Tag Archives: westtown school

What I Wanted To Hear From My President on February 1st – India

 

On the first of the month, Donald Trump held a breakfast and “get-together” to celebrate Black History Month in the White House. The video below is from that meeting. My comments on the video will make the most sense if you watch the video first.

While I recognize that this was just the first day of Black History Month and there is (hopefully) more celebrating and conversations to come, I am saddened with the way that Trump started off. Not only was he reading from a script with the most basic information about Black History, but within the first 60 seconds of the meeting he begins talking about false racist accusations against him and tries to clear his name. It actually happens many times throughout the meeting that the subject is changed to something that has to do with him and while I am not sure of the exact intentions of this meeting, I do not think that we need to be taking that much time to talk about Mr. Trump (or rather him taking that much time to talk about himself). It comes off as if he is doing this all for the press or for his image. It does not feel genuine in my opinion.

Another thing that Trump fails to do in the introduction is say the words “race” or “racism” or “systemic racism” (but I wasn’t expecting that last one), which I feel is extremely problematic as the quote that I have been using from Joe Feagin’s Racist America basically states that, “Structures of domination shape everyday existence, but an insightful understanding of these structures and their recurring contradictions can assist people in forcefully resisting racial oppression.” He instead says that he wants to better schools, create more jobs and better wages, and safer communities. All great things, but why is this problem a problem in the first place? Name the problem, Mr. President!

While Feagin’s remarks and my statement may feel unrelated to Trump’s meeting or Black History Month in general, I firmly believe they are related. If we cannot address or even name the major problems we are having, how can we begin to fix them? While potentially unintentional, it seemed as if he is trying to cover up or talk around the greater issue of systemic racism in our country. We cannot “resist racial oppression” if we cannot name that it is there and as we move on in his presidency, I would like to dig deeper into why he is doing this and where his motivations lie.

My thoughts on James A. White Sr.’s “The little problem I had renting a house”

“Fifty-three years ago, James A. White Sr. joined the US Air Force. But as an African American man, he had to go to shocking lengths to find a place for his young family to live nearby. He tells this powerful story about the lived experience of “everyday racism” — and how it echoes today in the way he’s had to teach his grandchildren to interact with police.” – Ted.com

Blatant racism. Although others in this story may have tried to make it seem as if it had nothing to do with race, or there were just “no more vacancies”, I know, they know and James White and his family knew that they received the “no’s” they did because they were black. There is no way around it.

The story that James White shared is one that thousands, if not, millions of Black Americans experienced and still experience today. It seems a bit crazy, or completely “insane” as Mr. White puts it, but this is reality too many people.

In class we have talked a lot about how the history of the housing market in our country is deeply entrenched in racism. For years, Whites have had lots of “economic incentive” (based on the fact that houses were family’s greatest investment at the time) to leave neighborhoods that Black people were moving into or simply not let them live there at all. The practice of “blockbusting” (Links to an external site.) was very common. You may also have situations like the one in Raisin In the Sun where groups claiming to help improve neighborhoods actually pay Black people not to move into the houses they’ve bought in all-White neighborhoods. The lengths (White) people went through truly were “insane.”

What I found most fascinating about this video was his remarks on his family and conversations he has had with them about their own experiences. Firstly, I thought it was interesting that he had to point out in the beginning that none of his family members had served any jail time or had teen pregnancies and that they all were getting a good education. My first thought when hearing this was, “Great, but I wonder when Black people will be able to enter a conversation where they do not have to mention or prove at all that their family members have not had those problems.” Why is it that White people never begin conversations about their families in that way? Well, I believe I know the answer, but when will American society understand this and want to change it?

I enjoyed the advice that he tells his grandchildren and admire the way in which he strives to live out his life. Although not having the “luxury to be angry,” he takes his passion and dedicates himself to challenging racism wherever and whenever he sees it. I was inspired by his words as “systemic racism” often seems like an awfully large task to begin to analyze and eradicate and he made it sound like something anyone could do. He said if we elevate our “level of societal knowledge, awareness, and consciousness, we can truly begin to do this.

