Advanced Essay #2: The Gifted Program

This essay talks about the struggles of the kids that were not placed in the gifted program. It focuses on what it does to kids when they aren’t placed in it. Usually, when people write about the gifted program, they talk about the advantages of those in the gifted program but not about those who aren’t. I talk about the long term effects that it gives to kids who weren’t placed in the gifted program.

The gifted program is used in many schools to test the knowledge of each individual student by classing them into groups based on their knowledge. While they separate kids into these two different groups, teachers tend to underestimate the kids into the group that didn’t test as well. When doing this, the kids that were not placed in the gifted program felt left out. Often students reflecting on this way of schooling speak about how the gifted program only helped the kids that were placed in it.

From a young age, I knew that I wasn’t as advanced in writing and reading as other people in my class were. This was caused by an assessment to the whole class that separated the students based on if they were good at reading and writing. I learned that I was not placed in the “gifted program,” while a new student that wasn’t assessed was automatically placed in the gifted program. Making me feel awful about myself being that I tried so hard to be accepted. Now as I am older and reflecting the big ordeal of the gifted program I wonder what exactly does it take to be placed in the gifted program? I also wonder why the kids who aren’t placed in the gifted program aren’t specially taught so they could learn as much as the students in the gifted program?

Many people who weren’t in the gifted program have written about how they weren’t taught as much just because they weren’t in the gifted program. In, “I Just Wanna Be Average,” he talks about how he was supposed to be in the gifted program but got his tests mixed up. He says, “But mostly the teachers had no idea of how to engage the imaginations of us kids who were scuttling along at the bottom of the pond. “ This shows that when kids were not placed in the gifted program, they weren’t being taught nearly as much as they could have. This is partly because of the idea that teachers have no other way of teaching these kids.  So, it can be concluded that the gifted program only helped the kids that were in the gifted program.

Another text called, “Chapter 2: Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” also talks about the problem with the gifted program. Usually, When people talk about the gifted program, they talk about the successes for the kids that are “gifted,” but they don’t talk about the kids that aren’t in the gifted program. The author of the text gives perspective for the kids weren’t placed in the gifted program. He says, “The solution is not to 'integrate" them into the structure of oppression, but to transform that structure so that they can become "beings for themselves." This shows that you shouldn’t separate the gifted kids form the non-gifted students, instead you should be teaching all the kids but in a way where all of the kids will be able to learn.

The same text talks about how if kids were put into these environments where they simply won’t learn, they think that that is okay. “The more completely they accept the passive role imposed on them, the more they tend simply to adapt to the world as it is and to the fragmented view of reality deposited in them.” This talks about not only the effects the gifted program had on the gifted students, but also on the kids who were not. It shows that many kids that were not placed in the gifted program felt left out, like learning is a competition.

I know that as a kid who was not in the gifted program, other kids didn’t mind it because they didn’t mind not doing much in class, but I felt like I needed to prove the teachers wrong. I remember once when I was in the third grade, we were reading a book called, “Dumb Bunny”, by Junie B. Jones. We were reading it as a class, both groups of students. That was my first opportunity to prove that I belonged in the gifted program. So, I brought the book separately and decided to finish it on my own.When I decided to talk to the teacher about it, she said, ”Oh that’s nice, I am so proud of you.” It hurt knowing I went out of my way to finish the book to impress her and maybe have a chance of assimilating into the gifted program, but instead she kind of shrugged it off.

It didn’t make any sense to me and to this day I still don’t understand what it takes to be a gifted student. I still feel as though one should be placed in the gifted program based on effort. One is better off when knowing they will do good in school because they put effort into it rather than knowing they will do good because they know a lot of information.  This causes a competition for the students that feel like they needed to be in the program to be confident about themselves. As if they need to fight just to get to a better education.

Works Cited

I Just Wanna Be Average by Mike Rose

Rose, Mike. "I Just Want to Be Average." Lives on the Boundary: The Struggles and Achievements

of America's Underprepared. New York: Free Press, 1989. 162-67. Print.

Chapter 2 of Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paolo Freire

Freire, Paulo. "Chapter 2." Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum, 1993. N. pag.

Webster University. Web.

Advance Essay #2 The Syrian Refugee Crisis and The Hunger Games

Matthew Willson


Water Stream

Advanced Essay #2


While creating this paper the skills I mainly focused on were connecting the experience I had reading The Hunger Games and what I took out of that experience to a larger idea. I am proud of how I focused on a recent topic and related it to a book I read many years ago.  I have always been a good writer when it comes to creativity and making up stories. But I have never been that good or enjoyed writing and researching about real world topics. As I grow as a writer I hope to get better at writing bigger issues around the world.


Literacy is a way to communicate and a way to share ideas. This communication allows us to understand people's perspective through time. This communication can help humans understand and ideally learn from their mistakes so they are not repeated. Without literacy, good ideas cannot be shared and people also can’t learn about bad ideas, which risks bad ideas being repeated. By looking at the present Syrian refugee crisis, we can see that crimes are being committed against humanity. We have an opportunity to help the refugees. However, there is political pressure in our country to keep the refugees out because some people are afraid they bring the risk of terrorism.  This is important because we never want to repeat the history of not helping people in crisis.

When I was 11 I read The Hunger Games, a series of three books written by Suzanne Collins.  These books take place in a world called “Panem” which is divided into a very wealthy capital and twelve very poor districts that exist solely to support the capital.  At the start of the first book, each district sends one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death.  The children are chosen by lottery, with the event staged for the capital’s entertainment and as a “reminder” to the districts of the time when they attempted to revolt against the capital and were defeated. When I first read the scene where the children, called tributes, are chosen, I was shocked.  I just couldn’t imagine being at the whim of a person picking my name out of a raffle to be killed. The characters had done nothing and it was just a sick game for the powerful people from the capital.  I thought of what my world would be like in the future.  Would it have districts and segregation?  Reading the book emphasized how cruel it is for some people to make life decisions regarding other people. Power becomes the force that decides the fate of peoples’ lives, whether they live or die. Humanity is not even considered in this type of power relationship. It’s not about what's right or wrong, it's about who has power and who doesn't.  As an 11 year old this was a lot of me to comprehend. As humans our duty should be to make sure everyone is fairly treated. Throughout history people have done many sick evil things to set people behind due to their race or beliefs like Hitler or Slavery. The human race needs to look back and make sure that those things don’t happen again. We have to make sure the world doesn’t end up in a scenario like The Hunger Games.

Right now, the Islamic group ISIS has claimed responsibility for attacks in Paris that killed over 130 people. The group is forcing people in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries to either join them or abandon their Muslim religion.  At the same time, there is a civil war in Syria between the government led by Bashar al-Assad and the rebels.  As a result, there are hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, without homes because of the civil war, attempting to flee the country and avoid both the conflict and ISIS.  Many countries including the US are questioning whether they should allow the refugees to enter their country.  People are afraid that some ISIS terrorists will be hidden amongst the refugees, and so they feel it is just safer to say “No”.  This is not the time to abandon people we should be helping.  During the first Hunger Games, the main character, Katniss Everdeen, did not attack the other tributes.  She defended herself, and actually helped some of the other tributes to survive.  The lesson is that it is important to do the right thing, even if it may put you at some personal risk. These are the values that define who we are as a country.  We should not be afraid.  We should do the right thing and help the refugees who are in need.  Just after the attacks in Paris last week, the French President Francois Hollande said that France would allow 30,000 Syrian refugees into the country, honoring a commitment they had previously made.  Despite suffering the worst attack on French soil since World War 2, that is the right thing to do.  We need to do the same.

Advanced Essay #2 Literacy and Identity


I knew from the beginning that I wanted my essay to have really strong scenes of memory. It was important for me to have this because I felt like it would be what made my thesis the most convincing. While writing my scenes of memory I tried to make them have a lot of description so that someone reading it would be able to visualize it. I think that my favorite part of my essay is the paragraph about having writer's block in middle school. This is probably because I had a personal connection to this part, which is funny because that’s one of the main points of my essay, that people write their best work when they’re writing about something they have a connection to and are passionate about. I think that if I can analyze my quotes in a stronger way it will make my writing stronger in general as well as make it flow more and just make for a better essay.

