The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of jobs in the most general of terms is my parents. They work in the same building, essentially doing the same tasks. They both really dislike their jobs, but this is what they have to do in order to thrive individually and collectively as a family. Because they feel this way about their jobs, they encourage me to find a better job that makes me happy and that can support me financially. This then makes me think of the judgment that comes with what jobs people have. Although it may be a useful way to determine a person’s lifestyle, I would like to think that there is more to a person than just their job. People are quick to judge when they see a person at a tall skyscraper building versus a person fixing the streets. Although yes this can suggest that the person in the skyscraper is probably wealthier and better off, maybe so-and-so is not a good, genuine person. Is money and success the only thing that determines a person? That can be used to decide if that person is worthy or not? In our society today, I think that this stigma behind blue collar jobs is inefficient in creating an environment where all jobs are appreciated. Without majority of the lower-ended jobs, we would not be able to go about our everyday lifestyles because most of the times, those jobs contribute a lot to our daily lives. Whereas, those who get paid significantly more are maybe not positively impacting our society yet they get more praise because of 1. the money, 2. the image, and 3. the idea of power.
I have only had one job and it was a summer day camp counselor at the YMCA by my house. I know that my conditions are nothing compared to those experiences mentioned in the reading, but working at the YMCA was quite horrible and physically tiring. I was in charge of the 4-6 year olds and sometimes it would just be me leading a group of 30 kindergarteners running around with energy levels that never seized to lower. This is not only physically draining for me, but it is also against the rules. There is a certain ratio of counselors to kids that we were supposed to follow in order to ensure the safety of the children, but sometimes that rule was dismissed. Sometimes I would only get a 15 minute lunch break for a 9-5 shift and that is also against the rules. I mean I still did it because there was no one else to watch the kids, but it was still wrong of my bosses to put me and other counselors under that circumstance. As camp progressed, these conditions began to be less and less stressful, which I was grateful for, but there would be some occasions where somehow all of the counselors were gone and it would be 3 of us against 40 kids.
As for my family, my grandma began to work when she was in sixth grade. She had to leave school in order to help my great grandma take care of the whole family. Other than being significantly young, I do not think that my grandma endured any significant hardships throughout work. Once she moved to the states, she did not withhold any jobs or positions. My parents both work in a company that issues government paperwork. They both do not really enjoy their jobs, but they do what they have to in order to support me and my siblings. As far as vacation and sick days go, their bosses are fairly lenient. Nothing seems to equivocate the conditions that those people endured in McClelland’s story. Although jobs may not be perfect or you may not get a full lunch break, does that really compare or does that really allow you to complain when some people lose body parts or pass out from their so-called occupations?
In my research, I have found an article called “Where Americans Are Facing Evictions.” This article covers multiple angles of eviction, how it affects people, who is the most susceptible, where it takes place the most often, and why. According to the article, families with multiple children are the most vulnerable of all. And they analyzed that this comes to show the burden of childcare costs. They also point out, in regards to race, that the black population always seems to have a somewhat significant rate of eviction. Even if they have a degree or a high level of education, their percentage is higher than any other race. They also address the misconception that the highest eviction rates are probably in cities that have high costing houses, such as San Francisco. But the reality is that it is also the places with low median incomes and high rates of foreclosure, like Memphis, Phoenix, and Atlanta. In more general terms, the higher eviction rates are geared towards the South and MidWest.
“Eviction is a cause, not just a condition, of poverty.”
My individual learning has not really been affected by class, at least not anything too significant for me to remember. When I was younger, I often felt “lower” than someone else because of the material items, such as high brand clothing or technology. I had a friend that was an only child and her parents would let her buy whatever she wanted, when she wanted. This was not the same for me. Although my parents provide me with everything I need and try to give me things I desire (and I am so appreciative of this), I would always feel like I needed to compensate in order to hang out with her. As I grew up, I realized that these things did not matter and I am happy with what I have. And I am so glad that I have realized this because it has allowed me to be happier and save more money!
My individual learning has been affected by culture and race in that sometimes stereotypical expectations are hard to be met realistically. There is a stereotype that all Asians are smart or really good at math. Well, I am not the best at math and when people realize this, the stereotype is brought up. It is not so much prevalent today, but when I was younger, it was a thing that people referred to quite often. It made me feel discouraged when being in the classroom because sometimes I would be too scared to ask questions, I’d be too scared to even ask for help, which as you can imagine worsened my math grades even more so. It also impacted my self-esteem in that I thought I was not good enough and I was not intelligent because of one weakness. But again, as I grew up I realized that stereotypes are not accurate and are irrelevant. Yes they can be fun jokes at times, but they should not be taken seriously. We cannot box people into having certain traits or characteristics based on background. This also made me realize that it is okay to not be good at everything, it is okay to have weaknesses because with weaknesses come strengths.
