COVER LETTER

May 22, 2010

ALSO include a “cover letter” which gives your critique of the class, what was helpful and what was not. Be honest. One paragraph long. Please make this a seperate blog post.—————-

So im here now writing this blog, a  little disappointed because i really enjoyed this class. I would have to say the most helpful thing, was also the most enjoyable, and different. And that would be in class discussions. I think it was the most helpful and enjoyable for the same reason, now that we are in college we rarely get a chance to sit in class and discuss what was learned. We rarely ever sit in class now and hear everyone’s opinions on the lesson or anything. That is why i think the in class discussions and just everything we debated about, figured out together, disagreed on, i think thats what helped the most.

I have nothing negative to say about this class, i would take it again if i could and would not change a thing.


SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY

May 22, 2010

Jack Castronova

Professor Steven Alvarez

English 110

10 May 2010

Making big decisions about my career, school, and work are very important and they need to be thought through thoroughly. Any of these decisions leads to having to make even bigger decisions, and once I make up my mind I know I will be given more opportunities. I don’t feel that I am ready to make career decisions or goals like this for my future, because I think I need some more life experience. I want to go to school a while longer, take new classes, and explore my options. Before I even declare a major I want to make sure I am interested and committed to it because I cannot afford to waste my time.When I finally make this decision I will make sure to dedicate myself one hundred percent because I know it is what I will be doing in the future.

Although I do not know what I want to do in the future, I know from past experience that one good trait that I possess is that I am a good teacher and leader. I was a volunteer coach for my local parish, where i coached basketball and baseball. I use to play sports their as a child so i felt like it would be good if i helped out and gave back. That parish helped me pursue a passion i had since i was a little boy. They taught me to play baseball and i went on to play high school baseball. I was there to give these kids the same kind of coaching and care i received at their age. I never really believed in “patting myself on the back”, but i believe that i have many traits and experiences worthy to this scholarship. I owe a lot of these traits to my father. He is a very hard worker and taught me a lot of important things from a very young age. My father always made sure that whatever i did, that I gave it one hundred percent and that I stayed dedicated because i made the commitment to do it. He raised me to be very independent, but along the way I learned many things from him. I was taught that i was not on time unless i was five minutes early because tardiness is unacceptable. That is just one important lesson he taught me. He never believed in being absent from school, missing class, or taking days off of work. When i turned eighteen he let me know that I was going to need a job to start supporting myself. I got an after school job, but at first I was only working two days a week. I knew if I was going to support myself, two days of work was not going to cut it. I worked hard for months and when there were open shifts, I was asked to take them on because i am a hard worker. I now go to work and school five days a week each. I believe I deserve this scholarship because I am almost completely financially independent, while still attending, and paying off college tuition. My mother does not work and my father is retired so I am responsible for a lot in my household. Getting this scholarship would help me alot because it would make this much easier for me with work and school. I would be able to work a few days less a week and focus more on my studies. This scholarship would help me so much and help bring up my GPA.

I may not know what i want to do in the future yet, as far as my career goals, but one thing i do know is that i will need college. I am passionate about my education and I understand how important it is. The job market today is terrible, and more people than ever are unemployed. I know if I work hard and get my college degree I will have a better future. I know what I need to be successful in life, and these days education is probably the most important thing. Most jobs now will not except you without some kind of college degree. I plan to keep working hard in school, and keep working each week to reach my final decision and get where i want to be. Just like everyone else in the world I would love to be rich and successful, but that does not happen without hard work. So that is what i plan to do, work hard at everything I do and hope for the best.


FINAL DRAFT: ESSAY 1

May 22, 2010

Jack Castronova
Professor S.Alvarez
English 110
1 April 2010

The Combination of Two Forms of Parenting, and How it Can Lead to a Better Outcome: Anette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods

Children’s lives are drastically affected by the way their parents choose to bring them up. Many parents have different ways, or methods on how they feel they should raise their children. We see these different ways when we look at families of different races, religions, social class, or even different neighborhoods. There are many reasons why parents choose a certain way to rear their children, whether it is because that was how they were raised and they feel it was best for them, or because they feel that the way their parents raised them was wrong and their children deserve better. In Unequal Childhoods, Lareau explains to us what she feels is the two main types of child rearing, and I am going to discuss how my life compares to these two very different styles of upbringing.

During my years in fourth and fifth grade, I believe concerted cultivation and natural growth both applied to the way my parents raised me. Some parents choose to raise their children with just one of these methods and this leads to children having different upbringings. Middle-class parents with white-collar jobs usually use concerted cultivation to raise their children, while working-class parents with blue-collar jobs use natural growth. Around the age of ten or eleven years old, I just started to become more independent from my parents, I began going outside, choosing my own friends, and planning my own activities. I had neighbors I would go outside with everyday to play football in the streets, or basketball and baseball at the park with my neighbors. My parents trusted my decision-making and tried not to get involved with my social life as much as they used to. This type of child rearing can relate to natural growth because in this method parents allow the child to grow on his own. They are also more likely to let their children just “hang out”, rather than planning activities and setting up play dates for them. I never had an impossible schedule, which helped illustrate my natural growth upbringing. My parents never overbooked my days and I always had my fair share of rest and relaxation. My father always taught me that making my own decisions and being independent makes a man, so from a young age that was part of my mindset.

