For my capstone I ran the Student Union chapter for a year. I choose this because I wanted to put my energy into an organization that will continue when I’m gone and continue to impact positive change. Over the course of the year Student Union was involved in many different things, we started of the year involved in recruiting, especially juniors, and building up our base and continued to do so over the year. We continued to take action around reforming school policing on a citywide level and gained a complaint system for School Police officers. Also we worked to learn more and bring student voice to the decision around our school location moving. We had weekly chapter meetings, frequently attended or held actions, attended citywide meetings, and did daily outreach. Over the course of the year I ran the instagram, facilitated meetings, communicated with citywide organizers, sent out emails and reminders, did constant outreach, and generally ran the chapter. But at the same time I was working to raise the organizing skills of other younger members so they would be able to continue the work. People got involved in citywide and also began to facilitate meeting. Through building up a leaderful organization my capstone was complete in ensuring that the Student Union would continue the powerful work.
Luke Risher - Capstone 2017 - Bibliography
Dream Defenders. “Blacked Out History Rebellion.” Scribd. Dream Defenders, 4/1/2016. Online PDF. 10/16/2016.<https://www.scribd.com/doc/302090495/BOHM-Rebellion-Curriculum>
This source is a specific workshop/lesson plan that was put together by the education activist collective Dream Defenders. It teaches the students about several different organizations that have done revolutionary work to impact the world including the Black Panthers, Brown Berets, and Left Roots. All of these organizations and movements are often taught in a negative aspect in schools and society. This helps Student Union gain knowledge from other active groups in history which can inform our tactics and strategies to create change. As a movement it is important to understand and draw from our history. Also these stories inspire us to action. This resource overall provides a great workshop to run in a chapter meeting.
The City of Philadelphia. Open Budget. The City of Philadelphia, 12/31/2016. Online Visual Chart. 9/26/2016. <http://www.phila.gov/openbudget/>
This is the City of Philadelphia’s budget page where it has a visual graph with the budget breakdown as well as a written breakdown to the right. It shows what major divisions got what money and the subsets within those categories that got what funding. It’s a comprehensible way to visualize and understand the budget of Philadelphia. This is very useful to Student Union because as we try to educate ourselves about the local policies and how the political systems work we can draw on this understandable reliable source. Using this we can make informed and rational analysis and advocate for changes to this spending.
Mitchell, Dave. Beautiful Trouble. OR books, 2012. Paperback.
This source is an activist handbook that focuses on how to create change and build a movement. It is broken up into different sections that each contain different essays from many different authors. Each essay addresses some aspect of organizing and movement building. We plan to use this in the future and it has a been a part of the training of the citywide organizers for a long time. Each chapter can be taught through a workshop to build our collective knowledge. These resources are very relevant for the work that work that Student Union does because they give us the practical steps to create change.
C, T. “Brown, Garner and other tragedies under the Michael Jackson Microscope.” Parents United. 2014. 3. Parentsunitedphila.com. Online, 7/15/2016. <https://parentsunitedphila.com/2014/12/09/brown-garner-and-other-tragedies-under-the-michael-jackson-microscope-true-story/>
This is an article that discusses the racism and explores the influence of intertwined oppressions that impact our education system. It is a first hand account of a parent who describes her experience raising two children of color. This is relevant to our work because it is provides a non student first hand experience in explaining these issues that we also discuss and work on. Also this is a point of connection between students and parent and other members of the constituency that are impacted in Public education. This is one of our peer groups in the sense that it is working on the similar issues we are and there’s a lot of room for collaboration. This source is both useful as an individual article shedding information on a certain issue, and also as a group we can draw on and work with.
Dream Defenders. Dream Defenders. Nation Builder, 11/09/2016. Online. 2016. <http://www.dreamdefenders.org/>
This source is the website for Dream Defenders. Dream Defenders is a group that does organizing work around racial justice. Their work and strategies range from on the ground meetings, to clothing campaigns, to resource distribution. As Student Union we can draw from these tactics and learn how to better address the issue of racial justice in our work as well. Dream Defenders is a useful organization because a fair amount of their resources and strategies are published online and easily accessible. In the future also a collaboration could be possible on some larger scale projects we work on.
"National Popular Vote." National Popular Vote. 22 Jan. 2017. Web. 02 Feb. 2017. <http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/>
The National Popularity Interstate Compact is a legal movement that would ultimately rid the U.S of the electoral college system. It is a compact where states agree to give their electoral votes to the winner of the national popularity count in the presidential elections. This compact was a concept and movement that Student Union evaluated and is continuing to advocate for after the results of the election. This website is a place to get information and gain connections relating to the compact. We used this in the past to gain more information and out together workshop and strategy sessions with it and we will most likely continue to do that in the future and draw from this source. This is also a model of how we can frame and spread awareness of and issue or policy we would like to effect.
Backpack Full of Cash. Dir. Sarah Mondale. Perf. Matt Damon. Turnstone, 2016. Film. Backpack Full of Cash. Web.
This is a film that came out recently (last year), which focuses on the privatization of American Public Schools. A large part of the film was filmed and based in Philadelphia and overall the film has a lot of information about the Philadelphia School system. The interviews and facts provide a greater understanding of the policies and how they impact students on the ground. This is useful for Student Union because it gives understanding of our own city and schools. We haven’t had a chance to watch it as a group yet, but it would be a great structure for a chapter meeting or citywide. Also the local based connections that put together the film could help Student Union with the media and promotion that we need.
Https://www.facebook.com/6abcJeannette/?fref=ts. "Group Plans Daily Protests until Trump's Inauguration." 6abc Philadelphia. 14 Nov. 2016. Web. 02 Feb. 2017.
This is an example of a successful action put together in Philadelphia relevant to issues that impact our communities. From this we can draw strategies and techniques that can help us build our own actions. Also Student Union attended this event so has a perspective on how the media may cover and address an event. Using this knowledge we can be aware of how to address and present our events and releases to the media and what we will get out of the media. Because media is such a crucial part of organizing work we must use articles and stories like this to understand how to use it to our advantage.
"PA General Assembly." The Official Website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Web. 02 Feb. 2017. <http://www.legis.state.pa.us/>
This is the home site of the PA general assembly. This is a site where we can see the policies and the people that make decisions that impact our local community. This source is the most up to date information which makes it a great primary source for Student Union as we learn more and explore the policies and political landscape of the schools. In our city the school district is run by the state so the policies are directly impacting us as students. From this data based we have a solid source to build our arguments and back them with facts.
Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum, 2000. Print.<http://faculty.webster.edu/corbetre/philosophy/education/freire/freire-2.html
This source is the writing of Paulo Freire. This writing is a philosophy on education and society, it is basically addressing how education is done vs how it should be done. It breaks down what is wrong with the current set up of education and offers many solutions to the problem. This large scale visioning and philosophy is very important for us to understand as background. This is the starting point for building our grand imaginative vision for education and from there we can take the real world steps to build that. This source is still very relevant and Student Union teaches the concepts conveyed in this pedagogy through workshops and activities.
Beans - In General*
- Beans: 1 - alotta
- Seasoning: Old Bay, Paprika, Chilli, Taco
- Vegetable: Onions, Carrots, corn
Serve with tortilla product
* My family often eats beans, it's a core meal component to our simple living. The recipe is VERY loose, just make the beans.
- processed vs. whole food?: Basically this whole meal is whole food, it's all whole raw ingredients. The beans might be proceed is some way through cleaning and the spices (the mixed ones) are mixed spices so they are processed. 90+ percent is whole food.
•Health/nutrition: Cook beans are 200-250 a cooked cup, they are a complex carbohydrate base with natural protein as well. Virtually no fat or sugar in the dish. The protein is slow digesting and the bean have a good amount of fiber. This combines to give the effect of sustained energy and nutrition. They are a great fuel source! Shout out to the beans!
•Political/economic: Beans are a major food source across the world. The US diet has less beans, but we should have more because they are a nutritious whole food. They are very cheap and can be bought in bulk. A lot of them are imported but they still are cheap and the industry is based outside of the US.
Who’s in it for the love?
A look at how romantic comedies portray people close to the partners judging the relationship
Woody Allen's modern romantic comedy "Annie Hall" (1977) seems completely disconnected from the 16th century play "The Taming Of The Shrew". While the circumstances are wildly different, viewers can see how romantic relationships can be based on love for the participants, but looked at in different light by people close to those actually in the relationship. In "Annie Hall" The main character, Alvy, is in a relationship with Annie which is based on love and romantic attraction. The movie is based around their relationship and how it works and doesn’t. They both receive advice about what to do in the relationship and judgement on whether or not the relationship is right for them. In the "Taming Of The Shrew" Baptista, father of Katherine and Bianca, must judge the relationships that his daughters are about to start and what value they hold. Katherine is the older daughter and must get married first before Bianca who is more attractive to suitors, but finally Katherine gets married and Bianca becomes available for marriage. In both the play and the movie there is analysis from outside characters on the main relationship.
Viewers can see that the loved ones of the individuals in the relationship, judge the relationship itself. This is to be expected if they want the best for the person they are close, but in both pieces of media, we see that more often the values are based things other than the person's romantic love. There are many elements that outsiders may want to see in the relationship such as money, short term pleasure, and future along with others. While audiences like to think that people analyze relationships based on love, in these romantic comedies, outsiders are judging the relationship on aspects other than the "love" of the person.
“Content you Gentlemen. I will compound this strife. ‘Tis deeds must win the prize, and he of both that can assure my daughter greatest dower shall have my Bianca’s love.” (Act- 2, Scene - 1, page- 101)
In the show the character Bianca has many suitors because of her beauty. In this scene the father of Bianca (a young woman who is available for marriage to either of these men) is negotiating who will marry his daughter. One man is older, while one is younger and both are seeking Bianca’s hand in marriage. Based on the times the father must marry off the daughter. In this scene and quote, the father is asking about one thing: money. The fundamental value underlying the father's question is how many material possessions will Bianca have when she is married. This is what drives his decision making. The father's main focus is not the romantic love, but the physical wealth of his daughter in her relationship.
This scene is mirrored by Alvy’s character meeting Annie’s family. The viewer can see that the family approves (excluding the anti semitic grandmother for ethnic based reasons, this grandmother character is used as a comical character) of Alvy based on the general lack of confrontation and tension. This is shown through their manners and actions. One example of this is Annie’s brother trusting Alvy enough to tell him deep thoughts in the next scene. Also based on the family’s positive reactions, the viewer can tell that the family approves of the relationship. The paradox is that at dinner Alvy is not an attractive person so there is not necessarily a reason for them to like him based on character traits. The context shows that the family is basing their judgement on other things. The viewers can infer that the family knows about Alvy’s stable economic and social position because of previous conversations. Alvy’s character is well off in life and this may be the primary reason that the parents and other family members approve of the relationship.
