feb 25 – In-Class Writing

In my family and culture, there are many dishes and cuisines that are most crucial to our identity. We have dishes like adobo, sinigang, sisig, lumpia, and desserts like ube, halo halo, puto, bibingka, leche flan, and more. These dishes are flavorful and such a handful of tastes, which basically represents the identities of filipino people. The Philippines is a third-world country with not much industrialization done to have exquisite meals and advanced technology to make these fancy meals; therefore, our dishes take the most basic ingredients accessible to all people and create a tasteful dish. Although these dishes include simple ingredients, filipinos have used this simplicity to their advantage. In addition to this, filipino culture is really family-oriented. This means that the people we most care about, the people we spend a lot of time with, etc. are people that we should always surround ourselves with and bond with. A way to do this in filipino culture is through food and throwing family/friend functions with lots of food for people to enjoy. Not only did food serve as a way to represent the people’s identities, but it also connected these people and share a bond that may only get closer with such tasteful food dishes.



I have a little sister who has Down Syndrome and other physical disabilities that she has struggled with all her life. My sister has faced many assumptions and other forms of discrimination. In terms of assumptions, her appearance doesn’t necessarily fit the reality of her age: she is 14 years old, but is the size of a 6 year old. Based on her appearance, people automatically assume her age and start to talk to her like she is a toddler that doesn’t understand anything. Down Syndrome also causes a person’s appearance to look a little different, so in general people already assume she is unable to understand things or attain a level of knowledge on basic things due to this. In addition to this, people who often don’t understand what down syndrome is ask really offensive questions or state offensive comments towards my family and my sister. An example of this was when one of my teachers had asked my mom if the doctors could test what my sister’s “mental age” was around. This was extremely insensitive to say because of the assumption that she has a low level of mental/emotional capabilities. My sister has also faced other little kids asking us why she looks the way she looks, or why she walks kind of shaky, or how come she talks like that, or even just gets really long stares from both kids and adults.

All in all, my family and I have come to the conclusion that we need to pick and choose our fights correctly, as well as inform and educate people. We have found that there is a different between ignorance and being disrespectful, and simply just being uneducated and not knowing how her disability affects her. As someone that is an immediate advocate for her and other people like her, I believe it’s important to be able to educate and inform people about the things they don’t know or assume incorrectly.


FEB 11 – IN CLASS WRITING (Samilla, Anne, Jonalyn)

Audio essay pitch:

My story is about an experience I had at my internship in my senior year of high school. In my internship, I worked as a middle school teacher’s aide for a special needs class in my community for a total of 3 months. This class included middle schoolers who have disabilities and special needs ranging from autism, down syndrome, and many other mild to severe needs. Some of my tasks included prepping assignments for the students, supporting students in their academics, monitoring their recess and lunch time, and coming up with weekly projects for the students to complete. In addition to this, I did a lot of paperwork, organizing, filing, and other tasks the teacher needed me to do around the classroom. The specific experiences I will be talking about is the encounters I had with the two students I most worked with: Angela and Sam. They were two very different people, so it was really interesting to be able to find a way to tend to both of their needs. Angela was an autistic, non-verbal girl who was really gentle and sweet, but often sensitive when other students get too physical or close to her. On the other hand, Sam had mild aspergers, which is under the autistic spectrum, who loves talking about violent video games and bloody horror stories, but also doesn’t like being touched or bothered by other students.

This story is really about how important it is to be a voice for people who cannot always speak up for themselves. Unless you have a very personal connection to someone who is under the spectrum, it is very easy for people to dismiss the population of people who have disabilities and special needs, especially kids.



  • include a moral of the story
  • include story/experience that is compelling
    • don’t just tell an experience
  • share stories about both roles
    • my own personal story to tell, but also tell the stories of these children who often have difficulty speaking up about their experiences
  • be specific as possible
    • specific experience
    • not too general with ideas
  • make sure to include the outline of the essay (for pitch)
    • organization of essay


Questions, Comments, or Concerns:

  • I think this project will be unique and exciting, but very difficult to execute well.
  • This project will just require a lot of time outside of class.
  • The script might be one of the harder things to do because of how important the dialogue is to the project.
  • Connecting all the different types of key features into a cohesive project might be difficult.


In-Class Reading Response:

I have yet to encounter an experience like Cadogan’s racial profiling and racism in his community, but I have similarly felt scared and unsafe by being a young woman. I have been catcalled by men driving or walking by, I have had cars follow me while I was walking, and have experienced some form of harassment. Although this is different to race and culture, I know the feeling of always having to be attentive to my surroundings and my actions when I am alone in public – which is, in fact, extremely scary for me and other women in my community. In terms of race and culture, I do believe that there is a lot of unsaid things that people experience based on how they look or what color their skin is. Because these social scripts have been embedded into society for so long, it has become difficult for people to understand that reality of how negative and dangerous some of them really are, causing them to not take these issues so seriously. The United States has come a long way from shifting its views about different races and culture, but it hasn’t been enough to effectively diminish the amount of terror and restriction many people are facing in their community. In Cadogan’s case, he is purposefully limiting himself to certain restrictions, which affects his freedom and ability to feel safe. His freedom is at stake, but in a way, it somewhat rewriting the scripts


