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Why I Only Have 5 Posts…

Dear Diversity Class,

The required number of blog posts required for this assignment was 12. Their purpose was to share my thoughts, views, and opinions on the array of topics we have covered in this class. Topics such as; race, disabilities, gender, power, money and more. We were to write 12 blogs and it would help our grade if we were able to be creative with it. I sat down several times throughout the semester to write about what we’ve talked about, and as you can see three out of four of those blogs were absolute trash. Do I think Newfoundland has a serious problems when it comes to diversity? Absolutely. Do I think Donald Trump is a literal child? Yep. However, my views and opinions can be boiled down to this one post and, after crying about it for twenty minutes, I’ve decided to un-apologetically (and in the final 52 minutes before it’s due date) only post one more blog.

I found this class very difficult as a middle-upper class white female. I felt guilty, responsible, and silenced as I listened to the struggles and trials of those who are considered minority compared to me. But I was reminded of a verse from Matthew 20 when Jesus says that those who are the last will be first in the Kingdom of God and those who are first here on Earth will be last. I was also reminded on the verse that says that it is much easier for the poor to inherit the Kingdom than the rich. All to say, I serve this awesome God who sees and loves each and every oppressed and unheard man, woman, and child on the entire planet. God loves them each so much more than we could possibly understand and because of that love we are able to love each other too.

“23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 26Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.””

Matthew 19:23-26 (NIV)

I don’t know how we Canadians could ever begin to imagine ways that we could make up for the tragedy that was the residential schools. But I what I do know is that God is a healer and the God of forgiveness. God can mend broken hearts, minds, and relationships. Through the love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, and self control that comes from living in step with the Holy Spirit we can have faith in the hope of one day reconciling with our brothers and sisters and finding harmony in how we live. Perhaps even through that relationship offering the kind of love and support that is needed to put an end to the suicide epidemic. I know that there is nothing we could ever do to fix what has happened, but also that there is nothing that God cannot do.

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.Against such things there is no law.”

  • Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

I feel so overwhelmed with the amount of things that I ought to be aware of, and sensitive to, and apologetic for. And I know that even if I spent hours a day trying to keep up with it all I would still fall short of doing the subject of equity justice. But in the Bible it says we ought to bring glory to God, but that we all fall short of accomplishing that. But that’s not the end, we can have hope for greater things to come because of a simple little thing called grace. Grace, put simply, is unearned and undeserved favor and love that God has for us. We know there is grace because while we were still these terrible, sinning people God sent his only son, Jesus, who lived a perfect life, to die in our place so that we can spend our lives and eternity in relationship with a God who desires to be in relationship with us.

“16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

John 3:16-17 (NIV)

It is through our relationships with God that our hearts can be changed on subjects that we can’t even come close to understanding. God, through this relationship, is able to fill our lives with so much love and joy that we can’t help but to love others and share this joy with them. Through this love people are able to see God in us (1 John 4:12). This is why I couldn’t just write a bunch more blogs stating the opinions that would get me the marks I needed, because that’s not my heart. My heart is to share this truth with others so that they can understand their powerlessness and trust in a powerful God who longs for equity and justice far more beautiful than we could imagine.

I am sorry that I didn’t complete the assignment. But if I fail the course knowing that I spoke the truth and with the peace of mind that I didn’t add to the pages of unsatisfactory solutions in social justice on the internet, I will have peace.

I hope you enjoyed my heart.

Kathryn House

11:34pm, August 14th

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Being Racist is Okay

When you look back through American history you see that the country has come a long was from the racism of the past… right? False. I realize that this is not about Canada, but the majority of Canadian media is influenced by American media. In media, such as movies, the way that young children are often encouraged to be successful is that they are told “You can be anything you put your mind to! Like the President!” I personally know a lot of Canadian children who were convinced they could be the President if they worked hard enough in school. Being the president has been viewed as the ultimate position of leadership, and America is one of the most influential countries in the world. In most recent years the amount of children with access to media has gone up drastically and children as young as 4 have complete access to iPad’s and google. Just in time to watch a babbling, uncensored, CHILD become the President of the United States and showing kids that as long as you have enough money and power you CAN say whatever you want to say, and being sensitive to other cultures and religions and races is completely unnecessary.

