February 21, 2018

Being “tokenized” :

Overall, throughout my entire life, I can honestly say I have never really been “tokenized” or felt “tokenized”. For the most part, I have never really been the minority in many situations at all. Most of the residents in my hometown were also white, just like me, so there were never any moments where I could have been tokenized.

The most common assumption I think, sometimes know, that people make about me when they first meet me is my financial status. Simply because I am white, I have had many people automatically assume, without even knowing the slightest detail of my background, that I”m from a wealthy white family that lives in a great big house, with my happy family, and many pets, beautiful cars, a safe neighborhood, food always on the table and whenever I want it, no worries at all in my life, and absolutely no troubles with money or anything financial. It really annoys me that the social stereotype of white people has become this such view. I have met many people that think this way about all white people they ever meet. While it may be true that typically, white people are not the minorities in most social situations, it does not necessarily apply to every single one of us.

For example, actually about two weeks ago, I was on Haight Street with a friend. We went into one of the shops and were talking to the salesperson in the shop at the time. After just some casual talk, she began to ask what school we went to and if were from the city. When we told her we went to USF, she looked straight at me, then my friend, and said something along the lines of “Ohh, some rich folks huh?”., automatically assuming that we were financially stable just based off of the school we were attending. This is exactly similar to the other experiences I have had in my life from people making assumptions upon first meeting me. It is obviously nothing too terrible or impossible to live with, it’s just something that I have found very annoying my entire life, that people don’t seem to understand or believe that there are white people that are not filthy rich and are actually just financially comfortable, no more and no less.


February 16, 2018

APA References

  1. Gebhard, J.G. (2010). What Do International Students Think and Feel? Adapting to U.S. College Life and Culture. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
  2. (H. Mar, personal communication, June 30, 2011.)
  3. Mack,  T. (1997, May). Culture Shock. Forbes, 188-190.
  4. Simpson, J.C. (2007). Chronicler of Culture Shock. Time, 156. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
  5. Wright, R. (2005). Going to Teach in Prisons: Culture Shock. Journal of Correctional Education, 5(1), 19-38. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.


February 12th

Audio Essay Script

My story is about language and communication. Specifically, the language and communication I have experienced growing up. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a community with a lot of diversity and languages. The dominant language, other than English, in my town, is Spanish. I discuss how I took Spanish classes in both middle and high school, and how my understanding and knowledge of the culture developed over time. However, I also discuss how I lost all of that knowledge, within just about one year.

What my story is really about is the development and understanding of another culture other than my own. This includes both the excitement that comes with new diversity in my life, as well as the struggles. The struggles included trouble memorizing the language, getting different cultures and ideas confused, and practicing not just often, but daily. When not practiced daily, such as when I stopped taking Spanish, and surrounding my self around it every single day, I pretty much lost all of my knowledge of it within a year.

I think my narrative essay will provide a very good and possibly unique approach to the common topic of learning a new language. Mostly because I was so surrounded by not only the language itself but also the culture behind it. Many of my friends were Hispanic and completely fluent in Spanish. I learned new things every single day both in and out of school.

February 9

Essay 1- Free Writing

The idea of language amazes me. Just the fact that every single human on this earth can communicate through familiar and known phrases, words, and sentences to create something as simple as a sentence still blows me away. Simply just thinking about how language was first created is what amazes me the most. What was it like before we could even communicate? How did people translate their ideas to each other? How did actual language, speaking, and writing first form? I could ask endless questions and wonder for hours solely on the topic of language and communication alone. What also amazes me is the fact that there are hundreds of different language throughout the entire world. Yet, in the end, we’re all speaking the exact same language, we’re are just translating or communicating it completely differently. I feel like this topic is very overlooked, and most of the time that it is addressed, it’s simply people complaining that we don’t all speak the same language or that the entire United States doesn’t only speak English.

In high school, it was required that we have at least two years of credit for taking a language. Since my town was pretty decently populated with Hispanics and Spanish speakers, and because a lot of my friends were fluent in Spanish, I chose to take Spanish as my language. I started taking it in 8th grade at Spanish 1 and ended my last year in Spanish as a Junior in Spanish 4. Obviously, when I first started, the most I could speak were small and simple phrases like “May I use the restroom?” and “Hi, my name is _____, how are you?” , etc. What amazed me so much was that by the time I was in Spanish 4, I was nowhere near fluent, but I actually knew Spanish. I could pretty comfortably read almost every single word in front of me and got very good at Speaking it. I understood the grammar and the rules behind it and was actually able to understand my friends when the spoke it. Since my friends knew I was taking Spanish, there was actually one point where a few of them only spoke to me in Spanish. It started out as a joke, but it became normal after a few weeks and I was absolutely blown away by how much I had learned and at the fact that I could have complete conversations with my friends. I was obviously a little slower than them at translating and being able to communicate what I wanted to say in complete, grammatically correct sentences, but I was still pretty good. It eventually got to point where we started speaking Spanish when on the soccer field, since most of the time the other team could not understand us. It gave us a nice advantage being able to scream out plays and passes without our opponent even having the slightest idea of what we were saying.