This Annie Hall scene goes even farther. In the later part of the scene we meet Alvy’s family. Before the scene is flashed up Alvy makes the statement that “the two (families) are like oil and water” but we can still see the values are similar. His family's immediate discussion is based on a relationship between two unnamed characters and their marriage. The comments are on the economic stability of the husband. They state he doesn’t have a good jobs and he’s too old to not have a career. This again is judging the basis of the relationship off the economics and not the love.
While the scenes and motives are similar between these two pieces there are many differences. For example in “Shrew” the negotiation and money settlements are very direct and outlined clearly. In Annie Hall the money is more on the outside of the conversation and hinted at, which is normal in the American culture. The context is assumed in Annie Hall and direct in “The Taming Of A Shrew.”
“Master, you looked so longly on the maid, Perhaps you marked not what’s the pith of all.” (Act 1, Scene 1, page 41)
In this scene in the show Lucentio's friend is trying to tell Lucentio not to engage in this relationship. Lucentio is the main suitor of Bianca who fell in love at first sight. Tranio is his friend and servant. Lucentio has fallen in love with Bianca at first sight and he intends to marry her already, but Tranio says this line. This statement is judging Lucentio engaging in that relationship not based on feelings of love, but instead what Lucentio's future would look like. Lucentio was supposed to be focused on his education and Tranio’s statement is saying he should not engage because he would become sidetracked with the relationship. This line shows how Tranio mostly focuses on a judgement of the relationship not based on the love in the relationship.
In this scene the cinematographers use cartoon to tell the story which is why it look different. In this part of the movie Alvy’s friend Rob is trying to be convinced by Alvy that he should leave his relationship based on love to pursue other relationship with different focuses such as sexual pleasure. In this scene Alvy is talking to the wicked witch of the Snow White story who is symbolic of a relationship. During their conversation, Rob comes in to try to convince him that a relationship that is based on love is not what is right for him. We can see that the witch is sexulized in this scene as Rob is convincing him that he should stop looking for love and focus more on short term pleasure. Rob leads Alvy into a date with a separate women and they hook up before Alvy realizes that sort of relationship is not what he wants, he would like a relationship based on love and not short term or sexual pleasure.
Obviously these scenes are different because these friends are looking at separate things. While Tranio is looking at Lucentio’s future, Rob is looking at Alvy’s immediate pleasure. The nature of the judgement is different because Rob is actively setting Alvy up. The differences are clear, but the link between these two scenes is how close friends give advice and make judgements on the relationship based on things other than romantic love. These show future goals and short term pleasure to be things that friends look for in relationships as higher priorities.
In both of these stories viewers can see how the people close to the partners analyze and judge the relationship and the values it has for the person they’re close to. Different people look at different aspects of the relationship to judge it. In both the play “The Taming Of The Shrew” and the movie “Annie Hall” different characters judge the relationship based on many things including money, social class, pleasure, and future opportunity. While these come in various forms and from different perspectives, their underlying reason is never love. They rarely judge the relationship based on romantic love of the partners.
“On his eleventh revolution he switched off the air conditioning, opened up his window, and rested his elbow comfortable on the sill, driving with one hand.
There was nothing left to say.” - The Things They Carried
Life is full of strong emotions that we need to live with. As humans we have to find ways to process and deal with emotions and issues. These ways of dealing with emotion are as diverse as the human race itself. For me, travel is important. The Movement itself is what can make a difference.
We had left early in the morning when the sunlight was still asleep. We had hauled all our baggage down the long path leading back to our house with only one eye open. As the car pulled out of the driveway my head fell back onto the back cushion and back into sleep. I reawoke at a sain hour. There was already a sense of a change of emotion inside me. As I watched the trees fall on either side of me in a blur I feel released. I’m in a enclosed metal bubble with people I love moving a 60 miles per hour away from the places that are the root of my problems. I rested my head back against the grey suede seat.
I gazed out a slightly tinted window at a long sunrise in that distance. My source of negativity was falling rapidly behind the fast moving grey car. When an emotion or conflict is linked to a specific place there is, for me, a direct connection to moving farther away from it and feeling better. Throughout the long days of sitting, my sister singing in the backseat, early morning departures, late night arrivals, pit stops, fast food stops, and winding roads I’ve come to appreciate road trips as a release, a forced retreat. There’s not much you can do in a car so it's a given time for what you need. For me this combination of time with distance increasing from my problems makes it a healing time for reflection and growth. I look back at the sunrise and then back at my mother who is calmingly controlling the car then I look back out the window.
Travel is the root of calming and healing for me, but this can be expanded with the destination being healing as well. In this case the destination is a southern small town filled with love, good cooking, and family. In the heart of the south where time seems to move slower and people are good at showing something greater than the limited scope of your emotions. This destination was another layer of calming.
My mind is set to a framework of progress. Progress makes me happy. What is progress if not a kind of movement, like travel. These two differ because progress is in the end result while travel in the journey. Travel in necessary for progress because you must be in a different place than when you started. In contrast progress in not necessary for travel. I find healing in the travel that is too simple to be progress, but is enough to not be rest. To me travel in resting while doing something.
All travelers land somewhere. My family’s car rolled into the driveway at my grandparents house that night when the stars were shining through the clear night air like they never do in Philadelphia. We were at there in South Carolina. We stay with my grandparent when we are in South Carolina. My grandfather bought a good 30 acres of land and built a house on the edge of it. The rest of the land stretches out into forest. The next day and days that followed I wandered out in those areas.
