This is an interesting Tedtalk (like most Ted talks) that can apply to many of us going on various mission trips and volunteering projects this summer. We should all be asking why we are doing what we are doing? Why? Is your volunteering really helping? Could it be possibly be offensive?
What does the word “help” really mean? When we say we are going to “help” the homeless (or what have you) we unwittingly are sending a message that we are saviors and that the only way a problem can be fixed is if we come in and save the less fortunate. Helping can imply something along the lines of “We have the goods. You don’t. We are going to give them to you to make ourselves look good”.
If you have seen the movie or read the book, “The Help”, we witness a group of strong women, black and white to make progress towards decreasing racial discrimmination and oppression in the southern U.S. in the 60s. As touching and beautiful as the movie is, it also sort of depicts that these black women only could overcome their problem with the help of the one white women. Isn’t that a little insensitive? Why can’t the narrative focus on how that behind every strong woman IS HERSELF.
To create long-lasting change, and to be culturally sensitive, we should utilize asset-based collaboration in which all members of a project have something to offer. If you are traveling to another country, take time to assimilate and learn about the culture, ask what assets and resources they have for a project and make sure that any projects that happen include people from all over the community. Long lasting change and improvement comes from collaboration, not merely the giving of money.
The mission of The Arc San Francisco is to serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by promoting self-determination, dignity and quality of life. They vision “a community where disability is a distinction without a difference”.
My experience with the Arc of San Francisco is quintessential to many volunteers’ experiences. You go to work with the people of the Arc of San Francisco, who have various mental “disabilities” (Down Syndrome, severe autism, etc), and you have the mindset that you have something to give and help them, when in reality these people are incredibly self-sufficient and I would say, on average twice or three times as happy as ‘normal’ people. One time, I was assigned to bring a group of 6 clients on a bus ride to central San Francisco to practice their photography. I thought I would have to learn the ticket system and bus schedule and have to teach it to these seemingly incompetent people. However when we were leaving they had to show me how to buy a ticket and they made fun of me.
There is a stigma and stereotype that many of us carry regarding our peers that are involved in special needs programs and clients of places like the Arc of San Francisco. These are happy, self-sufficient, smart people that often have a great quality of life. Pitying people with their labeled handicap, is doing them an injustice, when in reality they have life far better figured out. The people that I encountered were very well-adjusted in life and always looked at the bright side. Can we say that about ourselves?
This is also a testament to how great programs like Amigos at Anderson or different Arcs around the country. The people that I encountered deserve just as much programming and attention that their normal counterparts get. I think anyone who has known anyone with any of these labels of mental disability can assert that they do not to deserve to be ignored, name-called or looked down upon. Certain epithets and labels (I think you know what I’m talking about) for the people that I encountered and have become pen pals with should be eliminated because they are simply offensive and ignorant. Just be a friend.
I’ve struggled with how to introduce the concept of feminism to our class. Imagine that, a white man from Missourah struggling with feminist theory: who’d a thunk it!
Anywho, in my rather lengthy search for the perfect introductory article, I ran across a classroom blog, called F to the Third Power that seems like it will suffice as a starting point. It was hard to pick just one of these student-generated posts, as each student touches on a variety of feminist issues.
If ye’ want a more challenging read, I suggest this piece from a recent New Yorker, one of the tenants of the piece is that many of the revolutionary feminist pioneers, were unable to enjoy the benefits of what they fought for. The article, Death of a Revolutionary, focuses on the life of Shulamith Firestone. It was one of the more interesting reads I’ve encountered in some time, as I found myself returning to this article several days after having read it.
So… I propose a feminist read-a-thon, blog-a-thon type of thing. Read some of the students posts, comment below, post links and videos, and let’s have a discussion here on Anderson Issues.
The bill for expanded background checks failed to get the 60 votes required for the bill to pass the senate. This bill was the last hope for passing any legislation to try to reduce gun deaths in the U.S. Expanded background checks would force anyone buying a firearm to undergo a background check.Read the rest of this entry »
‘A Better Life’ is a 2011 film that attempts to reveal the hardships of undocumented laborers in the United States. Often in a pursuit of a better life for them and their families, grown men and women work tirelessly to ensure financial security and a future free of uncertainty. The fact that the film is an independent, non-studio produced film, helps create an overall feel of authenticity and heart.
The story follows an old to middle-age man, Carlos Galindo, an immigrant from Mexico, as he works as a gardener for the Los Angles’ upper class in order to provide for his teenage son, Luis. As Carlos’s business partner looks to sell his truck, Carlos takes a chance and buys the green pickup to sustain his livelihood. The green truck enables him to work, which keeps him with a steady income. The core conflict revolves around his troubled relationship with his son, his lack of American citizenship, and his effort to achieve a better life, as suggested in the film’s title.
The lead actor, Demián Bichir, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role, immediately dedicated his nomination to the undocumented. He has said in an interview “I played a role that 11 million people play in real life. They don’t get the attention I do, but they deserve our respect and a chance at a better life.” Bichir often worried in doing the film if he would be apart of enforcing stereotypes. In my view, I think he achieved quite the opposite. Through his heartfelt and realistic portrayal of this character largely-based in reality, he shed light on meaningful, and often invisible, humans that are worthy of the highest respect, gratitude and reverence.
Despite of recent events, that I don’t have the courage to even attempt to analyze or think about, I am reminded of how people are generally good. This movie encapsulates the relentlessness of the human will and spirit without losing grips of reality of our social structures and policies. The altruism and the pursuit of hope that I saw throughout the people of Boston, Watertown and all across the United States reminded me of the genuinely and heart of this film. Go ahead and watch it.