Essay 1- Free Writing Outline

  • translating/translate
  • communicating
  • overlooked, not addressed or focused on enough
  • developed- the process of learning or acquiring a new skill
  • grammatically correct
  • “completely amazes me”
  • “wonder”, “imagine”
  • fluent

February 7- Audio Essay

After reading the assignment on canvas and the guidelines that come along with it, we are expected to construct a 1-3 minute audio essay discussing our own personal experiences facing the issues of identity, culture, and racial stereotypes. Some of the expectations that come with this assignment include helping ourselves and others develop a deeper understanding of cultural, language, and racial identities. We are also expected to have clear examples and evidence within our essay, along with smooth transitions between each of our points. Along with that, it is also expected that we take some time to edit the audio on our essay so that there is at least one sound other than our voice and the audio is edited for the best listener effect.

Some challenges I think I will experience in making this audio essay is keeping a steady pace throughout the entire recording, not running out of material to say, and keeping the audience engaged. If I skip around, pause, and stutter a lot, and never change my tone of voice, it will be very boring to the listener. However, I think I will excel in being able to learn Audacity rather quickly, even though I have never used it. I am typically a quick learner when it comes to new technology, which will hopefully be able to help me excel through my weaknesses I think I will experience during this assignment.

February 5, 2018

After reading Isaiah’s response to our February 5th discussion, he did an exceptional job at interpreting our two readings. After reading Garnette Cadogan’s essay “Black and Blue”, he made very relevant and current points, even in regards to our society today. He used a personal example stating that if he were to go to “a random state where there was no diversity at all”, he believes he would feel very uncomfortable in response to Cadogan’s argument that racism is still prevalent today. In response to “Scenes and Un-Scenes” Isaiah agreed that the social class is in fact shown as less important in today’s society because he believes people focus more on human rights than necessarily which class they are in. Overall, Isaiah did a very good job at expressing his opinions on both readings, and I liked that fact that he made it a bit personal by adding how he would feel under similar conditions as Cadogan.

January 29th

Cooper Lenhard, Megan Callihan, Isaiah Jenkins

Understanding and knowing what a transgender person is may not be common knowledge to most people, however, ACLU.org says  “Transgender is frequently used to describe a broad range of identities and experiences that fall outside of the traditional understanding of gender. Some of those identities and experiences include people whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth, people who transition from living as one gender to another or wish to do so (often described by the clinical term “transsexual”), people who “cross-dress” part of the time, and people who identify outside the traditional gender binary (meaning they identify as something other than male or female). “

Transgender people in the U.S., unfortunately, face many identity issues in society such as discrimination. One common form of discrimination that they experience is in the workplace. According to TransEquality.org, “More than one in four transgender people have lost a job due to bias, and more than three-fourths have experienced some form of workplace discrimination”. Transgender people have even experienced “refusal to hire, privacy violations, and harassment” in the workplace. 

The transition for transgender people in the U.S. has become more prevalent in today’s society. There are always resources and good people in the community to help transgender people thrive, “Through Bloomberg’s mental health benefits, I was able to access treatment for my depression. When the psychiatrist diagnosed me with transgenderism, I reached out to the Bloomberg LGBT & Ally Community for help. They hosted a transgender woman guest speaker for a lunch-and-learn and I felt so inspired to hear that you can have a successful career as a transgender person and truly be yourself. I knew at that point I was ready to make the transition. The LGBT & Ally Community immediately connected me with our Human Resources representative to discuss the resources on gender transitioning as an employee and walked me through every step of the way with sensibility and care.” This supports the fact that many transgender people have the opportunity to thrive in different communities within the U.S with these resources. Also, through the media, transgender people are being more recognized in society, “Transgender visibility is at an all-time high in the media. Television shows like Orange is the New Black, Glee, and Transparent have brought transgender characters to the forefront. Recently, ABC’s 20/20 ran a two-hour special interview of Bruce Jenner, who came out as a transgender woman.” The media helps change the norms of society overtime which help transgender people thrive. Overall, anyone can find help within communities in the U.S. 




Transgender visibility: How employees thrive in an inclusive workplace

January 26th

Meaning of Name assignment:

The origin and meaning of my name is a little different than most people I have ever met. Most people I know have gotten their name passed down to them through previous family members such as grandparents, or even their parents. However, my name was given to me based off of a bird. When my dad was still studying in college, and figuring out what he wanted to do with his life, he grew a very strong interest in Ornithology.  Even though he ended up in the medical field as an Endocrinologist, he always did and still has a very strong passion and interest in Ornithology. He got my name from the bird the Cooper’s Hawk. He thought it was unique and different, and it was based on one of his biggest passions in his life.

Throughout my life, I would say I have experienced a touch of both embarrassment and pride from my name. The most common reason I ever get embarrassed from my name is that sometimes when I first meet people, their initial reaction to learning my name is somewhere along the lines of, “That’s weird, I’ve only ever met dogs named Cooper”. I have noticed and I am very aware that “Cooper” is a very popular name for dogs, but I do not particularly enjoy being referred to or even compared to a dog. It makes me feel like my name is seen as a joke sometimes. Other times though, I’ve been extremely proud of my name. Some people react completely differently to learning my name, usually, tell me “how unique” and “interesting” it is. I have only ever met one other Cooper in my whole life so it definitely helps me think that I do have a special and unique name that not many people have.  As far as my experience here at USF so far, I have gotten a pretty neutral response to my name, nothing very embarrassing and nothing to be too prideful about. The only other Cooper I have met though was here at USF, which was very exciting when I first met him. It felt strange though, like I was expecting him to be different, or somewhat like me for some reason. None the less it was a very interesting experience.

I have never really changed my name or adopted a new name ever. Most of my friends just simply call me “Coop” because it’s just shorter and quick to say. Other than that, that is the meaning and origin behind my name, “Cooper”.

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