The pines trees stretched out before me in long seemingly unending rows. The grounds was orange with pine needles and a mixture of dirt and sand. The air was warm with southern sunlight and a light breeze. It wrapped around me as I walked forward. My feet avoided the subtle dangers of thorn bushes and fire ant hills. The light bounced off leaves, bark, and the clouds themselves. Each time the light carried a piece of the color from where it had come. My feet drifted away from the “path” and in and out of the shadows, past trees and branches on the ground. I was surrounded by a changing environment, but also controlling the change in my own environment. This was the balance of progress. I was changing, generating new places as I moved. At the same time walking is second nature to us as humans so the mind can process as the body moves. Dozen of minutes passed as I wandered in these dense and beautiful forests.
Walking through the environment around me I felt like Norman Bowker in “The Things They Carried”. Slowly drifting around the lake telling himself the story that he wouldn’t tell anyone else. We both drifted for the sake of movement and nothing more that that. He would tell his story in his head and I would tell mine in mine. In his journey around the lake Norman noticed people, things, events happening in the environment around him. The travel in not a dream state where things in my immediate environment don’t affect me. I see the bark on tree. I still am aware of the beauty around me. Norman Bowker stopped for food and almost told the fast food attendant about his problem, but stopped short. As he drove around the lake he went over the stories and how they might play out in his head. I’m not a huge talker about how I’m doing. I won’t really run to anyone for unloading my problems. Instead I think I unload them to myself in travel. Or maybe my environment or maybe both.
I reached a clearing in the trees that was marked with a ring of sand and some dirt bike tracks. I breathed in and out slowly aware of all the cacophony life around me. I stood for a second still. In this second I felt my body woke from the hike and my mind wandering, but engaged. I was not anywhere, but I felt like I was somewhere. I can’t explain what happens in those moments. Epiphany, realization, cure, touch with divine. But the way I see it that doesn’t matter. What matters is the feeling of completion, wholeness and how it come about. The travel and movement. In this second I felt whole, but then turned around and started the journey back like Norman Bowker on his loops.
Today America is dealing with a very broken education system. Many schools are struggling for necessary resources, such as nurses, while other school maintain luxuries of wealth. Such a inequality calls citizens to look at the system and what is not working. Right now, a major determiner in how much funding schools get, how capable a student is, and how well a school in doing is standardized testing. However, many people from educators, to parents, to students themselves say this system doesn't work and they work towards alternative methods. Because standardized testing is unjust and inefficient alternative, more applicable, and constructive education methods are what society needs to draw on to better societal education.
Since 2002, when the No Child Left Behind act passed, resulting in nationwide standardized testing, the United States has dropped internationally in several subject categories including math, and science along with no change in reading. Those subjects are all on American Standardized tests. This is after 44% of school districts were forced to narrow down on social studies, and the arts to focus more on teaching to the test. Right now Finland uses no standardized testing and is ranked as the number one in education internationally. These facts prove the inefficiency and negative affect of a system set up around standardized testing. A Brookings Institution study found that 50%-80% of increases in scores were only based on yearly preparation. Standardized testing doesn’t make exceptions for non english fluent students. Standardized testing is so stress inducing that teacher booklets include teacher procedures if students vomit or pass out. Despite these issues, the U.S spends 1.7 billion on standardized testing a year. Because the inefficiency, cost, and injustice of standardized testing, the education system needs to find different models of education.
A great thinker on alternative methods is Paulo Freire. Paulo Freire was born in 1921 in Brazil. His family suffered poverty. This childhood experience gave him the critical lens on the way education worked. He lived most of his adult life as a thinker, writer, community organizer, and educator. Much of his writings were on education systems and how they did and didn’t work. An organization dedicated to Paulo Freire thinking has a quote summarizing his idea of dialogue “Each must trust the others; there must be mutual respect and love (care and commitment). Each one must question what he or she knows and realize that through dialogue existing thoughts will change and new knowledge will be created.” These ideas and concepts make up the Freirean model. This juxtaposes the system where the primary concern is information transferred for regurgitation. The Freirean model is ultimately more memorable for all participants, and much more applicable to the real world. If people have a lasting relationship with each other, they can build on top of previous knowledge and educational experience. Because dialogue is within a relational system that standardized testing can never recreate it is more applicable to the real world, encourages engagement from all students not leaving any behind, and nurtures community through two way exchanges versus just top down. this model creates and better system of education and evaluation of students.
The Freirean model may sound difficult to pull off, but it can happen in a traditional setting. Science Leadership Academy (SLA) is a project based school that uses the scientific method of thinking across all subjects. In the “Mission and Vision” section of SLA’s website it states three questions that guide its work. “How do we learn?, What can we create?, What does it mean to lead?” These questions are key to an alternative model. “How do we learn?” Science leadership is a very diverse school (Asian-6%, African American-38%, Latino-10%, White-36%, Other-6%) this shows a more diverse group students benefits from the project based method then standardized testing. All questions in standardized test are either a one answer multiple choice question or a carefully formulated “open ended” question that also have a very basic answer with strict instructions that allow for no expression or creative thinking. In contrast, In a project there are instructions, but they also have extensive room for thinking and creating student's own thought and innovation and this allows instructors to see more clearly the thinking processes and knowledge of the students. Standardized testing is a top down system that allows for no qualities to be measured except how well students can complete a multiple choice test. If Americans want student leaders, if Americans want innovation, if Americans want a system that works for a more diverse group of students standardized testing is much worse than project based learning.