I believe concerted cultivation also played a role in my upbringing. My parents made sure I went to good Catholic schools since I started. From a young age they signed me up for all the sports teams, just so I would have the opportunity to continue them when I got older if I enjoyed it. Like Anette Lareau writes in Unequal Childhoods, “organized activities, established and controlled by mothers and fathers, dominate the lives of middle class children” and for this reason, I feel that my parents used concerted cultivation to try and raise me, because at a young age, whether I wanted to or not, my parents signed me up for things just so i had it available to me, and if I enjoyed it I could further explore it in the future.

A child’s upbringing has alot to do with how they treat their parents, or elders. Middle class children are raised to see their parents, and other elderly figures as equals. They have no problem stating their opinions and participating in conversation with authority figures. I think it is different for working class children. I believe they see adults as superiors, and they are less likely to talk back and state their opinions. I speak first hand for working class children because from a young age I was always taught to respect my elders and to never talk back. Lareau (2003) writes that in concerted cultivation:
“From this, a robust sense of entitlement takes root in the children. The sense of entitlement plays an especially important role in institutional settings where middle-class children learn to question adults and address them as relative equals” (p. 2)
Growing up, I learned to never talk back to my parents and to always treat elders with respect. Working-class parents teach their kids that, unlike the middle class who want their children to see adults as equals. Lareau (2003) argues that the working class have a different relationship with their children because:
“These mothers and fathers do not focus on concerted cultivation. For them, the crucial responsibilities of parenthood do not lie in eliciting their children’s feelings, opinions, and thoughts. Rather, they see a clear boundary between adults and children” (p. 3)
I believe my parents raised me this way. At holiday dinners, the adults always sat together at the dinner table, while the kids would get their own table to eat and talk. My parents helped us develop a clear line between what an adult can do and say to a child, and what a child can do and say to an adult. Whatever my father would say, goes, and running away from him to ask my mother the same question would never even cross my mind because I knew how angry that would make my father. I learned not to argue or back talk, and this kind of discipline comes from the working class method of natural growth. With these two methods, Lareau (2003) also explains that “children also developed skill differences in interacting with authority figures in institutions and at home”(p. 4).

Much like the middle-class parents, my parents taught me to look someone in the eye when meeting them and to give them a firm handshake, especially with authority figures. But at other times, I knew to avoid looking certain people in the eye because some people take it as a threat and children of natural growth learn this because they are more often associated with bad people who would start trouble for things like this.

Social class and family income has a lot to do with the way people raise their children, and it had a lot to do with how my parents raised me also. This plays a huge role because it changed what neighborhood I lived in and what activities I signed up for. I played in a baseball league with “upper class” children. They joined the same league, but also got private lessons and better equipment. Although I went very far with baseball, I possibly could have had much more success if my family had the kind of money those families did. Lareau (2003) sums up social class differences, when she writes:
There were social class differences in the number of organized activities, pace of family, economic strain of family life, time spent in informal play, interest on the part of adults in children’s activities, domination by children’s activities of adult lives, and the amount of autonomy children had from adults.(p. 36)
She claims the wealthier the family, the more advantages their children will have. As a ten and eleven year old I saw a lot of things other kids did that i would have liked to do but did not have the money for. I saw friends going on vacation every summer but I did not have that luxury. Although I would have enjoyed going on vacations all the time, and getting private lessons for sports, I agree with the way my parents raised me and I would not have changed a thing.

Much like families of natural growth, I see my family at least once a week. My family comes over early Sunday mornings, and they do not leave until that night. Everyone comes after Church to eat breakfast at my house, and they stay to play cards and watch sports before my mother makes dinner. Families of concerted cultivation tend to not have as close relationships with their families as those of natural growth. Lareau (2003) writes that:
Compared to their working class counterparts, the middle class children we observed are more competitive with and hostile toward their siblings, and they have much weaker ties with extended family members. Ironically, the greater the number of activities children are involved in, the fewer opportunities they have for face-to-face interaction with members of their own family. (p. 39)
We made it important that my family should all see each other at least once a week, and that we spend a certain amount of time together. I do not eat dinner together with my immediate family every night because of busy schedules, so we all end up eating at different times. We made Sunday the one day everyone has comes and sit together to talk and eat. If a child never sees his or her family, I do not think that he or she should have to attend endless amounts of activities and lessons because seeing family can effect the way a child grows as a person. Parents should make family big part of a child’s life because they are the only people that will always be there for them, and children should understand that. Lareau proves this when she talks about how middle class parents believe in helping to develop their child by signing them up for countless activities, even at the expense of family time and group needs. Although I disagree with all the commitments these parents sign their children up for, the preparation for dealing with the institutional world can also help them a lot in the future. From all of these commitments they pick up important work skills like managing their priorities and ways to deal, and interact with authority. I think putting all that stress and pressure on a child at such a young age can take a huge toll on him or her, but it may also help them deal with time management in the future. You can view this form of child rearing in a few different ways, but in this case I think I am a part of natural growth and I support the way my parents handled things when it comes to this topic. A child should have the opportunity to see their family and have fun with their friends, and although joining teams and learning how to play new instruments can hold just as much importance, nothing should stop these parents from letting their children have both. I believe the parents have to realize that their children should only do these things to a certain extent, because they can miss out on a lot of other experiences that way.

