tu tarea por a hoy?”, asks my aunt.  I start to think to say to myself, “Oooo, this sounds easy. I could answer her question”, then I answer it.

“Yo tengo Geometria, Ciencia, Ingles, Español y Historia”.
When she asks me this question in English, I feel more confident than me speaking in Spanish.

My first language of Spanish is related to my history because my mom and dad are both Puerto Ricans. Both my mom and dad’s side of the family both speak Spanish. I grew up learning Spanish and then I forgot about it. But it felt more as if I learned more English growing up.When my mom and my dad had me as their child, I could tell as I grew up as a kid to what I am today, that I am born a Puerto Rican. So its a mixture of both languages.


         Even at school, I struggle doing things in Spanish. I have a struggle when it comes to tests or quizzes, I forget everything or some things from when I studied the night before. This is not on purpose, I just don’t know why that happens but it happens all the time.


Don Marcos is my teacher is Spanish Class. “Take out a pen or pen. You’re going to have your test/quiz”. I take out a pencil from my pencil case and try to start the quiz or test he gives the class. When I see some of the questions I think I know them but sometimes I can’t remember some of the words. I usually leave two or three questions blank because I didn’t remember. When its time to hand it in, I sort of look scared and my hand shakes a little because I think I didn’t do so good on it.

“Reflexive verbs have two verb phrases” he says. “A boot verb keeps nosotros the same but the others different” he continued. As he continued to explain what Reflexive Verbs are or just explaining things to make it our notes. I write it down because that is what we study from. I thought I knew it as he was telling us. But when he started to ask questions, benchmarks, quizzes or tests, I feel as if I’m going to fail his class. I seriously need Spanish help.


I don’t know why I don’t understand Spanish more but still know a lot of English. It’s ok for me to speak two different languages and speak the other more. I want to try to speak and learn about Spanish in order to stay in tact with my Puerto Rican background and my family. Also, my family also wants me to try to speak the language too but its hard for me. I wish I had some Spanish tutor to help me better understand how this whole Spanish thing works because I want to learn. Learning Spanish is what I really want to know what it comes to languages and others too, but first I would like to learn Spanish. My national language is very important to me.

         My internal and sort of external struggle, is me speaking Spanish vs me speaking English. The Spanish language came from my mom and my dad. They both had Puerto Rican parents and they had a Puerto Rican family which made me Puerto Rican. The relationship between language and power is that every voice and everybody has a right to say anything they want. This is a basic rule the Constitution gave to the people. When they start to speak about something with a lot of feeling and emotion, it’s called power. What my language says about me is just that. We all have a voice and we should use it whenever possible because it could come in handy one day. I understand that language and identity intersect.

As I got older my aunt kept asking me “Do you want to take at least 15 minutes a day and speak Spanish”? I would say “Yes” but when the day comes we speak it only a little bit. I was made to be a Puerto Rican and I will always be one and that idea will continue to live on. I’m learning about it in high school. I’m improving but not that much on the subject or just at home talking about it with my aunt. Language is not that big of a conflict at my house. I’m just not that confident or I’m just worried of what words to use if I can’t remember them on time when the person, I’m speaking to, is in front of me. It’s the same way at school but a little bit worse. It’s a little bit worse because I have tests, quizzes and benchmarks, I’m afraid I might fail.


         How I feel about it now is the same way I’ve felt about it before, which was confident and felt like I didn’t remember. I should have remembered all these times because I’m Hispanic but I would always forget. When I try to remember, I have a lot to remember from the class and other things on my mind, that I can’t seem to remember what to say. I feel my Spanish will not improve now but as I get older and practicing more and more everyday with my Spanish, I know I will get there like I know my English growing up. I’m trying to say Spanish, in general is my hardest language than my English. I’m fluent when I speak in English but not as much when I speak in Spanish or do anything that has to deal with Spanish.

A quote by Richard Rodriguez could relate to what I saying 50% of the time. “An accident of geography sent me to a school where all my classmates were white, many of the children of doctors and lawyers and business executive.” This relates to what I’m trying to say is because this person spoke a different language and they didn’t feel right at the school because there were different races and he wasn’t comfortable just the same way I am uncomfortable with speaking Spanish.  

