Sunday, October 25, 2015


 At the Open Books Open Minds reading!
Multiple individuals recalled on memories of their lives. These stories were inspired by the Rhode Island College 2015-2016 common book, “The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao,” by Junot Diaz. All of the stories were well written and had an emotional impact of some sort. Some made me laugh and some made me cry and others just made me interested to know more. Each story shared was a distinct memory and recalled on a time in one's life that helped shape who they were. Each story was a recollection of a personal memory or a memory shared by someone close to them. There were other stories around the room that were not shared by their author. With the discussion of co-authors, these stories are direct examples of co-authors and how other people's memories and ours can be combined together to form another story. There is never just one author to every story, each action, every interaction and every path crossed co-authors your story.

Context Map

Antwon and Julian are the best of friends until their high school academics conflicted with their friendship. Antwon asked Julian to draw on the bathroom wall with him. The two boys were caught by the school psychologist, Mitch. Mitch has full understanding of the stage “identity vs. role confusion”. The boys have committed the same offense but Mitch knows that they did not commit the same offense for the same reasoning. Therefore giving the same punishment to both Antwon and Julian would be ineffective. Before giving a punishment at any time, one must understand the reasoning behind the offense. Mitch then observes Julian more in depth. Mitch looks into Julian’s record, his home life and school life. Mitch asks Julian to list his relationships and surroundings and to consider how these factors affect him. This is his context map.

My context map includes a few ways that I identify myself. Each identity, leading back to the bigger identity that is me in my current state. 

Nakkula and Toshalis discuss four different identities in chapter two.
- Foreclosed Identity: An individual chooses or is committed to something without considering other options because it is what is the norm or is expected of them. They do not differ from the given path.
- Diffuse Identity: An individual who is neither committed to or in crisis of another identity
- Identity Moratorium: An individual who is exploring different roles, relationships and behaviors, etc., without making a commitment to any of the above explorations
- Achieved Identity: An individual who is no longer exploring different identities, but has found their identity and is no longer questioning their decisions

Although Nakkula and Toshalis discuss these four identities, any individual is not just set into one identity. An individual can be any one of these four depending on the event being discussed.

An individual can have foreclosed identity when it comes to religion and could be in identity moratorium when it comes to college decisions. Any one individual could be all four of these identity groups at any given point in life. 

The Best Co-Author to My Story

“We do not construct our life stories on our own.  We are, rather, in a constant state of cocreating who we are with the people with whom we are in closest connection and within those contexts that hold the most meaning for our day to day existence” –Nakkula and Toshalis
Before this reading I don’t think I ever actually thought of myself a co-author to my own life. I think it was just never a thought that crossed my mind. I am a firm believer in the quote, “Everything you go through, grows you.” Every person in your life gives you an experience and that experience can either benefit you or not (at the moment). Even the hard times that seem absolutely horrible and you question why they happen to you, helps shape you and co-author your story.
Taking a step back and thinking of people who have helped co-author my life to this exact moment is tough. I want to create a list of all positive co-authors but that just is not as realistic as I want. Even including the negatives, my list of ten did not come easy.
  1.         My mom
  2.          My dad
  3.         My biological sisters
  4.          My cousins
  5.          My grandma
  6.         Amanda
  7.          Jess
  8.          My sorority sisters
  9.          My ex-best friend
  10.          Nick

It hard to narrow down this list to one person who has provided my story with so much since some of the people on this list should be in the same category. If I were to pick, I would pick my mom. My mom is obviously the most important person in my life, without her I literally would not be on this planet. But aside from the basic maternal things she has provided me, she has also taught me to be strong, to have faith and to always be happy with what I have. My mom is the strongest person I know. In the past five years my mom has had so many personal struggles that she never let impact her spirits. She has overcome her neck injury, the loss of her mother and her current battle with Breast Cancer. She is my inspiration and she has taught me that anything is possible and that if I have enough faith in myself, I can do anything I set my mind too.  

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Refuse to be Invisible

In order to solve a problem, you need to attack it head on and not ignore it. Hobson proves that “color blindness” isn’t okay and that in order to attack the problem of racial inequality everyone must be “color brave” not “color blind” being “blind” to the problem does not resolve the racial inequality that is still relevant today it just ignores it, as if it is invisible. Being “color blind” is an easy way out. “Color blindness” isn’t seeing and understanding a person. The color of one’s skin does not define a person but it does have an effect on that person’s identity and that person’s struggles of how they grew up and are treated. Hobson’s story of being assumed as lunch help really resonated with me. She reflects on the experience, but not expecting sympathy. Hobson tells the story to prove a point. The receptionist made the assumption that Hobson and Ford were “help” by the color of their skin. This story isn’t a testament to “color blindness”, but to prove race inequality by assumption. Hobson tells that her mother from early on in life has taught her that others may treat her differently, but that she can still be anything and everything imaginable. Hobson wants everyone to be “color brave” and to be understanding and accepting of all.

Waheed’s tweet, “Never trust anyone who says they do not see color. This means to them, you are invisible” hit home strong on this subject. It left an impactful presence in less than 140 characters. I do think that if someone is “color blind” than the person is basically invisible. You are no longer seeing a person for their entirety. As a person, there are multiple ways to identify yourself and your physical appearance is a part of that. You can’t ignore a person’s skin color and assume to know a person. Knowing a person’s story is more than skin deep, but ignoring the color of their skin is out of ignorance.  

I think that at times I felt invisible and I have cowered within. I have at times been very shy and held my opinions within. I have never really thought of a time where my race was the cause of my invisibility. I think my experiences are quite the opposite. A lot of people are quick to judge based on my race and stereotypes that they think about Asians. I think YIA is a great opportunity that promotes acceptance and conformability. YIA allowing youth to share their stories, practice leadership and create change in their communities helps them become aware of themselves and others. YIA helps youth create a positive change and that is necessary for youth. Giving youth leadership roles at this age help them make positive decisions and give them a chance to dictate their lives in a world where most decisions are usually made for them. When I think of YIA, I think of the quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, I think that youth are going up to be huge contributors to the world and giving them the opportunity so early on to learn leadership and get comfortable in their voice and opinions will help them be impacting members of society. YIA is helping their youth to refuse to be invisible.