Friday, April 30, 2010

Social Justice Event

The event I went to was one I just stumbled upon. I was walking into the bathroom on campus and saw the flyer "First Generation Students."

I went to this event located in Gaige and I was one out of five people in the audience which surprised me because I know there a lot of first generation students at RIC. But I figured that it was because this event was poorly advertised because I had just found out about it and if I had knew about it ahead of time I would have been able to share it with the class.

Anyways, out of the stories they told me one caught my eye the most. It is about a mother and her family that comes to the U.S. from Mexico looking for a better life. The mother decides that she wants to go back to school but she must first learn english. Her children must also learn English because they will be attending English-speaking schools. As time goes on she begins to feel overwhelmed with school and it struggling because she does not fully understand English. She is getting depressed because she no longer hears her native tongue in her house and she misses it. She misses her children talking to each other on Spanish and she tries to get them to talk to her that way but they barely give her any feedback. This mother soon becomes way too stressed out and wants her old life back. She decides to pack everything up and move back to Mexico.

There are three authors that this connects to and they are Delpit, Collier, and Rodriguez. It connects to Delpit because this woman was not able to learn English, which is a rule and code of power in the U.S. therefore she was unable to succeed. Collier is in this and connects in a way that Delpit does. Collier wants us to embrace students first language, in this case Spanish. But, this woman did not try to learn based on her first language and the professor did not teach the class in spanish so embracing her first language did not happen and she was unable to learn. Rodriguez comes in because she becomes depressed because her children are no longer speaking spanish. She missed the sounds that they used to make in spanish. These children have taken on a public identity and have given up their private identity. This woman tells us of her discomfort with her children learning English.

This article helps us to understand what first generation students are going through:

I found this website that helps first-generation students:

Another site to help first generation students in high school get everything taken care of for college applications: