28 septiembre 2007


ethnosocial observations in an institutionalized educational setting...

thought one: from my (2nd, this time voluntary) middle school experience

~What do gloves/ tucked in pant legs/ cut eyebrows mean?

~What is the definition of chale, gavacho, and carnal, and would those definitions be something i would feel comfortable posting on the blog?

~an indescribably warm and fuzzy feeling attacks me i get when i watch kids read... their little mouths moving sounding out words... muttering this and that... brows furrowed in concentration... it's amazing. i think i should be a teacher when i grow up.

~from one girl to another, "i don't like ugly people."

~teacher: "Okay, so have you guys ever heard of Martin Luther?"
response, in unison: KING!

~boy: "Where's Tupac at?"

~a girl's response to a curricular rap describing Henry VIII: "uh-oh, Henry! go-on Henry!"

~kids still show each other dirty words in the dictionary

~ teacher: "The Pilgrims were almost like a religious cult. They're extremists."

~boy: "I don't LIKE critical thinking.
teacher: "You are going to have a long, sad life..."

~ one girl, explaining her lack of homework, "See, what happened was, I was at the House of Burgesses, and they got robbed. Is that how you say it? 'Burgesses' or 'Burguesses?' "

~(Yankee) teacher: "Up north, we eat turkey, yams, green beans for Thanksgiving. And we don't have to eat all that weird junk for New Year's. What's up with eating black eyed peas for New Year's anyways?!"
boy: "For Thanksgiving, we be eating fajitas... rice... corn... beans... then for Christmas... we have it ALLLL... OVER... AGAIN!"

(in the same conversation:)

teacher: "What's the deal with people down here calling these beans 'black eyed peas'? They're BEANS!"
boy: "Yeah, I know. See, at my house, we call everything that looks like a bean... a bean."

~ teacher: "Generally, revolutions don't begin with the poor. Why?"
(response)"They TOO busy trying to get money to pay the rent!"

~teacher: "Bacon's rebellion: they got mad because they didn't have enough...?"
boy: "Bacon!"

~names are power. if someone "gives" you their name, you have a right to them. a person without a name is basically inaccessible to you... until you ask.

~these kids are absolutely beautiful when they smile...

thought two:

"First, the early barrios were situated in ecologically marginal areas of the city, places such as gullies and other lowlands that developers considered undesirable. These enclaves were socially and physically separate from Anglo American neighborhoods--"the other side of the tracks"--sometimes literally. Visually distinct in their appearance and their amenities--dirt roads, limited public utilities or none, outhouses, older run-down homes, and so on--these barrios were stigmatized as the places where poor, unskilled, "dirty" Mexicans lived (Moore, 1978, 1991).

Early immigrants' lives were affected by economic marginality as well. Entry-level, low-paying jobs in agriculture, ranching, and light industry were typically their only opportunities for employment. Much later, when service industries emerged as sources of jobs, many immigrants became gardeners, car washers, janitors, dish washers, domestics, and the like. In spite of the obstacles, most of the Mexican immigrants fashioned productive lives for their families, and their Mexican American offspring often became even more successful, though faced with continuing racial and ethnic discrimination. A life of persistent and concentrated poverty, however, ensued for a substantial minority of barrio dwellers who could not escape the secondary or segmented labor market. These are jobs with no room for advancement, with very low wages, and with few or no benefits; in short, jobs that generally exploit and manipulate a marginal labor force (Moore & Vigil, 1993).

The repercussions of poverty and exploitation have had wide-ranging consequences in the social and cultural life of youth. The breakdowns in social control, as well as cultural and ethnic identity conflict, have had a major impact on the making of gangs and the shaping of gang members. What began as wayward kids hanging around the street, almost detached from family influences, unfamiliar with and uncommitted to schools, and in fear of the "law," gradually became rooted as a new subculture: the street gang. Moreover, because a gang subculture now dominates the streets, youngsters who become street socialized must adjust and conform to the culture that these "street elites" have fashioned.

Where the parents, schools, and police have left off, the gang subculture has taken over and become the substitute caring, teaching, and sanctioning influence. "

~from Learning from Gangs: The Mexican American Experience by James Diego Vigil

thought three:

it's not funny anymore.

13 septiembre 2007

street socialization

thought one:

your child might be at-risk for gang activity if he:

~"Develops an unusual desire for privacy. Will not let you into their bedroom. Does not want you
to meet their friends. Friends have nicknames like Psycho, or Shooter and they do not know the
real names of their friends or won’t tell you."

~"is in possession of money he cannot explain. This may be an indicator of his being involved in illegal gang activity."


DID YALL KNOW THAT "g" (as in, "hey, my g, what's good?") STANDS FOR GANGSTER. ohmygoodness. and the "superman S" from elementary represents "Southside?!"

"[Other gang's] graffiti for the most part is not as ornate as Hispanic gang graffiti. It is common to see that the gang member’s tag name is bigger than the gang name itself. This is because African American gangs, especially [*****] and [******] feel that they come before the gang. The gang is there to protect them and their business. In Hispanic gangs, the gang is more important than the individual."


oooooo0h... this just in: remember the c-walk that i blinkin' RESOLVED TO LEARN (i have it in writing) my freshman year?!?! it stands for "crip walk!!!!" and, i quote, from wiki, "While they may be confused for dance, these movements should not be imitated by non-gang members because of their meaning to those affiliated with these organizations." i coulda got shot! are we realizing how white i am yet? are we getting an inkling?

thought two: juxtapose THIS:

"Rest, refreshing and nourishment are the essence of Christian hospitality. " ~"G" tebbe

thought three:

how could Christ hang out with sinners and still be... the Christ? the Annointed One? Holy... set apart?