Advanced Essay

Up until the fourth grade I wasn’t a good reader. I remember picking up one book, Tuck Everlasting, and finally understanding what the big deal was about reading. It was just a normal Thursday. Forgettable really. The sun could have been reaching its rays through my classrooms 3rd floor windows or thunderclouds could have been sitting heavily over the buildings. I can’t remember. I do remember that my teacher had told us to bring a book to class because we were going to be doing independent reading. The book I brought was of no interest to me. Just looking at the cover made me grit my teeth. My friend, Nina, looked at me. “I have an extra book if you want, it’s one of my favorites.” I looked at her as she rummaged through her backpack and finally produced her paperback copy. Hesitantly, I took it from her. I heard the teacher say to start reading and went to lie on the carpet. The book sat in front of me, I dreaded opening it to the first page. With a final sigh I began to read. My eyes scanned the lines of each page and before I knew it, the time was up. To my surprise, I was upset that I couldn’t finish the chapter. I walked up to Nina. “You don’t mind if I borrow this right?”

In a lot of schools, the books that students have the option to read are not something that they are interested in. This could cause someone to never get into reading because the only things that they have read have been chosen by their school system. This can even be seen in writing. Structured essays and stories make it hard for individuals to show and express their themselves, and therefore their identities. The best writing that someone can produce will always be when they’re writing about something they have a connection to, whether that connection is a strong opinion, or a prominent memory.

Writer’s block. I would always get it at the worst possible moments. It was 7 o’clock the night before my first english essay of 7th grade was due and the only thing on my document was my name, which was funny because the essay was about our name. My name. I thought back to all the times it was mispelled and pronounced, how when people would ask me what it meant I had to tell them that I had no clue. I couldn’t count how many times I had said “No not India, it’s just Indee,” and “Yes, that’s the whole thing, it’s not short for anything.” As if my name wasn’t good enough, because it needed to be longer. Without even realizing it my fingers started hitting the keys. I didn’t know how much anger and annoyance I had for this topic. All of the times I remember hating my name and then loving it were forming on the page in such speed that even I was surprised. I heard my mom call up the stairs. “Ind! It’s time for dinner!” Without taking my eyes from the screen and my fingers from the keyboard I yelled back, “I’m not hungry!” There was no way I would stop myself now that I was completely focused.

"Reading can offer richer, broader, and more complex models of experience, which enable people to view their own lives from a refreshed perspective and with renewed understanding," This quote from the article, How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health, talks about how reading can give someone “complex experiences.” Complex experiences can contribute greatly to a person’s identity. With each story, the number of the readers experiences grow. A book can be a different experience for two people. One person could view it this way and the other a completely different way. These different views give others insight into who the individual is. Depending on how someone interprets something can show what type of thought process they have.

The books that someone reads affects how they view the world as well as how the rest of the world views them. A piece of literature can make you notice things you never thought about, and make the readers opinions sway from their original thoughts. The reader can have so many diverse experiences from books and how these experiences imprint on them can vary. The books someone reads and the topics they write about are as important to someone’s identity as their own fingerprint. Unique, unlike anyone else's.

Work cited

Grothaus, Michael. "How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health." Fast

Company. Mansueto Ventures, LLC, 27 July 2015. Web. Nov.14, 2015.

Digital Story

Advanced Essay #2 Storytelling Versus The Worldd

Verbal storytelling and public speaking are integral parts of our culture, a key part of being intelligent is the ability to communicate that intelligence. The ability to accurately communicate ideas to someone is something we all do on a daily basis. Classrooms should adopt new ways of teaching that involve discussions, how to properly have a discussion, and, have classes on public speaking.

Navigating the school system is an impossible task, from teachers who have given up, to the bureaucracy of administrators, to the sheer fact that The Lorax was banned at one point in time. Schools don’t teach all they could, leaving many students feeling cheated because they have no idea how taxes work. The classroom presentation is something that most students dread, but it doesn’t have to be. Ignoring the issue of students not caring for right now, public speaking that strikes fear into the hearts of the youth. One article from states, “Knowing how to connect with others, being empathetic, when to speak and when to listen, is of great value in the workplace and in interpersonal relationships. To learn the art of conversation is to actually do it, with peers and other varied and diverse people.” This quote mentions the art of conversation, and it really is an art. If you have ever talked to a child you realize how inept they are with speaking, they take huge pauses between words. The skill of having a conversation takes years to build. Just to be clear someone isn’t dumb for not being able to communicate ideas. There are very few jobs in modern society that do not involve some form of human interaction, and being able to do that can help you succeed in life. The world doesn’t revolve around silence; think about how many human interactions you have in a day, from the bus driver saying hi, to buying soda, to just saying something to someone you know. Imagine if almost everyone you meet knew how to have a conversation, the amount of awkward interactions would drastically decrease.

Storytelling is an integral part of my life and most people’s lives. I only recently turned into the storytelling powerhouse that I am today. The first story I put into circulation, by that I mean the first story I told most if not all of my friend groups. This story was originally gonna be a story I took to my grave, but now is just a fun and exciting story. It was an embarrassing moment of pure stupidity, and ended up being fantastic. When I was in the fifth grade I was not a smart child. My family took my brother to the chiropractor’s office when he messed up his back. At this point in time I had no idea what a Chiropractor was, so I went searching trying to find the true meaning or chiropractor. I found a man in one of the rooms not wearing pants, but luckily wearing underwear. I still have no idea why he wasn’t wearing pants to this day. So in my head my brain made the connection that chiropractic meant prostitute. At this point in my life I still thought sex was just two people naked under the sheets. I started getting all worried about my family taking my brother to the prostitute’s office. Eventually my mom starting going to the prostitute’s office. I was in distress at this because I didn’t want my mom going there because she had a husband. Then my sister started going to the prostitute, then my whole family was being taken by the prostitute. I was so afraid to go to the chiropractor, but not afraid like kicking and screaming, I was just wildly uncomfortable and on the edge of my seat. I am probably the only kid in the history of the world that was afraid of the chiropractor. Now what does that story have to do with verbal literacy and storytelling? This was a story that because of my confidence in storytelling and throwing caution to the wind allowed me to become a great storyteller. I began to tell more and more stories, to more and more people. If I had learned verbal storytelling in school, I may have been able to tell this story earlier, and be more confident about it. Adults seem to lose their ability to tell stories or stories that are interesting. Think about all the boring fishing or workplace stories you had to sit through at family dinners.

There isn’t a single class that has ever taught me nothing. Even if the lesson was an inadvertent lesson like dealing with a terrible teacher, or how to manage a class that you have no interest in. There have been many positive lessons in my life as well, like how to properly write a thesis, how discussions should be doing, or just getting invested in a topic that I thought was terrible. I would rather talk about what makes a good discussion and what should be taught. I’m not going to mention any teachers by name or any teachers from SLA. My music teacher was an eccentric guy, they told us stories about their life and man were they crazy. They once won a contest for saying “GOAL” the longest at their school, won concert tickets, but they didn’t like the band and they were too lazy so they didn’t pick them up. They taught me some valuable lessons like not saying ‘I think’ or ‘I believe’ before an idea, because ‘We all know you believe that because that’s why you are saying it.’ Needless to say this person was a huge influence in my life. We had laid back discussions that didn’t feel rushed, and we all respected them, which is almost impossible for an entire class to mutually respect a teacher. When someone in the class made a joke, they would laugh along with it, and have a back and forth. I think about that class, maybe 5 times a week, that's how impactful that class was. English classes have been an experience no matter what the circumstances. This English class was incredibly stressful, but also magical. I had projects that I was completely stressed over, even before I was assigned it. This doesn’t mean I hated the class, I felt challenged, like I was putting out work that mattered. My time was respected and I respected theirs in return by not turning in garbage.They told us that we can go over the word count if we wanted to lose points, but it would be a risk because the story could be better with more words. We could take risks and be rewarded.

Verbal storytelling, discussions, and public speaking, are invaluable parts of our daily lives. A person’s ability to verbally communicate thoughts to anyone is a skill we all do, all the time. Schools, teachers, and classrooms need to adopt new ways of teaching that involve discussions, how to properly have a discussion, and, have classes on public speaking.

"20 Life Skills Not Taught In School - Successful Student." Successful Student. 16 June 2014. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.

Advanced Essay #2 [What is Technological Literacy]

My essay is about the effects of Technological Literacy. I talk about many different people's definitions and their view points. I also talk about how technology effects my life.

I wake up to the sound of my phone, I grab my iPad and take it into the bathroom and play my music as I get ready for the morning. As I get dressed, I review my schedule on my iStudiez Pro app and look if there are any assignments I missed the night before.

Technology plays a major part in my life when it comes to personal advantages. However, technological literacy plays an even bigger role in my education. My school has a technology and project based learning curriculum. Everyday we are working on computers. People outside of the school is unaware of the effect technological literacy has on us.

People today can say that the way education was for them is different from how it was for them when they were my age. Technology wasn’t an easy go to thing in class for them. What's interesting about schools today is that we have different definitions of literacy, which you never expect to change. My English teacher’s definition of literacy is “To read the word and read the world.; literacy affects an individual and society”. However, my definition is the ability to comprehend and explain forms of writing. Literature is a conversation written down and it is an exchange from one person to another. When my teacher was in high school he didn’t have technology to give him advantages like I and my classmates have today. Now in this day in age we have a new branch of literacy, technological literacy. Due to this change, for the most part he learns as we do in the educational world; on some occasions he becomes the students and we become the teachers to show him the definition of technological literacy. Technological literacy from a dictionary, is the ability of an individual, working independently and with others, to responsibly, appropriately and effectively use technology tools to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, create and communicate information.

What many people get wrong about technological literacy is well described Albert Einstein who said that, “I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots.”, technology is making each generation worse to the point that we have children that simpletons. Others would disagree claiming that technology is helping us reach the peak of society. There are upsides and downsides to technology making it a grey area of good and bad. I think technological literacy do not make us dependent, they help us prosper as learners. Technological literacy in schools do not effect anything in school except how the student learn, and in doing so it doesn't make the students learning habits better or worse. Technological literacy only allows another option to a method of learning.  It does not resolve in students being more intelligent people or resolve in students being idiots. That's not even how school works at all. From how the school system works, you can't determine either case. Technology in school just makes things more convenient and easier. In an article I read, a reporter at a technology based school quoted “When students are using technology as a tool or a support for communicating with others, they are in an active role rather than the passive role of recipient of information transmitted by a teacher, textbook, or broadcast. The student is actively making choices about how to generate, obtain, manipulate, or display information. Technology use allows many more students to be actively thinking about information, making choices, and executing skills than is typical in teacher-led lessons. Moreover, when technology is used as a tool to support students in performing authentic tasks, the students are in the position of defining their goals, making design decisions, and evaluating their progress.”

Schools today are becoming more modern due to technological literacy. It allows a new method to learning. Students learn in different ways and if they do not follow one specific way, they are usually left in the dust. Technology provides a pathway to what teachers can not lead. Technology will always be open minded and allow to create your own learning system. However students can survive without technology and will not become less of people using it. We have multiple ways and methods of learning and new forms of literacy; technological literacy is the latest and best solution solver for literacy, providing students more opportunities to prosper.

Advanced Essay #2: Benefits of Speaking English

My name is Ashlye Fitzmaurice and in the past few weeks, the eleventh grade English class began writing their second Advanced Essay. The focus of this paper is on literacy; reading the word and reading the world. In the process of writing the paper, I wanted to contribute a topic that I was able to relate to. Shockingly enough, I was able to do so by choosing a topic that my family had struggled with and connect it to my message. Having to go back and fourth from my general idea to relating it to my aunt and also myself, I felt was a little too much, although I some how made it to work. I just hope that in the future, I can come up with a stronger thesis and make it even more debatable! That way, I'll be able be back it up with more 'evidence' and make it a stronger essay! I hope you enjoy! 


My father came to America when he was only four years old. A year later, he started Kindergarten, learning English, and later becoming fluent; the same applied to my mother. On the other hand, it was difficult for her older brothers and sisters. Specifically, her oldest sister; my oldest aunt.

For the first thirty years of her life, she had only spoken the Vietnamese and Cantonese language. Coming to America, she knew things were going to change. A new home, a new city, a new job, and most importantly a new language. They were aware that English was this main language that was used and spoken in America and it was much more difficult for her to learn it compared to my mother. Primarily affected her in ways that sought out to little opportunities, such as receiving a job.

She always told me to be thankful. “Be thankful for the life you live, people you have, and the opportunities that are given.” For her, all she wanted and desperately needed was a job. No one would hire her because she did not speak English. At times, my mother was her translator and evidently my mother was not going to be there twenty-four hours of the day, by her side. Carelessly, my aunt tried learning English, but the only words she understood was yes, no, please, and thank you.

Although, according to scientists and, babies and young infants can easily pick up new words and sound effortlessly because of the brain’s development.  “After age one it gets more difficult, but it is still much easier for children to learn new words. Whether these words are all from one language or from two or more doesn’t matter. All of the words—English, French, Russian, etc.—are stored in the same brain map. After age 10, learning new words becomes progressively harder until, as adults, it is exceedingly difficult. The older you get, the more you use your native language and the more it comes to dominate your linguistic map.”

It perfectly sums up this idea that learning a new language at a younger age is easier than learning it at an older age. Not being able to speak the English language, it gives less of an opportunity. Therefore, the solution to this problem is to take prior classes and/or lessons to comprehend and/or improve their English skills, for their own benefit. In a way, it gives them an ability to adapt and be part of something new.

For Kyle Wiens, having correct grammar is an important commodity when applying for jobs. Not only spoken, but written. “I hire people who care about those details. Applicants who don’t think writing is important are likely to think lots of other (important) things also aren’t important. And I guarantee that even if other companies aren’t issuing grammar tests, they pay attention to sloppy mistakes on résumés. After all, sloppy is as sloppy does.” He adds in his article.

At first, reading Wien’s article it sounded offensive. But actually coming to senses and realizing that nowadays, job applicants do search for how professional a person is. It can vary from a person’s attire, their use of language, and in this case, how properly formatted their writing is. I can now see why people with higher degrees have more of an opportunity than those who have a lower degree and/or none at all.

Referring back to my aunt, shockingly enough just about a year ago, she decided to go back to school. She had this idea that since her children were all grown up, have a stainable job, and nothing else can make her happier, than going back to school. Education is something she loved, it made her feel apart of something much bigger than just learning. When she started school, it was difficult. She had to start from the very beginning and until this day, she is working her way up; slowly but surely she began to get the hang of it. Here and there she would show up on my door and ask for help on a few lessons. It was so shocking to see how much she had learned and where it was going to take her.  I know it is not easy, but she continues to push herself, knowing that it will only lead to better things. It allows my aunt to adapt to a new community and be part of a something she has always wanted. She can go back to the jobs she had applied for many years ago and prove to them what she was capable of!

There comes a time where you will have to do things in your favor, as your own benefit. For one, mine is stepping foot into my current high school, Science Leadership Academy (SLA). I remember the first week of school like it was yesterday. Teachers gave work after work. It did not stop. I constantly complained and I had sleepless nights.

“Mom, I can’t do it.” I whinned.

I had not slept the night before and I can feel the bags beneath my eyes screaming for rest. It was the start of benchmark season and I was not aware of what I had gotten myself into. Sheets of paper and eraser marks were all along my bed. I couldn’t find anything and I wasn’t sure where to start. It was so overwhelming.

So I decided to scramble everything together and put it all away. It was not the thought of being unorganized, more so of having so much work, yet so little time. I knew it was my time management. Yet, I told myself that tomorrow is a new day and is going to be a productive day. Surprisingly, I woke up feeling refreshed. As I gotten ready, I planned out what was going to be done. A little English here, a little math there, break, back to English and then math. It was all about being able to balance school and social life. I had to adapt to this new way of getting my work done, because from what I can remember, middle school is nothing compared to high school.
This all brings it back to the thought of being able to comprehend a skill at an earlier time rather than waiting, before it is too late. It also implies to the idea that learning a new language at a younger age is easier than learning it at an older age. Just as to I, waiting to manage my time will only set me up for more work and less freedom. And not being able to speak the English language, it gives less of an opportunity; such as a search for a job. The only way to improve their struggle is to take classes to adapt to the American culture and later allow them to be part of something new.  

