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5/24

So today, I had work and i was super tired. I’m extremely excited that I am finished with finals! summer is in!!! for me of course. hope everyone enjoys it as much as i will [=

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i enjoyed this class very much [= I am sure this PIE paragraph will help me in my future papers. HOPE EVERYONE HAS A WONDERFUL SUMMER [=

Final Essay !!!!!

Naturally Growing Up: How Grandmother’s Babysitting Can Affect Children According to Annette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods

There marks a new beginning everywhere one looks. One crucial beginning, starting with life. From the day we are born, someone took care of us and nurtured us to the people we became today. Through Annette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods, one can vitally look back into one’s memories of the past and see how exactly things happened. Of course, not everyone grew up in the same way. Some had a harder time than others, and some had the opportunity to breeze through. The one thing we can not forget; our past has brought us to where we are today and without acknowledging and accepting your past, one can prevent oneself from having a future. Lareau uses key concepts such as natural growth and concerted cultivation to describe two types of child rearing strategies. These two categories, according to Lareau, should be where everybody reside. Let us see if her hypothesis can prove true when compared to important events in my life.

As I began growing up, I never really understood why my family did things in certain ways. I never understood why I had to take a school bus to school instead of getting driven there. I never complained, but I always wondered. I would say to myself, why do I have to go to grandmother’s house after school? My mom used to come to my grandmother’s house at eight o’clock and pick me up. When we used to get home, my mom seemed so tired from work and I used to have so much energy from just spending my day at my grandmother’s house. I wanted to spend time with my mom but she always felt tired and couldn’t really pay attention to me because of this. In Unequal Childhoods, Annette Lareau showed me exactly why these things happened when she writes, “Social class does have a powerful impact in shaping daily rhythms of family life” (pg 8). Lareau argues that one’s social class, which includes one’s economic situation and where one lives, determines what one does every morning and every night. If I lived in a big mansion, I would most likely take a limo to school or even a helicopter. On a more realistic note, I live in Flushing, where one can seldom find parking, and around lots of two to three family houses. My mother had to wake up every morning at six o’clock, wake me up, and get me ready for school, as well as herself for work. I never had a chance at her driving me to school because she would never have a shot at finding parking and having enough time to get to work. She would walk me to where the bus normally picked me up, a couple of blocks away from my house. Then she would wait until I got on the bus and then walked to Main Street for an hour-and-a-half train ride to work. This acted as our daily routine every morning. In the 4th and 5th grade, I considered myself as reared by natural growth because I didn’t have very many activities going on, as opposed to children reared by concerted cultivation. Lareau points out that the families who were classified as concerted cultivation are the “middle class” and families who were classified under natural growth were the “working and poor class”. According to Lareau’s standards I’m considered natural growth because my mother, “had a schedule, [she] had to get home, there was dinner, and there were groceries, laundry. There were certain things that [she] had to get done during the course of the week which left the weekend open for a little more relaxing time, going to the laundry, not having to get up early to do something out of the ordinary that we couldn’t fit in during the week” (Kanellopoulos). This explained why I could only participate in activities during the hours I found myself in school. I couldn’t stay after school because I had to take the school bus back to my grandmother’s house. It did feel a bit weird when my friends’ parents allowed them to stay after school for those activities and my mother wouldn’t let me because she wouldn’t have the strength to come pick me up after these activities finished.