~Christ is the most devastatingly REAL, straight-up person that has ever walked the globe. He fronted NOTHING... if it was True and Necessary, He said it.

~He preserved Himself NEVER, but had great insights into the cognitive, life-ish and soul status of those around Him as well as just... what...? WISDOM as to how His actions/ words would affect/ interact with/ explode His social milleau.

~He loved. simply, deliberately, and deeply. He SAW people when He looked. He saw PEOPLE. He LOOKED. He touched. He conversed. He asked POINTED questions... and pointed questions require the acknowledgement of a soul to pierce. He would CRY. He would groan. He would pray...

~He stayed in touch with the Father. like, lost sleep to do so. like, in the "still dark"ness, He would talk with God. and continually, when He was in the middle of conversations, He would start "rejoicing in spirit" and start saying stuff like, "I thank Thee, Father..." with exclamation points at the end.

~He was secure in His identity and mission. His psychological He was not distracted. He was not influenced. HE was the Distractor. HE was the Influencer. If there was a party, HE was crashing it... saying and doing the sort of stuff that would later get put in the BIBLE. If there was a social luncheon, He was REALLY crashing it... saying and doing the sort of stuff that would later get Him killed...

i want to be like Jesus. He would totally redefine "street socialization..."

10 septiembre 2007

"In general, nuns who became senile were less emotionally expressive."

thought one: of Columbus

" 'His hopes, his illusions, his vanity and love of money, his devotion to by-gone ideals, his keen and sensitive observation of the natural world, his lack of practical power in dealing with literary evidence, his practical abilities as a navigator, his tenacity of purpose and boldness of execution, his lack of fidelity as a husband and a lover, his family pride' all mark Columbus as an appropriate figure to start the story of America's place in the world."

~from The American Age, W. LaFeber

thought two:

Some say our personality is completely developed by age 5 or 6.

Very interesting. Personally, (as is most everything my rotten little egocentric self considers "interesting,") i am presently more like who i was at age 5 than age 15.

what would we be like if we never had to go through "Adolescence?" if we could just be NORMAL from 10-20?

thought three: on human resiliance

"As long as the women are going to the beauty parlors, there is hope for the human race."

~Rev. G.S. Tebbe, upon observation of a Peruvian's post-earthquake beauty rite

Tupi's doing fine, if a little bored with the living room right now. he says it's not as intellectually stimulating as American Foreign Policy. i tell him he's just going to have to concentrate on developing a rich inner life until we can get a middle school (PAID) assignment, him and me. hopefully in about... eh... 11 months or so... then we can go back to analyzing the cognitive, social, and emotional development of human learners (and i can get... PAID for it... did i mention that?) but seriously, fish have interesting perspectives sometimes. i find it helpful to get outside of my reality tunnel every now and again, and Tupac's a great catalyst for that.

05 septiembre 2007

¨Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of reading it.¨

thought one:

a prophet is... a person who says in any given situation what God would if He was bodily present. ~b. manning, quoted by m. card

(here're leftovers from a bygone semester...)
thought two: advice on disagreeing in marriage from Trinidadian Muslims

Begin with the intention to resolve the issue. If both spouses have this intention and plan to consult together, it is more likely that there will be a successful resolution.

Remember that it takes two to quarrel. If only one person chooses not to argue, there will be no argument. Generally, the one who is wrong does most of the talking.

Both spouses should not be angry at the same time. If one of the spouses becomes upset, it is best if the other tries to remain calm and collected.

Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire. Of course, house fires do not occur very frequently; yelling should occur at about the same rate.

Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled. This is one of the worst things that can happen in a marriage and should be avoided as much as possible. This allows hurt feelings and thoughts to linger and generally exacerbates the problem.

If one spouse needs to win, let it be your mate. Do not focus on winning yourself; this is the main reason that discussions tend to become heated

thought two: habits of humanity
I have a new habit i'm attempting to inculcate. I am efforting to totally and completely remove my hands from the keyboard and eyes from the monitor when someone is speaking to me or i to another, whether by phone or in person. It's hard, but I'm trying valiently.

gee. what tasks we americans have.

02 septiembre 2007

umm, hello? anybody there?

well, i was breathing south american air for a while, and it was a lovely experience (ask and i WILL tell... a lot...), but school calls, and here i find myself, once more procrastinating (what does the mission statement of the national middle school association have ever to do with me, and why do they need to use 51 pages in which to expound it?), using run-on sentences, trying to remember whether "sentences" is spelled with an "a" or an "e".... and using ellipses.... lots and lots of ellipses, while trying to get over my newfound bad habit of spelling fonetikly.

will post as often as homework gets boring!

oh, wait... before i go, i must mention a new addition to my family... his name is Tupac. (as in, Amaru II, not Shakur... the 18th century Peruvian half-Inca anti-Spaniard revolutionary... you might recognize him; he's been a guest here before. which distracts me... onto a sidenote: is he still considered a "revolutionary" if the attempted "revolution" never really revolved anything? he ended up with his four limbs tied to four horses going in four different directions. it was a baaad way to go.) but my little Tupi doesn't really have limbs at all, so that's kind of funny. he's a fish (a very good looking beta), but he's supposed to be standing in for an infant for a psych class experiment/presentation. i have to care for him as unto an infant (at least tote him around) for the next week. (they do the same sort of things with flour sacks or eggs in high schools sometimes to convince the girls to delay procreation.) my brother made me wait till this afternoon to start the experiment so as to not disturb the church service.... my mother is not happy. she think's i'm going to kill the little wee one. i think he'll do great. he's a fighter.... down with the dirty imperialists!