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SLA Dance! "This Is How We Do It!"​

"This Is How We Do It!"​

Attention!! The next SLA dance is on February 1st. Tickets are limited so get them ASAP! If you have any questions please feel free to email Adam (aka) DJ Phazze, Mecca, or Zac.


When: February 1st
Where: 22nd & Arch St (SLA)
Time: 7p - 10p
Cost: $5 tickets / $7 at the door
Attire: Dress to Impress


*Feel Free To Bring Friends:

Friends Must Show High School ID!
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YATW Blog Post #2- Poverty and Hunger in Philly

Jesse Shuter

English 9 - Dunn

Orange Stream

Blog Post #2



Hunger and Poverty in Philadelphia is an issue that keeps going under the radar. For our English class at SLA every student is creating a You and the World Project. Each project consists of a world issue that we are then responsible for teaching the public about. Something that I feel is an important issue is hunger and poverty in Philadelphia. I like researching this issue because it is easy to feel close to since it is a local issue. It is also an important issue because millions of people are suffering day after day.

For this blog post I am including original research. The first part of this research was a survey that I had sent around to family, friends, teachers and pretty much anyone that was willing to participate. There was a common theme in the answers that were given. The first question listed was, Where do you think of when you think of hunger? Some people said South and Central America which are both suffering from hunger. Many people said America which is very true. However every single person that responded; whether they listed one place or many; said Africa. Now I’m not going to sit here and say that people in Africa are not suffering from starvation, because that would be absoulutley wrong and ignorant. However at the same time the point I am trying to get across is that people are suffering everywhere; even in our backyards; yet people always focus on Africa.

Why? The answer to this is clear, the reason that everyone connects Africa to hunger and forgets about Americans is propaganda. A few people commented on their responses. One person said, “Because that's all everyone hears about, but there is hunger every where else also.”. Another person says, “It's one of those things there are always hungry kids in commercials from the places I marked”. A few other people also commented saying that the reason they feel this way is the sad faces of the children in Africa that are on television and need our help. The propaganda on television is a powerful resource. Something that I have learned from this is that if the people on television could use this power to inform people about poverty in America, then it could help a lot of people get off the streets.

Something that I found interesting in these responses were that two people said that it is hard to pinpoint certain locations that suffer from hunger, because it is such a global problem. These people are exactly right. Poverty is spreading everywhere. It has always been a lower class problem, but recent studies show that even the lower middle class is starting to get hit with money issues. The hunger is growing and if we don’t stop to feed it, then everyone is going to feel the pain of living without the luxury of 3 meals a day.

Another one of my questions was what kind of community service do you participate in. Majority of the answers were that people donate clothes and toys. Only a few people actually went to help people in person. However I was pleasantly surprised because majority of the people that answered my survey did do a form of community service which is great. 

My favorite question that was on one of my surveys was, “If you faced poverty how would you react?”. This was a multiple choice question so there were multiple options as an answer to this question. The options were: Go to the government/welfare for help; Go to a shelter; Try and get a job; Ask for money from people on the streets; or Become depressed/give up. I had expected the majority of the respondents to answer that they would go to the government for help, or go to a shelter. However nearly everyone that chose to respond to this question said that they would try and get a job. Now while this seems like a logical choice from the standpoint of someone that is not facing poverty, someone that is impoverished would know how hard it is to get a job when you have no money, no references, no college degree, nothing to show for. I also found this response to be thought provoking because most people that are impoverished you do not find good jobs. Most people that become impoverished give up and either go to a shelter, get an extremely low paying job, or ask for money on the streets.

Poverty and hunger is a huge problem that needs more attention. People need to realize what is going on outside their houses every day. To see my blog post #1, which introduces you to poverty and hunger in Philadelphia and gives a better understanding of what is going on, click here. To view my bibliography click here.

In my next blog post I will include what I have been doing to make a change in the world.


To view or take my survey on Poverty and Hunger, click here.





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Above is a Picture displaying the results to my question "If you faced poverty how would you react?” (source).



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The image above shows an impoverished man suffering from the cold (source).