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What’s Your Name?

The concept of people changing their names when they moved to a new country was foreign to me up until this year. In my small town ignorance I think that I actually just believed that the Korean girl’s name was actually Diane.

I can understand the motivation behind it, I think it would be really frustrating to constantly have your name mispronounced. However, I don’t think that a person should feel obligated to introduce themselves as anything other than their actual name just to accommodate the majority.  The struggle is, when names are pronounced with sounds that come from different languages it can be a genuine struggle for people to learn how to say these names. For example, the English and Cantonese languages are very different. I have a very hard time pronouncing Siu-Kao, and people who speak Cantonese generally call me Kaitlyn or Katrine, because they find Kathryn hard to pronounce.

I think a different solution to changing your name when you move to an English speaking country would be to spell it out phonetically and showing it to people so that they can learn how to pronounce it. For example, Siu-Kao could be spelled out Seeyoo-Kayoo. The group who did a presentation on this topic asked if those of us with English names would change our names if we moved to a different country. I answered that I would not, but I think that it is something I would need to experience to understand.

 

 

 

 

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Understanding Other Cultures When You’ve Had Zero Exposure

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https://www.google.ca/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj90rOWxNXVAhVprVQKHbRuC2cQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fsharpewit.wordpress.com%2Ftag%2Fracism%2F&psig=AFQjCNG3CzR21B1WA7MxAub7JBSPQ2h6Dg&ust=1502759064468857

               Lewisporte is a town in the center of Newfoundland. The population is 4000 people, with 14 different smaller communities feeding into it for groceries and high school. The high school, between the years of 2010-2014 saw two people of colour. Everyone knew their names. There were two different Chinese families, both of whom ran rival Chinese restaurants at opposite ends of town. At one point there was a doctor there from the Middle East, his wife was known for being a terrifying driver.

Image result for lewisporte

In one diversity class we discussed the importance of incorporating diversity in the early childhood education scene. We talked about teaching children about different cultures. As someone who lives in an area of Toronto that is mostly populated with people who have immigrated from Bangladesh or the Caribbean, I can see how children would benefit from learning that there are certain social cues that are different between cultures. Children in Toronto would have the opportunity to practice engaging under those circumstances almost every day. But how are you supposed to explain cultural differences to a group of children whose greatest exposure to other cultures is the stereotyped versions of them that are found in the media? This issue goes way beyond race, but that is what I’m going to discuss.

The problem lies in lack of exposure, which goes back many generations. Settlers from Scotland, Ireland, and England traveled to Newfoundland a very long time ago for the fishery. The indigenous peoples who existed on the island at the time were the Beothuks, which the very white settlers quickly killed off completely in an awful genocide. From that time the population grew through the mingling of the white Scottish, the white Irish, and the white English; fortunately in this mix there did exist some indigenous populations that came from the mainland and Labrador. Unfortunately, the island was not exempt from residential schools and racism. The racism that existed all over the world continued to be the norm in Newfoundland because it took much longer for it to be seen as an issue because the diverse population was not there. Parents continued to pass on their prejudices to their children and as a result there are young adults who grew up in the 21st century and hold racist views that existed in the early 1900’s. Fortunately, the internet is offering some assistance in this area by exposing people to what is happening in the rest of the world, and what views are no longer socially acceptable.

If Canada had an opportunity to go back in time and reintroduce anti-racist views to a fresh audience, would we have done it differently? How can we teach children about diversity before they even experience it? With that, how can we also correct a generation of adults who still think that someone who is a different race from them is something to be afraid of? I think that someone who has a far greater understanding of what it means to share diversity needs to rethink how it could be taught in these situations.

 

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To the Kids Who Drove Me Out of Professional Childcare

The Reasons Why I’ll Never Work in Preschool

I decided to pursue a degree that involved getting an early childhood education diploma because I knew that I wanted to work with people and children, even if I didn’t know how that was going to look. I also knew that I would get the opportunity to work in different childcare settings to see if maybe they would be what I’m interested in working in. I’ve working two days a week at a preschool now for a couple months, and as I’ve gotten to know the staff and children I have firmly decided that I could never work in a preschool long term.

To the child who bites and fights. You’ve helped me realize that I could not work in a preschool because of the constant attention and care that you require. The hours I’ve spend just holding you in one place so that you wouldn’t injure another child, learning your patterns and getting to know your charm and your heart full of love. Studying the length of your eye lashes and giving into your mischief when you smile with those big brown eyes. Growing to understand the struggles that you face with the disability that no one will give me the name of, and seeing just how able you are to teach me more about myself than most people.  Knowing that you’re going to a new school next year where a new set of teachers will have to learn how much you love hugs and kisses; and how worth it it is to risk having your face bitten to get one of those kisses. I can’t work in a preschool because I want someone who knows you to grow up with you and teach new people how to love you best.

To the little girl who greeted me with screams and always disobeyed direct orders to stay sitting because you were excited to see me come in. Who never stayed in your place during circle time because you insisted on being as close to the teachers as possible. Who never once complained that your name was mispronounced by most of the people in the room, but complained everyday that no one cared how much you wanted the pink cup. A little, but fierce, child who taught me that even tough girls can get upset when their voices aren’t being heard. I can’t work in a preschool because I know that you need someone to walk patiently with you and show you that you are heard, and teach you that even if you’re being unreasonable you are still loved, and you are still my friend.

To the little boy with the head of curls and the big brown eyes who always tried his best to follow the English directions that were being yelled at the group, even though he only understood Portuguese. Whose mother told me “He doesn’t stop talking at home” but sat quietly and tried so hard to do what enough of the kids were doing to avoid having his name yelled in a way he wasn’t used to hearing at home. The child who inspired me to learn a little Portuguese and who came alive at my few poorly pronounced words. Thank you for all the stories you told me that I never understood. My little friend who was so brave every day, but cried on his third birthday because he just wanted to be at home with his happy family. I can’t work in a preschool because I don’t believe that children who aren’t used to yelling should have to get used to it. I think that if you’re used to being asked nicely to do something, Amo, that shouldn’t change because there are too many of you in one room.

Finally, to the teachers who are wearing thin. The people who got into early childhood education because they loved kids, who learned how to teach them best, and who can’t do either of those things now. I’m sorry that you can’t help but yelling because you have too many things to do. I’m sorry there are too many kids. Teachers who spend half of their day posing kids to look like they’re doing educational activities, and the other half filling out reports on your phone so parents can see what they want to see. I saw the reality that between pictures and typing, they are really just trying to keep everyone from getting out of control. The teachers who want to hold the crying children, want to hear their laughs, but end their days feeling overwhelmed because of the demands on their times and neglect for their personal needs. I can’t work in a preschool because I want to eat with the kids instead of shushing them, and I hold fast to the old rule of sleeping when they sleep because being a care taker is hard.

I salute those who can work in preschools, because it’s a job that needs to be done. Teachers who can make it through each day knowing that something small they did will make an impact in the child’s life, even if they never see that child again after they leave. Teachers who are able to pour out their love all day long just to hand the children back to their parents at the end of the day and not know what they are going home to. I can’t work in a preschool because I want to tell that one kid’s first girlfriend about how he used to eat his socks during nap time, and give him a lunch box filled with socks on his eighteenth birthday.

School Assignments

Paint Assignment – June 13

19048525_10154513130387190_1763621263_oBackyard Paint Exploration

Teacher: Kathryn House                      Question: How is art impacted by the materials 
 Classroom: Preschool                                                  provided to create it?

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 Date: June 7, 2017

I borrowed some of my pastor’s kids, the little girl (Colette) is 3 and the middle boy (Elijah) is 5. Their older brother is above preschool age, but I allowed him to participate. I set up the posters and paints on their back deck, which is surrounded by trees and grass. With the first round I gave them an assortment of brushes and sponges and allowed them to pain whatever they wished. In the second round, I gave them new posters and took away their brushes telling them that they could use whatever they could find in the yard to paint me a new picture.


Part 1:

When we first began, the kids were a little confused.

Colette: What do you want us to paint?

Me: Anything you’d like!!

Elijah: Okay… but like, what?

Luckily, they gave into having no set product and began to just experiment with the paints. This is what I was hoping for. I only gave the children the three primary colours.  Elijah (5) immediately mixed yellow and red to create orange, but hesitated on what to do with it. Colette (3) jumped right in, using all of her yellow right away to cover as much space as possible.  While they painted, Elijah was continuously drawing my attention to what he was doing saying “Kathryn, look! Look at this! I made orange!”, while Colette was chatting more casually. I struggled to keep up with her small talk!

Colette: Kathryn, how old are you? When is your birthday? Where are you going for dinner? What are we doing after this?

         As they relaxed into their task they began branching out. Colette started mixing colours to see what she could create, while Elijah decided to use his brushed to apply paint to his hands to make hand prints across the page; not particularly worried about what colours they ended up being.

The results [shown below] are pretty well what I expected from preschoolers given freedom with painting. But my favourite part of this what the process for each of them. Elijah enjoyed experimenting with colour mixing. At one point he became frustrated with the results that he was getting.

“Why do I keep making grey?! Kathryn, I’m mixing yellow and blue, but instead of getting green like I’m supposed to I’m making grey!!”

In the end, the cause for his gloomy results was the murky water that was drowning his paint-sponge. But he ended up including the grey spots in his artwork nevertheless and accepted them as part of his design.

Colette discovered that if she dragged her paintbrush through one colour and into another that they would mix in a rainbow style, usually purple streak, and this became her method of choice for creating her beautiful masterpiece.


Part 2:

By this point they were starting to wondering what I was trying to prove by taking their brushes away. But the search for other methods of transferring paint turned into a sort of game. I was keen to see if they would produce similar artwork without the typical tools.

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Elijah ran into the yard returning with what I think was one the leg of a chair. “Can I use THIS?!” Of course he could.
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Colette, not having any shoes on, was not much interesting in venturing off the step, so she excitedly asked “Can I use my hands?!” . At first she was a little hesitant to get paint on her hands but starting with her finger tips she eased into it.

This is where things got a little crazy.

I’m not sure who first suggested putting feet into the paint, but it wasn’t long before both Colette and Elijah were barefoot and walking through the paint and across the page.

But even in the crazy, I noticed that Elijah

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was using a block of wood that he had found

to apply paint to his hand and slap it down on the page.

I was interested to see this, because it almost debunked my question as to if children would paint differently without the normal tools of art. But in the end I decided that my hypothesis was not completely incorrect because all three children, the deck, and the grass were COVERED in paint within an hour of the project having started.


In the end, I noticed that the end product of with tools vs. without tools didn’t provide much proof for my question, but the level of excitement, and enthusiasm changed drastically. The children also took much more pride in the worked that they produced during the second part of the assignment [as seen above]. They asked while they were still painting “Can we keep these when we’re done??” . It was also much more difficult for them to decide when they were finished creating their second pieces, while they tired quickly with the first.

The implications of these types of findings are relatively simple. Adults need to relinquish their need for artwork produced by children to look like anything. I worked in a preschool today, where each child produced identical stop light crafts. And at the end of the day not one child requested to bring that piece of artwork home with them because they held no sense of accomplishment with what they had done. When children are permitted to experiment and experience during time with art they the levels of excitement and involvement increases. Without the typical restraints of using paintbrushes “the proper way” and keeping everything surrounding the artwork sparkling clean, children learn far more about themselves and what they are capable of in art. Taking away the brushes during the second part released the children of these expectations by opening their minds to the possibilities beyond the normal.

Comparison between the first part [left] and second part [right] products.