terça-feira, 9 de abril de 2013

The Change of Mind: From Racism to Tolerance

Recently, in the International study class, we have been watching a movie. When people hear that, they automatically assume that the movie was kind o a free time, and the students might have to work on something else, like writing an essay. However, the movie we watched had a greater impact on us, students, than we expected. The movie, American History X, which has one of the scenes shown above (see Rotten Tomatoes review here), shows the utter ignorance of a particular group of Americans that live in LA. They are the neo-Nazi skinheads. The movie has as its protagonist Derek, a boy who was widely influenced by a man named Cameron to hate black people. As Derek grew up, the acts of intolerance grew as well, and started showing a complete and de-human hatred for (as quoted by the movie) “niggers”. Derek kills three black guys who were trying to kill his car stereo, and even though one of them was trying to run, he still killed him. The cold bloodiness of the scene was so shocking that it made all of the students in the room gasp in horror.
            During our course, we were also exposed to the pyramid of hate (shown bellow):
The pyramid of hate explained the different levels of hate that exist in the world, showing each step as a different category. But we can’t be blamed about that. Everyday society shows us that the white color is the right color. Even thought that may have sounded racist, it is the way things work (read more on it here). Racism is not something that we decide to feel or follow. We are exposed to us daily. Who has never seen a “skin color” band-aid that was black? No one. And it's something that is ridiculously shown on everyday life. These are some black people talking about white privilege and humoring about it:
Black people tend to be pulled up by cops in "blitz" stops, followed by police officers in malls and get weird looks when walking out of shops just because of a small prejudice that someone one day decided to create. There is a question that should be raised. Where does racism come from? Racism goes back all the way to the bible (read more on that here), and to it´s roots, which are basically slavery. Slavery was the kickoff start of racism, in my honest opinion. I wonder who looked at a black guy and thought "We white, fat folks are most definetly superior to these black guys". Please, that is extremely offensive. If I were a black guy at that time, I would for sure, try to tie one of those guys to a whipping post to show them how it feels. Obviously I wouldn't be able to do that. They outnumbered the black people and killed whomever tried to rebel, whicch is a violation of human rights, something that is present even nowadays (read about it here). The article just now mentioned talks about a police officer who shot an Asian woman and her Black Fiancee out of free will. This shows how the world can improve on this area. 
Bringing back the spotlight to the main topic, how can the change be made, from hate, to tolerance? It's not something that you can just google and find an answer too (yes, I did try). It's more complicated than that. Most of the human population are hipocrites by saying they are not racist at all. Everyone is racist, even if in the slightest. But not only white people, black people as well. There have been issues on which black people attack white guys due to this racism. There was this case on which a man was stabbed 5 times and brutally beaten up just because of a small misunderstanding between two guys (watch full video with awesome british accent). Now, the first step to move on from racism to tolerance is to recognize we are all the same. All of us bleed. All of us get hurt. All of us work with a brain and a heart? How are we even different from each other? What's the point for such nonsense? Why do people insist to fight over such a small matter such as skin color? Tolerance, it's not that hard to reach, just hard to understand. Think about it.

segunda-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2013

Seattle Boycott Article

The Seattle Boycot is something that has been going on on Garfield High School in Seattle. The teachers of the school have unanimously decided not to give anymore standarized tests to the students of their schools, since they believe that they do not really test their knowledge and are unescessary since there are things in there that they havent actually studied.
In my opinion, the boycot makes perfect sense, since we cannot do a test on a topic we have not properly studied. Most of the children in my school take the MAP tests (the standarized exam we take) as a "who can guess the fastest" competition. Then we take the rest of the period as a free time. Althought the test gives us a positive side (comparing us to the learning in the USA) the test can be actually called useless and a waste of time.