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YATW blog 2: Teen Depression

Since the first blog post I’ve written, I’ve done research on new information for my topic, “Teenage Depression.” In my school, I have conducted questions based on the subject and formed a survey to deliver out to the student body. The basic questions were for example, asking their age, their grade, and if they have ever felt sad, and what might be the cause of their sadness. So far, an abundant amount people answered my survey. 



           From the pie chart at the bottom, you can tell that the majority of the participants are females. This shows that the males weren’t as eager to answer as the females in this survey. 



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    This conspicuous question, “Are you Sad/Depressed?” was asked, and the outcome is very close. 57% of the students answered no, while the other 43% said yes. 

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  The students who also answered this survey were between the ages of 12-18.
The people at SLA who answered this survey, was also required to answer, “What do you think causes your sadness?” 


*The highlighted words were all answers that occured more than once.* 

  • Insecurities
  • Low self-worth 
  • Seeing people better than me, or better off. 
  • School 
  • Stress with my relationship with my boyfriend/girlfriend 
  • Changing how I look at myself; disappointment
  • Family
  • Benchmarks
  • Rumors 
  • Bullying 
  • My Past 
  • Loneliness 
  • I occasionally feel extremely dysmoprhic. Or as though I don't matter to others.
  • Love, how I feel that nobody loves me. 
  • Self-esteem 
  • Self image 
  • Life and Death 
  • Hormones 
  • My Weight 
  • Not having any friends
  • Girls 
  • Language problems 
  • Thyroid condition 
  • Negative enviornment 
  • Drugs 
  • Problems of the world 

One of the most popular answers for causes their sadness is family issues. For instance, there could be many problems at home; Divorce, death of a loved one, abuse, arguments, etc. This can have a lot of impact on a teen. Another main problem found in my suvery was stress regarding school. Most people went to school and delt with school work, homework, projects etc. 

My research has gotten me a better understanding on my perspective on teen depression. I found out that most people at my high school struggle from depression like me. My personal opinion about my results is that all of those people who answered to being sad are around my age let alone go to my school. I would love to help and talk to them; to let them know that I'm on their side dealing with the same problems. The thing that I am still wondering about is that what can I do for those teens at my school who are struggling with depression? Well, I can start by listening to them at my support group lunch at school and giving them comfort with their situation. 
My agent of change has been to develop a support group lunch, which was said in the first blog post. I've done a lot of research on how to run a big project like this. For instance, this website has many ideas I am basing my group on. What you see on television about support groups being portrayed as just a bunch of people sitting in a circle talking one at a time nervously is the total opposite of what my support group lunch is going to be like. It's going to be a very safe environment supervised by my school counselor and english teacher. 
Here is my Bibliography
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Language Autobiography 2013: Distanced From Translation

This Quarter in English, we have been exploring the topic of language and identity. I have truly learned a lot in this unit, and when given the idea of being assigned a project based on it, I was jumping at the opportunity. Mr. Block assigned a "Language Autobiography" in which we used writing to explain a way that language affects our daily lives. I used my sister in mine because that was the closest thing to language affecting me daily besides the words that utter my mouth each day and I honestly thought I could go far with this topic. I hope you enjoy reading my Autobiography below and watching the video that follows. Enjoy!

Growing up, there has been (and still is) something that clearly divides our family. It is not the color of our hair or whether we share the same eye color. A speech barrier has affected more than half of my family. In a household where all the adults come from a type of language that seems flawless, it seems odd that many of the children have problems with the way they speak (myself not included). Part of me feels somewhat personally affected by it, but the other part is happy that I don’t suffer from this problem. There is a void in my family, that is filled with the constant battle of “never being good enough” and “never fitting in.” We all have our reasons, but the one that I suffer with is being the one who is  more focused on school and the success of my future. I don’t feel I have to make excuses for why I cannot do something.