Standardized testing cost billions of dollars, takes up hours of valuable class time, and doesn’t accurately measure students ability. There are many other ways to measure and teach students beside standardized testing. Relational teaching and dialogue helps create and better learning environment and encourages higher participation of students. Project based learning uses more thinking and encourages innovation and creativity. If all affected by the education system thought about it, the system of standardized as an overall negative effect on education, therefore it should be replaced with more beneficial methods of education.
"Concepts Used by Paulo Freire." Freire Institute. Freire Institute. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.
Bentley, Leslie. "A Brief Biography of Paulo Freire." Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Inc. 29 May 2012. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.
Popham, John. "Membership." Educational Leadership:Using Standards and Assessments:Why Standardized Tests Don't Measure Educational Quality. 4 Mar. 1999. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.
"Standardized Tests - ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. 3 Apr. 2015. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.
Jouriles, Greg. "Here's Why We Don't Need Standardized Tests." Education Week. Lesley University, 8 July 2014. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.
"Problem." - Standardized Education in America, and Why You Should Not Support It. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.
This quarter in art class I got to use and put into practice things that I have learned throughout the year. I got to put techniques like shading and mediums India ink into practice with my own style. This was very helpful for me because it let me see how what I have learn will be enmeshed in my art as I go forward. I didn’t have any other theme beside practice and using things learned. I think this quarter was very helpful for me and I got a lot from it.
This quarter was a very interesting quarter because I learn a lot about the basics and history of art. Even more so than other quarters I felt like I really expanded my knowledge and experience. I enjoyed the learning of history and also the experience with basic techniques. I think that this helped me have a lot more to draw from when I am doing more complex and challenging art. The techniques I used and learned here are the essentials of art so most of my work this quarter was geared towards learning as much as I could about these essentials.
My art mostly comes from a place of longing for something different for my community. This is tied with imagination and realism about the world. I’m real about worldly topics, but also imagine something crazy and different. I enjoy pencil work because I like the versatility of the tool. Also a lot of this unit was making art for the sake of learning the techniques.
In David Sedaris’s When You Are Engulfed In Flames, he shows himself to be an unusually skilled writer. The book is a collection of twenty-two essays from over many years of his life, covering a range of topics. The author has a unique voice which uses elaborate metaphors, fringe content, and unusual description. David Sedaris breaks the normal rules of fiction through structure, writing style, and content. This is what makes the writing appealing and keeps the reader interested.
The selection below comes from an essay in the book called “Town and Country,” a short section where the author describes his companions on a plane ride. He thought that they were sophisticated, but they sat next to him and cursed like sailors. In this quote he is making his final reflections on them.
“I wished I could spend a week or two invisibly following behind them and seeing the world through their eyes. ‘Thanksgiving dinner my ass,’ I imagined them saying.
It was late afternoon by the time we arrived at LaGuardia.” (p. 168)
This is an example of the unique storyline. It would require the whole chapter to truly illustrate the vastness of the irregular storyline; but in this selection one sees how the author moves off the topic of the couple and starts a different part. The space between the sentences is how it is read. One story drops off and the other starts. This new part is a completely separate story about a cab driver that lectured Sedaris on sex. The cab driver brags about his sex life, this and that story climaxes with him yelling at the cab driver. Then the essay goes on and talks about his humorous discussion on sex with his sister. The last two are woven together in the end. He talks about how he was very negative to the taxi driver who told him to have a drink and watch porn, yet he was at his sister’s house laughing at an animal porn magazine. This larger essay has several examples of the writer’s unique style. Firstly, the storyline is not at all linear. The events are in chronological order, but not related. You have the entire storyline of the old couple and then the driver, then him at his sister’s house. Only the taxi story has a climax. The scene at his sister’s ends with a reflection on the parallels between the taxi driver’s suggestion and his situation. The first scene has some reflection, but mostly is just stating the story. A main characteristic of David Sedaris’s writing is he doesn’t connect it to larger ideas or talk about any larger concept of life or morals. Most writers (when recounting a story like this) consider the “resolution” part of the story line a solution. A greater idea is conveyed, the readers come away with something learned. David Sedaris just leaves the story sitting, without themes. In a way, he is saying, I will write for the sake of using words to tell just a scene.
The following section was taken from an essay titled “The Understudy.” Sedaris is recalling an experience with a baby sitter. She was not the regular one, and in this story he shows how she was a remarkably bad one. This section is where he is describing how he and his sibling wrote down their observations and theories about the baby sitter in a notebook. “There were pages of them, all written in desperate scrawl, with lots of exclamation points and underlined words. It was the sort of writing you might do when the ship is going down, the sort that would give your surviving loved ones an actual chill” (pg. 22). He uses strong language--“desperate scrawl” for example. This is also an extensive metaphor. It requires the reader to keep up with what is happening. While this isn’t unheard of it is more uncommon. This shows the flourishes that David Sedaris uses in his writing. It would have meant the same thing if he had said it was written sloppily, but the way he wrote it was much more interesting. The reader is intrigued by the way things are written, and how the author uses such uncommon descriptions.