The only activities I participated in, took place at gym, during school hours. One day we would play dodge ball, the next we had gymnastics, and these activities alternated during the week. Sometimes we would play one game for a week and choose teams. This just made it more enjoyable as one waited until that bell rang so one could play these games in gym. I never really thought of these games as activities, or even in the same range as those the after-school programs offered. Lareau points out that children brought up in natural growth “are given the flexibility to choose activities and playmates and to decide how active or inactive to be as they engage in these activities” (67). This explains my actions exactly. In my gym class, I decided whether or not I should involve myself, and how actively to do so. We would change for gym and sit in our floor spots first. Then we would stretch, run, and then wait quietly for our gym teacher to tell us what game we would play that day. We looked forward to a fun and exciting game in which everyone could enjoy. If the gym teacher chose a sport like soccer, a sport in which I have no skill in to this day, I would just stand on the side while everyone else who liked the sport played and ran back and forth. I never felt entitled to complain to the teacher so that we could take part in another activity. If the teacher chose a sport like basketball, gymnastics, or even kick ball, I jumped up first and wanted to pick my teammates. I never really thought of this as falling under the category of natural growth because I thought that it simply became a decision making process as a child. When one compares this to the activities that children under concerted cultivation and natural growth participate in, one can see that the children under concerted cultivation do not have much say in the matter. Their parents sign them up for all these activities and tell them that this activity has benefits toward their futures. Natural growth children, on the other hand, have to decide on their own. One can say that the families of natural growth lack a certain cultural capital as opposed to the families of concerted cultivation. This cultural capital is valued or else the middle class families would not waste their time and money putting their children through random activities. The parents would definitely know if these activities could help in the future or not but each parent has a different parenting style. One can also refer to the child’s experience as “transmission of differential advantages” because through out every interaction one has, everyone may benefit differently from one another through institutions or other authority figures. Some parents have responsibilities after work such as, taking their child to soccer practice. Other parents get home and just want to relax after work but still have to come home and make dinner and housework. This also has to do with how the parent prioritizes there children’s activities with their own responsibilities. When the end of my school day finished, I used to get back on the school bus and go to my grandmother’s house. My mom thought of concerted cultivation as a whole concept and said, “In order to do these extra things you need to have the money and if you’re not wealthy and have money given to you, you need to work and if you parents don’t make a lot of money it’s a problem because now your losing that person that could expose you to things that you won’t get sitting in grandma’s house”. She referred to this as a “catch 22 situation” because people naturally want to get involved in as many activities as they can but most have limited capabilities due to their lack of funds.

From that last sentence, one may get a hint as to where I’m leading to. Since my mother could not spend more time with me, I would go to my grandmother’s house and contemplate what I could do to pass the time until I could spend time with my mother. The role my grandmother played could not replace the importance of my mother spending time with me. My grandmother can only do so much with her age and lack of mobility to take me places such as the park. Lareau points out that “the lack of adult attention and involvement in their activities leaves children in working-class and poor homes free to concentrate on pleasing themselves. (83) I believe that, even though I had my grandmother as an adult figure, it did not compare to the attention and please I received from my mother. Everyday, I got to my grandma’s house, I would always try and find a way to finish my homework fast and find something exciting to do. I would play treasure hunt and crawl under her tables looking for anything interesting. Surprisingly, that made time fly. My grandma’s house had everything. She never threw anything away so most of her house was covered with random things. Her dinning room area seemed pretty much closed off because of all the things and I loved crawling in there and feeling as though nobody could find me. My grandmother would call for me once in a while to help her with something or just to check on me. I have to say, this game was the highlight of her house.

Besides playing treasure hunt, I had to figure out what else do every day at my grandmother’s house. The homework part of my day took me quite some time. My grandmother never wanted me to fall behind in my schoolwork. She wanted to make sure I completed my homework. She also wanted me feel just as happy as if my mother had never left. My grandmother wanted to help my mother, this way, when she got home from work, she did not have to sit and do homework with me. That would have tortured her. I got used to my grandmother’s house, and as soon as I got there, I would eat. When I started my homework, my grandmother wanted me to concentrate. She would help me if I didn’t understand and just make sure I did the homework correctly. After my homework ended, I would either play treasure hunt or a series of things. “Although she did try, she cooked, and talked to you and loved you and provided what ever she could with what resources were available to her”(Kanellopoulos). She always allowed me to participate in anything that involved staying in the house. The whole time I resided in my grandmother’s house, “the amount of time allotted to any given activity varie[d]. Television and video games [were] a major source of entertainment” (73). After I became bored of the treasure hunt game, the television later became my first option. That helped me pass the time almost every day. The television had always had something to offer, such as Boy Meets World or Pokemon or The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and many other shows. Not only had I showed interest in television shows, but I also showed interest in video games. I used to play Super Nintendo car racing or Mario Brothers for hours. I became the type of person who wanted to master everything and show my skills at everything, especially when it came to video games. I met my match though. My brother had way better skills than me in every video game so when he came around I would just do something else. But, Lareau claims this happens more in concerted cultivation. This happens to me quite a bit with Lareau. I am able to fit in her categories in some aspects and in others I fit both. At my grandmother’s house, it came time to practice and to get better so that I could beat him. Also known as sibling rivalry which is also under concerted cultivation. It never really worked, but I did try. My grandmother never once told me to get off the television because she had to do something or just because she didn’t want me playing too much. She let me play as long as I desired. My mother used to come to grandma’s house and tell me that she would leave me if I didn’t stop playing. That’s how addicted to the video games I became. This made babysitting a whole lot easier for my grandmother because the video games where doing all the entertaining. The same with watching television shows. I would get sucked into the plot of the story, and I would beg my mother to wait until it ended. Most of the time, my mother would wait until my show or my level ended because she liked seeing me happy. Who wouldn’t enjoy watching their child have fun? From my mother’s perspective, of course, she just came from another day at the office and just wants to go home and rest because she has to do it again the following day. I give my mother a lot of credit for the things she has done. She has made many sacrifices for her family’s happiness. As a child one can only see what pertains to oneself. One wants to do what makes one happy, and at that age one wants others to make one happy. One does not think of how to make one’s own mother happy because one feel like she should take care of her child. Children feel like the world revolves around them. As one grows up, one can see that one’s way of thinking seemed wrong all along, and one’s beliefs about the rest of the world prove false. Originally, this made me think that, this particular way of thinking shows a bit of  “entitlement” because the child feels as though the parent has to serve them. So am I concerted cultivation or natural growth?