One of the family members most affected by this is my four year old sister Alyssa. Alyssa has a very apparent lisp and is facing the brunt of criticism at such a young age.  Some may think it is cute, but sooner or later it will catch up and consume her. Seems like it already has. She tries to speak with my mother to say something that may or may not be difficult in pronunciation and it comes out with a lisp. If we ask her to repeat herself, it’s because we didn’t understand it or because we try to help her, she stops and refuses to say it again. It is like she knows that shes not saying it right and gets nervous which causes her to stop speaking. I ask myself why? Why is society so superficial that it dictates whether you fit in based on someone’s opinion? It is something that is so unreal to me. Something that I see as a true problem. This has happened to more than just my family. It is something that so many can relate to. It’s an unbelievable feeling, being “shunned” in a sense because you have something that makes you unique. Everyone has their own unique way of being and society dictates whether it matters. You either fit into society or you don't, and it starts the minute you are born, a lot depending on the “in” trends of that date and time.

Over time, with the increased amount of diversity in the country, language is becoming the new “in” thing. If you don’t speak a certain way, you are cast out. There is more to life than just the way you speak, the language you speak or where you speak it.

         In school you are required to study another language, helping you to expand your mind to other parts of the world. In my school, that language is Spanish. I have never spoken Spanish, nor have I have ever considered taking Spanish as a second language, however since it is required, I have no choice. Based on this, I know where my sister is coming from. The feelings of being lost, alienated and confused are what come to mind.  I can go on and on about the way not fitting in due to language feels, but in my case, I either get it or I don't. There hasn't really been a medium for me. I am struggling not with the idea of learning a new language or not having a choice. I am struggling with being able to fully understand what's going on. When learning a new language, you need full support from both your teachers as well as peers, but when you are judged and laughed at for pronouncing things wrong, you no longer want to continue. It becomes a different light shed to those who are “different” than us. I ask myself why? Is it because they speak differently than you? The pressure is on in the battle with language and how you choose to fight that battle is up to you. Do you let it overwhelm you and attack at your emotions or do you just try harder to prove to everyone that you can indeed do it on your own and be like them. It shouldn’t be that way. You should want to do better for your own personal benefit, not because you want to fit in with those around you. However, unfortunately in the world today, that is not an option.

In today’s society, you are in a better standing knowing more than one language. That is not a bad thing, however the way that the message is put across may seem scary and  overwhelming. I know personally the pressure is on learning and being fluent in another language. It will give me a headstart when it comes to college and prepare for traveling and expanding my relationships with those who speak a language other than English. There are some things in life worth doing, and language is one of them. There is no reason to sit around and complain about it when you can just act. No matter what you do in the world, there is going to be criticism, bullying and people trying to kick you down. The only thing you can do is want better for yourself and want to succeed. Pick up that want and keep trudging forward, the outcome will be a thousand times better if you do it for yourself, and not because of pressure of others.  
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Daddy?

“That’s some skittle-cake!” I shouted in a room full of relatives, grandparents to the newly born girl sitting with her mother in the corner of the room. According to my mother, my teammate was making too many gestures as she gave the clues. “We should get those points!” I argued. I was always very competitive when it came to playing Taboo, but no one was worried about the score at that moment. They wanted to know what I’d even meant by shouting ‘skittle-cake’.

 

“Skittle-cake? Is that some new word ya’ll using?” My aunt asked. I would’ve said yes, but honestly, no one I knew used the word besides me. Which was a good thing. That word was the first way I discovered how to separate myself from crowds and trends.

 

            When I think of the people who speak the “better” English, those are the people who use it in a clear and educated way. When you’re educated in the English language, it gives you a bigger canvas to express yourself. You can’t play a Jimi Hendrix song on guitar if you only know three notes. However, becoming an English Linguistics major isn’t the only way a person can become better equipped to express themselves through language. As a teenager, I’m beginning to form my own self- image. Part of that is trying to be different than everyone else in every way possible. One of the ways I’ve found effective in doing so is with the way I speak. “I like dem shoes! They tough daddy!”. The usual response I get after I say something like this is, “ ‘Daddy’? What Thomas?”. While some may use loud clothing or wild hairstyles to stand out, I use language to express who I am to the world.