This section is the very start of an essay titled “What I learned.” In it, David Sedaris talks about his experience of his college and post-college years. This is the very start of the essay. “as when I went to Princeton things were completely different. This chapel, for instance—I remember when it was just a clearing, cordoned off with sharp sticks. … this was before Jesus Christ. We worshipped a God named Sashatiba, who had five eyes, including one right here, on the Adam’s apple. None of us ever met him, but word had it that he might appear at any moment, so we were always at the ready. Whatever you do, don’t look at his neck, I used to tell myself.” This shows the kind of crazy metaphors that are used. This entire passage has little to do with what the writer is actually trying to communicate. It is an elaborate metaphor., but also it is described in such depth. It is almost as if it were a truth. This style of using a metaphor for a very long time, or going into a strange description is used through out the book. Many readers will find this section amusing purely because the absurdity of it. “We worshipped a God named Sashatiba” (made up) and “don’t look at his neck” are completely random details. Any teacher would tell their pupils to take this out as it was confusing to the reader and had no real purpose. These elaborate metaphors keep the reader interested because they require one’s attention. As a reader you might skim over this and be confused or lost, as stated the absurdity is funny. These seemingly random long descriptions provide humor, require thinking, and interest the reader. This is a large part of David Sedaris's writing and a reason why he is a good writer.
This is a book review of When You Are Engulfed In Flames published through the Independent, a mainstream UK news website. “David Sedaris is like being tickled on the ribs by someone you love: you laugh hysterically, feel a mixture of excitement and irritation, and instinctively wriggle away as exhaustion sets in. Sedaris writes about his everyday life, the co-stars being his family, partner Hugh, friends and neighbours.” The way Sedaris writes is what causes the “excitement” and humor. His way of writing is so different and counter to standard methods it creates these feelings. The quote says “a mixture of excitement and irritation.” The “irritation” comes from not being able to understand the interlaying and random paths of the story. It’s not the way our brains are wired or taught to read in. It provides a break from the norm and excitement because of that. Although Sedaris writes about his “everyday life,” the book is very interesting. The way he uses metaphors and throws in seemingly random thoughts is fresh, unexpected, and exciting.
The way the book was written has a drastic impact on the reader. The peculiar writing style of David Sedaris brings out a level of interest that is deeper than the specific interest in events of the story. These stories could not be standard on a usual story-structure map. The stories go in too many directions and don’t have enough action to be centralized in a climax. In many cases, multiple separate stories are told in one section. Unique flourishes of language and complex metaphors engage the reader. The way David Sedaris writes using metaphors, storyline (or lack there of), and description is the key to his success as a writer.
Sedaris, David. When You Are Engulfed in Flames. New York: Little, Brown, 2008. 323. Print.
"When You Are Engulfed In Flames, by David Sedaris." The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media. Web. 16 Jan. 2015. <http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/when-you-are-engulfed-in-flames-by-david-sedaris-856803.html>.
Fired? Fired! Fired. Get out? (slam the door). Matter fact Imma go in a give him this work. I don’t deserve to get fired! (turn and open door)
Mr. John I need this job I know I’ve been late a lot but school goes till three thirty. I got family and I got homework and and. (pause and listen) No my families not really struggling. (Pause and listen) I’m saving a little for college. (pause and listen) Drugs? Nah not me. (pause) Why do I need money? (Look uncomfortable) um.. retirement? (pause) Ok the truth I’m trying to get the new J’s.
The truth?I love shoes. Kids come to school rocking the newest lebrons and air max’s. Look what I got on! A used pair from the thrift store. I know it’s messed up to spend a hundred on shoes while people blocks down don’t have money, but thats was I was taught. Taught to love how shoes look. It was with me where I was raised. In the city. Yeah that’s where it is. In the street you have people with the hottest foams and most food stamps. We have so much pressure about what you put on your feet that we put shoes in front of bills.
But it’s the power. You feel it when you wear those checks on your feet. It’s like no one can stop you. Making control from chaos. It’s like just what they say in the commercials. I feel the “just do it” coursing through my veins. I was taught to love the swoosh, taught to admire the jordans. But just as much as nike taught me so did my friends. They always had the nicest kicks, freshest shoes. Peer pressure doesn’t have to be spoken. It can be how people look at you. How they address you. Eyes boring down on shoes in mockery, distaste is more peer pressure then I can handle. Shoes talk and The bolder and cleaner they talk the more people like you.
I don’t know where they got their money but even before they cared about shoes they had them. Why are your social clubs built around footwear? The newest soles over your soul. I feel your eyes scanning my outfit landing on my feet. Ok they’re not the nicest but I work with what I can.
See I wasn’t born into a family that loved shoes. My mom thought the two striped adidas were real fly. Nah. I reached fifth grade and never had a pair of nike. Bobo life all day. My mom knew that the world of shoes was filled to the brim with corruption, discrimination, capitalism, and the general downfall of our society. But she didn’t get the power. She didn’t get the pressure. I pleaded, argued, and begged my mom for some nice shoes. After months she said she’d get me one pair. We spent all day looking in shops for the perfect sneakers Finally I got some red and black air force ones. My favorite color and the most important nike check on the side. When I got to school everyone noticed. I went through about ten minutes of steady congratulations from different people. My fifth grade heart rose and I was so excited! I did it! I was cool!