As my mother made these sacrifices, it seems as though she rarely spent time with me. The exact opposite happened because we had the whole weekend together. I remember the weekend as vastly long. My mother used to talk with me and find out how I felt about the school week that just passed. We had rather long discussions on my school days and which subjects I liked and disliked. I have to say, even though I grew up natural growth, this trait came from the concerted cultivation side. According to Lareau, “this approach often leads to extensive negotiations, bargaining, and whining in the course of daily family life” (pg 107). As a child, I remember whining to my mother for every little thing. If I wanted something I would ask for it, and if she said no, I would whine and begin to cry until she got it for me. I felt like she should have bought these things for me because of all the time she lost not spending time with me during the week. Most of the time she did. There could hardly bargain when it came to my mother. I did, however, negotiate with her a bit. Sometimes, when she would say no to something I wanted her to buy, I would say, “Please mom! I don’t want anything else but this! I promise.” She would respond okay, and when I wanted something else she would say, “Remember you said you didn’t want anything else?” Then I would have to say, “Okay, I don’t want it anymore”. This all seems as if my mother wanted to buy my happiness in regards to the time she could not spend with me but her intent proved otherwise. She just wanted to have a normal life with her child. This includes going to the store together, cooking, cleaning, and doing homework together. Along with that, she also added that “you’re constantly fighting the clock and constantly pushing yourself and unfortunately we have limited energy and limited resources” so if one can’t finish today, then they will have to continue tomorrow. She wanted to show that she could have this relationship with me despite her hectic work schedule and limited energy from work. We had extensive conversations very frequently, even during the week. I would call her at her desk and talk and ask her questions like when she would come home because I had nothing to do at grandma’s house. We used to talk about what we planned to do during the week or for the weekend. This also stayed the same during the summer but instead of staying at my grandmother’s house, my mother enrolled me in summer camp. I would play all day at the camp or we would go somewhere for the day, and then I would go home and wait for my mom to get home. I wouldn’t wait alone in my house of course; my brother always accompanied me in the waiting process. When my mother would come home from work, I used to tell her the most exciting stories from summer camp because we did all kinds of activities each day. We used to have a schedule for the week, which functioned as a list of things we did during the week and items we needed to bring. Maybe a bathing suit or towel or things along that line. Even though my mother paid to put me in summer camp, it helped her so that she could make money to support my brother and I. She kept our relationship this way up until the fourth and fifth grade. After that, she enrolled me in several sports and one can say that I became concerted cultivation.

I think that my mother, chose to cross the boundaries or concerted cultivation when she needed to. This proves that my life, as natural growth, can not account for 100 percent of the time. My mother cared and still cares about my grades in school very much. She checked my homework at a routinely time, which happened as soon as we got home from grandma’s house. My mother only wanted me to receive the best education I can so that I could make a better life for myself. Lareau points out that

“All families interact with many different institutions. For middle-class mothers, the boundaries between home and institutions are fluid; mothers cross back and forth, mediating their children’s lives.” (165)

My mother would talk to my teacher’s on a more than average basis. She had my English teacher’s cell phone number in her phone just incase I did bad. That fueled me to do even better, that way, the teachers only had positive things to say about me. In the book, Lareau mentions that working and poor mothers talk to authorities or institutions with a sense of constraint and as if they seem inferior to them. My mother felt the complete opposite towards authority. She had respect for them but understood her place and what should go on for my education. She went to the school every time the school had a parent teacher night to speak if I progressed or if I could not grasp the material. If, for example, I could not understand the material, then the teachers would give pointers to my mother so that she could help me future my learning process. This, I can say for sure, is a quality of concerted cultivation.