           

            In, If Black English Isn’t A Language Tell Me, What Is?, James Baldwin states, “Language incontestably reveals the speaker.” Different patterns and dialects can automatically be pinned to certain people. With your eyes closed, you could tell your listening to Obama speak just by the deep, calming tone he speaks in. With accents we can tell where a person is from. If actors are using words like jive and right on, you know you’re watching an American 70’s movie. Before even using any words to describe ourselves, people can tell something about us from whatever uniqueness you have to your diction.  The less unique, the less we stand out.

 

            . Slang is something that we all use, which sort of accompanies regional accents. We, here in Philadelphia, have our own set of words and phrases that we also use. However, one thing that I value is being unique. I was never one to follow trends or become too involved in pop-culture. One thing that makes me distinct is the language I use. I’ve transformed what some may call a Philadelphian accent into my own distinguishable speech. I may use the word daddy to represent something I think is cool or nice, or just use it as the suffix to a word due to my goofy nature.

 

            “It’s nip-daddy! I should’ve wore my coat this morning”. My friend stare at me, puzzled by the jibberish I’d just spoken.

 

“Nip-daddy? What, Thomas?” asked Ashley. Once the confusion passed, a burst of laughter erupted from everyone who’d heard me say it, the reaction I was hoping for. That’s the kind of laughter I like. Not the kind that’s ridiculing and harsh, but the kind that gives you a sense of belonging in your community.

 

“I guess we can add that to the bank with scrumptious” replied my friend Pierce. Scrumptious, as the average English speaker knows it, means to taste delicious. For me, the meaning is slightly different. I’ve transformed it into a phrase used to describe something attractive, from people to inanimate objects. Though this word currently exist in the English language, I’ve compromised it’s formality to create my own slang.

 

            Although English is something we all speak, it is spoken in different ways for each person. For me, I use my language to define my uniqueness. I bend and twist words into unorthodox patterns. With my clothes, music, and food choices I’d be an outcast. With language I’ve become a trend on my own.

 

 

 

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The Words Less Spoken

During this unit, I learned about the different aspects of language and the overall different views on it from a great deal of perspectives and opinions. As this unit progressed, we read analytical short stories and quasi-vignettes from many different authors including Richard Rodriguez, Amy Tan, and more, who spoke of their own deeper analysis of languages and personal experiences. As a wrap-up for the unit, we were given an assignment that entailed writing an autobiographical and analytical essay centered on both revealing one’s own experiences in their life, as well as analyzation of languages. We were given many topics to use as the focal point of our essays such as, code switching, regional dialect, and language versus emotion. Throughout the unit and completing the work given in it, I as an individual took an extremely inquisitive approach to what we read. I was highly interested in the multifaceted characters in the works observed. Mainly because of the unique exposures of the authors. In this essay, I attempted to apply the same characteristics that the other authors had within their stories.


The Words Less Spoken


There are many ways in which we represent the different things that were are influenced to how they affect us in every aspect of life, no matter how slight that change may be. This can be any number of things. The people that are around, the places they see and are present in, what they see on tv and the people they are introduced to. Those effects can be observed and narrowed down to the smallest detail. Sometimes, that detail can be as miniscule as the way a person talks around different people and groups. This becomes evident and can become noticeable as more and more people get used to how you talk to them and it can come as a surprise to them if they hear how you talk to other people that you don’t use the same tone of voice and or speech with when you talk to them as opposed to when you talk to that person. Unfamiliarity can be a strange thing. For instance, when you’re meeting someone new, it is always a quick decision on how you will speak to that person. Whether or not you will use your normal voice or something to make you sound more professional or mature. The choices are endless and everyone’s are different. It all boils down to first impressions and creating a persona for yourself.