But my family never had a money to be buying me a new pair of shoes every couple months when my old ones would be falling off my feet. I was on the look out on ebay, the thrift store. I’ve paid for every set of laces on my feet since I was eleven. Barely affording the necessities. Necessities. Mom didn’t get me shoes. My friends had shoes and society told me teens need shoes. What would you do? So that’s why I need my job. Yard work ain’t gonna cut it for some Lebrons. I’m sorry cause I know there’s a slave kid behind every stitch. Carbon monoxide pumped out with every step. Money being piled in corrupt corporate owners laps with each sale. I know all this yet my neighborhood taught me to wear money on your feet with toughs out. Capitalism is changing peoples style and making billions on it. Capitalism is defining greatness and putting a hundred dollar price tag on it. Then teaching kids in the poorest walks of life that they can be great if the highest price is paid. So that’s why I need my job. I’m sorry for rubbing it in to kids who can’t afford it. I’m sorry mom! I’m sorry world! Years of eyes recoiling off my feet has caught up to me. I just trying to wear respect! I’m just want success in shoes! I just want some kicks!
In this course I learned skills that I will use throughout my art career. I liked the outlet it gave me for art. In my art I try to represent the world around me in a way the also allows my view. I do this by ways like what I choose to draw. Also I use how I draw as far as my median, line weight, style, etc. I hope you can see that in my art.
The air rushed out of our palms created a popping sound. The language of a handshake.
“Wassup yo.” I said.
“Wassup. You good?” Said Will. We were standing in a hundred foot hallway packed with kids waiting for classes to start. The walls were blue and yellow.
“Yeah, I’m chilling, tired.” I replied.
“True I got like three hours.”
“Bo’ you a nut cuz that history jawn due.” The bell rings and the slow crowd yawned and moved down the hallway as a mob. Then the hallway filled with lockers slaming, songs being sung, basketballs bouncing, students yelling, and teachers yelling. I move towards the door of my home room. A forty year old man in a button up shirt and khakis stands tall greeting students.
“ How you doing, Luke?” He asks.
“Morning, Mr.Schere, I’m pretty good.” I move into the room with more blue walls and a brown carpet covering the floor.
“Nigga luke” A voice calls out from across the room. A skinny girl with bright orange sneakers and short hair is sitting in one of the chairs arranged in a circle.
“Wassup Ki” I took a seat in the circle and shook the person next to me’s hand.
"You know my manz Luke an inside out Oreo." She joked. The mood was light and humorous. From the other side of the circle I hear a angry voice at a loud tone.
“I’m just trying to be out, like, teachers trippin.”
“Right Cort, imma boobop the ish out them.” A laugh rippled around the room.
Later in class I raise my hand to answer the question my teacher asked; Why was the industrial revolution the perfect time to put new ideas into practice?
“Yes, Luke?” The teacher called on me.
“Well, the industrial revolution was a time where there was a lot of innovation. Because of this the acceptance for new creations was very high, anything was possible if you could sell it to the public.”
“That’s good, Luke.” He moved on, placing white papers on everyone's desks.
That night at my cousin’s house my aunt asked me about my day.
“Well, it was pretty good. I have a project and some homework to do. But I like my classes and teachers and today was fun.” With that I wiped the side of my mouth with my napkin.
Those were examples of how dialect or language changes given who I’m talking to. My school was all black. Plus me. I came from a middle class white family. All my classmates were middle class or working class black. So, when I got placed in Wissahickon Charter school in kindergarten, I had no idea that over the next nine years of my life I would undergo ignorance, culture shock, resentment, and then adaptation in that general order.
When I started noticing differences it was later than my peers. I realized I was white at the ripe age of 8. I had already been affected and shaped by black culture but in more subtle ways. Emerging from ignorance I noticed the differences. I started noticing black culture versus white culture. From there I became resentful. I hated that my parent sent me to this school, that we lived in this house, that we had this lifestyle. But I was brought up with values of justice and right versus wrong. So that I saw the beauty and necessity of how we lived. Throughout it all I was learning how to be black with white skin. The most important part of this was probably the language. How black people talk is very different from how I talk to my family, how I talk to family friends, and how I talk to extended family.
Language, in this sense, is just how you talk. The way you say your words and what words you use is language. This holds much more weight that we normally give it.
James Baldwin addressed this in his article “If Black English Isn’t A Language, Then Tell Me, What It Is?” In this article he’s defining language and arguing that “Black English” meets its criteria. “It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power… It reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity. … in such a way that one's antecedents are revealed” This quote shows how much language affects perception of your identity. Language shows where you came from (accents/slang) and that area has some sort of stigma towards it. For instance, if I said I was from Philadelphia people would, without knowing Philadelphia, associate me with a urban stereotype they’ve made up. Language reveals how you were raised, who you are, and how you view the world with the same process. All of these judgements are subconscious and in each one of us there is a small part that analyzes every word people say.
This quote comes from a bell hooks’ article titled “This Is The Oppressor’s Language / Yet I Need It To Talk To You.” In this article she talks about how African slaves had to learn this English language (which was the language of the oppressor) and how this language was shaped by oppression to be a new black English. She tells the story of black English and how we relate to it today. “The very sound of English had to terrify. I think of black people meeting one another in a space away from the diverse cultures and languages that distinguished them from one another, compelled by circumstance to find ways to speak with one another in a ‘new world’.” People always look at the new world slavery system and say the color of skin was all they needed to define your level of power in the system. But really, it was also language that was a definer of who you were.
She goes on to talk about how blacks have created a dialect of their own, continuing the different two languages or dialects (black and white). Language is a definer of African Americans in this country. And yet the “Oppressors’ language” and “fear” talked about in this quote still exists. White english. White English has as much slang and as many sayings but is held up as how the actors of movies and the media talk. It is basically held up as the “right” way to talk. This is because white culture has been, since the beginning of America, the dominant culture. When Europeans discovered America there was a mindset that western culture was the best. This resulted in the construction of a white society where skin color spoke the loudest. A clearly defining feature of this system and culture was language. This form of cultural racism (language being a part of that) means to be successful and not white means you have to “act white”, or assume the culture.
