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College: English 110

The course English 110 taught me a lot about college writing. It was very helpful and very interactive. The fact that the class was relatively small, allowed for everyone to feel more close to each other and open to talking about the topics we discussed. Learning about child rearing allowed me to understand the importance of rearing methods and how it impacts on every one’s life. So far this has been one of the best classes to learn about writing I’ve had. Getting rid of to be verbs was something that allowed me to amplify my vocabulary and learn to use the right verb for each sentence. Very interesting class, I definitely recommend it for other students.

Final Essay

David A. Ocampo

Professor Steven Alvarez

English 110

4 May 2010

Accomplishment of Natural Growth: Childrearing from Self Perspective in Relation to Annette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods

            As children struggle to understand the world, parents play a key role in creating a child with perspectives, a sense of self, determination, security, confidence, and preparation to carry on a healthy and happy life. Children, vulnerable to all information they acquire and surround themselves with, constantly open to the elements of life, good and bad things, they have the ability to choose which way to follow. When learning from others, infants start to feel identified and become part of a social group. Every day people face struggles to compete with the dominant powers over scarce resources. The more scarce and functional a product becomes the more demanded and valuable. On these terms society functions to make the most profit out of the workforce and let the dominant lead over the dominated. This way as the dominant sets the boundaries, the dominated is threatened to tag along regardless of opinions about the subject. Pierre Bordieu explains that as

[s]ymbolic violence rests on the adjustment between the structures constitutive of the habitus of the dominated and the structure of the relation of domination to which they apply: the dominated perceive the dominant through the categories that the relation of domination has produced and which are thus identical to the interests of the dominant. (121-122)

 As for children, born into a world that in order for them to reach a quality lifestyle, they must learn and follow standards already established for them. Many obstacles to overcome draw close to life when raising a child-definitely not an easy task for parents because they have to deal with the standards that limit their social upward mobility.  Some struggle because their financial situation limits them to less acquisition of symbolic capital, and worry about being able to provide food and shelter which act as basic tools for human survival, these parents are categorized as working-class and poor families. Others who are middle class or rich, implement enrolling their children into as many activities as possible so that they can develop into a more educated future.

Two ways of rearing parents adopt, Annette Lareau suggests in the book Unequal Childhoods. With concerted cultivation she refers to the kind of parents who dominate the lives of their offspring, their biggest concerns turn into making sure their children have many experiences and involve them in many extracurricular activities with the hope that this will add “Cultural Capital” or skills an individual acquires that can be brought to use in various institutions. She explains: “By making certain their children have these and other experiences, middle-class children engage in a process of concerted cultivation” ( 2 ) This kind of childrearing creates a sense of entitlement in children which gives them institutional advantages, and allows them to question adults as equals. The other type of childrearing she calls; “the accomplishment of natural growth”. Children, who come from working class or poor families, have control over their leisure time. Growing outside of the family ground instills self-determination at young ages. Within working-class children spending time with other family members happens very often. Because their parents cannot afford to pay for extracurricular activities children grow with less institutional experiences which can limit their ability fulfilling positions at jobs. “For working class and poor families, the cultural logic of childrearing at home is out of sync with the standards of institutions” (3).            

Personal Experience

            In my own experience my parents have always cared and loved my brothers and I. As of today they still live together and love each other. Raising four children, all boys, my parents worked hard to ensure we all grew up healthy. I would say around the age of 9 to 10 my parents would let me choose what I wanted to do in my leisure time. Living in the city of Cali in Colombia, a tropical city, hot weather but not so humid, all the time people would just hang outside. It felt thrilling because in the streets one can encounter any kind of threat but at the same time being with the company of others made it more secure to linger around. Biking with my friends, stunts and jumps as competition, we would ride all around the city. Going to the river became very memorable to me, like the time we threw rocks at a bee honeycomb filled with many of them and one of the rocks went right through the middle breaking it in half. After that, all the bees went flying towards our direction. We ran going up the river. Going out with friends was never in opposition to my parents desires because they worked most of the time. This way of childrearing was explained by Annette Laeau

In the accomplishment of natural growth, children experience long stretches of leisure time, child-initiated play, clear boundaries between adults and children, and daily interactions with kin. Working-class and poor children, despite tremendous economic strain, often have more “childlike” lives, with autonomy from adults and control over their extended leisure time. (3)