According to usnews.com, their way of efficiently ranking universities relies on a number of variables that represent a certain percentage. These numbers are then added up (to equal any number from 0-100) and are compared to other schools. They are put in order and the schools that have the same number, they are tied and will be put in alphabetical order. The variables that I mentioned before are referred to as “Ranking Model Indicators.” Some examples of these would be graduation and retention rates (22.5), undergraduate academic reputation (22.5%), family resources (20%), student selectivity (12.5%), financial resources (10%), graduation rate performance (7.5%), and alumni giving rate (5%). All of these components that essentially make up a school are used to determine which schools are considered “top-ranked” and those that are “unranked.” Unranked schools are schools that do not meet certain requirements, such as they do not require ACTs or SATs, they are in a Carnegie Classification (meaning they are highly specialized schools), they enroll a large number of untraditional students, there were not enough assessment surveys completed about them, or they had 200 or fewer undergraduate and graduate students. What stood out to me the most was that there was no demographic that included diversity or some sort of racial statistic that was included to this assessment of schools. I know that some people really take under consideration the demographics of the student population. The demographics of a school can really sway whether a student would like to go there or not. I am not sure if it should be included when determining the ranks of a school, but it was just something that I wanted to point out.
Michael, Amanda, Nicole
Which portrait most closely resembles your typical Thanksgiving experience? Least resembles?
Michael: Michael says that the picture on page 229; he relates to this picture the most because it looks like the people in the picture are praying. He says that his family always prays before their meal. The picture that least resembles his Thanksgiving experience is the picture on page 228. This is because there are not enough females in his family to relate to the picture and his mom just cooks the food and they eat it.
Amanda: Amanda says that the cartoon on page 229 resembles her Thanksgiving dinner the most because it looks like in the picture they are afraid “bird flu,” signifying an issue at the table. She says that at her Thanksgiving dinners, there always seems to be some sort of an issue. The least likely to resemble her Thanksgiving is the picture on page 229 (the picture Michael chose to resemble his family). She says that it does not resemble her family because the picture looks peaceful and happy and the family seems to be praying, which is not something her Thanksgiving consists of.
Nicole: I agree with Michael; the picture on page 229 resembles my Thanksgiving dinner the most because it seems uneventful and quiet. My Thanksgivings are usually quiet because we only have my immediate family there. I also relate to this picture because I also pray before our meal. The picture that least resembles my Thanksgiving would be page 230 because I do not have any close relatives that are soldiers or any affiliations to troops in that way. Also, there seems to be a lot of people at this gathering which is something that I do not relate to. To be honest, none of these pictures really resemble what my Thanksgiving looks like, but my Thanksgiving really looks nothing like this picture.
At home, we usually eat Asian or Mexican dishes. It’s really just whatever my grandma makes, but it usually gravitates around those two cultures. I guess you can say that this represents that my home is a standard, middle-class environment that dines in most of the time; we are very family-based in a sense that we eat together as a family and enjoy our “cultural” meals together. The food that we usually eat at home reflects that we are tied to our cultural backgrounds, but it can also show that we are not that cultural or native? I guess you can say.
Foods and eating habits can have a great correlation to social norms and identities. Referencing back to the essays we had to discuss, Egan brings up the idea that better quality food is generally more expensive than lesser quality foods. For example, a sit down restaurant where the food is cooked when you order it probably has a greater chance of having a better nutritional value than a fast food restaurant where your food is microwaved or cooked in a minute or two. So therefore you can further concur that people with more money can maintain healthier lifestyles because there financial stance is better than those who have less money. I actually find this quite sad because how are we going to continue to grow as a country if there are people who are eating fast food everyday who do not get the nutrition that they need in order to live out healthy, happy lives? It is sad because it really is evident in neighborhoods. You can physically see the difference between a person living in a good neighborhood versus a person who lives in poverty. All in all, although it may not be the most apparent correlation, food and social class can go hand in hand.
