Sunday, May 27, 2012


I must admit, going back to school to obtain my master's degree was the best decision I could have made! I've learned so much---this week I learned about microaggressions. I have heard them used by individuals, but did not realize they had a name. This week we are supposed to write about microaggressions that were detected by us--either to an individual or to ourselves. I have racked my brain--sadly, during pregnancy, I am not as aware as I normally would be. I tend to ignore any negativity and not hold on to hurtful words. I decided to call a co-worker/friend and explain microagressions. I then asked if she had experience with this this week. She said in fact her daughter did. Her daughter is in middle school and finished her last day of school Friday the 25th. Her daughter is African American and was having lunch with her Caucasian friends. One of her friends, nonchalantly, asked "why do you all style your hair differently". Her daughter was hurt by the "you all", but knew her friend meant nothing by it. My co-worker/friend said it happens all the time--people say things out of curiosity but it sometimes bring pain.

I am working with new preschool parents--families for the 2012-2013 school year. I have been very cautious at what I say while working with these families. I do not want to stereotype the families based on their responses to my questions or when they misspell words or when they do not understand the questions. Before this week I did not know about microaggressions and did not realize my one (seemingly small) comment could really hurt someone else. I am happy I have learned this and can now focus on what I will say before I say it. Everyone in the early childhood field should have to take this course--it has taught me so much!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Perspectives of Diversity and Culture

This week, I had to ask three different people their definition of culture and diversity. I asked my sister, sister in law and co-worker of mine. We had to ask one person who is culturally different than ourselves and that is my co-worker. Regardless of the different cultures all three basically said the same thing.
(sister) Culture: Groups of people--like people from Spain--following specific traditions/rules
(sister-in-law) Culture: People of the same group following the same rules
(co-worker) Culture: Beliefs people have--one group of people believing the same thing

(sister) Diversity: Different kinds of people like different races.
(sister-in-law) Diversity: Different genders, races--just different people.
(co-worker) Diversity: Different types of people.

I thought their answers were pretty good. I asked them informally and wanted the first answer that came to mind. I think they all did a great job explaining what we have been learning in class. The beliefs people have is a simple way to describe culture. Different types of people is a simple way to describe diversity. When one group follows one belief that is a culture. I don't feel anything was omitted from their definitions. Their definitions were solid definitions that we have been reviewing in class. If I were asked to define these words I would have to agree with each answer--their answers influenced me to understand that the people I surround myself with view diversity and culture as I do. Even my co-worker, who is of a different race, answered the questions similar to my sister and sister-in-law, who are of the same diversity as me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Family Culture

This assignment was very interesting to me. I had to think of "things" that make up my family culture and narrow down three items that I would take with me after vacating my country and moving to a new country. Luckily, my family is going with me, so I thought about the things that define us and here is my list.

  • My daughter's memory book: Since I discovered I was pregnant with my daughter in 2006, I have kept a book of memories. Inside the book are milestones, her drawings, a lock of hair (first hair cut), pictures and written memories. This book would remind me of how important life is and we look at this book often. She loves to read about herself as a baby and I love to be reminded of how little she once was. 
  • The iPod my husband and I share. My husband and I have downloaded many songs on our iPod--even songs for our daughter--and we love listening to the music. When we grill out at night, we play our iPod and sing/dance to the music. Every evening before bed, my daughter sings and dances for us--she loves to entertain. It's a joy to watch her and it makes our evening. The performing has become a nightly ritual and I would hate to lose this ritual!
  • A framed picture of the entire family. This picture has all members of my family (mom, dad, brother, sister, etc.) and I would take this to remind myself how lucky I was. I was lucky growing up in a great, loving home and I was lucky to live next door to the home I grew up in--and my parents still live there!
The items would be easy to explain--I think I explained their meanings quite well. Anyone would be able to see the love these items bring to my family and me. These items would remind us of how special we are and how our comfort items make us who we are. 

If I was told I could only keep one item, it would have to be my daughter's memory book. My daughter is our world and losing those memories would be very traumatic. I understand I have stored memories, but pictures, drawings, milestones--they are hard to replace. I would hope I could keep all items--this was a difficult choice for me. 

This exercise made me realize how we take our everyday comforts for granted. How would I feel if my daughter couldn't "perform" every night with song and dance? How would I feel if I couldn't keep photographs of my family? Music, photos, memories--they are all very important to us and we would be lost without them.
Family Photo I would take...