It ties to the generalization of literacy. Literacy is not only a way of being able to read and write. It’s about being to comprehend with the world in ways that you think best fits your lifestyle.  


Dave Bunnell. "Why Is It Easier for Young Children to Learn a New Language?" Why Is It Easier for Young Children to Learn a New Language? N.p., 21 Aug. 2007. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.

Wiens, Kyle. "I Won't Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here's Why."Harvard Business

Review. Harvard Business Publishing, 20 July 2012. Web. date accessed*.

Spanish Poem - Lilly Roman

                            Soy Artistica.

                       Soy moRena

No me gusta nada canTar

    Me gusta bastante dIbular

                                   Soy ambiciousa

                                   Tengo catorce anos

                     Soy de FIladefia

               Me gusta esCribir

                             Me llAmo Liliana Kristina Roman


Advanced Essay #2: Pure Imagination

For this essay, my goal was to go beyond the question, what is literacy? I wanted to create an essay that not only caught a reader's attention, but was also something that no one else would do or say. I only wrote one scene, that was purposeful, so that my reader could think about his/her memories while reading the essay. My whole essay was about imagination, and I wanted my reader to use their imagination while reading it. Writing this was a bit more difficult because I didn’t know how to explain what I was trying to say. Personally, I don’t think I was able to explain everything I had in mind because 1. it was too much, 2. my thoughts became more complicated while writing the essay. Next time, I’ll make sure to take my time in explaining every single thing that I want explained.

When I was younger, my father would always read to me, every night, before I would go to bed. He would sit on my bed, and I would lay next to him, with my head on his shoulder, which you might think would be for comfort, but in reality, it was so I could just read along. It wasn’t just the story my dad would read me that made me look forward to this nightly event, it was the way he read. He made me imagine and create a world just like the places in the book. It was never just one book though, and that’s what made this so wonderful. Everything he read was my ticket to escape reality. I soon began to imagine my own worlds. I stopped listening to my dad read, because I would just think about my perfect world. My head would no longer rest on his shoulder, and my eyes no longer rested on the pages of the book. It was those nights of reading that helped me fantasize of a world where everything and anything was like a dream. 

I can’t say I don’t fantasize today, because that would just be a complete utter lie, and an ugly one at most. It’s because of literacy that I allow myself to daydream from time to time. It’s because of literacy that I fear less of reality.  It is something so delicate and specific, that if you don’t practice it, you won’t understand anything. Literacy, words, are used as a way to show physical emotion that you are too scared to show on your own. It took me a while to understand that. I would always hide something, or fear to express how I felt. For that reason, I became a shy child, one who refused to go out into the world and explore. Instead, I’d explore in my books. I came to the realization that in most of the books I read, the characters were just like me. They were able to express their emotion, their feeling, in writing, or more to say, the author was able to express their feeling and emotion in writing. I envied them for being able to do that. Personally, I am unable to write the way I intend to. It’s hard to write down who I am, and easier to write about someone else.

Rumer Godden once said “When you learn to read you will be born again...and you will never be quite so alone again.” Literacy is nothing but a way to represent who you are, and who you want to be. You not only gain knowledge about the world, but you also gain knowledge about who you are. There are some people who read and write because they have to, and there are other people who read and write because they have a strong desire, a craving, that can only be fixed with literacy. Once one learns who they are and who they want to be, there’s no stopping them. Those people are the ones that inspire the next generation writers, the next generation of book worms. Literacy inspires people to do the things they once thought to be unimaginable. Literacy is merely just a way to escape. That is why you are never alone. You read a book to imagine yourself completing those desires, you feel as though you’re invincible.

As children we fantasize about a magical world, or at least a world that isn’t ours. We create a world to make us happier than we actually are. Everyone does it at least once in their life. We use our imagination to discover and rediscover ourselves, sometimes without even noticing we have. As we grow up, we lose the capability to create our own perfect worlds. Time becomes of the essence and we become so mature, that our minds tell us only children day dream. Just like that, the world of imagination disappears, and becomes a small memory tucked in the corner of your brain. To me, literacy is like another language, but only one that you can understand. No one can see the world like you, no one can fantasize the world like you, so how will they be able to read and write the world like you? We use literacy as a tool of imagination that helps us escape the hardships and pain of reality.

Digital Video 

Work Cited
"Quotes About Literacy." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2015. <>.

Advance Essay #2: Code Switching In A Dominant Culture Capital

Introduction Paragraph:
In this paper, I tried to focus on the skills of perspective, one moment in time and making sure there was valuable. A part that I am very proud of is my thesis statement and the points I tried to argue. Through the scene of memory I tried to look deeply into my past and think about how I felt and some of the questions I had developed at that time. As for a writer, I plan to grow in the areas of condensing my writing. Sometimes, I feel like I don't write enough or I write too much. Especially when it comes to detail, I don't feel like I access the areas in which the reader can real see or feel the action happening. 

My Paper: 

When I was about 11 or 12 I thought my brother was two different people.  At church, his friends were all African-American and he appeared to be more loose, funny and alive. Someone once made a joke that went like “Knock knock.” Then he said, “It’s open!” We all laughed for about 2 minutes under our breaths before an older lady with a large white hat would hit one of us. That made everyone instantly be quiet. While at his robotics events that my family and I would attend it was like he was a queen’s guard. His actions in this environment were much more remote. I had assumed it was because this is how you were suppose to act in a more professional setting. It was odd but I could tell he wasn’t the only one around me that switched, but my mother also did. For example, depending on who called her she would answer the phone differently. Either she would change her voice or say her full name “Hello it’s Myracherisse Holland.”

I asked them both why do they change when they talk to certain people. My mother told me “You have to act on their level in order to fit in.” Then my brother said that that’s why he’s having a hard time deciding between attending a Private White Institution or Historically Black College/University. Attending a HBCU would include being around people that understand some of the experiences of being an African-American male in society. While also not getting all the opportunities that could be open to him if he attended a PWI. However, it would be a constant trial of trying to relate to everyone else and fit in.

Which made me question, what factors determine if ‘code switching’ should be used? In what type of environments insists for you to ‘code switch’?  Also is it necessary? According to my family members it’s necessary in order to reach for better positions in the workforce that most African-Americans don’t achieve. Such as a CEO over a Fortune 500 company, high ranked positions under an office environment or etc.    

I tugged at my feelings about this because a part of me did agree that there were certain situations that you may have to change yourself. Such as showing you that you are the best candidate for the position in a group interview. A well-known statement in other words for this fraudulence is used the statement ‘fake it til’ you make it” Which implies that impersonating who you are until you achieve a good opportunity, is the way to get what you want. This idea can definitely have an impact on who you think you are or where you think you belong.

Not too long after the conversation with my mom and brother, I noticed that I also have some of the same code switching tendencies. For example some of my peers have even called me an ‘Oreo.’ The reason was because I am an African-American and a majority of African-Americans speak using a vernacular. Coinciding with the idea of speaking proper English correlates to being white. Although we call America a melting pot, things such as speaking articulately or dressing nicely correlates to being white?

As for my brother, he did go to what would be considered a white institution although it is a public university. A source from Penn admissions and university statistics state, “...have a majority rate of 69.9% white students compared to a 6.9% of African-Americans” ("Admission and University Statistics." At Penn State. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. <>.) He believed that choosing Penn State over Tuskegee would provide better internships and a higher chance of getting a job after college. While a study by Young Invincibles states that “The findings aren’t incredibly surprising, considering that black millennials are more than two times more likely to face unemployment than their white counterparts, at 16.6 percent compared to 7.1 percent.” (Cadet, Danielle. "A Black Male With A Degree And A White High School Grad Have The Same Chances Of Getting A Job." The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. <>.)

My overall message was to display the factors of code switching and how it can impact your future under a dominant culture capital.  By looking at the statistics and experiences, I drew an inference that, many African-Americans have a much harder time getting a job or internship because they aren’t equipped with the same opportunities to better their future as white-americans. Whom can achieve job experience or an internship more easily because employers are willing to hire them for their connections and references to better the company’s opportunities. Now making it a mainstream societal concept to hire white-americans over African-Americans.