I believe these were Mr. White’s words for saying that people need to awaken to the realities of systemic racism and the fact that this problem has not gone away (only taken other forms) in order to most effectively eradicate the issue. This was exactly what I read from Joe Feagin’s book, “Structures of domination shape everyday existence, but an insightful understanding of these structures and their recurring contradictions can assist people in forcefully resisting racial oppression.”
This is something we have discussed a lot in class and something I felt this man has said so eloquently in his TedTalk. I am excited to further “challenge the insanity” in my own life that for years I have been afraid of confronting.

Blue Valentine – Why Isn’t Love Enough? | Cynthia Ruan

For my project, I’ll be writing reviews on films with the broad theme of love. I’ll focus more on the analysis of characters and storylines instead of the technicality of filmmaking since it’s not my area of expertise.

In light of Valentine’s Day, I watched Blue Valentine by Dereck Cianfrance this week, and here’s my complete review on the movie.

maxresdefault.jpg

Continue reading

Picture Films – Ria

This week I wanted to focus on the film clips I am watching and next week I’ll focus more on the storyboarding process. I watched a film clip this weekend called “The Miseducation of Dylann Roof”. While watching it I realized that many of the documentaries we watch are picture based. I never noticed this because when we think of a picture film we think of something slightly boring and not so interactive. There is a way to use pictures to tell a story and a way to make pictures seem as though they are a piece of film instead. While paying attention to the craft only, I realized how much technique goes into these types of films. I think I will find times throughout the filmmaking process where I get frustrated due to running out of ideas on how to craft the pictures and what techniques to use on them. I want to compile a bunch of links with films that do a good job of engaging with pictures, one of them being the recent film clip on Dylann Roof. This is not a problem for me because I love watching documentaries, it would just be watching with a different intention: technique and craft.

Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 9.28.56 AM.png
Here is the link to the video incase anyone is interested in the craft or even the topic (

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB6A45tA6mE&sns=em

 

The Hidden Gem of Westtown School – KC

This semester during my Junior year, I am enrolled in the Independent Study Program and having the time of my life diving deep into material that specifically interests me in a subject I excel. After hearing about this unique offer during my Sophomore year, I seized the opportunity. After a proposal, I was accepted into the History Independent Seminar where I’ve been study legislation and sex education in Pennsylvania.

Read More: Pennsylvania’s Sex Education Policy Is Scarier Than You’d Think!

Upon first impression, I thought this class would simply be a time to learn all about the history of legislation and sex education in Pennsylvania and continue my learning in my favorite subject — but it is far more than that.

Westtown’s Independent Study has challenged my writing, reading, researching and critical thinking skills. I’ve noticed considerable improvements in many disciplines as a result of my deep study of sex education and legislation. I’ve worked with the Chair of the History Department, English Teachers, and Health Experts.

This is a unique program I would recommend to all students who are pursuing a unique discipline. Current students should seize this opportunity for next year. Few schools allow for students to explore their interest in a particular subject the way Westtown allows. Not only have I been able to learn more through research, but I also have a plethora of resources and faculty who have been incredibly supportive and helpful.

Read More: Learn How To Contact Your Representatives!

The Independent Study Program is one of the hidden gems on our campus that needs more recognition. I hope prospective students have a chance to hear about how students are excelling in different disciplines through this program.

This week I wanted to hear from all my fellow peers about unexpected ways they’ve improved their academic and research skills through Independent Seminar. What skills have you improved?

Image from Westtown School “Student Life” (www.westtown.edu)

 

Ratio Analysis – Ricky

Ratio Analysis

Ricky Yu

2017/2/13

 

Ratio Analysis is a very self explanatory subject, as it is really just analyzing situations using different kinds of ratios. Ratios are very handy when assessing risk, liquidity, and profitability, because they can be used to accentuate competitive advantages and warn for potential trouble. Continue reading

An Insightful Understanding – India

Prior to reading Joe Feagin‘s Racist America and enrolling in this course, race for me felt inherently linked with emotion. I knew, from experience, what it felt like to be a Black woman. I knew from my grandparents about my enslaved ancestors. I knew from my parents about how to converse with White people who could not comprehend how their privilege still functioned today. The one thing that had always been difficult for me to weave together was the connection between each of these events. Continue reading