I think it is important to give a child some sort of independence. I believe the way my parents raised me, and how they gradually gave me more and more independence made me who I am today. A child cannot rely on his or her parents for everything because then he or she never fully develops. In order to prepare for the future, a child must have some kind of independence. It may be important to make sure your child gets his or her education from school and institutions, but it is also very important to let them learn things on their own and experience things and make mistakes first hand. When interviewing my parents, my father said something that supported this opinion when he discussed the methods him and my mother used to raise me. My father stated: “We raised you this way to give you what we did not have. We wanted to prepare you for the future. We had to educate you guys, because when your on your own it is swim or sink, and you guys are gonna swim”. He tried to say that we were raised so that we could handle things on our own. He gave us the independence and education we needed to “swim” and not “sink” when we are out in the world on our own because nothing comes free in life. I grew up knowing that I had to work for everything I wanted, and to not rely on other people for help. My mother explained that things were different for them when they were kids, she said that “Parents never even helped kids with school activities back then, it was not as important to them”. This tells me that although priorities changed over time, my parents still felt that the best way to raise me and my siblings was to let us fend for ourselves and figure things out on our own because they were brought up that way. Maybe sometimes learning things the hard way can be the best way.

As you can see, parents have many different ways to choose from to raise their children. Lareau believes concerted cultivation and natural growth are the two main forms of child rearing and I feel after studying these two forms I am  a mixture of both. But who is to say one form of upbringing is better than another? How can someone tell another person they are raising their child wrong? It is the parent’s choice and decision to make but it can be a tough one because in reality, there is no right or wrong answer here. Parents have to trust their instincts and be confident that the way they are raising their child is the best way for them because this is a decision that will change their child’s life.

Works Cited
Lareau, Anette. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life. California; Regents of the University of California Press, Ltd, 2003. Print.


PAPER WITH REVISIONS AND PARENTS QUOTE

May 4, 2010

Jack Castronova
Professor S.Alvarez
English 110
1 April 2010

The Combination of Two Forms of Parenting, and How it Can Lead to a Better Outcome: Anette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods

During my years in fourth and fifth grade, I believe concerted cultivation and natural growth both applied to the way my parents raised me. Some parents choose to raise their children with just one of these methods and this leads to children having different upbringings. Middle-class parents with white-collar jobs usually use concerted cultivation to raise their children, while working-class parents with blue-collar jobs use natural growth. Around the age of ten or eleven years old, I just started to become more independent from my parents, I began going outside, choosing my own friends, and planning my own activities. I had neighbors I would go outside with everyday to play football in the streets, or basketball and baseball at the park with my neighbors. My parents trusted my decision-making and tried not to get involved with my social life as much as they used to. This type of child rearing can relate to natural growth because in this method parents allow the child to grow on his own. They are also more likely to let their children just “hang out”, rather than planning activities and setting up play dates for them. I never had an impossible schedule, which helped illustrate my natural growth upbringing. My parents never overbooked my days and I always had my fair share of rest and relaxation. My father always taught me that making my own decisions and being independent makes a man, so from a young age that was part of my mindset.
I believe concerted cultivation also played a role in my upbringing. My parents made sure I went to good Catholic schools since I started. From a young age they signed me up for all the sports teams, just so I would have the opportunity to continue them when I got older if I enjoyed it. Like Anette Lareau writes in Unequal Childhoods, “organized activities, established and controlled by mothers and fathers, dominate the lives of middle class children” and for this reason, I feel that my parents used concerted cultivation to try and raise me, because at a young age, whether I wanted to or not, my parents signed me up for things just so i had it available to me, and if I enjoyed it I could further explore it in the future.
A child’s upbringing has alot to do with how they treat their parents, or elders. Middle class children are raised to see their parents, and other elderly figures as equals. They have no problem stating their opinions and participating in conversation with authority figures. I think it is different for working class children. I believe they see adults as superiors, and they are less likely to talk back and state their opinions. I speak first hand for working class children because from a young age I was always taught to respect my elders and to never talk back. Lareau writes that in concerted cultivation:
“From this, a robust sense of entitlement takes root in the children. The sense of entitlement plays an especially important role in institutional settings where middle-class children learn to question adults and address them as relative equals” pg.2
Growing up, I learned to never talk back to my parents and to always treat elders with respect. Working-class parents teach their kids that, unlike the middle class who want their children to see adults as equals. Lareau argues that the working class have a different relationship with their children because:
“These mothers and fathers do not focus on concerted cultivation. For them, the crucial responsibilities of parenthood do not lie in eliciting their children’s feelings, opinions, and thoughts. Rather, they see a clear boundary between adults and children” pg.3.
I believe my parents raised me this way. At holiday dinners, the adults always sat together at the dinner table, while the kids would get their own table to eat and talk. My parents helped us develop a clear line between what an adult can do and say to a child, and what a child can do and say to an adult. Whatever my father would say, goes, and running away from him to ask my mother the same question would never even cross my mind because I knew how angry that would make my father. I learned not to argue or back talk, and this kind of discipline comes from the working class method of natural growth. With these two methods, Lareau also explains that “children also developed skill differences in interacting with authority figures in institutions and at home”.
Much like the middle-class parents, my parents taught me to look someone in the eye when meeting them and to give them a firm handshake, especially with authority figures. But at other times, I knew to avoid looking certain people in the eye because some people take it as a threat and children of natural growth learn this because they are more often associated with bad people who would start trouble for things like this.
Social class and family income has a lot to do with the way people raise their children, and it had a lot to do with how my parents raised me also. This plays a huge role because it changed what neighborhood I lived in and what activities I signed up for. I played in a baseball league with “upper class” children. They joined the same league, but also got private lessons and better equipment. Although I went very far with baseball, I possibly could have had much more success if my family had the kind of money those families did. Lareau sums up social class differences, when she writes:
There were social class differences in the number of organized activities, pace of family, economic strain of family life, time spent in informal play, interest on the part of adults in children’s activities, domination by children’s activities of adult lives, and the amount of autonomy children had from adults.(pg.36)
She claims the wealthier the family, the more advantages their children will have. As a ten and eleven year old I saw a lot of things other kids did that i would have liked to do but did not have the money for. I saw friends going on vacation every summer but I did not have that luxury. Although I would have enjoyed going on vacations all the time, and getting private lessons for sports, I agree with the way my parents raised me and I would not have changed a thing.
Much like families of natural growth, I see my family at least once a week. My family comes over early Sunday mornings, and they do not leave until that night. Everyone comes after Church to eat breakfast at my house, and they stay to play cards and watch sports before my mother makes dinner. Families of concerted cultivation tend to not have as close relationships with their families as those of natural growth. Lareau writes that:
Compared to their working class counterparts, the middle class children we observed are more competitive with and hostile toward their siblings, and they have much weaker ties with extended family members. Ironically, the greater the number of activities children are involved in, the fewer opportunities they have for face-to-face interaction with members of their own family. Pg.39
We made it important that my family should all see each other at least once a week, and that we spend a certain amount of time together. I do not eat dinner together with my immediate family every night because of busy schedules, so we all end up eating at different times. We made Sunday the one day everyone has comes and sit together to talk and eat. If a child never sees his or her family, I do not think that he or she should have to attend endless amounts of activities and lessons because seeing family can effect the way a child grows as a person. Parents should make family big part of a child’s life because they are the only people that will always be there for them, and children should understand that. Lareau proves this when she talks about how middle class parents believe in helping to develop their child by signing them up for countless activities, even at the expense of family time and group needs. Although I disagree with all the commitments these parents sign their children up for, the preparation for dealing with the institutional world can also help them a lot in the future. From all of these commitments they pick up important work skills like managing their priorities and ways to deal, and interact with authority. I think putting all that stress and pressure on a child at such a young age can take a huge toll on him or her, but it may also help them deal with time management in the future. You can view this form of child rearing in a few different ways, but in this case I think I am a part of natural growth and I support the way my parents handled things when it comes to this topic. A child should have the opportunity to see their family and have fun with their friends, and although joining teams and learning how to play new instruments can hold just as much importance, nothing should stop these parents from letting their children have both. I believe the parents have to realize that their children should only do these things to a certain extent, because they can miss out on a lot of other experiences that way.
I believe it is important to give a child some sort of independence. I believe the way my parents raised me, and how they gradually gave me more and more independence made me who I am today. A child cannot rely on his or her parents for everything because then he or she never fully develops. In order to prepare for the future, a child must have some kind of independence. It may be important to make sure your child gets his or her education from school and institutions, but it is also very important to let them learn things on their own and experience things and make mistakes first hand. When interviewing my parents, my father said something that supported this opinion when he discussed the methods him and my mother used to raise me. My father stated: “We raised you this way to give you what we did not have. We wanted to prepare you for the future. We had to educate you guys, because when your on your own it is swim or sink, and you guys are gonna swim”. He tried to say that we were raised so that we could handle things on our own. He gave us the independence and education we needed to “swim” and not “sink” when we are out in the world on our own because nothing comes free in life. I grew up knowing that I had to work for everything I wanted, and to not rely on other people for help. My mother explained that things were different for them when they were kids, she said that “Parents never even helped kids with school activities back then, it was not as important to them”. This tells me that although priorities changed over time, my parents still felt that the best way to raise me and my siblings was to let us fend for ourselves and figure things out on our own because they were brought up that way. Maybe sometimes learning things the hard way can be the best way.