Even in school I experienced some of accomplishment of natural growth, every Thursday we would go to a place called Comfandi Pance along with some teachers, a park with many lakes and fields of all kinds of sports. We would go fishing, or playing sports like soccer or basketball, and many other made up games. We could also go to the pool and free dive. Sometimes we would get out of the group and take a boat to go around the lakes which were all connected to each other making it easy to go around the fields. Thursdays I remember as the most fun days at school. In the morning they would align us to get in several buses each for every grade and teachers accompanying the students. One could choose from many sports or activities organized by the teachers at certain hours of the day. Most of the time with my closest friends, we would get out of the group and walk around the place meeting random people and students from other schools. Wooden houses many times visited by us, the perfect spot to stay away from the crowds. With some girls we would play spin the bottle and truth or dare. Ping Pong, another game that we used to play a lot. When the day ended everyone would get back to their buses and ride back to school to get picked up by parents “Elementary schools in America have many shared elements including for example, the organization of the school day” (24). Except for Thursdays, organization of the school day was implemented like any regular school. Teachers allowed us to decide where to spend our time during the trip to Comfandi. My parents raised me with the accomplishment of natural growth because they never imposed any activity on me, instead let me free to explore life along with my other family members either cousins or my brothers. Going to the park to play soccer, we would play a match with people who were already playing in the field. Sometimes the games could get so intense. Since soccer is a game of strength, if someone would commit a fault and get angry about it, things could get messy. Street soccer with random people ended up one day in a fight that with some friends and my cousins we had to evade. One guy kicked my cousin in the leg so hard and that made one of my friends mad and it resulted in a brawl that did not last for too long because other people got involved, so we had to leave. We would always go out in groups because anything could happen in the streets.

Comparing to my mother’s upbringing

My mother is 49 years old, she is very lively and always spending time on something productive. Her charisma and positive mentality always shows that she wants the best for my brothers and me. She is about five feet tall; she has black long hair, like a typical Colombian woman. As a mother she has always been caring and very comprehensive, unlike my dad who was always the male figure he would be very strict and if we did something wrong the punishment would be “Una pela” as we would say in Colombia, thinking of the pain of a belt would be sufficient to never do it again. Despite the fact that he was very strict I do not retain any bad memory, instead it was a way to show me that life was real and messing up could be costly. My mother would always be there to intervene but my dad was never too aggressive. As little kids we would mess around all the time but we were always allowed to have fun and hang out with neighbors and friends. To understand childrearing from my parents point of view, I decided to interview my mother about the way she was raised by her parents. I got a hold of my mom when she arrived from food shopping. It was around 6:30 in the afternoon, while she was unpacking in the kitchen I sat on the table and interviewed her. 

Me: How were you raised mom?

Mother: I was raised in a home with nine brothers and sisters.

Me: Tell me more about it.

Mother: I was educated in a nun’s catholic school then I went to school for girls who wanted to become a teacher. There I would play in the volleyball team. I was taking guitar classes on Fridays. Also dance classes I used to attend. We would make shows between other schools getting trophies for participating in many activities. My mother encouraged us to have many activities after school. And we would get rewarded for it. My mother used to say that time should not be wasted and that we should take the most advantage of it. She also used to say that being active was good for a healthy body and mind. She said that doing something would bring happiness and energy to us. My mother cared for us and raised us with much dedication and love despite the fact my father died when I was fourteen years old. I always followed my mother’s advice and I feel it was worth it to learn from her to be the person that I am today. I’m very proud of my mother and I have tried to raise my own children to encourage them to be active and become better people in this society.

            Interpreting and analyzing the way my mother was raised gives me a perspective on how she became the woman she is today and allows me to understand why she was always so caring for us. My grandmother was always good with everyone around her. Rearing nine boys and girls almost by herself because of the unfortunate dead of my grandfather was a hardship, making her strong and always thriving for positive development, she created a sense of good will for my mother despite the difficulties faced for raising four children.

            My parent’s way of raising me taught me a lot, because they always cared for my brothers and me but did not impose any activities on us, always encouraging us to follow our dreams and what we wanted to achieve for our lives. Sometimes as a way of punishment for messing around they would not let us go out. This proved very effective because having to stay home while my friends could have all the fun felt very depressing. Annette Lareau explains that,

these mothers and fathers do not focus on concerted cultivation. For them, the crucial responsibilities of parenthood do not lie in eliciting their children’s feelings, opinions, and thoughts. Rather, they see a clear boundary between adults and children (3).