Returning to my brother’s choice between a PWI or HBCU, which both have their pros and cons. Primarily attending a PWI provides better chances of getting a well-known company to intern with. As a con would be the difficulty of finding a friend who might be like you, in the instance of experience. In contrast to attending a HBCU where a pro would be being around people you can relate to some cultural experiences. In addition to connecting with more businesses owned by African-Americans. While a con would be losing more opportunities to join more selective programs owned by a dominant culture capital environment. As for my brother, his opportunities depend on how much and how hard he’s worked since he attended Penn State.

So in a real-life example, his ability to code switch can advance his chance entering a more selective program or internship. Yet, at the same time there will always be a chance that there’s a white-american looking at the same program who could obtain/attain it. Because we follow a dominant capital cultural system, where white-americans have a higher percentage of receiving a position than African-Americans.


(Cadet, Danielle. "A Black Male With A Degree And A White High School Grad Have The Same Chances Of Getting A Job." The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. <>.)

("Admission and University Statistics." At Penn State. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. <>.)

Advanced Essay #2: Women of the World

Introduction Paragraph

In my advanced essay I choose to explore the way women are viewed by men in American society. Women are taught to have skills in many fields, and be literate but they should never interfere with the skills of a man. After reading many essays such as, “To Tame a Wild Tongue” by Gloria Anzaldua, I questioned whether it was possible to tame (control) a woman when she has so many skills and attributes. In conclusion, I have learned that it is not possible to tame a woman because her skills and attributes are powerful. I am most proud of my scenes of memory. I worked hard on them for this essay and believe that the quality of them improved in this essay.

V. Women of the World

The first mistake I made in giving up my power was thinking I didn’t have any. Honestly, most of my insecurities about my power came from being the only girl (and the youngest) with 5 brothers. Many would think that because of me being the only daughter and the youngest, many would expect me to have been praised, treated like a princess, and in fact, some parts of me were. But the generalization of who women should be and what we should be doing was shown to me early on. I was also underestimated and other qualities of myself were not praised. “Oh you’re such a beautiful girl,” I would hear from my brothers because evidently, to men, beauty is most important. I would wanted to have been recognized for me intelligence. This does not compensate for the ugly stigma that remains unspoken but clearly seen. A woman can aspire to have skills in many fields, and be literate, but they should never interfere with the skills of a man. This stigma was obvious between us and is obvious in many American families. My personal views have changed as I’ve gotten older. I have read different articles and pieces that have changed my view on what women are able to do. In the essay, “To Tame a Wild Tongue” author Gloria Anzaldua questioned, “Is it possible to tame someone’s tongue when they have so many?”. This made me question if it was possible to tame (control) a woman when she has so many skills and attributes.  

I have been exposed stigmas through woman empowerment programs and organizations.

  • women accept this stigma

  • women fade into the shadow of men

  • Men rely on women to do the “behind the scenes work” and then reward them with the gift of superficial compliments

  • Girls need only women to teach them how to love being a woman.

As many times as I fell into the shadow of my brothers, I’ve learned that as much as men are involved in the demise of women, they can help women understand their worth worth. My fifth oldest brother, Ali was involved in building my confidence in positive ways.  I remember the day he taught me the first lesson of how to love being a woman.

Lesson 1: Love being smart.

My father’s office was so quiet that only the clocks ticking could be heard. I brushed my pencil lightly across the homework page looking for answers that weren’t coming to my head. I was trying to do my math homework but it just wasn’t happening for me. The door opened, closed and the room went pitch black. I could smell the stench of hard working hands. “Assalam Walikum” Ali said. “Walikum Assalam” I said, barely containing my smile. I knew it was him. “Whatcha doing.” he asked. He didn’t know that I had been doing the same thing for twenty minutes. Brushing led against paper, back and forth, back and forth. I tried telling him that my math homework “wasn’t working out” and “math isn’t for me” but all I received was, “You’re smart...try it again.” repeated 10 times and “You surely won’t get anywhere if you don’t apply yourself. I tell you you’re smart all the time, you just have to believe it.” I was silent after that last part. Everyone had told me I was smart but when he had told me I believed it. I had learned lesson one of loving being a young woman.

I wish I had paid a lot more attention to Lesson 1 and the many other lessons. Hearing them from my other brothers was a lost cause and shortly after that office visit, Ali had died from a motorcycle accident. Stepping out of my house after 3 days in hibernation, I became the lost cause. I had forgotten all the lessons he taught me about loving myself just because he had left. On the day of his funeral, silence filled the air. Tears fell and hit my chest almost in a rhythmic tune. My mom walked me to the car and I slipped in, but no words slipped out from either of our mouths. The entire ride I kept looking at the bright orange paper in the wind shield screaming FUNERAL. Ironically, cyclists zoomed past my car crossing through traffic in weird dangerous patterns. I made eye contact with one. Four seconds of contact and my brother’s face became the man’s face. “You’re smart...try it again” I heard in my head. I ended eye contact with the driver immediately. I saw her face and the screaming orange sign.

    Slowly but surely I began to live out the lessons he taught me. Women should love different things about themselves and shouldn’t fade into the shadow of men.

Works Cited
A, Gloria. "To Tame A Wild Tongue." Borderlands: The New Mestiza = La Frontera. San Francisco: Spinsters/Aunt Lute, 1987. Print.


But you don’t understand! It's not always me! I didn't mean to do it jeez! You Don't know what i’m going through. I don’t feel well and I really don’t need to be bothered with you right now! Don’t focus on me! Just teach your fricken class I’m not even distracting anyone! That's it! I’m leaving now!

I’ve had it with you. Every day I wake up normal but by the time I get to school so much happens. Every morning I have to take this crappy medication for my adhd which only makes me unhappy and never hungry. So when I get home I am starving and depressed. I can’t go through life like this. My parents blame the not eating on me when in reality they're the ones giving me this fricken medicine every damn morning. They say it will help me but it never does. So now I have to go through life in the worst way possible. I always feel upset in class because I feel like a part of me is missing everyday. Then when I’m upset in class and my teachers write petty emails home, my parents never even think about the damn medicine. They always think it’s my fault for everything. They think i’d do worse without the medication. They don’t know anything about me. All they seem to talk about with me is my “blame shifting” and my attitude in school, but those meds ruin me everyday and they don’t get it yet.

I don’t know how long it will take them to get or something dumb happens. I already ran away freshmen year from the same thing and now they're pushing me further and further to do it again. It was never genetically proven that i had adhd either! All because I was a very loud and happy boisterous person. So they thought that after hearing about me being loud in school that I had to have adhd. And they just HAD to have a fricken perfect damn child and they gave me all this crap to take in the morning. And then I get in trouble for not eating. They always change the subject or cut me off when i’m talking to them about it. They think I blame everything on it and that I must take it.

My parents are catholic education at heart and I can’t do this on the daily. They could at least give me my scoot back. I used to be able to de stress and relax before school, but now they took it because of school and now i’m having twice as many problems. I tried to have this conversation with them many times, but they're not budging at all. They think whatever my teachers say is always true and that i’m always lying. I already ran away once and it’s like they never learned from it. They are so tangled up in my adhd (that I probably don’t even have) that they are losing their own son and don’t even notice it.

“David you can go ahead and walk up to the office then!”

No, I am NOT going to the office. You know what, forget you. (Walks away.)

I need to talk to someone. (pulls out phone)

(texting on phone) Why cant my friends give me any advice! I'm gonna get another progress note when I get home and I’ll have to deal with my parents again for the 100th time!

(sarcastically) Now that's just GREAT! Now I have to get the train home and deal with this!

Then I come home to a progress note about my behavior in class and I notice the teacher has disregarded all that I said about my condition, “Here we go again”, I say to myself. Now I am where i’ve been 100 times before. The future seems dark for me.  

