April 30, 2018

APA In-Text Citation Practice:

Many poor people and people living in poverty experience a number of disadvantages. This social group usually consists of low wage workers, if not all of them. Within these low wage jobs the employees, unfortunately, have to experience many hardships that come with the job which only adds to the difficulty they have in their lives already. The wage gap in America has only gotten wider and as it continues to increase, so do the negative characteristics of struggling in poverty while trying to make it in this country. According to Latrice  (2015), “the link between low wages and limited educational opportunities are well established and particularly significant” (p. 413). It is an unfortunate reality, but poorer people experience many unfair treatments and opportunities solely because of their financial situation, which most were born into and had no choice or option to be placed into this category.

Latrice Martin, L. (2015). Low-wage workers and the myth of post-racialism. Loyola Journal Of Public Interest Law16(2), 405-421.

April 27, 2018

Free writing

I’m somewhat actually looking forward to completing this essay. I’m am excited about the content and being able to share what I have to say on this topic, however, the only thing I am not looking forward to is actually typing all 6 pages. I have a lot of other work for other classes coming up and it will be a challenge working typing this essay into my schedule. Regardless, I am up for a challenge and truly feel a bit of passion for this particular topic. I feel passionate about this particular topic mostly because of where I come from back at home. My town back at home is relatively diverse and I have learned and seen a lot over in my life there. My town’s population is mostly whites and Hispanics. There are of course multiple other races, but the majority of the population is white and Hispanics.

The diversity in my town is also why there are such diverse and differing communities within it spread out all over. There are mansions, townhomes, apartments, trailers, half-homes and more. That is partially why I love my town so much and will always consider it home. There is such a wide variety of financial standing families, homes, jobs, cars, and everything else we use to classify people into social classes in today’s society. Becuase of this huge diversity I have seen a lot of wealthy families and who they live their lives, and especially poorer or struggling families. I have even seen families that are not necessarily poor or financially struggling but are working in this blue-collar/ labor jobs that we have been discussing in class in reading about for homework. The main reason I feel so passionate about this topic for our essay is because almost all of my best friends back at home work these types of jobs. Each and every one of them as their own unique story and background and have all gone on their own respective paths after high school graduation. Some have gone off to college, some have stayed home to work, and a few have even stayed home to work and go to school. Regardless of which path they took, whether people think it was the right one or not, I know how good of people my friends are and how hard they truly work. I have had a lot of exposure to their everyday struggles and what they are going through while working these said blue-collar jobs and feel honored to be able to know such humble human beings that I can honestly call my best friends. I am very proud of them and can not wait to tackle this topic for our essay. This is one of the topics I think I am going to enjoy the most out of all of our essays this year.



Intro: background, thesis with 3 main points

Paragraph 1:  stereotypes maybe. explain what society thinks of these job types and the people working those jobs

Paragraph 2: argue why/why this is/is not fair

Paragraph 3: possibly personal experience. what I have seen/what I know/ talk about my friend(s) back at home and discuss what they have experienced

conclusion: restate thesis and make final thoughts for the reader to leave with


Possible keywords/topics: passion, diversity, communities, honor, pride, heritage, population, challenges, wealthy and poor, unique, blue/white/pink collar, financial stability,


April 25, 2018

After reading Rose and McClelland’s essays it made me reflect on my own life and my job back at home very much. I work as a waiter just like Rose’s mother, however, I am a waiter at a nursing/retirement home. All my coworkers are high school or college students which makes the environment very welcoming. Working with people of the same age group and that are also experiencing the same struggle to make work, school and a social life all fit together made the job somewhat even fun most of the times. I never really found myself, during high school when I was back at home, upset or mad to have to go to work any day of the week. I genuinely loved going to work and basically hanging out with friends, all while getting paid. All fun aside though the job is very demanding and there have been countless times where I have found myself extremely stressed or upset while on the job. Senior citizens and the residents that we have to serve have very differing moods. On top of that, we have a fairly large workload that we have to complete within the 4-hour dinner shift.

Regardless, after reading about the realities of other minimum wage workers in Rose and McClelland’s works it made me feel extremely grateful. Even though work can be very hard and stressful sometimes, I find myself happy to be there most times than not. Also, I’m earning more than minimum wage and when I work a lot, say 6 or 7 days a week for only 4-hour dinner shifts every day, it is really not that bad compared to what the examples in the two author’s works went through. I genuinely wish there could be some kind of improvement that could take place in these such workforces, it makes me very upset to see people working on minimum wage just barely getting by and having to deal with all of those harsh work conditions that come with it.

April 18, 2018

“Home and Hope”

After trying to do some research on issues of eviction and homelessness in my hometown, I found almost nothing online. I instead chose to research Pennsylvania as a whole since I felt as though researching just my hometown, which is pretty small, is too specific and not going to be an easy statistic I could have found online.

