The Front Line

The fascinating thing in this world is how many businesses close shop claiming fiscal issues. Who gets paid the most after a business closes? Just so you know, this is one of the many interconnections between employment, costs of living, education and relative human condition, including the online concept.

The CEOs and the upper management in terms of bonuses and benefits.

Who loses?  The front line people who make the business run on their own time. They are kicked out with no benefits, extra dollars for their employment with the company and now they have to spend money that they do not have to find a job to replace a loss of income.  Some of them will be fortunate in finding a job quickly…if they are not too picky.

With a lot of physical businesses closing, many people are unable to find a job, forced to go back to school to get something that may not exist or count for a future job or basically live off welfare.

Each person in a place of business has a role to play, why so much disparity?  Without the front line people, whether in presence or online, keep the business running by dealing with the merchandise, people, resources and whatever the boss wants.

Out in the cold the front liners are thrown while their bosses reap the benefits off the back of their shirts. It is astonishing, really not all that surprising that the owner, CEOs, upper management would get the fiscal benefits while those who worked under them do not get anything, regardless the role they played in carrying the business.

I guess we are survivors. Yet why call us moochers?  We ‘hold’ the welfare system by taking their money (whose money to begin with? Our paychecks have deductibles for Social Security and Medicare, taxes and other potentials). If there is a problem with the increased amount of dependence on welfare, ask yourself why.

Most of us do not care what party you subscribe to, we all work hard one way or another. We carry the foundation of the company and are susceptible to higher ups’ whims.  If one wonders why a business is closing or slowing down, there will be multitude of reasons. Let me give you a real life example, look at how the owners and/or CEOs treat their employees. You can see why there are businesses that do not do well or are facing employee shortage.

I guess that is why I loved (many reasons) watching Star Trek – their concept of money is bartering and services.  Those hoo-man loving Ferengi do love their latinum to a cost.

Links:
Stunning Pay Disparity – Seattle Times
CEO Pay Ratio – Fortune
Honeywell Official CEO-worker pay ratio – LA Times
CEO-Worker Pay Ratio Revelation Concerns – The Washington Post
Why Companies Fear Releasing CEO-to-Workers Pay – Bloomberg Businessweek

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A day’s sunrise and sunset

These photos were taken 12 hours and 5 minutes apart on 22 March 2018. When I looked at the photos, it was amazing that only 5 minutes past 12 hours apart for both photos to be taken. After all, a few days after the spring equinox.

Daily Post – Photo Challenge – Rise/Set

The American Bilingual

A story told during a meeting:

“I told a student who reached level 5 that they are now Americanized (or possibly ‘you are English’), they got upset.”

I nearly shook my head but my jaw dropped and naturally, no one would see that. I feel for the student who was told that they were Americanized because of English. It offended the person’s Hispanic/Latino heritage and Spanish fluency.

Why would a white woman be offended by this statement?  I am a bilingual person, one whose language is as oppressed as the American Spanish speaker.

I use American Sign Language.  I also use English. Fluently.

Oh no! America is not bilingual! The monolinguals stomp around and rant.

Wait, I should rephrase my title to ‘The United States Bilingual’.  America is actually North America, which compromises Canada and Mexico, effectively making the entire North America continent multilingual.

Why is the United States still so defiantly blind to reality!?

The student could have been told ‘you can add English to your list of languages you know fluently’ without demeaning their own heritage. One will be richer having more than one language rattling around inside their brain.

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RAH RAH RAH!

Every time….

I devoted 8 and a half years to this sport and every time…

‘No it is not a sport.’

Seriously!?  Back in the days, we ran, we stretched, we suffered injuries, went through them and supported our schools and teams, competed and went to camp. Oh and yeah, we had practice!!!

And what?!  Not a sport. Let’s see, injuries that happened in our youth can affect us in our wise elder years. My knees hurt, sometimes I twinge my back and even my nose is affected from too many butts on them during seasons.

Hon’ folks… cheerleading is a sport.

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We were spirit leaders, we were equally expected to have excellent sportsmanship and to represent our schools well.

Not a sport?!?  I will drop a butt on your nose.

9/11

Today is like any other day. Days blur.

I write 11 September when students ask to go to the bathroom or I write in assignments for the day as if nothing has passed since 2001. Then it will hit me, just for a second the weight of the event.

So far removed from the events of the day, it is easy to just let the days blur on by and make a quick remembrance for those who have died.  To be frank, on that day, I walked by the televisions on campus. I did not know of the Twin Towers, Pennsylvania fields and the Pentagon until I arrived on campus.

While I sympathize, I cannot empathize because the experience would be vastly different if I were at ground zero at any of those sites. I still have that weight, but not enough to stop for a minute or two to remember.

Events since that day has demonstrated the path the world is taking and that is a much scarier path we celebrate.  We accuse all Muslims for the actions of the radical few who destroyed lives for their beliefs. We accuse all dark-skinned people for the burden that they place upon us in voice of privilege. We accuse all people with disabilities for the burden of breaking down barriers.  We accuse those who speak a different native American language instead of acknowledging the humanity of the same.

What journey have we taken since 9/11 and where are we going? Are we going to stop for a moment or two and look within and realize that the accusations are our own as well?