My situation was pretty unique especially given my skin color. Many white people will come into contact with at least two cultural dialects, but one is much more dominate. But, I was getting such large portions of two cultures (middle class white liberal and black working class teen) everyday that I needed to adapt to survive. So over time I learned black speech. Then I was aware of codeswitching saw how useful it was in different situations. I saw and see how easily I can change my dialogue to match others or connect with others.
But, I graduated in 2013. I could have dropped the codeswitching. “Survival” was no longer necessary. But codeswitching is something that allows connection. It allows people to view you in the most positive light. It feels wrong in some ways to put on a front, but different language is just a part of the diversity of the human race. Code switching lets other feel comfortable around me and allows me to feel comfortable around others. Because, unlike other white people, I know how to code switch, I can be friends with a more diverse group of people. So I will never “talk how I talk”, never “just be me”, but I’m ok with that if it also helps me to strengthen bonds with people, lets me relate to more people, be the best I can be to people, and make people comfortable. So I will build bridges and reach out to all with how I use my voice.
- Esta es la casa de Rifah.
- Está en Filadelfia.
- Está cerca de todas casas de green stream.
- Está lejos de Chicago.
- La casa hay cinco dormitorios, tres comedors, grande jardin, diez guardarropas, y una persona. La casa es muy bien.
- A. What is negative space (explain this concept to a fourth grader that has never heard of it): There are two kind of spaces in picture. The negative is the background or base. It's the defining trait of some drawings. It helps make things pop.
- B. Explain how you found negative space in 1. your cut out?, 2. in your stool drawing?: The background or the black which makes the white or opposite color pop.
- C. Why does it help an artist to see in negative space?: Because using negative space makes things more clearly defined.
- D. How is negative space useful in creating art?: To make things pop and to make things more recognizable.
b. How did leaning this thing make your drawings better?:
This technique, as I said, will make all 3D object I draw realistic and easier to do.
c. If you did this assignment again, what would you do differently?
I would try to pick a wall that I was allowed to do the first time.
d. What is your advice to someone who has never drawn a one point perspective drawing before?
Do the wall in the guild because it is a difficult concept and it will make it easier if you can see a correct example of what you are attempting.
e. What resource helped you the most and why?
Other classmates because they were accessible and they could show it while they talked about it and that was extremely helpful.
Ben y Waka son muy deportista ellos tienen cubos. Ben y Waka hacen las tareas. Yo hago tarea mas o menos. Ellos leen los libros en inglés. Ben y Waka estudian todos los días. Yo no estudio todos los días. A veces estudian espanol. Ben le gusta a pensar el es bonito. El apodo de Ben es grande padre. Ben le gusta lee. En todos clase todos los días ellos participan. Ben y Waka le gusta muchos gatos. Muy bien.
Soy Luke Risher. Yo tengo catorce anos. Soy de descendencia europea. Mi vivir en mi casa con mi familia. Soy estudiante de Academia de Liderazgo Science [SLA]. Mi y mi amigos Partició en club de voluntarios porque me gusta voluntario. SLA esta en filadelfia PA. Hay montón de estudiantes. En el Franklin instituto aprendemos. SLA es tipo de poquito y divertido Tenemos muy bien professors, ellos enseñar aprendizaje basado en proyectos. Qué chévere. SLA es muy diferente entonces mi viejo escuela. Para tener éxito necesito trabajador y completamente tahra. SLA es tipo de difícil. Tenemos muchas profesoras y profesores. Hay son cinco pisos. Tenemos no necesitamos cuatro piso.
Yo y mi compañeros de clase tenemos, espanol, bioquímica, álgebra, historia, consejería, arte, y técnicas de estudio. mi clase favorita es inglés. Inglés es muy cómico y trabajador. Para tener inglés necesitamos unos bolígrafos y un cuaderno. Bioquímica es muy difícil y por lo general divertido. estudiamos muy mucho en espanol y álgebra. Mi segundo clase favorita es historia porque historia es muy inteaste. En historia necesitamos una computadora y libros. Con nuestro computadoras navegamos por la red. En ambos clases necesitamos leer y hacer algunas investigación. en general para exito en clases en SLA necesitemos trabajador.
El señor Kay enseña inglés. El señor Kay es muy cómico y deportista. El señor Kay le gusta baloncesto y leer. La señorita Jonas enseña historia. Ella le gusta historia. señorita Jonas es delgada y alta y trabajadora. La señorita Manule le gusta españa y perros. No le gusta nada gatos. Nada nada nada. La señorita Manules cumpleanos es diecisiete de mayo. La señorita Dunda enseña bioquímica. La señorita Dunda es seria y ella le gusta ciencia y correr. Todo el profesores en SLA son muy bien.
Mi gusta de comunidad y visión of SLA. Mi gusta proyectos más que pruebas. SLA es divertido, trabajador, y emocionante. Los estudiantes son divertido. Mi gusta el libertad y energía. In general SLA es una muy bien escuela.
I put this because I was given this name in SLA because of my eating habits but I think that goats have personality trait that are similar to mine. Goat are intelligent and curious, they are also independent and stubborn. Mountain goats adapt to the climate and can survive on sparse food in rough and dangerous terrain.