Works Cited
Lareau, Anette. “Unequal Childhoods”


essay without revisions

May 4, 2010

Jack Castronova
English 110
1 April 2010

The Combination of Two Forms of Parenting, and How it Can Lead to a Better Outcome: Anette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods

During my years in fourth and fifth grade, i believe concerted cultivation and natural growth both applied to the way my parents raised me. Some parents choose to raise their children with just one of these methods and this leads to children having different upbringings. Concerted cultivation is usually used by middle class parents with white collar jobs, while natural growth is usually used by working class parents with blue collar jobs. Around the age of ten or eleven years old, i just started to become more independent from my parents, i began going outside, choosing my own friends, and planning my own activities. I had neighbors i would go outside with everyday and play football in the streets, or basketball and baseball at the park. My parents trusted my decision making and tried not to get involved with my social life as much as they use to. This type of child rearing can relate to natural growth, because in this method, parents allow the child to grow on his own, they are also more likely to let their children just “hang out”, rather than planning activities and setting up play dates for them. Another way my upbringing simulated natural growth was because i never had an impossible schedule, my parents never overbooked my days and i always had my fair share of r and r. My father always taught me that making my own decisions and being independent makes a man, so from a young age that was part of my mindset.
I believe concerted cultivation also played a role in my upbringing. My parents made sure i went to good catholic schools since i started going. From a young age they signed me up for all the sports teams just so i would have the opportunity to continue them when i got older if i enjoyed it. Like Anette Lareau says in Unequal Childhoods, “organized activities, established and controlled by mothers and fathers, dominate the lives of middle class children”, and for this reason, i feel that my parents used concerted cultivation to try and rae me, because at a young age, whether i wanted to or not, my parents signed me up for things just so i had it available to me, and if i enjoyed it i could further explore it in the future.
A child’s upbringing has alot to do with how they treat their parents, or elders. Lareau says that in concerted cultivation:
“From this, a robust sense of entitlement takes root in the children. th sense of entitlement plays an especially important role in institutional settings where middle-class children learn to question adults and address them as relative equals”(pg.2)
Growing up, I learned to never talk back to my parents and to treat elders with respect always. The working class parents teach their kids th, unlike the middle class who want their children to see adults as equals. Lareau says the working class have a different relationship with their children because:
“These mothers and fathers do not focus on concerted cultivation. For them, the crucial responsibilities of parenthood do not lie in eliciting their children’s feelings, opinions, and thoughts. Rather, they see a clear boundary between adults and children.”(pg.3)
I believe my parents raed me th way. At holiday dinners, the adults always sat together at the dinner table, while the kids would get their own table to eat and talk. My parents helped us develop a clear line between what an adult can do and say to a child, and what a child can do and say to an adult. Whatever my father would say, goes, and running away from him to ask my mother the same question would never even cross my mind because i knew how angry that would make my father. I learned not to argue or back talk, and th kind of dcipline comes from the working class method of natural growth. With these two methods, Lareau also explains that “children also developed skill differences in interacting with authority figures in institutions and at home”. Much like the middle class parents, my parents taught me to look someone in the eye when meeting them and to give them a firm handshake, especially with authority figures. But at other times, i knew to avoid looking certain people in the eye because some people take it as a threat and children of natural growth learn th because they are more likely to be around bad people who would start trouble.
Social class and family income has alot to do with the way people rae their children, and had alot to do with how my parents raised me also. This plays a huge role because it changed what neighborhood i lived in and what activities i signed up for. I played in a baseball league with “upper class” children. They joined the same league, but also got private lessons and better equipment. Although i went very far with baseball, i possibly could have had much more success if my family had the kind of money those families did. That being just one example of how money comes into play on how parents rae their kids. When Lareau summed up social class differences, she said:
“There were social class differences in the number of organized activities, pace of family, economic strain of family life, time spent in informal play, interest on the part of adults in children’s activities, domination by children’s activities of adult lives, and the amount of autonomy children had from adults.”(pg.36)
To me, she says the wealthier the family, the more advantages their children will have. As a ten and eleven year old i saw alot of things other kids did that i would have liked to do but did not have the money for. I saw friends going on vacation every summer but i did not have that luxury. Although i would have enjoyed going on vacations all the time, and getting private lessons for sports, i agree with the way my parents raed me and i would not have changed a thing.
Much like families of natural growth, i see my family at least once a week. My family comes over early Sunday mornings and they do not leave until that night. Everyone comes after Church to eat breakfast at my house, and they stay to play cards and watch sports before my mother makes dinner. Families of concerted cultivation are not as close with their families then those of natural growth. Lareau says:
“Compared to their working class counterparts, the middle class children we observed are more competitive with and hostile toward their siblings, and they have much weaker ties with extended family members. Ironically, the greater the number of activities children are involved in, the fewer opportunities they have for face-to-face interaction with members of their own family.”(Pg.39)
It is very important to my family that we see each other at least once a week, and that we spend a certain amount of time together. I do not eat dinner together with my immediate family every night because we are very busy and all end up eating at different times, but Sundays are the one time everyone comes and sits together to talk and eat. I do not believe it is worth signing your child up for endless activities and lessons, if it means that he or she will never see their family. Family should be a big part of a child’s life because they are the only people that will always be there for them, and children should be taught that. Lareau proves this when she talks about how middle class parents believe in helping to develop their child by signing them up for countless activities, even at the expense of family time and group needs. Although i disagree with all the commitments these parents sign their children up for, they are helping them prepare for dealing with the institutional world. From all of these commitments they pick up important work skills like managing their priorities and ways to deal, and interact with authority. I think it is bad to put all that stress and pressure on a child at such a young age, but it may help them deal with time management in the future. There are different ways to look at this form of child rearing, but in this case i think I am a part of Natural growth and i support the way they handle things when it comes to this topic. A child should be able to see their family and have fun with their friends, and although joining teams and learning how to play new instruments can be just as important, there is no reason they cant have both. I believe the parents have to realize that their children should only be doing these things to a certain extent, because they can be missing out on alot of other experiences.


