One meaningful insight I gained was that there are a lot of Spanish speakers in my class, and they feel like they were taught to suppress their Spanish. And they all regret it. They want to now celebrate spanish and appreciate it. We’ve all had had their struggles with spanish or english and with overcoming the challenges, they are better people. Everyone has a literary moment that has defined them. Practices like telling them not to speak spanish at home or trying to put the child in special education. One concept is feeling like spanish is subpar and less than english. The audience was the perfect audience because we are in this class together and we have all struggled with literacy. Everyone has had an experience with feeling like they aren’t good enough. That is why this audience what’s the best audience. With everyone feeling like they have gone through this experience, we all can relate instead of being ignorant to the fact that racism and discrimination exist. Sadly, many people are stuck in old ways and are conservative and accept and like the Discrimination. Certain people feel like since they won’t be getting it, feel Like they should be treated like that, or know that they will be treated better, so they spread their feelings with friends and children. They post stuff online and share their toxic ideas to everyone to continue the stigma and hate. Some people are discriminated against and don’t mind it or sometimes agree with it. One example being a woman saying they cannot do a man’s job or them saying they are a wife so they must do all the cooking, cleaning, and caretaking of their children. They cannot deny sex to their
husband and must submit to him. It doesn’t matter if they realize it’s sexist or not because they agree and do everything I just said. I realized that language and cultural differences are the reason these people are experiencing literacy issues at a young age. The United States of America is eurocentric and anything that is not English is deemed wrong and a threat. So teachers would try to get rid of every trace of Spanish or anything of a different want to feel comfortable. I spoke to many people and heard many presentations and gathered my information to make this arguement.
A meaningful literacy moment in my life is getting a scholarship to Vassar. I would always score high on all my grades and my teachers noticed. They would give me higher reading levels compared to my classmates and would rarely make mistakes on my homework or quizzes. My elementary school PS 171 was part of a program called the Talented and Gifted program and NYC schools funded it. This program was meant to show schools which students had special gifts in all subjects. This was good for me because I always knew I was especially good in my classes. It was cut when I was in the 3
rd Grade but some of the benefits remained. One of them gave me this experience. There was a test that 5th Graders took to assess their knowledge and of certain subjects and test their abilities to think outside the box. This test wasn’t a test that anyone would score well on. Many students had low scores or would have high scores but couldn’t “think outside the box”. I was told I had one of the highest scores! Me and my friend both scored well, and we got to spend 3 weeks in Vassar College at the Summer institute for the Gifted. While I was there, we did English and math programs every day to improve our skills, we had physical activities. But this experience was beneficial to me because it showed me that my literacy was amazing. I had “perfect” linguistic skills. This helped me then because schools wanted me to attend their schools, I was offered to meet up with recruits, and my skills became better while studying there. While I was there, I spent time with friends, and it was what school should be. I had the most amount of fun while staying active and learning.
The sports were hard. I had to run up hills, play team bonding games and other things. Some activities were making up scenarios and then re-enacting how it would play out. We would tie our legs together and do a three-legged race. And we would run across campus doing a hunt. This was when the Obama family was in office in the white house, so we had to do a lot of physical activities and eat a lot healthier! I liked going out every day though. Better than staying inside all the time.
Another thing I liked was the work. They made it very easy to love learning. We did activities like math, essay writing, literacy and many more things to improve our skills. I was so fit when I left!
I didn’t know if the test was legit. I had thought a test that would take kids to a college
would be taken to a secure facility. We took the test in a classroom and didn’t get the results immediately. But while taking the test I had doubts about my possible results. I always knew I had good grades but felt pressured to have higher grades and be great. I had anxiety about the test because I always felt like I wasn’t good enough. I was underestimating myself on my abilities. And I thought since I was in a school that needed this program but i needed the program more. I felt like I was doing okay.
It felt like the way school should be. I enjoyed every single moment there and everything I did. The test is administered to children 4-7 k-3 now. They have nonverbal and verbal sections. It’s called the NYC G&T test. The program is free.
The program was done when I was in the 5th grade right before middle school and for middle school I put that on my “resume” and all my friends wanted to know what I did during the summer.
Vassar college had recruits and they would help us with our math and see if we were interested in going to their college. I remember someone named Robert Clark. I think he was a concelour there. He was very sweet. I knew he was older, but I don’t know how much older. He seemed to love the program a lot an wanted everyone to enjoy it as much as he does.
Another person I remember was Daniel. He went to the same school as me and scored well. We were in the program together. He has always been smarter than everyone in the class. We were usually apart an only saw each other during lunch and passing. He was enjoying his time too. He knew about the program before I did and prepared for it. I think he got one of the best scores in the school district!
I was crying it was the most memorable experience. I loved that I was able to be a part of this. I have so many enjoyable memories because I was lucky enough to live in NYC and be in that program. NYC has given me so many memories to cherish and this one is of one of my favorites.