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When you belong to a dominant segment of culture, it can be hard to recognize the biases which exist against those in the minority. Sometimes a movement or "waves" as they are called in women's studies is required to bring enlightenment to the masses. Still, the most obvious biases escape from our view, hiding out right under our noses, until the day we wake up, possibly ashamed, wondering why we never noticed. Even in grammar school, children are now learning about the biases against women, people of ethnicity, those in minority religions, or with non-hetero gender identities. But how many learn about the biases against the left handed? I, myself, am totally right-handed, but some of the most important people in my life are not. My grandmother, who I always believed had the most beautiful handwriting on earth, was a left hander born in the forties. She tells gruesome tales of being persecuted and physically punished by teachers. Not to mention, the Catholic religious biases... read more

Right now, I'm taking a graduate pedagogy course in English rhetoric and composition. Our major project of the semester is to create our own four week syllabus for any type of college level writing course, using rhetoric and composition theory to back up our methods of teaching. At first, I was wary of admitting to the title of "Freirist" as my teacher so dubbed me, but I'm growing to like the title more and more. Paulo Freire was a Brazilian teacher and critical pedagogist who fought against what he called the "banking system" of education. Many of us are more than familiar with this model: the teacher is the master of the classroom and the ultimate keeper of knowledge. Students, on the other hand, are inexperienced, empty vessels waiting to be filled in and guided like blind mice. The teacher lectures, and the students listen with little to no participation -- no discourse. Sometimes, on the outside, this system does not look particularly sinister. Some might... read more

I'm sure that by now, those who have viewed my profile are wondering what a woman getting her grad degree in English is doing tutoring high school and elementary math. From an early age, my parents taught me the importance of study skills. While this is all well and good, as I got older I realized that from the teaching perspective, having this knowledge is only truly useful if I can explain to others how they can also create good studying habits. The secret to success in any subject is willingness to study, and lots and lots of patience. While a student may never get straight A's in every math course they ever take, a student can still strive toward and maintain their own consistently best grades possible by studying. This being said, studying for math is not quite the same as studying for liberal arts classes. Also, not every student will find the methods I propose to be a magical fix-all, but they should be helpful in leading the student towards figuring out which methods of study... read more

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