Even before I clearly crossed into the concerted cultivation category, I still believe that my life, along with many others, doesn’t fit exactly in Annette Lareau’s book. Lareau basically has a list of things that concerted cultivation families did. She showed how they put their children in all these extra curricular activities, teach them how to speak to authority figures, elicit their opinions and how parents fight for their children against the institution if necessary. Most of these can not accurately portray every family. Most families have a bit of both in them. I think that if she narrowed her research a bit more, maybe into ethnicity effects or a particular neighborhood, this would help her be a little more accurate. I have to say, reading this book did make me think about my life and the way things happened when I couldn’t understand my surroundings. I highly recommend this book to anyone who takes interest in their life and who wants to understand the way they were cultivated into the world.

Work Cited

Lareau, Annette. Unequal Childhoods. California: University of California Press, 2003. Print

Kanellopoulos, Connie. Personal Interview. 19 April. 2010

Scholarship Essay

My entire life, I have always been indecisive about what career path I should take. As a child, I wanted to be everything; from a basketball player to a television broadcaster. One realizes that it is impossible to be everything so I decided that an optometrist was a suitable career path. One day, in my middle school, we had an event called career day. We were supposed to dress up as the profession that we wanted to pursue. My friend came in with a doctor robe on and a stethoscope and I thought she wanted to be a regular doctor. She later told me that she wanted to be an eye doctor because she wished she didn’t have glasses at a young age. This experience changed my ways. I’ve had glasses since I turned about 10. I have always wondered how and why this happened; not only to me but to others as well. After that, I had always had a big place in my heart for eyes. Even though, at the moment, I have not selected a major; I plan on majoring in biology so that I can graduate and continue on to the SUNY school of Optometry. By pursuing a career in this field, I intend on helping as many people as I can with their problems with vision.

Ever since I could question things, I always wondered how people see me, through their own eyes. Someone once told me that we see everything upside down but our brain reverses it right side up. I have always wondered if that person had told me the truth or not. I could easily find the answer by Google but I would rather learn about it through school. From then on, I was determined to help people through this field. I’ve participated in some community service that I believe would help benefit our society in the future. I want to have some kind of impact on people. I recently participated in the AIDS walk and donated along with a group of my friends. By donating, I believe that the organization will find a cure for AIDs and help the world, including people who are fighting this disease. I want to help people but on a smaller note because it would be hard for one to have such an impact. I would love to help as many people as I can when I do succeed at my goal.

Ever since I was a little girl, my mother always tried to persuade me to become a teacher. She always lectured me on how cool it would be to have all holidays off and summers. It does sound very appealing but that field isn’t really for me. I just want to show her that my decision to become an optometrist has its positives as well. I think my goal to help people can be done from anywhere and by anybody. Even by holding the door open for someone you never met before, you show that you have courtesy and compassion. If I was given the honor to be awarded this scholarship, I would definitely give back to this organization for helping me continue by goals and strive for better. I would give back in order to make sure that this scholarship continues to help others in their pursuit of their dreams.

Today 5/18

so today i plan on finishing my essays. even though, i doubt that will happen. then i have to go to work. Work just makes it harder for me to focus on my school work. =/ stupid work

oh and today is my friends birthday [= HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVIE !

Revisions

Naturally Growing Up: How Grandmother’s Babysitting Can Affect Children According to Annette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods

As I began growing up, I never really understood why my family did things in certain ways. I never understood why I had to take a school bus to school instead of getting driven there. I never complained, but I always wondered. I would say to myself, why do I have to go to grandmother’s house after school? My mom used to come to my grandmother’s house at eight o’clock and pick me up. When we used to get home, my mom seemed so tired from work and I used to have so much energy from just spending my day at my grandmother’s house. I wanted to spend time with my mom but she always felt tired and couldn’t really pay attention to me because of this. In Unequal Childhoods, Annette Lareau showed me exactly why these things happened when she writes, “Social class does have a powerful impact in shaping daily rhythms of family life” (pg 8). Lareau argues that one’s social class, which includes one’s economic situation and where one lives, determines what one does every morning and every night. If I lived in a big mansion, I would most likely take a limo to school or even a helicopter. On a more realistic note, I live in Flushing, where one can seldom find parking, and lots of two to three family houses. My mother had to wake up every morning at six o’clock, wake me up, and get me ready for school, as well as herself for work. I never had a chance at her driving me to school because she would never have a shot at finding parking and having enough time to get to work. She would walk me to where the bus normally picked me up, a couple of blocks away from my house. Then she would wait until I got on the bus and then walked to Main Street for an hour-and-a-half train ride to work. This acted as our daily routine every morning. In the 4th and 5th grade, I considered myself as reared by natural growth because I didn’t have very many activities going on, as opposed to children reared by concerted cultivation. My mom said, “I had a schedule, I had to get home, there was dinner, and there were groceries, laundry. There were certain things that I had to get done during the course of the week which left the weekend open for a little more relaxing time, going to the laundry, not having to get up early to do something out of the ordinary that we couldn’t fit in during the week.” This explained why I could only participate in activities during the hours I found myself in school. I couldn’t stay after school because I had to take the school bus back to my grandmother’s house. It did feel a bit weird when my friends’ parents allowed them to stay after school for those activities and my mother wouldn’t let me because she wouldn’t have the strength to come pick me up after these activities finished.

The only activities I participated in, took place at gym, during school hours. One day we would play dodge ball, the next we had gymnastics, and these activities alternated during the week. Sometimes we would play one game for a week and choose teams. This just made it more enjoyable as one waited until that bell rang so one could play these games in gym. I never really thought of these games as activities, or even in the same range as those the after-school programs offered. Lareau points out that children brought up in natural growth “are given the flexibility to choose activities and playmates and to decide how active or inactive to be as they engage in these activities” (67). In my gym class, I decided whether or not I should involve myself, and how actively to do so. We would change for gym and sit in our floor spots. Then we would stretch, run, and then wait quietly for our gym teacher to tell us what game we would play that day. We looked forward to a fun and exciting game in which everyone could enjoy. If the gym teacher chose a sport like soccer, a sport in which I have no skill in to this day, I would just stand on the side while everyone else who liked the sport played and ran back and forth. I never felt entitled to complain to the teacher so that we could take part in another activity. If the teacher chose a sport like basketball, gymnastics, or even kick ball, I jumped up first and wanted to pick my teammates first. I never really thought of this as falling under the category of natural growth because I thought that it simply became a decision making process as a child. When one compares this to the activities that children under concerted cultivation and natural growth participate in, one can see that the children under concerted cultivation do not have much say in the matter. Their parents sign them up for all these activities and tell them that this activity has benefits toward their futures. Natural growth children, on the other hand, have to decide on their own. The parents would definitely know if these activities could help in the future or not but each parent has a different parenting style. One can also refer to this as “transmission of differential advantages”. Some parents have responsibilities after work such as, taking their child to soccer practice. Other parents get home and just want to relax after work. This also has to do with how the parent acknowledges theses activities. When the end of my school day finished, I used to get back on the school bus and go to my grandmother’s house. My mom thought of concerted cultivation as a whole concept and said, “In order to do these extra things you need to have the money and if you’re not wealthy and have money given to you, you need to work and if you parents don’t make a lot of money it’s a problem because now your losing that person that could expose you to things that you wont get sitting in grandma’s house”. She referred to this as a “catch 22 situation” because people naturally want to get involved in as many activities as they can but most are limited due to their lack of funds.

