Friday, June 16, 2006

Finals

Yay! I’m done with finals and school. I’m taking the summer off because I really need a break. I did really well with my finals. I think I got a high 90 percent on my Islam and West final. I was able to take a quiz that I missed three weeks ago in my Islam class. Then, I think got around a 90 percent on my pre-calc final. I know that these grades will raise my grade for both classes. Hopefully, I got 3.6 in both classes instead of a 3.5. I don’t really have any regrets with my grades. I took two hard classes which took much of my time.

My Racial Development

In 1986, I was born in Spokane, Washington. My genetic make-up comes from Wales, Scotland, England, and Germany (Weiten, 294). Therefore, I’m white and Euro-American like most Americans in the Untied States of America. When I was a baby and a toddler, I missed many of the developmental norms for a normal baby and toddler (Weiten, 298). For example my fine and gross motor skills were lacking and finally learned how to walk at age two through physical therapy. In addition, my speech skills were lacking; and therefore, I was placed into a special preschool at the age three. I spent most of my early childhood in Spokane and didn’t live in a place that had multiple cultures. Therefore, I was in the first stage of the Helms and Tatum’s Racial Identity Model in my childhood.

In 1996, I moved to Montana and lived there for ten years. Montana doesn’t have many ethnic minorities; and thus, I was exposed to a few of them in my late childhood and teen years. As a teen, I went through a stage called identity foreclosure (Weiten, 312). I accepted my parent’s beliefs of what they thought about ethnic minorities and what rolls they played in America’s society. I was still in the first stage of the Helm and Tatum’s Model in most of my teen years. First, only a handful of Latinos, Asians, Blacks, and Native Americans attended my school and none of them spoke a second language. Naturally, I was curious and na├»ve about other ethnic groups because I didn’t know much about them. For example, when I went to California to visit, I heard many different languages spoken by many different ethnic groups. I thought hearing the languages was cool and different because I never heard that in Montana. In addition, most of my culture experience came from the media and not from my environment.

In 2005, I moved back to Spokane and currently going to Spokane Community College. This quarter, I moved from the first stage to the fifth stage in the Helms and Tatum Identity Model. First, I’m learning more about different ethnic groups, especially in my English class. First, I know that all ethnic minorities can and will contribute to the American society in a positive way. Ethnic minorities are people who I can learn and grow from. For example, I’m learning Goju-Ryu Karate from Teruo Chinen who is Japanese. Chinen Sensei provides unselfish guidance generations younger than him, regardless nationality, because he is concerned about the future generations (Weiten, 314). Second, I don’t evaluate ethnic minorities from a European perspective. I learned that ethnic minorities have a much different experience living in America than whites from a movie named The Color of Fear. When I evaluate them, I have to take in account their nationality and experiences. If I don’t, I will slip back into stage one in the Helms and Tatum’s Racial Identity Model. Third, I will actively try to stop and end all types of oppression, such as sexism, ageism, and racism. I will use my personality traits to an advantage to help and stop oppression by behaving a certain way in which oppression presents itself in various situations (Weiten, 328). For example, if another white person spreads rumors about a Cuban that I know they are not true, I will be honest, kind, direct, and brave by telling that he or she is telling lies and to stop. My church has taught me to stand up for what is right and true, such as standing up for all ethnic minorities, even though I might be persecuted or looked down upon.

During the course of my life, my racial identity has changed. First, when I was a child, I never really thought that my race would be considered as an oppressor to ethnic minorities. I was taught about how the whites enslaved blacks two hundred years ago. However, I wasn’t taught until this quarter how we still enslave the blacks or all ethnic minorities by discriminating against them. Second, I realized that I need to consider that fact that all ethnic minorities have to deal with whites in the United States. Until, this quarter, I didn’t know that they had to think like a white person if they want to succeed in life.