I have discovered that through time, and through observing by listening, anyone can pick up on the manner with which one person talks to another. Even though at times it may not be apparent, the code switching is still present because everybody does it, no matter how slight it may be. The first time that I started to listen to people when they talk, I didn’t immediately think of it as anything out of the ordinary, but it was peculiar to me how that person’s voice had sounded, in comparison to how it sounded when they talked to me. The first time that I really deeply observed the trait that everyone develops at some point early in their life is when I had involuntarily done it when I was talking to my friends one day. It was about three years ago. I was holding just a normal conversation with my friend, Dave at our grade school. Now, before I get into how I analyzed our conversation, I want to preface my statement with saying that Dave was generally known as a tougher character, one that could throw a pretty hard punch, and take one, too. It was early in the school year, about November or December. Me and a my friend were sitting down in the cafeteria, talking about god knows what. Dave had gotten some of the less than appetizing food offered by the school for those who didn’t bring a lunch from home. Which, when I think about it now, was not worth the money paid for it. He sat down at our table, inhabited only by me and another person. I vaguely remember one of us cracking a joke about something and then I watched Dave look at his “lunch” and grimace with disgust. He then cursed and muttered something under his breathe. We both began to talk about our days and the oddities that tended to occur at our school. We shared laughs here and there and by the end of lunch, I had noticed something about my voice. It had gotten deeper, slightly, and I spoke much more loosely, not caring much for proper grammar or fluid pronunciation. I was trying to sound... tough, I guess is what I would call it then. In comparison to current day, I now call it “making a first impression.” The reason I did this was to... well, fit in. I felt it necessary to do so because I wanted to have that sense of toughness. Now, when I compare that to how I talk to my dad, it’s a whole other story. The words I speak are much softer and completely articulate when I talk to my father. Back to the story. The way I spoke to my friend those years ago, is generally how I’ll speak to strangers when asked a question or just when having a conversation with a store clerk. I always have tried to keep this demeanor and appearance of a tougher person.

The reason that it’s involuntary is because when you become so adept to talking certain ways to different people, it becomes second-nature to us, a passing thought. Not at that specific moment, though. I stopped myself, after I had finished my thought. I noticed that I just spoke in a different tone of voice to my friends... almost out of nowhere. It seemed completely new to me, even though I had been doing it so long - it just never occurred to me because I was unconsciously doing it.


In life, the people we meet and have human interaction with greatly influence and mold ourselves as individuals. One of the very first things people notice when meeting someone for the first time is how they speak and in what tone of voice they do it with. Depending on the impression the person makes, your voice and movement will be influenced. Often times, when a person has become so used to talking one way for a while, they become lost and unable switch their voice when they need to, especially when talking to someone who only knows of their voice one way. The main reason why people in everyday life code switch is to not only develop a relationship with nearly each individual they meet, but to know who they’re around in a sense that they know who they have to impress and who they can be open with. Lastly, people in society use code switching to learn about another person.


Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior. New York: Vintage International, 1976. Print. 


Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 1999. Print.

Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory. Boston: David R. Godine, 1982. Print. 

Baldwin, James. "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me What Is." New York Times. (July 29, 1979): <http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/29/specials/baldwin-english.html>. 

hooks, bell. Hooks on the Language of Power. New Learning. Web. 11 Jan 2013. <http://newlearningonline.com/literacies/chapter-6-critical-literacies/hooks-on-the-language-of-power/>. 

Tan , Amy. "Mother Tongue." Home is Where the Heart Dwells. N.p.. Web. 11 Jan 2013. <https://blogs.law.harvard.edu/guorui/2008/02/06/mother-tongue-by-amy-tan/>. 
http://vimeo.com/57633545
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"The Pressure to Learn Spanish"

My two languages that I speak are English and Spanish. My first language that I really didn’t get to know as I grew up was Spanish. Since I don’t know Spanish as much even though it is my “official” language I should be speaking, everybody talks to me in English and it has always been like that. I should be speaking this language because I was born Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans speak Spanish. I should have known how to speak the whole language already.  My Everyone trys to speak to me in Spanish.It can be hard for me to keep up.“¿Como es tu día para hoy?”say’s my aunt and I would say “Mi día estan bien”.  “No estan muy bueno, porque no muy bueno.”


After this point, I try to answer and then I start to freeze up, I still try to explain myself but it gets too hard. There are times when my original Spanish language gets caught up with my mind and I start to freeze up. But other times when people other than my aunt talk to me in Spanish, I feel more confident but still a tad bit shy about speaking because I might mess up. I guess I have to understand that it’s okay to make mistakes when I try to speak my Spanish language because I’m just learning the language


“¿Qual es tu tarea por a hoy?”, asks my aunt.  I start to think to say to myself, “Oooo, this sounds easy. I could answer her question”, then I answer it.