At This Time

Hey, bro I need some help. I’m 26 now, and this is a very important age. This is the first step to adulthood, and every decision I make counts. My jobs determine my career. However, I want to make sure that whatever jobs I get are for me. Something I both love and want to do. Same thing for college, I want to go to a college that is the right fit for me and that I will learn a lot from. I’ve  been struggling with this decision for months now. I’ve been wanting to talk to you about this for a long time.

Yea bro, you know  I love Djing but college will also open up many doors for me. I don’t know if I should i keep djing or if I should i go to school and get a degree. Right now there is only one college that seems fit for me. It has so many programs. At least if I could do Djing as at least a major, I would be good.

What school? Oh NC State. They have many programs and classes that could expand my knowledge.

Yea I would be far away but I would still visit. You're my best friend man, you blood.

What do you mean what you have to do with Djing. It has A LOT to do with Djing. Djing takes learning and focus. Two of the things I can learn in college bro.

I mean college could be fun, you just have to have the right people around.. thats kind of my fear. Going into the Djing business exposes me to a lot of influence both of which are good and bad. College exposes me to better influence and a better atmosphere.

You right, you right, I should do whatever my heart tells me, but right now my heart is confusing me. I feel like I want to go to college. But… I love Djing so much. Ever since I was a boy. You and I used to act like we were rappers and even come up with beats and mix them around.  You’re right here it is, here is my opportunity to share my dream with the world.

But… is it also my opportunity to learn new things and make a great impression on my future career.

So you know what bro? I’m going to college, getting my education and achieving a great career.

Djing would be a great career and I could still do it part time.

But my heart is telling me that I should go to college. That’s what I’m going to do and that’s what is going to make my life more successful.

I’m 26 now and wise enough to see that going to college is the best thing for me.

Should I keep having fun because I love to DJ

Or should I go thousands of dollars into debt

Should I just keep enjoying my job

Or should I get a degree for thousands in return

Should I get use to the fun I'm having DJing parties

Or should I be miserable studying for 6 exams for the next day

Should I just accept the job i have now

Or should I go job hunting and hope to even I get an interview

Should I like meeting new people every night

Or should I get use to seeing the same people everyday

Should I enjoy going all over to perform

Or should I like going to the same building day after day

Should I like coming home at 6 am feeling like I just made so many people's night

Or should I wake up at 6 am tired wishing I got more sleep

Should I

Voice 006

Kid Sits On Chair

New Recording 5

Kid sits on a chair

Ugh! Not again! Every day these smelly, big, ugly teenagers sit on me. Why? I have seen it all, children have farted, peed, and thrown up on me. I just wish I was unused, thrown away, like so many others before me. (Child drags chair across the room.) Please God make it stop! I cannot take more of this, I am disrespected in every way. I bet these kids would not like it if I dragged them across the floor. I swear if one of these kids steps on me, with their shoe I am gonna break myself. I look now at my legs - the way they have been dirtied, and scratched, I wish I was new again, back to the where people were fighting over having me to sit on. Now people try and avoid me, but they cannot. I am here, I will always be here in this damned place. Sitting in this one room for kids to use and abuse me. (School bell rings.) Finally! These kids are leaving, I think it’s lunch and no kids come into the classroom at lunch. I have this whole hour to be by myself. (Door opens and a heavy kid walks in.) Please don’t pick me please don’t. (Child sits on chair and breaks it.) Why me? I’m old and weak! I cannot hold this child for much longer. My legs are breaking, oh please get up! Please, please, please, please, please! Now this beast of a human is sweating, he knows he broke me. (Child picks up chair and starts carrying it outside) At least I am going to my final resting place. Now no more kids are going to be sitting on me, making me smell bad. (Kid sits chair down outside and starts to cry.) He’s crying? I am the one who’s in pain though. Well, he did break me, I guess, he is embarrassed. He didn’t break me that bad (a couple second pause)  I guess. I wish this kid could hear me, maybe I can try to fix myself, he can still sit on me. Damn, I feel bad now. Hey Kid if you can hear me stop crying! It is okay you will grow up and change. Just believe you can be healthy and you will be. Don’t let these kids get you down, most of  them smell bad anyway. Things will get better (pause) I have seen it happen. You are young with no worries please kid (sigh), please believe me!

Diamond Poem

       Soy Imani,

      Los fines de semana, soy

   boba y divertida  

                  Cuando tengo tiempo libre, me encanta practicar deportes,

  ir de compras y escuchar música

           No soy ni antipatica

               ni aburrida

                   Yo soy….



Advanced Essay #2: Who am I?

 For this essay, my goal was to try to fully utilize the quotes into making my essay better. In other words, I want to use my quotes in a way to make my essay more understanding to my readers. One part in my essay that I am really proud of is the first paragraph because I tried something that I never done before. I contradicted my own argument, so that my thesis can be more clearly understood. I want to continue thinking of ways to make my writing more powerful and understanding to the writer. I think this time, I've been more proactive in asking my friends to check/edit my essay, and that helped me a lot.

“So, if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity; I am my language.” This quote was pulled out of, How to Tame a Wild Tongue, by Gloria Anzaldua. This is great story that revolves around culture because she passionately explain her culture and her people very specifically. With that, we can most definitely say that she is proud of her nationality and ethnicity. “There are more subtle ways that we internalize identification, especially in the forms of images and emotions. For me food and certain smells are tied to my identity, to my homeland. Woodsmoke curling up to an immense blue; woodsmoke perfuming my grandmother’s clothes, her skin.” When she is not at home, there is a lot of things that remind her of home like some of the examples provided above. This same type of home sickness goes for a lot of immigrants in the United States today. they are out here working hard to be able to provide for themselves and their family. Maybe once in every couple of years, they travel back to visit, but for the most part, it is the same hard working life for them. As interesting as her story may be, it is sad to say that not all of the immigrant’s experiences are like that. As a matter of fact, majority of the immigrants that came here to make a life, end up having the complete opposite experience. They often are too busy to celebrate their culture and perform their rituals and traditions. With that, it puts a negative impact towards the kids and their future of remembering their culture.

America has become a really diverse country consisting of many different cultures. One of the main reasons why is because of its capitalist society. Owning property and making business has become a easy way to make money to gain wealth for a lot of immigrants in America compared to the work force they were involved in back at their native location. As for many great systems and ideas created in this world, there is always a cause and effect.

I came here when I was 4 years old because of my parents looking for a better life. My father worked as a delivery man, delivering different packages of food and beverages to different companies that purchased them, so he is hardly ever home in the daytime, and he comes home late at night. My mother work with my grandpa in the restaurant, so I am just left with my sister. My parents are working extremely hard for money and sometimes forget about taking time off to celebrate some of the most important holidays in the Chinese culture. For example, Chinese New Year, Ching Ming Day, etc. For a lot of my childhood, I was very independent, and the only way I would learn is through school. As of today, I have been asked why I do not have an accent because it is common for Chinese or Asian natives to have an accent. A lot of times, I really do not know how to answer that question. For the most part, I think that it is because most of my time is spent on critically learning English. I do not really have religion or rituals or traditions to distract me from it, although I wish that was the case. In other words, if my family was more involved in our Chinese traditions instead making wealth, it would have made a big impact in my understanding of my culture as well as the “accent” I was suppose to have.

Being able to create something that is yours and make gains and wealth out of it, is an amazing achievement to a lot of the foreigners coming here. But people are often too caught up in making money and forget to celebrate their rituals or traditions. Even if they do, a lot of people do it to get it over with because it is like a yearly chore to them. It is important for kids to know who they really are and where they came from. With them not taking their culture rituals/traditions seriously, it puts a negative impact on the kids growing up. Money needs to be made to provide for their family, but culture also needs to be taught and primarily defined to the new generation of kids, so they have somewhere to start off on.

Advance Essay #2: Independent Thinking

Since literacy was the focus area for these essay, I focused on the importance of children developing independent thinking. I focused on the importance of schools allowing students to speak their mind in class about what they are learning. In my advance essay, I am most proud of my ability to use the quotes to express my ideas about independent thinking. I was able to further explain what the author wrote. As I continue to write, I want to further my analysis of outside sources so that they are understandable to the reader.

