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21 January 2008 @ 10:09 am

I’m doing well—college is keeping me busy. Lots of papers this semester. I have 3 classes plus internship and all my professors expect 3 page papers every week. Plus I have a lot of writing to do for the internship. I start that tomorrow. I’m kind of looking forward to it, but I’m also somewhat nervous about it as well. I’ve volunteered in the classroom before—but this won’t be like volunteering—this will be in preparations for a job.  This is what I’m going to college for—and now I’m all nervous and such. *UGH*

 

Since this internship will be judging me on my professional ability—and my appearance will be judged as well I decided to get my hair cut. It’s very short. Shorter than I’ve had in a long while. But I like it and I feel that it looks very professional and I feel it will be easy to care for. I’m very happy with it. I’ll try to post a picture of it when I feel like messing with the camera.

 
 
S
12 January 2008 @ 06:34 pm
 

Well I’m done with my first week. I haven’t started my internship—that starts on the 22nd. But I did find out what school and who my supervising teacher will be. I have a male, elementary teacher! A bit of an oddity in the American elementary schools. All the elementary teachers I’ve worked with have been female. In fact the only male teachers at my children’s school are P.E. teachers. So I am a bit excited to have a teacher who may have a bit different view.

 

Well I have tons of homework—when do I not? 100 pages to read and 3 two page summaries to write. Plus I still have to make a self portrait. Sucks.

 
 
S
08 January 2008 @ 09:01 pm
 so tired. orientation long....feet hurt. brain hurts. too much info. I have an art class--i thought it was going to be art history and stuff...nope. I have to draw. other than that too tired to write.
 
 
S
07 January 2008 @ 09:00 pm

My mother in law asked Hubby what he would like for his birthday. I don't know why she asked since his B-day is in March. Know what asked for? A Wii! And he got one too. I'm not sure I like this. I mean yes they are fun; but I am the one who has to deal with the kids asking to play all the time.

In the mean time I have to go to UCF internship orientation tomorrow. It's all day from 8am to 3pm and on the main campus. sucks. Then I have to be back up here and in class by 5pm. So I will be busy.

 
 
S
04 January 2008 @ 10:08 am

I’m worried about the situation in the apartment directly overhead of ours. These people moved in about 6 months ago and they have been very noisy. At first I didn’t pay much attention to it because it was random and not very often, but the noise level has increased in the last 8 weeks and I am now certain that what I thought was just horsing around is actually some sort of physical violence.  I’m not really sure how many people live up there.  I’ve only seen an adult male coming and going from the apartment—but I have also heard what sounds like a teenage male voice. There sounds like there could be a third voice, but it could also be only the television.  

 
 
 
S
03 January 2008 @ 07:33 am
 Well it is cold for Florida! 33degree F; with a wind chill factor of 23! I know a lot of you are colder with snow and such--but here in Florida, we usually don't see it drop that cold.  I am so glad that the kids are still out on winter break--I'd hate to go out in the cold this morning. It's so much nicer to be all warm and cozy inside. 

I read this morning that the citrus growers iced thier crops last night. I wish I knew of a grove nearby--it is quite a sight to see. I would actually go out in the cold to get a picture of that. (What that means is when gets down below 32 F and is expected to remain so for most of the night--the citrus growers will turn on the sprinkers and freeze their trees to keep them at 32--that is about the lowest temp. the trees and live through. and it makes the oranges really sweet.) Anyways I've only seen it done a few times--but it's very pretty to drive by the orange groves and see them sparkling with ice in the early morning sun. Not something you see often in Florida.
 
 
Current Mood: coldcold
 
 
S
02 January 2008 @ 09:12 am

Well it is a cold and frosty morning, well cold and frosty for Florida. It’s about 40 degrees Fahrenheit right now. It’s 9am and everyone is still tucked up in their nice warm beds. I like being the first one up when everyone is still sleeping. But since I’ve been up this morning I’ve decided to post some pictures from the holiday.


So click on the cut if you want to see cheesy holiday pictures. If not just ignore.  

 

 

 
 
S
01 January 2008 @ 10:29 am
Great, just fucking great. LJ has changed the way my journal looked. I don't really care for this and I want the old look back. UGH. Not happy.
 
 
Current Mood: pissed offpissed off
 
 
S
31 December 2007 @ 02:47 pm
 

Well my daughter really embarrassed me today.  For Christmas I received a gift card for J.C. Penny’s and since I am starting my internship in a couple weeks I thought I could use a new pair of slacks since I have to dress professionally.  So I go down there and they are having a great sale. I find some slacks I like that fit well and I am walking up to the cashier when I notice this very lovely cape like shawl—it’s very pretty and I’ve always wanted one like it and it’s on sale! So I’m looking at it deciding whether or not I should splurge and get it when Josie pipes up and says, “Why don’t you ever buy me something like this. I have to wear several sweaters to keep warm!”  O.O this is completely untrue she has tons of clothes and jackets and such and is in no need of winter clothing. Back in November we went out and spent $100 on getting her new jeans, sweaters and jackets for the winter since she had out grown most of her warm clothes from last year.  Normally this little comment wouldn’t have bothered me, but there was this elderly couple nearby who overheard Josie and gave me such a dirty look!  OH I was so mad at her for pulling a trick like that.  So I told Josie “Hun, you know that is not true.” And then I bought the cape anyways. But the whole time that old couple kept giving me these really mean looks. *UGH*

 
 
S
30 December 2007 @ 09:40 am

A Framework for Understanding Poverty

By Ruby K. Payne, PH.D.