My parents always gave directives and if we didn’t like something, we could not complain about it. They always wanted us to play with other children while they spoke to other adults. I spent most of my time with my cousins and friends going out and exploring the city. Growing with natural growth allowed me to see the world from many perspectives and allowed me to stay open minded and also taught me that life offers many chances to become someone better, but only one opportunity one can get for each time. At the age of ten everything gets focused on having fun because school turns into the only responsibility to take care of and I always managed to pass all my classes. Learning from many people that I met throughout my childhood, when going out with my friends, it became clear me that there exists many bad things that one can get involved in hanging out on the streets, but a sense of self determination allowed me to stay away from the stuff that could harm me in any way. My childhood brought many new experiences to my life and the fact that I had the ability to choose what to do with my time, made me more concerned with myself and the abilities that I wanted to develop. I did not acquire many institutional advantages this way but striving for positive development became my goal when I learned from my mistakes.

How Culture Affects Childrearing

            The experiences of raising a child vary for everyone; culture instills itself on children from the moment they are born from just being exposed to it. All cultures offer ways of living, practices, beliefs, customs, in most cases they offer a side for one to choose and become part of. In fact cultures started by humans as ways for getting along with the people living around. When a child becomes part of a culture, he enters in a process of learning and following the ways to fit a place in society. Just like Lareau says, “The families described in this book created their lives within a specific social context” (14). Language creates a distinction between societies. It varies because when raising a child there exist crucial periods when they can learn. If parents do not have a vast language and use it towards the development of the child, he could stay left behind from other kids who were exposed to more conversations from which children learn language. For children learning how to speak to adults becomes an institutional advantage, which can help them later in life. Reading and writing both depend on language for a good development. Some children can stay behind when going to school if they did not acquire enough language knowledge when they started. Assessing infants issues early on their childhood are necessary for a well developed child.

Parents who employ concerted cultivation give more chances of negotiation and tend to stay more flexible when the child wants something from them. The child learns to speak up when something is bothering him and talk back to adults. Unlike parents who use natural growth, they do not give the child a chance to speak back to an adult and instead give them orders to follow. According to Annette Lareau she explains that

Rather than extensive negotiation, these parents use directives and, when necessary, threats of physical punishment. One consequence of this is that the children we observe rarely, if ever, talked back to adults. Whining, which was persuasive in middle-class homes, was rare in working class and poor ones. (107)

In my personal experience my dad used to hit us with a belt when we messed up. For this reason we learned to respect adults. Never questioning them for the decisions they made. Also we had to answer with “señor” or “señora” for every time they called us. Any talking back or raising the voice would be discouraged and punished by my parents although this was mostly enforced by my dad. This in fact created a distinction between adults and children in my family but most of my aunts and uncles used the same notions of natural growth so it was normal for them to also use violence and directives to their own children.

Works cited

Lareau, Annette. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

Bourdieu, Pierre. “The Economy of Symbolic Goods.” Practical Reason: On the Theory of Action. Trans. Randal Johnson. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1998. Print.

Aponte, Maria. Personal Interview. 24 April 2010

Personal Statement

David A. Ocampo

Professor Steven Alvarez

English 110

11 May 2010

Achievements and Career Goals: College Opportunity

            As a member of society, I see it as my duty to be productive and successful in contributing for a bigger cause which is human positive development. My interests are leaning towards technology because I see that most companies are relying in computer machinery to better assess all corporate necessities. Technology evolves everyday and innovations allow people to experience new kinds of entertainments and helpful utilities for accommodating not only their lifestyle but also their working environments. New technologies have always impacted me and showed me that there is no limit for imagination because that same technology could’ve been thought of impossible, but they always undergo changes to improve. In a few years I am looking forward to becoming part of a company, creating computer software and hardware.

            Despite the fact that there have been many financial difficulties I know that my effort has to be put into completing my career, to get the knowledge for better job opportunities. Working full-time has been my only support to be able to pay for college tuition and expenses. Limiting most of my time even to get some hours of sleep, I know that at some point the effort is going to be worth it. I have not been able to attend many extracurricular activities because my time falls short from college to work. Even working full-time was not enough to pay for college so I decided it was time for me to look for other opportunities. I was determined to acquire some understanding about computer troubleshooting from a desktop engineer person I met, this way I learned lots of valuable things. After working with some people it was an opportunity that I saw would be helpful to me. Then providing people with computer solutions became my first experience of starting a business.

            Handling different kinds of people has allowed me to learn ways to approach customers. It has been an experience that directs me towards my career because it relates to it. So far I have the basic tools to troubleshoot computers but dealing with many kinds of problems has taught me a lot and I believe that in college I will be able to amplify my knowledge. Starting with the course CSCI 012, understanding personal computers, I will acquire more information that will let me do my job better. With the skills that these computer classes give me, I am looking forward to learn and become a professional in everything I do. By completing the computer science departmental requirements I will be able to establish a solid career that will direct me towards success not only for myself but for the future that is going to be filled with newer technologies.

            An internal scholarship would help me to have more time for learning in college. I feel that if I could spend more time in college I could focus much deeper into my career of computer science. Getting good grades I believe is very important but it has been a difficulty since time is crucial for learning and in my position if I want to pay for college I must work as much as I can to be able to meet the financial quota. If I was granted a scholarship my career would be much more solid because I would be able to learn more in depth many subjects that direct me towards my career success.

Real life

I remember one time I saw something that impacted me a lot when I was little. I was after school I believe it happened when I was in 3rd grade. When I was coming out of my school, i got picked up by my mother and then we were on our way home when I heard one shot that was made on the intersecting street, then two guys in a motorcycle passed in front of us in a hurry. I was scared and my mom told me to stay down. When we passed next to the street where we heard the shot, there was a bus that was stopped there and the traffic just got very slow, some people were screaming and when we got close to the bus, there was the body of a guy laying down sort of twisted and I looked closer and right in the middle of his forehead, he had a shot and was bleeding a lot. It was a very bad experience but there was nothing I could do about it.

Effect of wealth

I have met a couple of peole who are very wealthy. Some of them are very open and help other people but others only worry about making money, they are always working or doing somer kind of bussiness. Sometimes because they have a lot of money they fell superiority and treat other people with disrespect because they feel they have the power and perhaps they think everyone should bow to them and do whatever they request. Annette lareau explains this as sense of entitlement. These people are used to getting what they want whenever they want it. Sometimes they just buy things to only have them and never even use them or they use it for a little while until the newer and better version of what they have comes out. I think that when people work hard for something and they get it, then it becomes more valuable and they take care of it but when they just get things whenever they want is not as important to them.

Comunication skills are as valuable as being able to determine the desired outcome

Being capable to express oneself with the right words, tone of voice, attitude, and pace allows coping with the person one is relating to at any conversation. Thinking about the desired outcome instructs the mind to act with self efficacy. Just by being in the presence of someone else, allows the body’s senses to recognize certain qualities about each other. Some traits can be picked up without saying a word and they give instant recognition clues about who the other person may be. This brings out many insecurities but also strong qualities about the other person and viceversa. Although people can be unexpectedly overthrown psychologycally by a disastrous event noone will be the same person forever, as life goes around changes. Thinking about how random chances come to every day life, make it a necessity to understand that communication brings around most opportunities to life. The kind of skills to get someone else to feel comfortable around one, require understanding the underlying meaning of the conversation and what is preferred for the interaction to unfold. Mastering these skills come from dedicating to whatever is desired and open up to other experiences being prepared for any upcoming event.

Why does time feels as it was running faster?

Attrention is one of the most important psychological processes that regulate the experience of time. Different impressions of time duration can result from the attention we derive to temporal events. If we focus our attention to an interval of time it gives the impression time is flowing at a relative slow rate but focusing on a task like working or having fun it feels as if time was flying.

Is hollywood runing out of repertoire?

After watching a couple of movies latelly i’ve realized that they are not as entertaining as they used to be. Nowadays movies tend to go nowhere leaving nothing to talk about when the movie is done. Because of the advanced technology, graphics have evolved to the point that they can show almost everything on the screen. 3D movies are more catching because they can deceive the eye into thinking it is actually happening. The tools for making great movies exist but a theme or a point or an idea being challenged does not happen anymore in most movies. Also endings can be predictable and that kills the expectations of the movie.

Posting videos as a link

Unequal Childhoods 

Click this link to see the video.

How to upload the vide0?

When adding from youtube the only thing that should be copied for the url is the part where it says “http://……” from the video embed code. This then can be added to qwriting by clicking add video and pasting the url which is only the http://  part. Then the title is going to be the link to that will redirect one to the video once is clicked.

Writing

When writing I imagine my audiences as if I was telling them the story myself. That way I am certain that what I write will be understood by whoever is reading my paper. Grammar and to be verbs do not matter much to me when I’m writing text messages, in fact I find it much easier to cut off words like instead of saying tomorrow I would say tom. Writing text messages can be tiring if I had to carefully check all verbs because what is intended is to get a response fast and taking the time to check is not worth it as long as what I write makes sense I rather just shorten words.

 

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