“Yo tengo Geometria, Ciencia, Ingles, Español y Historia”.
When she asks me this question in English, I feel more confident than me speaking in Spanish.

My first language of Spanish is related to my history because my mom and dad are both Puerto Ricans. Both my mom and dad’s side of the family both speak Spanish. I grew up learning Spanish and then I forgot about it. But it felt more as if I learned more English growing up.When my mom and my dad had me as their child, I could tell as I grew up as a kid to what I am today, that I am born a Puerto Rican. So its a mixture of both languages.


         Even at school, I struggle doing things in Spanish. I have a struggle when it comes to tests or quizzes, I forget everything or some things from when I studied the night before. This is not on purpose, I just don’t know why that happens but it happens all the time.


Don Marcos is my teacher is Spanish Class. “Take out a pen or pen. You’re going to have your test/quiz”. I take out a pencil from my pencil case and try to start the quiz or test he gives the class. When I see some of the questions I think I know them but sometimes I can’t remember some of the words. I usually leave two or three questions blank because I didn’t remember. When its time to hand it in, I sort of look scared and my hand shakes a little because I think I didn’t do so good on it.

“Reflexive verbs have two verb phrases” he says. “A boot verb keeps nosotros the same but the others different” he continued. As he continued to explain what Reflexive Verbs are or just explaining things to make it our notes. I write it down because that is what we study from. I thought I knew it as he was telling us. But when he started to ask questions, benchmarks, quizzes or tests, I feel as if I’m going to fail his class. I seriously need Spanish help.


I don’t know why I don’t understand Spanish more but still know a lot of English. It’s ok for me to speak two different languages and speak the other more. I want to try to speak and learn about Spanish in order to stay in tact with my Puerto Rican background and my family. Also, my family also wants me to try to speak the language too but its hard for me. I wish I had some Spanish tutor to help me better understand how this whole Spanish thing works because I want to learn. Learning Spanish is what I really want to know what it comes to languages and others too, but first I would like to learn Spanish. My national language is very important to me.

         My internal and sort of external struggle, is me speaking Spanish vs me speaking English. The Spanish language came from my mom and my dad. They both had Puerto Rican parents and they had a Puerto Rican family which made me Puerto Rican. The relationship between language and power is that every voice and everybody has a right to say anything they want. This is a basic rule the Constitution gave to the people. When they start to speak about something with a lot of feeling and emotion, it’s called power. What my language says about me is just that. We all have a voice and we should use it whenever possible because it could come in handy one day. I understand that language and identity intersect.

As I got older my aunt kept asking me “Do you want to take at least 15 minutes a day and speak Spanish”? I would say “Yes” but when the day comes we speak it only a little bit. I was made to be a Puerto Rican and I will always be one and that idea will continue to live on. I’m learning about it in high school. I’m improving but not that much on the subject or just at home talking about it with my aunt. Language is not that big of a conflict at my house. I’m just not that confident or I’m just worried of what words to use if I can’t remember them on time when the person, I’m speaking to, is in front of me. It’s the same way at school but a little bit worse. It’s a little bit worse because I have tests, quizzes and benchmarks, I’m afraid I might fail.


         How I feel about it now is the same way I’ve felt about it before, which was confident and felt like I didn’t remember. I should have remembered all these times because I’m Hispanic but I would always forget. When I try to remember, I have a lot to remember from the class and other things on my mind, that I can’t seem to remember what to say. I feel my Spanish will not improve now but as I get older and practicing more and more everyday with my Spanish, I know I will get there like I know my English growing up. I’m trying to say Spanish, in general is my hardest language than my English. I’m fluent when I speak in English but not as much when I speak in Spanish or do anything that has to deal with Spanish.

A quote by Richard Rodriguez could relate to what I saying 50% of the time. “An accident of geography sent me to a school where all my classmates were white, many of the children of doctors and lawyers and business executive.” This relates to what I’m trying to say is because this person spoke a different language and they didn’t feel right at the school because there were different races and he wasn’t comfortable just the same way I am uncomfortable with speaking Spanish.  