I was six when I picked up the first Harry Potter book. I had never read a book that was so large before. There were so many pages, it looked like the biggest book I had ever seen. It felt like a giant mountain that I had to cross on my own. I sat back down in one of the small, cushy green chairs in the reading area set up for kids in Barnes & Noble. I opened up the book and felt the emptiness of the front cover in one hand and the heaviness of all the pages in the other hand. I started reading and was immediately transported into another world. I felt as though I was right next to Harry, discovering some of the secrets of Hogwarts. I never felt this way with another book, I just would read about the characters for a couple of pages then carried on with my day. This book made me want to read even more. As my mother called my name, I begged her to buy the book. Checking at the registry, I was excited to have my own “grownup” book. Turning through that many pages made me feel older, as though I could read anything I wanted to.

The sheer fact that I was able to pick a book out for myself was what excited me. As we get older, we can sometimes become less engaged in reading. Part of the reason is that some teachers don’t give a choice in what students read in classrooms. They say you should teach the student how to think instead of what to think. In chapter 2 of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire wrote:

The outstanding characteristic of this narrative education, then, is the sonority of words,

not their transforming power. "Four times four is sixteen; the capital of Para is Belem." The student records, memorizes, and repeats these phrases without perceiving what four times four really means, or realizing the true significance of "capital" in the affirmation "the capital of Para is Belem," that is, what Belem means for Para and what Para means for Brazil.” Narration (with the teacher as narrator) leads the student to memorize mechanically the narrated account. Worse yet, it turns them into “containers,” into “receptacles” to be filled by the teachers. The more completely she fills the receptacles, the better a teacher she is. The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to be filled, the better students they are.

Students shouldn’t be stuck in a room and told to memorize a bunch of facts, this doesn’t help them in the real world. If all they’ve ever known is what the teacher tells them to do, you end up with kids who don’t know how to independently think. Without independent thinking, the child doesn’t know how to interact in the real world but at least they know that the capital of Para is Belem. Independent thinking is a freedom that anyone should be given. It helps the student create coherent thoughts so that they can survive on their own without needing a teacher by their side telling them what to do.

The old method was cramming the student with as much knowledge as possible without getting them to know how to obtain knowledge. This recognized result of cram teaching is why schools are starting to change. Some schools are giving their students more freedom, having discussions so that the student can give out their own opinion. With a discussion, different opinions are added and you can build ideas and thoughts on different subjects. This gives an opportunity for a child to know that they are heard and to know that they can have an opinion. When they know that their opinion is heard, they feel as though they can share more and will be more confident share the opinions as an adult.

Another excerpt from Chapter 2 of Pedagogy of the Oppressed stated:

Through dialogue, the teacher-of-the-students and the students-of-the-teacher cease to exist and a new term emerges: teacher-student with students-teachers. The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach. They become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow.

In the education system, there shouldn’t be one person over the other. The teacher could not only teach the student by standing at the blackboard, pointing to what to memorize. Education should be a system in where the teacher also learns from the student. With opinions brought in by students, the teacher can see from different perspectives. It can be a mutual teaching experience between the teacher and student. If both parties learn from each other, they get used to there being views on the same subject but the students also learn how to refine their perspectives so that they are not always biased.

People are starting to realize the way that teachers and students can have an effect on each other in a way that the student can grow into an adult who knows their own opinions but can hear out others. The straightforward way of telling a student what to think is being broken in down by having mutual relationships between teacher and student to allow a way to input their thoughts.

Works Cited:

Freire, Paulo. "Chapter 2." Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum, 1993. N. pag.

Webster University. Web.

Advanced Essay #2: Narratives Being Taught About Minorities

Using the theme of literacy as our focal point of this essay I wrote about an issue that directly affects me as a student. In my advanced essay I am most proud of the way I was able to express my opinion. The essay revolved around the question about the narratives that schools teach about minorities. In my experience I have seen a myriad of approaches to the teaching of minorities in history. However, in my essay I tried to target the idea of empowering minorities instead of continuously degrading them. As a growing writer I plan to continue to analyze different perspectives in order to gain a proper understanding of the core issue that will help me better formulate my ideas and clearly articulate them to others through my writing.

“A smart Indian is dangerous.” A quote taken from Sherman Alexie in his essay titled “The Joy of Reading Superman and Me’.”  This is the reality of what we see. A minority that is considered “smart” or knowledgeable is “dangerous.” We might ask ourselves why that is but the answer is quite clear. A minority who is knowledgeable about the world around them realizes that something is not right. That their is an injustice and ignorance that seeps through the particles of air.

Overall minorities are underrepresented both in popular texts used in the formal education system and vocal leaders in our society.  Children all across the United States spend too much time on the same single story of minorities and the foundation of this country.  However, it is necessary for everyone to learn about the upsetting foundation of this country but there are multiple ways to view it and educate people about it. It is an educator's responsibility to teach students on the different perspectives that minorities have and instead of only focusing on the degradation , we need to focus on empowerment.

It was third grade and we had been practicing for over a month. I knew my lines and I was ready to go on stage to perform my first play. The topic black history month and I was Madam CJ Walker. I was overjoyed and proud as I saw the reaction of the audience. I saw faces of all colors rejoicing and applauding as I begin to perform. Looking back I find that I felt empowered. A strong black rich woman, a narrative that is rarely acclaimed.  

Malcolm X once said that we are not taught to “hate the white, but to love ourselves.” History should not be a blame game.  Our focus needs to be shifted away from the degradation of minorities and steered to the empowerment of minorities.

In the United States, Latinos learn about the Aztecs and Incas and how their civilization was conquered, then wiped out . African-Americans learn about slavery all day everyday and how we can never fully succeed in society. Japanese Americans, learn about the World War 2 and their horrible treatment in the concentration camps . But that is only if we get to that part of the curriculum, because I was never taught about Asian history.  We continue to diminish the existence of Native Americans existence placing them in reservations in harsh conditions. Instead of viewing them as “The Owners of the Land,” we too often we rely on Pocahontas as a primary source. With all of this talk about the influence in has on society and the young children growing up.

There must be a balance.  When we are taught about the history of minorities the only focal point is on the enslavement and the abasement of said minorities. This leads to a mind set of “since we have always been teared down , we will never rise up.” And that way of thinking leads to the ignorance in the minority community and the lack of knowledge about their own culture and ridiculing other about their own roots. Examples are everywhere, especially on television where they portray images of all African people live in huts and alluding to the fact that all the people in that area are starving. The global issue is called world hunger not African hunger. Even though there are situations like those happening in Africa and other continents, the bad is often the only perspective that we have.   The faults of a single side story, we get taught the way that the majority wants us to be taught. “His story is History.”

Work Cited:

1. Malcolm X. Dir. Spike Lee. Prod. Spike Lee. By Spike Lee and Arnold Perl. Perf. Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, and Al Freeman. Warner Bros., 1992. Online.

2. Alexie, Sherman. "Superman and Me." The Most Wonderful Books: Writers on Discovering the Pleasures of Reading. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 1997. N. pag. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr. 1998. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. <>.

Advanced Essay #2 [What is Literacy to You?]


In this paper I focused on the definition of literacy and why we cannot assess how literate someone is. I am very proud of my thesis and think that I was able to clearly articulate the point I was trying to make. I focused on trying to connect my scene to my thesis. This is something that I would like to work on. There is always something to improve on as a writer. For the next piece my focus will be on transitions and connections.

We all have moments in our lives that shape our definitions of literacy. For me a big factor was living in a home where three languages were spoken. Farsi with my father, Italian with my mother, and English with my siblings. I learned early on that being literate did not only refer to how well one wrote, but if you understood what a person was saying, not only in your mother tongue but any other languages you have picked up on your way to adulthood.

One of my favorite memories that has shaped my definition of literacy is of when I was little and my sister and I would curl up beside our mom and read italian fables together.This is one of my earliest memories of reading. She’d ask us which story we should start with that night. The answer was always the same.

Fiabe italiane

There came a point when we knew the story so well we’d say the next line before our mom read it out loud. My favorite part of the fables was the cover of the book. It was an elephant holding the same book we were reading. Within his cover there was a smaller elephant holding the book. It went on until I could no longer see the elephant holding another book with another elephant on it.