JANUARY 30 : In Class Writing

Based on the reading responses for class, there were many similarities and differences between the class and myself. I will be discussing the similarities and differences in the following:



  • questioning other people’s social economic class and how that affects their behavior/interaction in a community
    • The rich often spend their money on luxuries, expensive things, and materialistic objects, when there are millions of people that cannot afford a meal for their family.
    • I often question why they are even allowed to have all that wealth and not doing any good to help other people with it.
  • not having a diverse friend group because of finding comfortability in people that are similar to us
    • Majority of my friend group are nursing majors, filipino/asian, and dancers.
    • I feel most comfortable with them because of the many connections, similarities, etc. I can relate to them with.
  • neighborhoods starting off diverse, but eventually becoming diverse over time
    • I agree with this because in SF there are many different types of people here with different orientations, but there is much work going on to bring the social economic status up. This is the work of gentrification, which is vastly changing SF community and driving people out of here due to money.



  • a community not having to be diverse in only race (hobbies, food preferences, etc. are all diverse enough itself)
    • I think there are clearly differences in terms of hobbies, but I do not think that these differences can stand alone in creating diversity.
    • There is so much more community and personality when culture and race become involved.
  • being more active in allowing people of different social economic classes to live in communities
    • I believe if we do this, there will be people that will have difficulty thriving in a community
    • This is definitely diverse, but will not allow for all people to effectively flourish in their society. It will just be a survival of the fittest and eventually be a single class over time.



  • “It made me look into this school, USF, and how they try to emphasize diversity, but after looking at the board of trustees and notice that they are predominantly wealthy white males, it makes me wonder how that is diverse.”
    • I thought this was interesting because the school is basically not what it claims to be. The students may be diverse, but the people who are running, administrating, and working out our school, clearly do not follow the claims of diversity in USF.
  • “Neighborhoods always start off somewhat diverse but as time goes on these neighborhoods develop a personality in a way.”
    • I never really thought about how a neighborhood can be described as having a personality. I think it was a really unique way to explain how communities tend to change over time.



Cultural Bloopers

  • people saying I have really big eyes for asians (implying that majority of asians have small eyes)
  • people saying that I only have a pet to eat it (implying that asians eat dogs/cats)
  • people saying that filipinos are either singers, dancers, or nurses

JANUARY 28: IN-CLASS WRITING (Jonalyn, Jenilyn, Michelle)



   People who identify as transgender believe to have been born in the wrong gender. According to transequality.org, an organization that focuses on increasing the understanding and acceptance of transgender people(transequality.org ), they state that their identity of who they are is not what they were at birth. For example, a person may identify themselves as a male today in society but may have been born as a female. It can be the other way around as well, a person identifying as transgender female may have been born as a male. If we go more in-depth, there are more ways a transgender person can identify themselves as. The Human Rights Campaign, an organization that ensures the basic human rights of LGBTQ, states that transgender people can not only identify as trans but other identities such as genderqueer, gender fluid, and many more(hrc.org). This goes to show the amount of personal freedom they have to identify as whatever they want, but this in result can lead to a backlash by people who don’t fully understand what it means to be transgender.



   Transgender people face many stigmas and discriminations. They may experience harassment from people who fear and mistrust transgenders. Transgender discrimination such as denial in jobs and housings. The stress of transphobia on trans people is harmful and can cause depression, fear, isolation, feelings of hopelessness and suicide. Many transgender faces outing, which is the act of revealing someone else’s transgender identity (plannedparenthood.org) Many transgender feels they need to belong and seek counseling to understand their identity (Apa.or)    



   The United States has drastically shifted the way transgender people thrive and participate in their communities. Although society hasn’t fully accepted this community, there has been major improvements to allow transgender people to feel more comfortable and safe. In the Washington Post article titled “The importance of social media when it comes to LGBTQ kids feeling seen”, Amber Leventry points out that social media plays a major role in the transgender community in various ways. It opens up a space for these people to express themselves and find support from other people, which is what the community often lacks in society. This social media role has helped  create a stronger community amongst this population, where they don’t feel a sense of judgement or unacceptance from others who fail to understand this type of identity. In another effort to a more gender-inclusive community, Stanford University has increased the amount of gender-neutral bathrooms in their facility to increase the safety of their students. The gender-neutral bathrooms allow people of all identities to easily use a bathroom without feeling out of place or confused about where to go. The transgender community is also thriving by increasing the amount of jobs they are offered on TV, having more public spaces that create safer spaces, and participating in events and shows that support transgender people.












Welcome to my blog! My name is Jonalyn Montero. I was born and raised in Daly City, and decided to continue my studies in the Bay Area here at USF. I am a freshman majoring in Nursing with (hopefully) a minor in Youth and Child Studies.


I am passionate about the healthcare and medicine field, as well as special needs rights and issues. I believe that these two passions coincide with each other in many ways, so this is one of the main reasons why I want to be a nurse. Nurses are healers and people who push healthcare boundaries; therefore, pursuing a nursing major seems best fit to fulfill my passion in these topics.


In my free time, I enjoy dancing and teaching at my hometown dance school. I am part of a competitive dance team that focuses on urban dance, which is a different style of hip hop. I also teach young children ballet, jazz, and modern.


Some interesting facts about me include the following: I have 3 siblings, I have been dancing since I was four years old, and I have been outside the country 4 times!




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