revised essay

April 8, 2010

Jack Castronova

English 110

1 April 2010

The Combination of Two Forms of Parenting, and How it Can Lead to a Better Outcome: Anette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods

During my years in fourth and fifth grade, i believe concerted cultivation and natural growth both applied to the way my parents raised me. Some parents choose to raise their children with just one of these methods and this leads to children having different upbringings. Concerted cultivation is usually used by middle class parents with white collar jobs, while natural growth is usually used by working class parents with blue collar jobs. When i was around the age of ten or eleven years old i just started to become more independent from my parents, i began going outside, choosing my own friends, and planning my own activities. I had neighbors i would go outside with everyday and play football in the streets, or basketball and baseball at the park. My parents trusted my decision making and tried not to get involved with my social life as much as they use to. This type of child rearing can relate to natural growth, because in this method, parents allow the child to grow on his own, they are also more likely to let their children just “hang out”, rather than planning activities and setting up play dates for them. Another way my upbringing was alot like natural growth was because i never had an impossible schedule, my parents never overbooked my days and i always had my fair share of r and r. My father always taught me that making my own decisions and being independent is what makes a man, so from a young age that was part of my mindset.
I believe concerted cultivation was also part of my upbringing. My parents made sure i went to good catholic schools since i started going. From a young age they signed me up for all the sports teams just so i would have the opportunity to continue them when i got older if i enjoyed it. Like Anette Lareau says in Unequal Childhoods, “organized activities, established and controlled by mothers and fathers, dominate the lives of middle class children”, and this is why i feel that my parents used concerted cultivation to try and raise me, because at a young age, whether i wanted to or not, my parents signed me up for things just so i had it available to me, and if i enjoyed it i could further explore it in the future.
A child’s upbringing has alot to do with how they treat their parents, or elders. Lareau says that in concerted cultivation:
“From this, a robust sense of entitlement takes root in the children. this sense of entitlement plays an especially important role in institutional settings where middle-class children learn to question adults and address them as relative equals”(pg.2)
Growing up, I learned to never talk back to my parents and to treat elders with respect always which is what the working class parents teach their kids, unlike the middle class who want their children to see adults as equals. Lareau says the working class have a different relationship with their children because:
“These mothers and fathers do not focus on concerted cultivation. For them, the crucial responsibilities of parenthood do not lie in eliciting their children’s feelings, opinions, and thoughts. Rather, they see a clear boundary between adults and children.”(pg.3)
I believe my parents raised me this way. At holiday dinners, the adults always sat together at the dinner table, while the kids would get their own table to eat and talk. There was always a clear line between what an adult can do and say to a child, and what a child can do and say to an adult. Whatever my father would say, goes, and there was no running away from him to ask my mother if the same question. I learned not to argue or back talk, and this kind of discipline comes from the working class method of natural growth. With these two methods, Lareau also explains that “children also developed skill differences in interacting with authority figures in institutions and at home”. Much like the middle class parents, my parents taught me to look someone in the eye when meeting them and to give them a firm handshake, especially with authority figures. But at other times, i knew to avoid looking certain people in the eye because some people take it as a threat and this is what children of natural growth learn because they are more likely to be around bad people who would start trouble.
Social class and family income has alot to do with the way people raise their children, and had alot to do with how my parents raised me also. This plays a huge role because it changed what neighborhood i lived in and what activities i was signed up for. I played in a baseball league with kids who were “upperclass”. They joined the same league, but also got private lessons and better equipment. Although i went very far with baseball, i possibly could have had much more success if my family had the kind of money those families did. That being just one example of how money comes into play on how parents raise their kids. When Lareau was summing up social class differences, she says:
“There were social class differences in the number of organized activities, pace of family, economic strain of family life, time spent in informal play, interest on the part of adults in children’s activities, domination by children’s activities of adult lives, and the amount of autonomy children had from adults.”(pg.36)
To me, she says the wealthier the family, the more advantages their children will have. As a ten and eleven year old i saw alot of things other kids did that i would have liked to do but did not have the money for. I saw friends going on vacation every summer but i did not have that luxury. Although i would have enjoyed going on vacations all the time, and getting private lessons for sports, i agree with the way my parents raised me and i would not have changed a thing.