 

 That is the title of one of my required text books for a reading foundation class I have next semester.  It’s not a long book only about 175 pages—pretty short for most text book, and on flipping through the pages I see that quite a few “check lists” and bulleted statements.  A seemingly large portion of the book reads more like a PowerPoint presentation than a college level text. In fact a sub heading on the cover list it as “A Must-Read For Educators, Employers, PolicyMakers, and Service Providers” so I get the impression this is not an academic level text—which over all is not necessarily a bad thing. Wisdom can be found in many unlikely places—even a lay persons PowerPoint like book may prove useful. Or so I thought.

 I was also a bit amused by the addition to the author’s name: Ruby K. Payne, PH.D. “The Leading U.S. Expert on the Mindset of Poverty, Middle Class, and Wealth.”  The Leading Expert? Since when? What university is she teaching at and doing research for that will allow her to be the self appointed “Leading U.S. Expert”?  The answer—none! Indeed to quote her, “Where had I gotten the data? First of all, I was married more than 30 years to Frank, who grew up in poverty because his father died when he was 6. Though it was situational poverty, he lived for several years with those who were in generational poverty. ….” She also uses her claim of gathering data for 24 years of teaching/working in the public school system. But what was her method of gathering data? Apparently her “gathering data” is nothing more than collecting her own and other’s anecdotal memories and recollections of events. Which as any good researcher knows is worthless without some sort of statistical data to back it up with.  What is also worse is her claim that being married to someone who is poor—which means 2nd hand information—is enough to make her a leading expert.

 

This using anecdotal memories as evidence is considered worthless by researchers because it is highly susceptible to bias. For example, the writer believes that on the whole poor peoples’ homes and apartment are dirty and unkempt. (This is an actual claim by Dr. Payne on page53 and 80.) How does she prove this? Does she prove this claim with statistical research by first defining what is “dirty and unkempt” and then collecting unbiased survey of how many poor people fall into this category as opposed to non-poor people whose homes may or may not also fall into the “dirty and unkempt” category; while also comparing those numbers to that of poor/middle class people whose home are “clean and well kept”?  This would be somewhat acceptable evidence—but no, she offers no actual research to back up her claim that those living in poverty have dirty and unkempt houses other than she says so and the ideal that those living in poverty may not be able to afford organizing devices!  You may say to yourself that this sort of claim is more like a stereotype than an actual representation of a person in poverty; and you would be right. This so called framework is made of nothing more than negative stereotypes reinforced by anecdotal accounts.  

 

Who would publish such drivel and claim it is research? What textbook publisher would stoop so low? None apparently, for the book is self-published by the author herself. This means that her work is not peer reviewed nor is any of her research documented. But why is it so popular that it sells well enough that colleges around the U.S. adopt it for a text? Because it highlights a very popular “hidden truth” about the middle class—it tells them what they want to hear. All these negative traits that the author assigns to the poor, i.e. alcoholism, the inability to use proper grammar, disorganize, aggression, the inability to solve problems are not also assigned to the middle class and wealthy. Of course these problems exist across all class lines but the author ignores this and builds on the idea that if we can just fix poor people, make the cleaner, more organized and teach  them proper grammar and give them good role models; well then everything will be okay.

Never mind this is working from the deficit model  (for those of you not familiar with “teacher lingo” this means to identify what the student lacks and provide it; i.e. the student lacks basic grammar, so the teacher will explicitly teach grammar.) While there is nothing inherently wrong with using the deficit model as long as it is used in conjunction with the student’s strengths. This is what this book is seriously lacking. Almost all of the “traits” the author lists as characteristic of the poor are negative. About the only positive trait she includes is “…will work hard if they like you.”(p. 58) Even then this is a dubious positive—never mind the fact that this sort of characteristic could be said of any student regardless of social economic status.   The whole book is condescending and patronizing. She goes so far as to make the claim that many poor people are poor because they don’t know they have a choice not to be poor!

Furthermore this author presents claims made by the self stylized physiotherapists, Bandler and Grinder, as scientific fact. After doing a bit of research on theses so called physiologist experts I find they have very little respect in the physiological or scientific field and most respected physiologists consider them no more than “New Age” con men.  This particular pair of researchers that Dr. Payne is so enamored of has yet to present any empirical research to back up their work.  

This book being required reading for an upcoming class just horrifies me. How can any college professor worth their doctorate not see that this book is nothing more than half truths and stereotypes parading about as real research. Personally I think books like this are dangerous because they perpetuates the myth that the poor are that way because they do not know any other way, and that to solve this problem all we have to do is give them good role models.  There is this Pygmalion like undertone to the whole book that states that one of the biggest problems among the poor is that they do not know the formal registrar of language and therefore must be taught it. While I am all for teaching formal language I by no means feel that it will solve any real problem.  What good is the formal registrar if there are no jobs to apply for? Or when college is so expensive that one cannot afford it?  And what about the growing numbers of college educated poor—the problem many people are facing: The middle class jobs and well paying blue collar jobs are drying up while the cost of living is sky rocketing. That’s the problem.

But oh well. I digress. I’m sorry for those of you who have made it through my little rant. I just needed to get that off my brain. I’m hoping that the professor who assigned this book will not use it much.

 
 
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated