Building Bridges

Building Bridges

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blog process

We've named our blogs and created backgrounds and some of us have our introductions. The blogs are taking a little longer than planned but not as long as they could take since we are almost all new comers to the idea. I find it engaging and I hope the students will too. We need a little more time and a little structure, but they are slowing coming together. I hope the students make their comments so that I can read their opinions.

Blogging to raise awareness - computer lab exercise

Make sure you are a follower on my blog –
Together read and write a comment for my blog.
Make sure you are on the other class blogs so that you can read and comment.
Louis, Steve, Dickson
Bianca, Victoria, Michael
Sandra, Rachel
Heidi, Jose, Yuri
Trishawna, Luis, Noe
Wes, Danielle, Amy, Carl

Oscar, Nancy, Valerie
Brett, Edith, Tiffany
Vanessa, Mayra
Justin, Edith, Marisela
Lupita, Janet, Jhoana
Karina, Felix, Steve

Lord of the Ring and vocab

The paragraphs below came as another thread in our reading of the novel Breath, Eyes, Memory. As we read the book the words voiceless, patriarchy, sexism, racism, and oppression entered our conversations. Eventually the talk led to the project named “Why Women?” The students worked in groups and created the posters. (They are in a post below.) From the project, we moved (and still are moving) on to our blogs. The blogs allow for more groups seen as “voiceless” by the students. In the midst of this I found the movie Lord of the Rings. It is important to note that I only showed them the opening and gave them the challenge of using their new words to talk about the movie. In the opening a woman’s voice tells the story of the rings. The characters are all men and power is shared. The evil one shows a greed for power and domination. The students worked in their groups of three and created paragraphs. Below are the students’ paragraphs. They are the first attempts at such an analytic activity as they look at the movie excerpt through the lens of the words.
In Lord of the Rings only men get rings because they desire power. This indicates that there is sexism. The casting of this movie shows racism because the cast is predominantly white. The Lord of Darkness uses the power of the ring to oppress mankind. The ring holders become voiceless because the ring controls them. The dark lord controls all rings with his one ring. He dictates Middle Earth.

In the movie Lord of the Rings, the society of living is based on patriarchy. All men are looked at as powerful and worthy. The village creates rings that hold power and are individually given to certain men that are superior. Women take care of children and men, but don’t receive any of the rings based on sexism and voicelessness. The women have no opinion because the men are fighting the wars and protecting the communities. War is a big problem in the beginning of the movie. Savron, the evil King, controls a powerful ring that overpowers the man-kind rings. The evil orcs are inferior to man-kind and plan to take over all land. Savron uses his ring as a very powerful tool to frighten all people. He uses oppression by forcing his own kind to fight and obey orders and the human-kind to be scared of his force of power.

In the movie The Lord of the Rings there are nine men who receive rings which symbolize “power.” Then two armies fight over power. Only men are in the fight which shows sexism because that seems to tell that men are stronger and should be in charge of protecting the country. It’s a patriarchal society because a strong man with the “ring” can rule the country. The monster has the ring of power. The movie mostly shows white men which might be racism. The ring also represents oppression because the person who has the ring can dominate the people and society so the people are voiceless without the ring.

In the movie The Lord of the Rings a woman tells the story about how three rings are awarded to elves, seven awarded to the dwarves and nine were awarded to mankind. The last ring represented evil. The evil ring represents patriarchy because he wanted to rule Middle Earth through oppression and voicelessness. The woman’s voice keeps repeating “mankind” which represents sexism. The word “mankind” implies patriarchy for it only speaks about the male species. To not mention women is sexist. There are many different races in the movie: the elves, dwarves, the humans and the orcs. This suggests racism because this separates them by preferences.

Rings were made to create some form of structure. There are elves, dwarfs, and humans and each race was to rule according to their patriarch. One ring was forged in secret to rule and govern all of the other rings as a form of oppression. The oppressed have become the voiceless now and they are fighting for their freedom. The rings are a form of stereotyping because dwarfs are referred to as laborers and miners. Elves were wise and fair and men were corrupt and wanted power.

was shown because men were to power the world.
Sexism was shown because they only gave rings to men.
Oppression was shown because they used the ring for power.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How we arrived at this project about women

AS we worked with the novel Breath, Eyes, Memory by Danticat we kept her words in our discussion. Danticat said she wanted to raise the voices of the voiceless. At some point the question came up - Why Women? It has been my experience that very soon after the discussion about gender starts someone always feels it is a challenge; some interpret any talk about women's right as an attack on men and so the conversatin becomes defensive.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hi English 103 Spring 2011 - read this

Hi English 103 Bloggers, I hope you're all staying healthy.

The blog project's purpose is to use technology (blogs) to teach each other about who is voiceless in our world today and help us to understand what it is they have to say. It is an unusual assignment because we're including technology is a new education venture.

I know I've asked you all to do something different with me and I am happy you've all cooperated so quickly, willingly, and with what seems to be enthusiasm. It makes me happy and hopeful. I figured that since I asked you to do the project, I should also do the same kind of project and learn with you. I've decided that I'll follow us in the classroom with the camera. In this way, we get to learn about our learning process. I believe that we will enjoy this journey of learning together.

As I follow the class on my blog, you'll get the chance to make comments, give advice and make suggestions.

What will my blog look like? With your permission I'll like to take photos and little video clips of the class in action; I'd like to do little interviews with willing participants; I'd like you to design questions to ask me for short little video clips. You can make suggestions about what I should photograph and video tape. We'll make this whole blog venture open to all of us.

As we work, I'm also doing another blog where I'm trying to think through my teaching. By that I mean that I'm trying to analyze my thinking using theory. It's a lot like the work we do in class. We read books and articles; we look at documentaries and movies and we're using them to help us think about the larger society; we're also using them to see ourselves and our actions as members of societies. I'm making that trip with you. I'm reading books and articles on teaching (theory), but I'm also taking a step back to see if I'm making the right decisions about the strategies I use to guide the process.

I think you'll understand it better if you decided to read it as we continue our semester. That website is

It's Friday the 11th of March. I emailed the class with requests to adject their blogs. I hope that this will help us to keep up our thinking about the blogs; I hope I'm starting a conversation. In my email I asked students to personalize the blogs and add their names.

On Tuesday, students will get into their groups and write up their plans. I plan to use my cameras to start observing our process and collecting information through questions and comments. I will tape the students as they discuss and write the plan for creating and fulfilling their blog projects.