Besides waiting for my mother, I had to figure out what to do every day at my grandmother’s house. Most of my time there, I spent doing my homework. My grandmother never wanted me to fall behind in my schoolwork. All she wanted to do was make sure I completed my homework; I seemed happy and after that I got ready for bed by the time my mother got home. She wanted to help my mother, this way, when she got home from work, she did not have to sit and do homework with me. That would have tortured her. I got used to my grandmother’s house, and as soon as I got there, I would eat. When I did homework, my grandmother wanted me to concentrate. She would help me in things that I didn’t understand and just make sure I did the homework correctly. After my homework ended, I would do different things to try and pass the time until my mother arrived. “Although she did try, she cooked, and talked to you and loved you and provided what ever she could with what resources were available to her”, said my mother when I asked about my grandmother’s “parenting style” towards me. She always allowed me to participate in anything that involved staying in the house. The whole time I resided in my grandmother’s house, “the amount of time allotted to any given activity varie[d]. Television and video games [were] a major source of entertainment” (73). The television became the first option for me. That helped me pass the time almost every day. The television had always had something to offer, such as Boy Meets World or Pokemon or The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or many other shows. Not only had I showed interest in television shows, but I also showed interest in video games. I used to play Super Nintendo car racing or Mario Brothers for hours. I became the type of person who wanted to master everything and show my skills at everything, especially when it came to video games. I met my match though. My brother had way better skills than me in every video game so when he came around I would just do something else. But, Lareau claims this happens more in concerted cultivation. At my grandmother’s house, it came time to practice and to get better so that I could beat him. It never really worked, but I did try. My grandmother never once told me to get off the television because she had to do something or just because she didn’t want me playing too much. She let me play as long as I desired. My mother used to come to grandma’s house and tell me that she would leave me if I didn’t stop playing. That’s how addicted to the video games I became. This made babysitting a whole lot easier for my grandmother because the video games where doing all the entertaining. The same with watching television shows. I would get sucked into the plot of the story, and I would beg my mother to wait until it ended. Most of the time, my mother would wait until my show or my level ended because she liked seeing me happy. Who wouldn’t enjoy watching their child have fun? From my mother’s perspective, of course, she just came from another day at the office and just wants to go home and rest because she has to do it again the following day. I give my mother a lot of credit for the things she has done. She has made many sacrifices for her family’s happiness. As a child one can only see what pertains to oneself. One wants to do what makes one happy, and at that age one wants others to make one happy. One does not think of how to make one’s own mother happy because one feel like she should take care of her child. Children feel like the world revolves around them. As one grows up, one can see that one’s way of thinking seemed wrong all along, and one’s beliefs about the rest of the world prove false. Originally, this made me think that, this particular way of thinking shows a bit of  “entitlement” because the child feels as though the parent has to serve them.

As my mother made these sacrifices, it seems as though she rarely spent time with me. The exact opposite happened because we had the whole weekend together. I remember the weekend as vastly long. My mother used to talk with me and find out how I felt about the school week that just passed. We had rather long discussions on my school days and which subjects I liked and disliked. I have to say, even though I grew up natural growth, this trait came from the concerted cultivation side. According to Lareau, “this approach often leads to extensive negotiations, bargaining, and whining in the course of daily family life” (pg 107). As a child, I remember whining to my mother for every little thing. If I wanted something I would ask for it, and if she said no, I would whine and begin to cry until she got it for me. I felt like she should have bought these things for me because of all the time she lost not spending time with me during the week. Most of the time she did. There could hardly bargain when it came to my mother. I did, however, negotiate with her a bit. Sometimes, when she would say no to something I wanted her to buy, I would say, “Please mom! I don’t want anything else but this! I promise.” She would respond okay, and when I wanted something else she would say, “Remember you said you didn’t want anything else?” Then I would have to say, “Okay, I don’t want it anymore”. This all seems as if my mother wanted to buy my happiness in regards to the time she could not spend with me but her intent proved otherwise. She just wanted to have a normal life with her child. This includes going to the store together, cooking, cleaning, and doing homework together. Along with that, she also added that “you’re constantly fighting the clock and constantly pushing yourself and unfortunately we have limited energy and limited resources” so if one can’t finish today, then they will have to continue tomorrow. She wanted to show that she could have this relationship with me despite her hectic work schedule and limited energy from work. We had extensive conversations very frequently, even during the week. I would call her at her desk and talk and ask her questions like when she would come home because I had nothing to do at grandma’s house. We used to talk about what we planned to do during the week or for the weekend. This also stayed the same during the summer but instead of staying at my grandmother’s house, my mother enrolled me in summer camp. I would play all day at the camp or we would go somewhere for the day, and then I would go home and wait for my mom to get home. I wouldn’t wait alone in my house of course; my brother always accompanied me in the waiting process. When my mother would come home from work, I used to tell her the most exciting stories from summer camp because we did all kinds of activities each day. We used to have a schedule for the week, which functioned as a list of things we did during the week and items we needed to bring. Maybe a bathing suit or towel or things along that line. Even though my mother paid to put me in summer camp, it helped her so that she could make money to support my brother and I. She kept our relationship this way up until the fourth and fifth grade. After that, she enrolled me in several sports and one can say that I became concerted cultivation.