In conclusion, from my life experiences, my view as a white young woman has changed. Now, I realize that not every ethnic minority and white person thinks like me. I have to consider where everyone is coming from and respond accordingly. For example, many whites don’t know about racism and might discriminate against ethnic minorities. Therefore, it is my responsibility to teach them and try to correct them of their ways. In another example, many ethnic minorities have been badly discriminated against. Therefore, if one of them had a problem with me because of my color, I would be more understanding and sympathetic towards them. In addition, I would try to prove that I’m not that kind of white that discriminates against ethnic minorities.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Finals and karate

Ugg! Why do we have to take these stupid finals? I've been studying all day. I'm worried that I won't have enough time to study for my pre-calc final. Why does my family want to hold a memorial service for my grandfather and uncle tomorrow? Why can't they hold it on Friday? It's because it fits into everybody’s schedule except mine. I’d much rather take my final for Islam and the West, take a break for a few hours, study until 6:30, and then, go to karate. However, I have to take the final at 10:30 which I think will take me about two to three hours. Then, go to the memorial service at 4:oo. I think that I have to get dressed up for it too. For the last two days, it’s been raining. What if it rains and its cold, I’ll be freezing in the school because I have to dress nice. Probably, it will be not that long; however, all of my relatives will go to my house for dinner. I want to visit with Uncle J.R., Aunt Wendy, and Uncle Rich because I haven’t seen them for years. So, that means that I won’t have much time to study tomorrow.

Finals would be so much easier if I could remember every single tiny thing. It took me a long time just to go over the sections that I took for my first test. I practically forgot how to graph conic sections and had to relearn it. It was easy to relearn; however, it takes lots of time. I just want to get a 90 or higher on this final. So, I’ve been really digging into these sections into depth.

Good news! Sensei said I’ll be testing for my third stripe on Tuesday. Yesterday, he said I’ll be testing for it tomorrow. However, I told him I couldn’t be there because of dinner. I would love skip dinner and go to karate and test, but family is more important. Some of the brown and green belts will be testing tomorrow too.

I need to work on some things. Yesterday, I learned that I have to put 60% of my weight on my leg in front of me and 40% on my back leg in Sanchin dachi. I’ve been doing it the other way around or about 50/50. I have to actually move when I do the second block tiger way in (GDN) Gekisai Dai Ni. Sensei noticed that I didn’t do that when he had Cory and I perform the kata. Therefore, he had Sempai Kirk work with me on that one particular spot. Sempai Kirk told me to cross my arms as far as possible to exaggerate when preparing for blocking. Then, slack off a little when doing the kata for real. When I did that, it was easier to block.

Sensei also made Cory and I perform the Stance kata. When transferring from Zenkutsu dachi to Nekoashi dachi, he put his hand little above and behind my head telling me not to touch it. Of course, I failed the first time and succeeded the second time. He did that a second time when I transferred from Shiko Dachi to Shiko Dachi. After doing that, he told me it was more challenging and asked me if I liked it. I said that I sort of like it and he told me to say “Yes, Sensei.” So, I did. That was one of the times that I coudn't say "No, Sensei." Sensei made did that to me because he wants to have my stances deeper and not to bob up and down when transferring. When he was working with me, I think he told me I was a good girl and patted me on the back twice. He hasn’t done that for a while.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Randori and other things

When I first started karate, it was new and exciting. I was learning things for the first time in my first quarter of karate. When I first started going to the dojo, it was an experience that I haven't had in my lifetime before. In my second quarter of karate, I repeated the things that I learned in the first half of my first quarter. I honed in my basics like punching, kicking, blocking, moving attack, and the Fukukata.

I've realized that the dojo was the main place where I learned karate. However, I noticed that I haven’t had that excitement which I got after training at the dojo. I used have the urge to write all the things that I have learned in my journal. Now, I haven’t written in it for a while because I haven’t had that excitement. It’s probably because the things which we do in the dojo aren’t brand new anymore. It seems like I’m reviewing more and more. However, one night the excitement did come back and it took me forever to fall asleep. That night, I learned and worked on a new version San Dan Ni (the three level striking exercise) for two hours with Sempai Jason. I was all excited afterwards and wanted to write in my journal. Of course, I didn’t because I didn’t have time too. The next day, the excitement was gone which is to be expected.