Week 5: Day 1- Seeing and Being Seen
When people first meet me, I think the first assumption they make is I am young and some kind of Asian. That is what people tell me they usually see, but by looking at me. I can understand their inference. I am a small person, who probably looks like 15 or 16 years old at most. I definitely look Asian so I can also see why they make the conclusion that I am. Being seen as younger than I actually am sometimes is not fun, especially when you go to a restaurant and they still hand you the kids menu. But for the most part, it does not really phase me as much as my race being mistaken. Yes I am Asian, but I am not Filipino as many would assume I am. I am Chinese Mexican. It does not bother me to the point that it angers me, I sometimes find it quite amusing to ask people what they think my race is. Maybe 80% of time, people will say I look Filipino. Again, understandable. These perceptions do not define me; although people might make the same mistake multiple times, it does not change who I truly am. Some people get very angered or bothered when their appearances lead people to make incorrect assumptions and I totally understand why.
This just shows that the people of our society are uneducated. This tells us that some thing needs to change in the way that we are taught to view other people. It is wrong for someone to make a typical guess on who a person is based on their appearances. In some cases, it is understandable and logical to make an assumption based on appearances, but you have to be able to do it in a non-racist/non-suggestive way, which can be tricky. A situation in which connecting the dots incorrectly would be to say that one person is a bad person or that one person is good/bad at something just based on their appearance. It is wrong how some people think it is so simple to judge someone in this close-minded manner. Like the typical saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” This same idea applies to this general topic. Just because I may look young or Filipino, does not mean that I am. Where it is important to realize that you are wrongfully judging a person’s identity, it is also important to realize that sometimes people are just uneducated or unaware, and you can help change their close-minded ways. It is not helpful to just complain that “people always think I look Filipino, but I’m not;” instead, tell the person that you cannot label all darker asians to be Filipino. It is also not helpful for those people to reject their uneducated-ness and to continue to insult the wrongfully identified people. Looks can be a helpful, determining tool, but appearances can also be misleading.
Audio Essay Script
My story will be about how my grandparents meeting influenced the way I identify myself. Where others may identify strongly with religion, their sexuality, gender, professions, personally, I identify greatly with my race. This is because I feel that it most represents me; it both represents my family as a whole and me individually. The story begins with my grandpa being born in China and my grandma being born in Mexico. As a teenager, my grandpa moved from China to Mexico and my grandma had began to work at a little restaurant. Coincidentally, this small restaurant that my grandma began to work at was my grandpa’s uncle’s restaurant. My grandpa had come to Mexico to work for his uncle at this same restaurant. This is where they met, this is essentially the beginning of our biracial family. Because I greatly identify myself with my race, I decided to talk about this story. They sacrificed so much to support and grow as a family. My family is a large component of both my race and my identity.
In-Class Blog Writing
For this audio essay, the main idea is addressing issues that I have faced with identity, cultural background, or stereotypes. I think I have an idea on what I will talk about, something about how people assuming the races of others based on physical characteristics. This topic might be a little vague, but it is something that I definitely can talk about and something I feel strongly about. What I am thinking is to write about the ignorance present within everyone around us. There are so many different combinations of races that one can have that it is almost impossible to assume someone’s race. Although physical characteristics can lead to the correct race, we still cannot assume. For example, a lot of people do not guess my race correctly on the first try, which is totally understandable. I do not find it offensive nor am I complaining about it. I do not find it offensive when people ask me; I think I prefer it because then they know the truth rather than just assume a false assumption. I simply just want to address the fact that the human race is so uneducated when it comes to correctly identifying people by their race or even just being able to recognize that not everyone who looks hispanic is mexican, not everyone who looks asian is chinese, or saying that a white person is “just white.” Race is a part of someone’s identity and although I do not take offense when people make a mistake, others can really take it to heart. But don’t get me wrong. I am not perfect, I can’t tell you what race each person is in this room and that is exactly my point. People, including me, fail to recognize the diversity of our race. With being able to recognize different races will also come the elimination of a stereotype. I understand that sometimes stereotypes can be funny and sometimes can be true, but there are so many different people both outside and within a one race that it is wrong to label someone or peg a certain trait to a race. Some stereotypes can be so offensive and culturally disrespectful that I think our society sometimes does not realize the reality behind it because of the comedy that comes with a stereotype. I feel that it is important for us to become more educated. This could be a step forward in ending discrimination, stereotypes, hate crimes, bullying, gentrification, and much more.
The bolded text is what I think I will base my audio essay on. My race is a large portion of my identity. Since we have to talk about issues regarding our identities, I feel that this is a suitable topic.