Work Cited

Lareau, Annette. Unequal Childhoods. California: University of California Press, 2003. Print

Kanellopoulos, Connie. Personal Interview. 19 April. 2010

Transcript

April 19, 2010 – Connie Kanellopoulos

1)Do you think the way I explained my upbringing is the way it actually happened?

2)Yes well, I wanted you to have a say so in what you did, think for yourself and make your own choices.

3) I wanted you to explore as many possible things, which is why I got you into basketball, piano, gymnastics.

4) A lot of this stuff was offered on an after school program, to see if you would like something, which is how you got into the piano which we extended it.

5) That’s how you got into basketball, which you continued to play many years after getting out of school, into high school.

6) The fact that I had to work was an obstacle because I didn’t have the luxury of staying home and driving you and taking you to the movies and taking you for ice cream.

7) I had a schedule, I had to get home, there was dinner, and there were groceries, laundry.

8) There were certain things that I had to get done during the course of the week which left the weekend open for a little more relaxing time, going to the laundry, not having to get up early to do something out of the ordinary that we couldn’t fit in during the week.

9) As far as time with grandma, being an older woman, she was very limited; she didn’t drive, and didn’t have the capability to give you what I could give you.

10) Although she did try, she cooked, and talked to you and loved you and provided what ever she could with what resources were available to her.

11) I think I instilled values that I believe in very strongly.

12) That hard work is a good thing to have in your life, that being honest, being truthful to your kids so that they understand that life is not about just using a credit card and going places and just spending.

13) You have to be realistic about what life is and that you have to work, and you need to save for a rainy day, and to budget yourself.

14) You need to have a direction in your life because we all want to go to the mall and drop two thousand dollars but in reality it’s not real.

15) It’s bull shit

16) Do you think that by you working as many hours as you did, it affected the fact that I could have been more concerted cultivation?

17) You probably would have had more opportunities and chances of doing more things like maybe tennis lessons, swimming lessons; possibly.

18) But at the same time, if you don’t have the money, how are you going to do these things?

19) So you’re in a catch 22 situation.

20) In order to do these extra things you need to have the money and if you’re not wealthy and have money given to you, you need to work and if you parents don’t make a lot of money it’s a problem because now your losing that person that could expose you to things that you wont get sitting in grandma’s house.

21) So its kinda like a catch 22 situation which is why I strongly believe in education because education is the key to a better future, to an easier life, to more money in your life, to having a more satisfying life.

22) When you’re satisfied with your life, I think that you raise your family better.

23) When you’re happy in your career or with your husband or your wife, if you have a harmonious family life, your kids generally are happier.

24) And you have a better time.

25) Do you think that if you could go back you would change some things?

26) Yea, I think I wanted to be a good wife and a good mother and a good everything and I pressed myself to the limit.

27) I think a little too much.

28) So if I had to do it over, I wouldn’t have been such a good housekeeper.

29) I should have been…I should have given more time to my kids, and the laundry and the ironing, the cooking where not as important because kids don’t really remember how long it took you to make a dinner.

30) They don’t understand how long it takes to go to the market to buy the stuff, to bring it home, to cook it, to clean up after words you know?

31) They remember just the time that you talk to them and for them, when you are in the kitchen, and because you don’t have a lot of time, you’re going like the energizer bunny and for a kid its like everything is in slow motion and they can’t wait for you to be done and they are interrupting you and they’re talking to you and you’re trying to get the thing done to get it finished so you can devote time.

32) In the mean time, you’ve been working all day and you’re tired and you’re just pushing yourself because you gotta feed the kids, you gotta clean up, you gotta take a shower, you gotta take out the garbage, you gotta do the laundry, you gotta do certain things, you gotta get homework done, you gotta press the clothes.

33) You don’t want the kids going to school dirty, raggy, wrinkled…what ever you know?

34) So you’re constantly fighting the clock and constantly pushing yourself and unfortunately we have limited energy and limited resources.

35) Do you think it was a struggle to do the basic necessities like food and clothing?

36) No not a struggle but you were the third child by then so to feed three kids and cloth them and pay the rent and the money was going in many directions.

37) One was going to college, one was going to private school and you too.

38) At that time, I was paying and I was always crazy because I didn’t have enough money all the time.