segunda-feira, 26 de novembro de 2012

How Barack Obama being Elected Effects my Life and the Rest of the World´s

Barack Obama, the first black president of the most powerful country in the world has been re-elected for a second term, winning from his republican adversary, Mitt Romney. It will affect the world basically, since most of the countries in the world have some sort of relationship with the U.S. Most, if not all of the nations in the world, agreed with Obama´s re-election, with the exception of Iran, since the bombardment there made Iran's conflict with the U.S increase. Therefore, this means Obama has a worldwide aproval to be where he is. Personally, I agreed that Obama should have been re-elected, like he was, since his strongest opponent was completely unprepared to mosst of the debates and kept making remarks that were completely wrong (like his wise Geographical remark of how Iran had only one connection to the sea).

terça-feira, 23 de outubro de 2012

Blog Post #3- Time Management

Many strategies have been discussed throughout the class, but the strategy that I have most been using is writing down my work in the "reminders" app in the iPad. The field that I can most improve in is how to complete my work in the due time, which would mean to end one of the major causes for teens not to finish their work, procrastination. Since 11:30 I have been on the cell phone with this blank blog post page opened in front of me, and only started working now, 23:50. If I could work on this procrastination issue, my work would be much easier to be done in time.
I have basically not achieved my goals yet, since they are long term. I wish to have at maximum only 2 late assignments this quarter, when in the last I have had plenty. If I can achieve this goal, I will increase it to only one next year (second semester) and be able to say I have accomplished my time management goals. Today, another thing that affected my time management for this blog post was the server shortage of Edmodo. I should also work on the fact that there might be things that I can’t predict happening around me that would greatly decrease my grade.

domingo, 9 de setembro de 2012

Post 2

In the last International Studies Classs, we met the college advisor from a college in Ohio. From what I heard from her, their college is weak in therms of Med courses and Law courses. The college appears to show support in terms of accepting International Students, and seem to be willing to shape their expectations to the students level. From what I could see from the Advisor, she was trying to make her college not sound so bad other than making it sound a good college. She kept pointin g out the downside of the colleges and how we could make up to htem, like how we could take pre-med at their university and then switch schools. The way she showed that they don´t have a fixed requirement to enter, like a GPA of 3.0, can cause you to think that grades aren´t important at all to enter a university.
Some fears and concerns that I have are how do they manage the International Students scholarships, and if we are double agents (in case we were born in another coutry, in that case, the USA, and live in Brazil) are we still counted as International Students?
Also, in this conference, I learned that SATs don´t count much in some Universities, and they take the TOFEL to analyze if a student can join or not.

domingo, 19 de agosto de 2012

"In our first two weeks, you have read two articles, seen several videos and been engaged in several discussions related to the concept of academic leadership. At this point, and in your own words, what does the concept mean to you? What subjects or interests do you have a sophisticated, intellectual understanding of that you may want to turn into a major academic project in this class? How do people sometimes abuse academic knowledge to manipulate others? How would you feel if someone used your work to manipulate others (as Jared Diamond claims Mitt Romney has)? How can creating academically sophisticated, intellectual leaders help prevent such people from taking advantage of others the way they do? How can this create a stronger democratic society?"     

Academic Leadership to me means on how you can lead your own learning to success. It´s how you can make your academic life easier. Also, it teaches us a little bit about our other classmates, as well as shows us what is good for us to do in life. For example, in the last class, Mr. T showed us his life story. Not his life story, more of his school career. He showed us that he learned what he had to learn with life experiences. He also showed us the Challenge-Happiness graph, which teaches us how the level of the challenge influences on how well we feel about it. An interesting intellectual subject to be used in class would be the requirements to enter in universities in the U.S.A (besides the GPA and the SATs). People sometimes abuse of knowledge to manipulate others by distorting information, for example, Al Gore, that used his influence to explain the Global Warming, which scientist say isn’t true. I would be mad, because I worked hard on a work for someone to disclaim it as easily as that. Creating academic leaders will help because they will be able to show people which type of information is right or wrong. Which information should be trusted and which shouldn’t. If the society has strong academic leaders, than people will be more democratic and have a more reasonable sense of choice about their political leaders.