By: Jasmine Nieves



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That's Not My Name

That’s not my name

By: Marteena Johnson

The history of my name is a short one. It’s my moms name, no one else in my family that I know of has the same name as my mother and me. My mother’s maiden name is Martina Elizabeth Williams, and my name is Marteena Saraya Johnson. A lot of people think because my mom’s and my name are pronounced the same that I’m a second. But our first names aren’t spelled the same and we don’t share the same middle or last name.

            There are different variations of my name that my family calls me. Lil Mart, little Marty, or just Marty. My mom is called Big Marty when were together because we have the same nickname. It’s a confusing moment when my grandmother calls one of us but we don’t know whom she’s talking to. So she has to say, “No, little Marty.” Or “Big Marty.” It seems weird when you think about it but it’s something I’ve lived with for a long time and I’m used to it by now.

            Personally I don’t like my name. I don’t like the sound of it. I don’t think it fits me. Like James Baldwin says in his essay, If Black English isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is? “Now, no one can eat his cake and have it too” Just because I identify myself as one doesn’t mean I’m not the other. I may be addressed as Marty, but Marteena is still my name and apart of who I am. I think the name fits my mom better though. My mom is a lot more feminine than me. She doesn’t own a single pair of sneakers that aren’t for working out. I’m used to teachers calling me by first name, but most of my peers and friends call me Marty. I prefer to be called Marty, because it feels like it gives off the boyish quality about me. I don’t like to wear skirts. I usually wear jeans, or sweatpants, and sneakers. Sometimes I don’t respond to Marteena at all, or I’ll reply with “that’s not my name.”

Some people just like the sound of Marteena, more than Marty, and it doesn’t always bother me. Though there’s a distinct difference between Marteena and Marty. Marteena is the type of person to be patient, and polite. A lot of parents joke about trading kids when they meet Marteena. Marty is stubborn and impatient, and often has a bad temper. She also doesn’t like having her sleep tampered with. If she’s sleeping, it’s not the best idea to sit in the hallway near her room.

There were snickers and laughs coming from the hallway outside of my door. My little brother and cousin were in the hallway outside of my room door. I yelled,

“Can you move from outside of my door!”

“We’re not outside of your door, we’re in the hallway.”

“Well, can you move? I can hear you in my room!”

I throw my sheets over my head and lay down. I can still hear my brother and cousin talking. I hate having to get up when I’m tired. I get up and go outside. My brother and cousin are not even a foot away from my door.

            “Can you move from outside of my door?”

They look at me and keep talking like I didn’t say anything.

“Move!”

I hate having to yell to get them to listen. It’s annoying and they always want to act tough and talk back because I am not an adult. I am still older than them, therefore, they still have to listen to me. It seems that they only listen when I yell. As they move from in front of my door, I go back to my room. My chances at getting sleep are at a zero now because I did so much yelling. I lay down anyway, and my mom comes in my room about fifteen minutes later to tell me there is pizza downstairs.

                        Unlike Marty, Marteena isn’t the type of person to yell. She tries not to be rude. She’s also a lot more soft spoken. I think there’s a middle where Marteena and Marty live together. There is not usually just one and not the other a lot of the time. Sometimes there is but its not often, but Marty does show a lot more. Marty is more of a nerd, she like video games, watching comedy, she’s funny, she doesn’t care about much it depends on the situation, and she’s loud. Marty also has the more “do it yourself” attitude, if she wants something done, she’ll do it herself because she’s to impatient to rely on other people and she’s wants it done her way. Marteena is quite, shy, silly at times, a little girly, and she’s more sensitive to peoples’ feelings. Marty is more loose and free while Marteena is more conserved. They also share some of the same qualities. Which is a love for writing whether it be poetry or a story, reading because reading has always been apart of my life, I try my best to make time to read a good book.

I think they both come together on an emotional level, especially when it comes to writing because there’s a lot of feeling in the writing and they share those same feelings. When it comes down to emotions Marty is more conserved with her feelings, while Marteena is an open book. Marteena is the pen while Marty is the paper and the words are the middle, which is where they meet.

 

 

 

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