39) I couldn’t really afford to do very much so yes it was hard but I was lucky that you guys weren’t really close together so there was not really a lot of things happening for a long time because you guys weren’t close together.

40) So each had like their own special time, you know?

41) And back then, I would always rush myself to come home earlier from work because I felt obligated to be there for my kids as well and make money so I was kinda in between the fence because I didn’t no what side to be on.

In class quiz

April 19, 2010  time:10pm

Connie Kanellopoulos location: kitchen table

Description: There are four chairs at the round kitchen table. Flower themed wallpaper covers the walls up to the ceiling. There is always a candle lit, placed in the center of the table, with a bowl of fruit next to it. The temperature is always normal, unless my mom is baking something; then it gets really hot. I’m always cold so, maybe for everyone else in my house, its hot. In the background the television was on, because my brother was watching it. My mom, at first, sat down to answer my questions but then she began to take things off the table, and put dishes away.

My mother is 52 years old, 5’11, a high school graduate. Has brown hair with blonde highlights, brown eyes, has red framed glasses. She does not like to sit in one spot for too long because she likes to be productive. She doesn’t push herself though because she has a bit of a back problem. Even bending and lifting heavy things can compromise her back.

PIE paragraph

The youtube clip, A Girl Like Me, demonstrates domination in practice. The clip started with a few African American girls who were being interviewed about their skin color. They were talking about, the “norm” which is for an African American girl to be light skinned, almost close to looking white, or as close as possible. After this, an experiment was shown, which consisted of 21 African American children, who were about four or five, and two dolls. One of the dolls had very light skin, which you can say was white, and the other was dark skinned, which was referred to, in the clip, as black. These children where asked questions such as, “Which doll is the good doll?” Most of them chose the white doll without hesitation. When focusing on one girl, her actions seemed a bit interesting. She was asked which doll was the bad doll and she replied this one because its black, as she pointed to the black doll. The next question is where the main focus is. She was asked which doll looks like her. She grabbed the white doll, without hesitation, and was about to give it to the experimenter, but then she hesitated. She pulled back the doll, realizing that it does not look like her and gave the black doll to the experimenter. That moment of hesitation is probably the hardest thing to try and figure out, let alone comprehend. Sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu argues that this is a form of symbolic violence. He writes

Symbolic 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. Because the                     economy of symbolic goods is based on belief, the principle of its reproduction or crisis is found in the reproduction or crisis            of belief, that is, in continuity or rupture with the adjustment between mental structures (categories of perception and                          appreciation, systems of preference) and objective structures. (121-122)

Bourdieu argues that there are underlying social rules that aren’t written but are indeed followed. This applies to those who are being dominates and those who are dominating, figuratively speaking. Those who are being dominated, which in this case is the African Americans who, feel inferior to the dominants, which is the white people. Historically, this has a relation to the domination to which they applied to physical violence. So now, fast forward in time, where this no longer exists, but now symbolic violence exists. When a group of people have one belief, they are more likely to reproduce this belief on to people they know and their children. The dominated perceive the dominant through these structured systems of class and race. These beliefs that were reproduced over the years, show in the interviews taken. They show just how this system of preference influenced her choices when asked those questions. She may not have been told word for word that African Americans are inferior to whites but symbolically, one can see the repercussion of her choices. This may not only come from generations before her. This could also come from students she plays with at school, or the school in general. Things do not have to be spoken to be understood. Without her understanding the reason, the little girl chooses the African American doll and doesn’t see the hatred she portrayed toward herself and other of the same race. Bourdieu writes that there must have been a rupture with the adjustment between the mental structures as she understands society and the objective structures that she deals with in her decision. One may say that none of this may be true because historically, violence came to a halt when slavery ended  but this shows that we proclaim that we are all equal. Can this still be true or is this just something we believe should be true?

Writing

How could the writing you do at school be more like the writing you do outside of school?

-The writing you do in school is like telling people your perspective and why. Then you have to give examples that show exactly why you have this idea and where it came from. Children now, really write mostly on the computer. 95% is on aim or on facebook. If your arguing with somebody and they have a totally different perspective, you would have to tell them your side so that they can understand your feelings. Every time I have an argument with someone, I try and explain my side of the story and why I am upset. In detail I will say  you did this, or you did that. Thats how I see it. I’m trying to convince the reader, which is you, that my point of view is correct and these are the examples why you should believe me.

 

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