Westboro claims that, because Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in the U.S, “God sent the bombs.” In response to the announcement, infamous ‘hacktivist’ group, Anonymous, has responded with a their own threat:
If #WBC protests the Boston funerals, they will have to expect us.
A lot of us are about to graduate and college brings about a whole new set of responsibilities and worries, although we aren’t there yet they are beginning to happen. Here’s a little guid to help you get through some of the tough parts of this and what to take to your dorm.
1. Don’t freak out if you don’t know what school you’re going to and it’s a week before National Decision Day. You’ll be fine! In a case like this you should sit down with adults(parents) and have a small conference to try and figure out what’s best for you.
2. Once you decide what school you are going to make sure to take the necessary steps such as deposits and submitting any additional paperwork that they need from you. This is easy, just keep up with it!
3. Scholarships, scholarships, SCHOLARSHIPS!
Teachers really can’t stress enough that kids should apply to as many scholarships as possible. It’s free money damn it, why wouldn’t you want it! Scholarships are always worth your time. ALWAYS! No matter what school you’re going to they’ll help. What’s better than free money.
I should’ve probably mentioned this first. Try your best to do your work, final grades still matter. A school can change their mind if you change your grades. And you still want to graduate.
1. Pillows, bring tons of pillows. They’re always comfortable and you won’t get tired of them.
2. Bed attire, you know other people have slept there before and don’t want to sleep on that bare mattress.
3. Bring a rug, everyone in your dorm will love you because when they go hang out in your room there will be more space for them to sit and play games on. Nobody likes a cold floor.
4. AN ALARM CLOCK! This will probably be the most essential thing that you bring with you to school. You might hate it, but this little buddy is going to make sure that you’re waking up for those morning classes.
5. You’re favorite piece of art should make the trip with you to school. This will be helpful to decorate those empty walls.
6. Bring a shower caddy, especially if you’re going to have a community bathroom. You don’t want to make several trips back to your room to get everything you need, Im mostly referring to girls.
7. Shower shoes! These are a must. Community restrooms are clean but you never know, better to be safe than sorry. And besides everybody that walks around barefoot is gross, what if they have foot fungus or something weird. (No offense to anybody)
8. For those who get home sick easily, bring pictures of everybody. Framed pictures are the best and look great.
Make sure to buy all of the appropriate book for all of your classes! You’ll need them, this isn’t high school anymore, you’ll use your book constantly.
New technology is being developed every single day, and our societies are continuously becoming more and more advance. Our lives seem to be better-off with every new technological breakthrough. Many people can’t even go a single day without using their phone, computer, TV, or any other electrical devices. But could these seemingly harmless gizmos and gadgets actually be detrimental to us?
Over 100 years ago if someone said “I’m going to do some cocaine,” people would’ve said “Oh that’s cool, maybe I’ll come join you later because you obviously have a medical condition that needs to fixed and I do too!” But now a days if I ask any random stranger to do some coke, they’ll probably flip shit and say “that’s illegal and dangerous, what do I look like, a junkie?!”
I’ve been doing cocaine daily since I was 12, and the only problem I seem to have is that the pink elephant won’t stop following me. Cocaine is not only great to relieve pain and boost your self esteem, but if you make it into crack and find someone willing to do it you can make triple the profit! For the record I don’t do crack cocaine, that shit is dangerous!
Everyone’s favorite caffinated soda, Coca-Cola, got it’s name from using cocaine as an ingredient when it first came out. I’ve tried replicating the formula by using my own supply of cocaine but it just isn’t the same. I think we should legalize not only cocaine, but all drugs so everyone can self medicate. I’m also sick of getting my coke cut with dog dewormer whenever I find a new hookup, it’s convenient to get the worms out of my system but dammit I wanted pure coke!
Recently, while browsing Facebook (obviously instead of doing my homework), a friend posted something that caught my eye. An experiment was conducted where several women described their faces to a forensic artist who drew what he heard. Next, strangers were asked to describe the same people, and he drew them again. The two resulting sketches contrasted how these women saw themselves and how others saw them. In my opinion, it was both surprising and predictable. Everyone knows that people are generally overcritical of themselves. I, for example, know every blemish on my face, from scars to freckles so well I can point them out exactly with my eyes closed. I see uneven skin when I look up close, and big bags under my eyes. But when I complain about things like bags or how sometimes one eye looks bigger than the other (silly, I know), my friends say they didn’t notice anything until I brought it up, or that they don’t notice it at all. I think that concept is shown very well in this video. One woman who is probably in her mid 30′s sees herself as much more saggy and wrinkly than she appears to everyone else because of the stigma aging has in our world. When they dwell on every minuscule detail, they slowly grow and grow in a snowball effect in their mind.
However, this could have been exaggerated or set up to emphasize the concept of “natural beauty” seeing as it was made by Dove. I do not discredit this at all, I would just like to point out the potential commercial aspect. Since we’re supposed to be anonymous on this site, I’d like to pose you all with some cheesy questions, especially because we’ll all be rushing to comment soon enough! How do you think people see you that’s different from the way you see yourself? What importance do you place on physical beauty (others and yourself)?
No worries, I’ll start. I think that people, when casually glancing at one another, don’t pay all that much attention to details. They might notice your hair color or type, that you have green eyes, or that your cheeks are rosy. I don’t think they’ll notice your awkward freckle or scar you got as a child. So, I think people do look at me differently than I look at myself in that they don’t see every bad thing that I do. And if I’m being completely honest, beauty is something I notice. I don’t base much off of it though.