My favorite classes are when we get to work one on one with each other. I just don’t like the classes when I have to stand and watch the higher belts do a higher kata. It gets boring and makes me want to do something. One class I stood for about an hour or more watching the higher belts do things. Oh! I got so antsy and really wanted to spar or even just to move around instead of just standing there.

Last Thursday, Sensei had all the white belts Randori except me. Oh, I really wanted Randori and improve my skills. Sensei had Cory spar with Sempai Brandon, Tauk with Sempai John, and Chris with Captain David. The rest of us just self-practiced. Tauk and Chris were testing from SCC. I don’t know why I wasn’t. Maybe it’s because I didn’t pay the money with them. At SCC, Sensei said that we had to pay ten dollars to test. However, I didn’t pay anything when I tested for my second stripe. I don’t know. Sensei said I was ready for my third stripe and that I can test anytime. Ugg, I really want to get my third stripe; however, I know that I’m in no big hurry to get it. When I got my second stripe little over a month ago, it didn’t really mean that much to me physically. Getting stripes just happens when I train. I finally got my certificate for 8th kyu on June 1st because Sensei has been so busy. Maybe, I should wait until Sensei announced that I should test again like my last test and be an 8th kyu longer. I don’t know how long I’ll be a 7th kyu because Mesha has been one two to three months now and hasn’t learned Seiunchin all the way yet. However, probably Sensei won’t have me learn the kata until I’m a third stripe. However, I know that one of the Sempai could correct many things in my Saifa like they did with Fuku kata Dai San and with both Gekisai kata.

Anyway, like I said, I really wanted to Randori even though it’s very tiring and I could get hurt again. I was hoping that Sensei would allow me to Randori but it never happened. Therefore, I felt disappointed and a little down. I kept on sending him little hints that I wanted to do it too by practicing sparring techniques; however, he didn’t catch on.

I’m sad that I can’t go to the dojo on Thursday because my relatives are coming over and have dinner with my family. Aunt Wendy is coming up from California and Uncle J.R. is coming from West Virginia. They are coming here because my grandfather died two weeks ago. We’re having a memorial service for him and for my Uncle Brian who died of cancer when 42 years old. This will be the first time in a long time that I will miss class. Last time I missed class was when Sempai John didn’t let me in the dojo because I was an hour late. That was horrible!

I need to stop writing. I have to either work on my Islam and the West or my pre-calc. I found out that I have a 3.5 in pre-calc. Gerrr, I was expecting a 4.0. Hopefully, I can get a 3.6 or 3.7 with a high grade from my final. My final will replace my first test which I got a 76, so that will help. I just don’t want to bomb my final like I did last quarter in pre-calc. I had a 4.0 all quarter and then, a 3.9 from the last test. I was expecting to bump it up however; I took way too long on my final. So, I didn’t finish it and got a 66 which killed my grade. Therefore, I got a 3.4 instead of a 4.0. So, I’m sort of nervous with this final because I will be longer than two hours for everybody. It will be more like 2 hours and 45 min. I’m just wondering how long it’s going to take me because I take twice as long. In my last final, I worked for 4 half hours which completely fried me.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Third Stripe

Hi. I'm really excited! Because Sensei said I'm ready to test for my third stripe yesterday. I'm close to being a green belt and becoming a Sempai. Hurray!!!!! Hopefully, I'll test tonight.

I'm sort of sad though because yesterday was our final in Karate at SCC. That means I won't get to practice at SCC until the fall quarter. That's alright though, because all we do is go over and over the basics. Plus, practice is so short because its 45 min long. It's not enough to learn a whole lot. At the dojo, we train for two solid hours. To me, the dojo is the main place where I learn karate, not SCC. I wonder where I would be if I didn't become a member of the dojo. Probably, still a first stripe saying the karate is getting boring. However, Sensei did invite the SCC students to the dojo many times this quarter. Therefore, I would have probably joined anyway.