I tried to find as many statistics and facts about how many people in Pennsylvania are homeless or are experiencing eviction problems and found what I had expected. The percentage of people that are homeless in Pennsylvania is very small compared to other states in the United States. Only about .12% of Pennsylvania’s population is homeless which makes up less than 3% of the homeless population across the entire country. I am from a very suburban town with very little people that are struggling enough to become homeless, even the poorest people in my town. I did not expect the numbers to be too high or much like Desmond’s story, and I was correct.

March 28, 2018

Cooper, Midori, Amanda

The most prominent features that stuck out about these “most successful” high schools that made them different from the “failing schools” like Mission were the fact they seemed to have more subject-specific opportunities for students, similar to those offered at a college. Instead of simply having a science class, many of the high schools have very detailed and specific science classes such as engineering which you usually only find at a college level. The high schools seem to be very focused and oriented on the AP tests and state standardized tests, preparing all of their students for college much more than an average high school in the U.S., most having a 100% measurement for how many students took the AP tests in the High School and were prepared for college after graduating from the high school. Also, most of the high schools have a very high percentage of white students in their student body population and a very low percentage of students that receive any aid for their lunch programs such as reduced pricing or free meals. They tend to be very heavily populated with students from wealthy backgrounds and upper-class families that increase their chances of receiving a stronger education, especially charter schools which typically have more freedom to alter their curriculum or kick students out of the school if they are not performing to the standards required by the district.

We all were able to relate and agree that during our high school experiences we witnessed that many high schools seemed to only care about their image or their title that is shown to the public, not always necessarily what the students are learning or how they are growing academically within their education.


The BASIS Curriculum

March 26, 2018

Critiquing Education

Throughout my entire life and my educational experience, I feel as though class, race, and culture have all aided in well rounding my understanding for other individuals everywhere I go. I have always lived in a fairly diverse community and never found myself in any educational scenarios that were clearly divided by class, race, or culture. Especially since coming to USF, I believe I’ve always had a very well balance of exposure to many different cultures. It’s affected my individual learning by giving me a bigger picture to look at and has made me less narrow-minded. I have always found myself very interested in learning about different cultures and I always respect and enjoy learning about new beliefs or ideas from people I have met throughout my entire life.

For example, back at home, I have a lot of Hispanic friends. As far as I can think of, I have more friends that I could consider my “best friends” that are Hispanic than any other race. After moving here and meeting my roommates, I found that one of them was from Guam. This was a completely new culture for me, but I have found him and his other friends he knows at USF that are also from Guam, to become some of my best friends here on campus. I have constantly found myself surrounded by different cultures, race, and social classes my entire life and I have always loved it. I love learning about them and becoming very familiar with them. To be honest, I could honestly say I find other cultures and people from differing social classes or races than my own to be more friendly and welcoming than the people I may fall under the same category with.

March 9, 2018


The controversial topic I chose to read about using Wikipedia was abortion. Given that the information contributed in a Wikipedia article comes from many anonymous sources changes how I evaluate only some of the contents of abortion that I read. The contents that  I trust a bit more on this subject are the facts in the article.  Such as the definition of abortion, the history of it, the procedure, the safety etc. I trust anything that I know cannot be argued or quarreled and that can be proven by science. However, given that multiple sources can anonymously add information to Wikipedia, I usually do not trust any information that could possibly be biased or anything that could be opinionated.

A few pros to Wikipedia include that you can find almost any topic you could ever think of on Wikipedia. Its range of information is one of the largest in the world for a search engine. Also, most articles have links and resources embedded throughout the entire thing, so if you don’t understand a word, a subject, or who someone is, there is almost always a link attached to it that you can click on to learn more about it. However, with these pros come a few obvious cons. The first and the biggest is the fact that most of the information comes from multiple anonymous sources. This could very easily lead to biased information and sometimes completely false information. Also, since Wikipedia is free, that usually means that less time and money has been involved in creating the articles for the information you are reading. Overall, Wikipedia is and can be a very useful source for information, however, if you’re writing a paper or researching a topic, it is probably best that you use Wikipedia as a starting point to understand the general idea, and definitely should not stick to it as your only source.

March 5, 2018

University Rankings:

University rankings have become some of the most important determining factors for many upcoming college students, regardless of the fact of whether they know what the effect of the ranking number with have on the quality of their education.  Typically, universities with lower ranking systems do not necessarily “have a better education”, however, they do typically spend more money on teaching their students. Whether it be providing better resources, more features into the classrooms such as in science labs, or it quite literally be on the educational resources such as textbooks and content being taught.

According to the wall street journal, the outcomes of university rankings are as follows:

  • Graduation rate (11%)
  • Value added to graduate salary (12%)
  • Value added to loan default (7%)
  • Academic reputation (10%)

This data represents how much of a percent the university ranking affects each topic, whether the university has a lower or high ranking.  Universities with extremely high acceptance rates and lower tuitions, typically don’t necessarily provide students with a “worse education”, however, those institutions typically do not spend as much on the quality of the education that is being taught to their students like the “elite” and higher ranked universities.



N.A. (2018). Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2018 methodology. Times Higher Education: World University Rankings. Retrieved March 5,2018 from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/wall-street-journaltimes-higher-education-college-rankings-2018-methodology


Februrary 28, 2018

Food and Social Class/Politics: Jose Corella, Cooper Lenhard, Michael Mapua


Food deserts can be defined as any urban areas or parts of the country where it is difficult to find or afford any good-quality fresh food, such as fruits, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods.


Where are Food Deserts located?

Food deserts are typically areas that are lacking in grocery stores, farmers; markets and other healthy food providers. These are most commonly located in areas or communities of color and low income, where many people do not have a car and must rely on public transportation. According to the Food Empowerment Project, “ Studies have found that wealthy districts have three times as many supermarkets as poor ones do, that white neighborhoods contain an average of four times as many supermarkets as predominantly black ones do, and that grocery stores in African-American communities are usually smaller with less selection.”. The residents of food deserts usually have very limited options for what to eat and tend to be very heavily populated with fast-food chains that may be selling cheap meat and produce that is typically processed and high in sugar, fat, and salt.


Do Food Deserts Matter?

Today, our society has an abundance of choices. These choices range from McDonald’s chains throughout the country to Whole Foods supermarkets propagating the nation. The idea of a food desert comes from the idea that you can’t locate affordable, fresh food. It doesn’t mean that there is not a place to get food, it just means that the availability of fresh produce is much more scarce. Food Deserts are mainly found in disadvantaged communities. Now, there might be a simple solution for this, just bring supermarkets or farmers markets with better food closer to these neighborhoods. It does not work like that. Food deserts have a deeply rooted problem and it does not have to do with the geographic location of fresher food. Income, income is the main problem that creates food deserts because people with lower incomes just can’t afford fresh food. If there were to be a Whole Foods or a grocer that offers fresh, healthy food they would run out business because people can’t afford it. A recent study by economists from New York University, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago has revealed that food deserts are not the sole issue. Income disparity between lower class and upper-class people looks to be the biggest influencer in food deserts.   

Combating Food Deserts

In San Francisco, there is a shop named Craftsman and Wolves which has implemented a pay-it-forward system for customers who cannot afford pizza in the Bayview food desert neighborhood. Their pay-it-forward system was for people who wanted to pre-purchase someone else’s pizza order. The system worked with once a person has pre-paid the pizza, they would leave a Post-It note on the window for anyone to redeem. This system allowed for people who could not afford pizza in a food desert area to have a pre-paid slice of their own purchased by someone who wanted to. Logan, the owner of Craftsman and Wolves, adds that “It should not be awkward accepting the handouts. You see it, grab it and redeem it. It’s no big deal” (Compton, 2016 para. 17).



Compton, N. (2016). How Pizza Is Fighting Hunger in a San Francisco Food Desert.

Munchies-Vice’s Food Website. Retrieved from



Florida, R. (2018, January 22). Food Deserts Exist. But Do They Matter? Retrieved

February 28, 2018, from https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/01/food-deserts/551138/

Gallagher, Mari. (2015). USDA Defines Food Deserts. Nutrition Digest. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/usda-defines-food-deserts

N.A. (2018). Food Deserts. Food Empowerment Project. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from http://www.foodispower.org/food-deserts/


February 26, 2018

Food and Social Habits

My family doesn’t exactly have one set kind of food or meal that is very common in our family or culture.  We tend to try to mix our meals and dinners up regularly, but if I were to categorize the majority of our foods it would be American. We do make foods from other cultures sometimes such as Mexican, Italian, or maybe even South American food. However, for the most part, our family foods consist of American meals.

As far as cultural status in our society based off of the foods we eat, I would like to say we are pretty average. We don’t have five-star filet mignons every single night and we definitely don’t just order pizza every single night. We have a relatively good balance of the two I would say. During holidays we tend to have fancier dinners, and on “lazy nights” such as perhaps a Friday night when none of us have the energy to cook, we may order pizza for dinner. Other than that, our average weekday meals are average American dinners such as some kind of meat, whether it be chicken, pork, or steak, etc.  and some kind of side with it.

Foods and eating habits can sometimes shape social norms and identities for some people. For example, wealthier people may tend to have healthier and more expensive dinners more often. Such as a filet mignon that my family may only have on occasion like holiday meals, wealthier families usually tend to have this more often, at least according to the stereotype. A family that might not be as wealthy however is typically viewed as having fast-food more often and maybe easier to prepare dinners, such as a frozen dinner that simply just needs to be put in the oven or microwave. Our society has seemed to shape our social class and financial status around the kind of foods we eat in that the more wealth we have, the healthier and more expensive foods we eat. Vice versa in that stereotypically, less fortunate families eat unhealthy foods more often and much cheaper meals.