Sunday, September 27, 2015

Aria- Richard Rodriguez

Richard Rodriguez


           In Richard Rodriguez piece "Aria" he tells the story of his childhood. He voices the struggles of learning a new primary language and the nuances that come along with speaking a new language in public.
  Learning a new language can be extremely difficult. One of the main reasons is because when you have to speak that new language publicly people notice that it is not your first language. People notice that you do not know certain words, or they notice your accent, or maybe you just don't speak period. This is the daily struggle of immigrants in our country and it is a struggle that I am very familiar with.
  My wife came from Brazil when she was 9. Just like Rodriguez she picked up the new language very quickly. Children have it pretty easy because they are forced to speak english in our school system and if they want to make friends and fit in they will learn the language as quick as possible. Children also have the mental capacity to learn the language at a faster rate. As an adult it is much harder to learn because most adults are working and don't have the time for school. Most foreign adults also have friends from their native country which keeps them from having conversations in their new language.
      My Mother and Father in law came to the United States in their mid 30s and as soon as they got here they started working. They worked day and night and my wife stayed with family members so that they could work as much as possible. They made a life for themselves in the United States and they eventually did start to learn English. My mother In law went to CCRI to take english as a second language classes and she learned enough to get by. However once she got through the first couple of classes she never went back and because of that her English has not developed any further.
      My Father In Law had a different story, he came ere and hated living in America. The culture change was uncomfortable for him, as well as the climate, and especially the food. It took him 13 years before he made any kind of effort to learn the language. He spoke primarily Portuguese with his friends and family and barely spoke with me. He just like Rodriguez father he didn't speak publicly and it was evident that he was embarrassed by his lack of fluency in the english language. So over the last 2 years he decided to start taking ESL classes and because of this his english has improved immensely. We now have a better relationship, his business is growing and he has accepted that he is now an American and will never go back to Brazil.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Kozol; Amazing Grace

St Annes Church South Bronx, NY

Amazing Grace
Jonathon Kozol

    In Amazing Grace Jonathan Kozol proves that the inequality and the oppression is supported by the United States and continues to shape our culture. 
   In White Privilege:  Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack  Peggy Macintosh listed 50 day to day events that as a white middle classed man I don't even have to think about. Macintosh explains that the effects of white privilege are evident in everything that people of color or of lower class go through on any given day. Simple things like going to the grocery store and getting "special" attention from the clerk. An example given by Kozol is how a major company like The Times newspaper is not being sold in the ghetto because they advertise items that poor people cannot afford. However, by not making this newspaper available to this demographic they are withholding the news from these people. Now, there are certainly many different ways to get your news these days, but the Times is what the people prefer to read and The Times is essentially saying that their product is too good for poor people.
South Bronx Mott Haven
Another example given by Kozol that proves the government does not help the poor is the building of an incinerator in Cliffies neighborhood. The incinerator was going to be built in a nicer part of New York but the people took a stand and the state was unable to get clearence to build the incinerator. So instead of coming up with a different plan they decided to plop the incinerator in the middle of South Bronx. This is an area where pollution runs rampant already. Children have to take Albuteral in order to breath and now they have the added pollution of the incinerator added to their already poor living conditions. It's just further proof that the government is out to make sure the poor stay poor and the rich stay happy.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Land of Limitations- Kristof

      In Nicholas Kristoffs August 8, 2015 article he dives into to the topic of "social mobility" which is the idea that people can or cannot move from one social class to another. Kristof makes his stance very clear, he feels that whatever class your parents and or grandparents were in will be the class that you yourself will end up in as well. He states that the "intergenerational income elasticity" in the United States does not measure up to some of our fellow 
countries like Canada, Sweden, 
and Japan.
This graph helps to better understand where the U.S.A stand in comparison to
other countries around the world in terms of their ability to change economic classes. The line in the middle represents the median range.

This bar graph gives a clearer picture of how we stand as Americans compared
to other countries when it comes to changing economic classes.
      My stance on intergenerational earnings elasticity is that your chances of jumping from one class to another is better here in the United States than in many other countries. If you refer to the graph you can clearly see that the countries that are struggling most with this reside primarily in the western hemisphere. This is why you see so many immigrants coming from countries like Brazil, Argentina and Peru. 
  The United States is referred to as the "Land of opportunity" and even though that may have been disproved in this article, the United States is a primary destination for immigration because of its safety. Many immigrants are leaving their home countries to flea from war, violence and poverty.
Curitba, Brazil
  My wife for example is from Curitiba, Brazil. She moved here with her family when she was 9. My wife comes from a family that would be considered upper middle class in Brazil. Now what many people don't understand about Brazil is that there is almost no middle class. In my wife home country you are either rich or you are poor, there is no middle. What happens as a result of this is you have two different types of people, the people that have nothing and will do anything to survive and you have the people that have everything and give nothing back. This leads to a ton of crime and corruption which was a major deciding factor for my wives family to come to America. In Brazil employees get paid monthly and her father got holdup at gun point two months in a row immediately after cashing his check. They came to America for safety and a better school system to send their daughter to. 
  So maybe the United States may no longer be the land of opportunity,
 but it should still be known as the land of the free. 

Who is Jeff Jacques?

I am Jeff Jacques

My wife Jen and I have been married for 4 years
We have two Beautiful kids...

We just got adopted him last week but he
is too young to come home, only eight
weeks left!

 <-Bradley is a 3 year old Morkie

     Hank is a 5    week old Beagle Lab mix --------->
Jen and I are in the middle of one of
the biggest years of our lives.
This year we bought our first house
I also started my own personal training
company after working for Professional
Fitness for nearly 7 years

This summer we got really into hiking and last weekend we hiked the Mount Lafayette Loop in Franconia Notch, NH. It's an 8.8 mile hike that includes reaching the summits of Mount Haystack, Mount Lincoln, and Mount Lafayette!