It may be cold of me that day when I walked by the televisions – “It’s about time.”

via Daily Prompt: Sympathy

Eclipse: a journey of in between

The last solar eclipse I totally remember was when I was a senior in high school. I was a science geek and I still am despite my battles with mathematics.  So teaching at high school (some years later…) and my class begged me in ASL to go outside. Naturally, we outside and I did some classwork jingling. It was also nice because I could informally introduce one lesson.

 

Anyhow back to point…the experience back in high school, I was able to share with my students such as the leaves on ground changing shapes (thicker trees are a bit more difficult to see through). My colander didn’t work too well…shucks!

Some classes came in and out and we were able to borrow the eclipse glasses to take some pictures. Then the clouds could filter the eclipse through.

Then of course, the temperature and wind changes. You can feel that change not only from outside but from within. That sense of a shift and how people behave.  A friend of mine said it is like during full moon. Enjoy the photos. There’s no superstition for eclipses, again we feel that shift in us, don’t we?

Advice for Parents…

As a teacher, this is something I want to share with you. A lot of students, I teach high school, have phones of various technologies.  Depending on school corporations or high schools, there are rules about the use of electronic devices. Devices take away from peer interaction and learning, guaranteed.

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Hiding the phone ain’t going to work.

Whoa! Wait!  What about using electronic devices for classwork or projects?  If our classwork and projects require, suggest or allow use of electronic devices, then that is worked within that restriction.

Otherwise – no. I find myself irritated by….the concept that the parents are an exception to the use of electronic devices in school.  I often find myself catching students on their phones (first, the subject I am teaching is American Sign Language and second, I am a visual person) and finding out that their parents are in contact with them, sometimes another relative as well.

Why?  Why?  I just wonder if their education is valuble or not?  Why?

Even on a dumbfounding aspect – employers contacting the students during school hours too and expect to be answered quickly. Really?  There has to be a boundry of respect for time established.

As a parent, I have to hold myself accountable to how my children learn and use phones/devices. They do not have phones…yet and when they do, they will have responsibilities and so will my husband and I.

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Observe the students’ behavior and the information that is on the board.  How is the phone helping with learning?

I have other jobs as well and co-workers or employers know that I will answer when I can, often after hours, during lunch break or other available times. They acknowledge and accept that I cannot answer them until I can.  My children will have to expect this as well. I will not pick up my phone during teaching class to answer something, why should students do the same?

So parents, please please please think about how distruptive it is when students answer your texts (especially) or calls during class time.  Sit with your child and explain the importance of being responsible during their time in school and their electronic devices.

Supporting your school district educators and raising responsible children ready for the real world will go a long way.   Thanks!

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How do you feel looking at this student?

Additional resources I found interesting (updated 27 October 2017):

 

Safe Space

What do you think of once you see the title ‘Safe Space’?

A safe space is safe as long as people within that space respects those who are within that space. Whether they agree to disagree, ask for better understanding or acknowledge that there is difference in who we are.

My classroom, I have noticed, is often a safe space for students. I tend to have different kinds of people; whether they be people of color, LGBT, a person with disability or bilingual. I attended a professional development presentation on campus where I realized that I tend to not send students of color outside of my classroom for the slightest thing.

While my classroom is a safe space for students, it is not one for me. How can a classroom not be a safe space for someone like me?

SafeSpaceIntersectionality

Created by me…

I teach American Sign Language and I am deaf. Naturally, I do struggle with students speaking in the classroom where I practice 90% or more use of target language with pictorial and written English supplemental information. One thing that has been constant, students thinking that I cannot tell if they are speaking (there are some exceptions…) or I am faking my own deafness (vibrations!).

I deal with a wide range of people who hear on a daily basis, approximately 80% of my time. It can get tiring and frustrating, at the same time excited, especially when someone tries to sign back or efficient communication.

I consider my classroom my own personal safe space where I can teach students about ASL, Deaf culture and the people who live within this community. Yet one thing that could make a personal difference within this space that can be transferred out to the real world…is the consistent use of spoken English.

This includes signing and speaking at the same time, which is deteremental to the ability to understand ASL, especially when it is signed. Like learning any language and I can share this from my personal experience learning French, it is not enough just knowing vocabulary and grammar, it is the ability to be able to converse in the language one is learning – at any level.

When a simple policy of not speaking English but signing or using other communication method is established, there is a reason for that – language wise; human wise or for real world application.  Is it a wonder that my safe space is also threatened?  How can I encourage consistent safe space for my students?

I wonder if it is the same for those who are like a fish out of water – marginalized and minority people teaching in majority population locations.

 

A Letter to Me at 16 years old

Dear 16 year old Joanna,

You may be smart, but also dumb.  Be straight with yourself, you will struggle through your journey, questioning the human mission that placed you on this earth. What you dream is a journey, your sixth sense telling you what may come and reality is as it is.

There will be things which are distasteful to you but you will strive.

There will be good times and bad times. Do ask for help, swallow that pride! You will learn that there are two sides to everything, a gray area in life. You are and always have been a teacher, no matter how exhausting it can be – keep on being a student of life.

At least, what we will agree on at the age of 16 and 40, life is learning and learning is life – we go forth and play. Education is varied, personal or professional.  We agree that people are cool, has potential and are just simply human.  Technology is a tool, just a tool.

We are still a tree hugger and I still believe in the best of each …. only to add, also the worst in each.

Remember – life is a journey. Smile a lot and have faith in yourself.

Joanna from about 25 years later.