This got me to thinking, what if each elephant was reading the same story but seeing it differently. I thought there was a universal definition for literacy but found that each site I visited had a different definition for literacy.

a person's knowledge of a particular subject or field”

“the quality or state of being literate” -Merriam-Webster

The condition or quality of being literate, especially the ability to read and write.”-The Free Dictionary

“Literacy is the ability to use printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential.” -National Center for Education Statistics.

All of these definitions have one thing in common. They assess someone's knowledge and their ability to write. But through all I have experienced I have learned that because there are so many different dialects and accents, we cannot and do not tell someone that the way they speak is incorrect. We acknowledge that there are accents and dialects within one language. Why is it different when we write or read? Isn’t writing and reading a type of language that is spoken? It is an expression, an art, that must be interpreted by each individual person. The artist's feelings might be different than the observer's feelings. That is the beautiful thing about art, it allows us to express what we are feeling and allow another to see our work and let it become something to them, even if it is different from our interpretation. Just as each elephant on the cover of the italian fables may have interpreted the story they were reading differently. Just like how my sister and I had different reasons for loving the stories in “Fiabe Italiane”

Literacy is unique because it has to be molded to the person it is describing. In some schools English class is labeled as Literacy class, but are the teachers teaching them what it means to be literate? They are teaching them grammar, rules of the English language, how to read, how to analyze a text. They are not teaching them to express themselves through the things they read and the stories they write, or the drawings they draw. As I write, I realize that I am writing with bias, but rightfully so. My definition of literacy has shaped the way I have written this essay. But in a way to you, the reader, I am allowing you to see my views and allowing you to form your own opinions about the questions and opinions I am raising.

I’ve often wondered if we can assess how literate someone is. We each obviously have a different definition of what it means. I understand not writing with correct grammar. But grammar is something that has a set of rules that must be followed for each language. In class we wrote down our definitions for literacy, but in the end we were given a definition(“Reading the word and reading the world”) to follow for our project. The thing that makes literacy so unique is the vast amount of different definitions people have. These definitions show how the person grew up and how they see the world around them. I read books to see the world through the main character's eyes. I love to see and understand the way others read the world. My definition is different than yours. Isn’t that the great part of literacy? It has so many interpretations, meanings, and impacts. It sets us apart and lets us appreciate how one act or image can be described in so many unique and diverse ways.

Work Cited:

Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2015.

<>., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2015.


"National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) - Definition of Literacy." National Assessment

of Adult Literacy (NAAL) - Definition of Literacy. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2015. <>.

"Literacy." The Free Dictionary. Farlex, n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.


Advanced Essay #2: Children’s Books: Importance in Influencing World Views of Children

The following essay discusses the influence of children’s books in how children view and interact with the world around them. I specifically focused on the certain skills that children gain by reading children’s books, and why parents or apps on a tablet can’t always teach them as books can. Children’s books serve as a guide for parents when it comes to teaching their children other life lessons, and this is something that cannot be forgotten. I think that I probably could have tightened up my thesis to make it more controversial, however I still think that my analysis was strong, and my thesis had its strengths as well. As a writer I am always looking to improve, to make my writing more powerful, so I will continue to do this in the future.


I sat in bed, my tiny fingers clinging to the soft blanket that comforted me. I was just four years old. My mom sat beside me, a square shaped hardcover book in her hand. This was routine; every night I waited for the words to pop up and catch my attention, for my mind to fill with new ideas and concepts. Tonight, she held a new book in her hands- Leo the Late Bloomer. My Aunt Lisa had given it to me as a present, and even had it signed by the author himself, Robert Kraus. I distinctly remember the images of the tiger fretting over not being able to do what the other animals did, and his parents being worried about him. As the book concluded though, I learned that it sometimes takes more time for people to grow up and mature, and that was okay. This book taught me not only to be patient with other people, but to be patient with myself, because someday I too would get to the place where I wanted to be.

Learning how to read is one of the most essential things that we associate with growing up and developing. Our lives center around the fact that we can read. Reading helps us to understand the world around us, and view things from multiple perspectives. For many of us, it all starts with children’s books. Many of our first intellectual concepts of the world came from us learning how to read children’s books. The ideas prevalent in them helps for a young mind to develop thoughts and ideas about the world. Without children’s books, we would not have the same ability to communicate with others in a thoughtful, genuine, empathetic, and open-minded manner. It is the responsibility of the authors of children’s books to create books with meaningful lessons about life and human interaction, lessons that our parents can’t always teach us; it is additionally the responsibility of parents to be there to answer questions as they read to their child and pass knowledge onto them through books.

As a child, it was important for me to understand that people developed at different times; after all, no one is the same, and when the concepts of “right” and “wrong” are shoved into our faces by the world at young ages, it is important to know that they do not just apply to everything. Not everything is clean-cut or concise. Had I not learned this lesson from a children’s book, I might have been held back in the way I viewed the world, and in turn may a different person than I know myself to be today. Of course our parents can teach us all of the lessons that they want to, but lessons like this one can sometimes get lost more easily than we may expect them to. The least parents can do is just sit down and read with their child, allowing them to answer questions and further understand the material being presented to them. It is an important experience for children when their parents read them life lessons that were specifically engineered for them to hear.

Similarly, in an article titled How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health, Michael Grothaus, the author, quotes Dr. Josie Billington, who works at the University of Liverpool as the deputy director of the Centre for Research into Reading. She says, "Reading can offer richer, broader, and more complex models of experience, which enable people to view their own lives from a refreshed perspective and with renewed understanding...This renewed understanding gives readers a greater ability to cope with difficult situations by expanding their ‘repertoires and sense of possible avenues of action or attitude.’" It is imperative that this logic is applied as early as possible, because the sooner we can give kids “refreshed perspectives,” the sooner they will learn to think open-mindedly. Of course kids are going to disagree with each other and get into arguments, but the more accepting they can be towards each other at that young age, the more accepting they will be towards their peers as they grow older, going into their teens and even adulthood.

Christopher Myers wrote The Apartheid of Children’s Literature, an article in The New York Times. In this article, Myers wrote about the representation of black people in children’s books. Speaking about children as a whole, he says, “They see books less as mirrors and more as maps. They are indeed searching for their place in the world, but they are also deciding where they want to go. They create, through the stories they’re given, an atlas of their world, of their relationships to others, of their possible destinations.” As this states, when children read books they see them as ways to go about their life, with new thoughts and ideas about their existence emerging as they read them. Not providing children with as many maps as they can get their hands on would be an injustice to them. Depriving them of new roads and paths to travel down, and not helping them understand the world and how to interact with it would prove to be a failure of society, with us being responsible for it.

In conclusion, children’s books are essential for creating empathy, thoughtfulness, open-mindedness, and an overall understanding in the minds of children as they communicate and interact with others. Seeing as though we are in the digital age, and books as a whole have become less valuable, we cannot forget the value of children’s books. A world without children’s books and the messages they teach children would prove to be a world where the future of our society is less understanding of the world and how it works. No educational apps on a tablet or phone can teach them lessons quite like children’s books. Words written on paper hold a lot more power than we seem to think. They are more thoughtful, descriptive, and allow children to actually grasp them in their hands. Books create a more personal experience. Between personal experiences of my own and professionals who have done research on literacy for years, it can be concluded that children’s books are the requisite for an accepting, understanding, and progressive youth.

Works Cited

“How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health.” Fast Company. N.p., 2015. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. <>

Myers, Christopher. “The Apartheid Of Children’s Literature.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 2014. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. <>


​          Comer pollo
             Odio tomates
           Me gusta comer 

Screenshot 2015-11-25 at 8.01.33 AM
Screenshot 2015-11-25 at 8.01.33 AM

Soy Lilianna


Soy Lilianna

Casi siempre, soy

tranquila y fiel

Cuando tengo tiempre libre, me encanta jugar videojueogs,

hablar por teléfono  con mis amigos y escuchar musica por muchas horas.

No soy ni codiciosa,

ni deshonesta.

Yo soy...



Josh Dun, By Julia Hood

                Soy Josh Dun
                Siempre, soy
              juapo y talentoso
cuando tengo tiempo libre me encanta comer taco bell,
      tocar la percussions y domir.
            No soy mentrioso 
                  ni vilento.
                   Yo soy...