essay

April 6, 2010

Jack Castronova

English 110

1 April 2010

During my years in fourth and fifth grade, i believe concerted cultivation and natural growth both applied to the way i was raised. Some parents choose to raise their children with just one of these methods and this leads to children having different upbringings. Concerted cultivation is usually used by middle class parents with white collar jobs, while natural growth is usually used by working class parents with blue collar jobs. When i was around the age of ten or eleven years old i just started to become more independent from my parents, i was going outside and choosing my own friends and planning my own activities. I had neighbors i would go outside with everyday and play football in the streets, or basketball and baseball at the park. My parents trusted my decision making and tried not to get involved with my social life as much as they use to. This type of child rearing would be more like natural growth, because in this method, parents allow the child to grow on his own, they are also more likely to let their children just “hang out”, rather than planning activities and setting up play dates for them. Another way my upbringing was alot like natural growth was because i never had an impossible schedule, my parents never overbooked my days and i always had my fair share of r and r. My father always taught me that making my own decisions and being independent is what makes a man, so from a young age that was part of my mindset.
I believe concerted cultivation was also part of my upbringing. My parents made sure i went to good catholic schools since i started going. From a young age they signed me up for all the sports teams just so i would have the opportunity to continue them when i got older if i enjoyed it. Like Anette Lareau says in Unequal Childhoods, “organized activities, established and controlled by mothers and fathers, dominate the lives of middle class children”, and this is why i feel i was influenced by concerted cultivation, because at a young age, whether i wanted to or not, my parents signed me up for things just so i had it available to me if i enjoyed it and i could further explore it when i was older.
How a child is raised has alot to do with how they treat their parents, or elders. Lareau says that in concerted cultivation:
“From this, a robust sense of entitlement takes root in the children. this sense of entitlement plays an especially important role in institutional settings where middle-class children learn to question adults and address them as relative equals”(pg.2)
When i was growing up I was taught to never talk back to my parents and to treat elders with respect always which is what the working class parents teach their kids, unlike the middle class who want their children to see adults as equals. Lareau says the working class have a different relationship with their children because:
“These mothers and fathers do not focus on concerted cultivation. For them, the crucial responsibilities of parenthood do not lie in eliciting their children’s feelings, opinions, and thoughts. Rather, they see a clear boundary between adults and children.”(pg.3)
This is how i was raised. At holiday dinners, the adults always sat together at the dinner table, while the kids would get their own table to eat and talk. There was always a clear line between what an adult can do and say to a child, and what a child can do and say to an adult. Whatever my father would say, goes, and there was no running away from him to ask my mother if the same question. I was taught not to argue or back talk, and this kind of discipline comes from the working class method of natural growth. With these two methods, Lareau also explains that “children also developed skill differences in interacting with authority figures in institutions and at home”. Much like the middle class parents, my parents taught me to look someone in the eye when meeting them and to give them a firm handshake, especially with authority figures. But at other times, i was taught to avoid looking certain people in the eye because some people take it as a threat and this is what children of natural growth learn because they are more likely to be around bad people who would start trouble. This is just another way i think natural growth and concerted cultivation both applied to the way i was raised.
Social class and family income has alot to do with the way people raise their children, and had alot to do with how i was raised also. This plays a huge role because it changed what neighborhood i lived in and what activities i was signed up for. I played in a baseball league with kids who were “upperclass”. They joined the same league, but also got private lessons and better equipment. Although i was very good, i possibly could have been much better if my family had them kind of money those families did. That is just one example of how money comes into play on how parents raise their kids. When Lareau was summing up social class differences, she says:
“There were social class differences in the number of organized activities, pace of family, economic strain of family life, time spent in informal play, interest on the part of adults in children’s activities, domination by children’s activities of adult lives, and the amount of autonomy children had from adults.”(pg.36)
To me she is saying that the wealthier a family is, the more advantages their children will have. As a ten and eleven year old i saw alot of things other kids did that i would have liked to do but did not have the money for, but i did not complain because that was just how i was raised and that was how things were. I saw friends going on vacation every summer but i did not have that luxury. Although i would have enjoyed going on vacations all the time, and getting private lessons for sports, i agree with the way my parents raised me and i would not have changed a thing.