When Sensei has invited the students from SCC, nobody hardly comes. Probably, it's because they have homework, class, work, or something else better to do. Emily says that she doesn't train at the dojo because it's too intimidating for her. When I first went, it was a little intimidating to me too, but I got use to it the more times that I went. There were times I could have said, "Ack, I can't train here because Sempai John and Sempai Scott are too strict". However, I realized that I can smile with certain people. For example, I trained with Sempai Jason and he didn’t care that I smiled. He told me to relax and don't think to much. In addition, I can't be busy and have to keep my elbows in when I strike with my wrist and palm. I have to squeeze hard and be strong when I grab his arm. I think he's one of my favorite teachers. I want him to teach me again.

Rugrats used to be my favorite T.V. show when I was a kid. I loved to watch it all the time. My mom loved it too because it always made her laugh. I only watched Reading Rainbow a little. I watched Bill Nye the Science Guy for science in school. It had always interesting stuff to learn about. Home Alone used to be one of my favorite movies. I still love it because the writers were creative with all the things which the main character did to hamper the bad guys. It was really funny. When I watch it now, I know most of the stuff that happened to the bad guys would seriously injure them. Therefore, it's not that fun anymore because it's unreal.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Childhood T.V. Shows

Hi. I just got done reading Captain Picard's Journal (http://jlpicard.blogspot.com/). I've been keeping up with it and it's pretty funny. However, I would like the stories to be longer and the characters to be more in depth. However, Picard is pretty developed.

I love science fiction. I wish that I had an imagination where I can make up and tell stories. The only place where I use my imagination is in my dreams. I would love to take a creative writing class to help my writing and imagination; however, I don't have enough time to take it. I have enough classes to take. In addition, it won't fulfill any requirements.

When I was little, my dad would watch Star Trek Enterprise all the time. I remember watching it with him. I don’t remember much about it though. The other shows that I remember watching when I was little is the Little Mermaid, Sesame Street, Barney, Rug Rats, Mr. Rogers, Reading Rainbow, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Home Alone, Doug, Rocko's Modern Life, The Hidden Temple, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, All That, Guts, I Love Lucy, I Dream of Genie, The Jetsons, Gargoyles, Bonkers, and America's Funniest Home Videos. I know there are more, but I don't remember the names. There was one show that had a family who lived in a tree house when dinosaurs lived on the Earth. Maybe, they were back in time. There was another show that was about a family of dinosaurs. It wasn't animated; it was played by people in costumes.

I have watched Barney recently. And Oh My Gosh, what a stupid show! It has too much singing and dancing in it. I still remember the words of the I Love You song. "I love you. You love me. We're a happy family. With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you. Won't you say you love me too?" I know a violent Christmas song of Barney that I sang as a child. "Joy to the World that Barney's dead. We barbecued (or cut off) his head. What happened to his body? We flushed it down his potty. Round and round it went. Round and round it went. Round and round and around it went." I sang another Christmas song about Batman. "Jingle bells. Batman smells. Robin laid an egg. The Bat Mobile lost its wheel. And Joker does ballet. Hey!!!"

I watched Mr. Rogers recently too. I realized it's a good show for children. Much better than Barney, Boobah, or Telletubbies. I watched Boobah and it's a stupid and boring show. Last year, I gave Tony (my best friend) a Boobah which danced and moved for a joke because he was afraid of them. It was an expensive doll because it cost $20. The day I gave it to him, he broke it because he dropped the doll. I wanted to turn it back and get a new one for him, but he didn't want me too. He'd much rather have it broken so it wouldn't give him the creeps as much. I liked that Boobah because it was cute and had some catchy tunes. I'd much rather play with the doll than watch that show.

The show that I watched the most when I was little is the Little Mermaid. I watched it over and over and over again. It drove my mom crazy. I can still remember every little thing that happens in that movie. Don't ask me why I loved that movie so much because I honestly don't know. Maybe it's because we didn't have many movies back then. I don't know.

I can only remember Sesame Street a little. When I was small and watching that show, somehow I knocked the T.V. off and it fell on my head. The next day I looked like a raccoon because of the bruises on my face.

I wish I could write more; however, I took too long as it is. I need to do pre-calc. I’m behind and need to catch up.