PIE PIE PIE

March 24, 2010

Jack Castronova
Professor Alvarez
English 101
24 March, 2010

In A Girl Like Me, a teenage female ran an experiment that was once done in the 1950’s during the Brown vs. Board of education trial, and she wanted to see if she got the same results as the original test that was nearly sixty years ago. She set up a table with two dolls. One of the dolls were black and the other was white. She did this to try and figure out which color doll kids prefer, and what they think is the good or bad color. She asks twenty-one black children which doll they would rather play with, and most of them choose the white doll. She also asked some of the children which doll was the bad doll and they chose the black doll, and when she asks which doll is the good one, they pick up the white doll.
After watching the video about the girls experiment, we read a quote that could be closely related to the experiment. The choice of the white doll confirms what Pierre Bordieu says is “symbolic violence”. Bordieu 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.”
I think this means that the reason a product does well in society, or is bought by the majority of people is because people are brainwashed due to symbolic violence and they are led to believe something is good or bad, or better than the others. Bordieu tells us that the dominant have always been dominant, they have a way of setting what is good or bad, what should be dominant or dominated. The dominant race in this case is white, and they set the standards of what is good or bad, wrong or right. This can be because the dominant, controls the media and what the people are exposed to. The violence caused by the dominating race is a subliminal one. In the case of the film, it emerges as a sense of self racism or self hate.
In terms of A Girl Like Me the “dominant” can represent the white race, or white doll, and the “dominated” can represent the black race, or the black doll. The video shows us the majority of the black children chose the white doll as the better doll. This can mean that this is what is exposed to them and what they see everyday. This can be what the media is telling these kids, and like the Bordieu passage tries to tell us, the dominant can control the minds of the dominated, and they have the power to set standards. In the video the girl asks one of the children which doll was the bad doll, and the young girl shows her the black doll, then when she asks her which doll looks like her, she hesitates before showing her the black doll looks like her. I think she hesitates because she is ashamed that she looks like the “bad doll”, which is another example of symbolic violence, and she sees black portrayed as bad or ugly. This again can relate to the Bordieu passage, because this also has to do with the social standard set by the dominating race, and how they make it seem like their color is the only good choice and that anyone who is different is to be considered bad or ugly. When the girl hesitates and realizes she considers herself the “ugly” doll, she is experiencing a rupture of mental structure, and she snaps out of her brain washing.


Best Educational Moment

February 23, 2010

Im not sure if this is exactly what your looking for but i dont really have a specific “best educational moment”. But i do remember a certain grade and teacher, and i think it was a very important year for my education. In the 7th grade i had an english teacher that did not believe in “spoon feeding” her students. I feel like at that age or younger, teachers are a bit too easy on kids in class and they do not try to challenge their minds. My 7th grade english teacher was the first teacher i think i had, that actually tried to challenge my mind and make me think and find a deeper meaning to what i was reading. She taught the class as if it were a high school or college class. She would assign a book for us to read, and we would read a few chapters a week. Instead of the usual elementary school questions like ” Did you like the book and why?”, she would have us analyze the book and see the deeper meaning in things, much like we do in a high school or college class. She made sure we understood everything the author was trying to get across to us, and i think by teaching us this way, like we were adults and not babies we took a big step that year and she really helped prepare us for the future. A book i remember reading that year was The Giver by Lois Lowry. At the time, this experience taught me that my education is going to begin to change. That things arent going to be so easy in the future and i am going to have to work harder, but that is how it should be. If we are not challenged, and everything is given to us, we are not learning.


In class: High School Discussion

February 5, 2010

Today in class we spoke about our high schools and certain things about them. I think i miss high school more than anything right now. I went to St. Francis Prep and the experience there was like going to a college university. It was such a big school and it got everyone involved in everything. Your friends here were like family, especially if you played on a sports team. I played baseball at this school for 4 years and the kids on my team were like my brothers. Sporting events were a big deal for our school because we were very competitive with rival schools and we always wanted to be the best. Our rival school was Holy Cross because they are on the same boulevard as us and whenever our teams played it was known as “The Battle of the Boulevard”. The better team won bragging rights, and we always celebrated after wins. High school was alot of fun, but i knew coming to Queens college was going to be different, i just see it as i got my fun in at high school and now its time to work even harder.


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