In my e-mail I have a bunch of WordPress’ daily prompts I have wanted to answer. Because I think there will be a number of posts today, I’m going to lump them into this post. Without further ado:
WordPress Daily Prompt 1/7/14: Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word of image
The other day I was talking to my sister about proper terms in the LGBT community. She didn’t understand that some terms were outdated and offensive while other terms she thought were offensive, the LGBT community actually embraces. I honestly told her that I didn’t know all the terms, but explained some I did. Then I laughed about how a rainbow is a really good symbol for us because of the variety. So for this prompt I am going to chose a color and assign a term and explain it. Note: the colors are chosen at random and the best way not to look like an ass is to ask a person what they would like to be called. Also obviously with only 7 colors I am not including a lot of terms.
Red: Trans Man and Trans Woman; I initially didn’t understand when to use each one until it was explained to me and then I was like duh! A trans man (sometimes refereed to as F->M) is someone who was born as the female biological sex but identifies as a male, this can be in terms of roles, appearance, or transitioning biologically to the other sex. A trans woman (M->F) is the opposite of this. The easiest was for me to remember is how they want to be represented/perceived woman or man, as the last part. Again the note some use different terms including just trans, transgender, transsexual, woman, or man and most likely many more, ask a person if the best way. I have a post on Gender identity and sexual orientation that goes deeper if you want to check it out.
Orange: Gay; usually a term to use with homosexual men and sometimes homosexual women, some people prefer other terms like “homo” and others I’m sure I don’t know. Usually when referring to the community the term gay is used example: “Gay Rights” “Gay Marriage” “Gay Pride.” Note I would prefer to be called gay rather than lesbian or “girl gay.”
Yellow: Intersex; this is the term used for persons who have biological and physical aspects of both sexes, this can include genitalia, hormones, and any combination of how much of each “sex;” My sister asked isn’t that a hermaphrodite and I explained that is considered a derogatory term to most of the LGBT community. Often when children are born intersex, especially with some form of dual genitalia, the parents make a decision on what sex their child were be and sometimes have “corrective” surgery.
Green: Androgynous; which refers to the combination of female and male characteristics, this can be in appearance, gender identity, sexual orientation, and behavior. Another term often used is “gender neutral.”
Blue: “A” or asexual; sometimes the LGBT can be much longer with other letters like LGBTIQQA; the A generally stands for asexual which means not sexually interested in either sex. A lot of people don’t understand why asexual would belong in the LGBT community, my best explanation is that the LGBT tends to accept anyone who doesn’t fit in the “norm” of heterosexuality.
Indigo: Sex Reassignment Surgery; Having surgical procedures to transition from one sex to the other, this can include “top surgery” which can include breast implants or removal or “bottom surgery” which would be changing the genitalia; some consider hormone treatment under this heading as well, but it is less common. Again a “sex change” is an outdated term.
Violet: Queer; My sister doesn’t like this term as it seems derogatory to her, in my Intro to LGBT Studies class we talked about taking our terms back and embracing them such as you try to hurt us with this term but we use it to identify us positively. Queer is an umbrella term for everyone in the LGBT community. However, like I said earlier ask how people would like to be referred to as some do not like this term.
WordPress Daily Prompt 1/3/14: Is it possible to be too honest, or is honesty always the best policy?
As much as I value honesty, I do believe there is such a thing as being too honest. Some people are just not ready for honesty and it can make some situations worse. I do believe that if someone asks you for your honest opinion, and you do not want to give it for some reason you should some how state that instead of making something up the person will believe as your honest opinion. Another good practice is re-evaluating through time if this person is ready for your honesty. I wrote a poem about not being ready for honesty.
WordPress Daily Prompt 12/29/13: You get to redesign school as we know it from the ground up. Will you do away with reading, writing, and arithmetic? What skills and knowledge will your school focus on imparting to young minds?
I worked in education for 3 years. I worked both in preschool and a before/after school program. Education is changing, at least here in California, there is too much focus on testing and meeting specific academic achievements; class sizes are too large and teachers do not have enough resources and time to teach effectively. With the coming of technology I think secondary education will be changing a lot (secondary refers to high school and sometimes junior high, after 6th or 8th grade.) My opinion:
Preschool should focus on social and emotional development while also teaching basic academic skills. Most children’s first exposure to other children, other than possibly siblings or neighbors, is when they attend preschool. Children need the basics of learning what’s appropriate and not in a school setting, how to manage their behavior and emotions, and how to express themselves and communicate. I don’t mean that all the focus should be on “sharing is caring” and all that. Also basic academic skills should be taught such as the alphabet, numbers, some writing and word recognition, and gross and fine motor skills. Also in preschool, children should be constantly assessed because early intervention is so important.
Primary Education/Elementary School/Kindergarten through Sixth Grade, this is the time where the rest of the academic skills should be continued and polished. I believe there also need to be skills that are useful in the real world but not considered “academic,” whether that be some sort of art, music, sports, language, technology skills, etc. In my high school we were offered electives to chose from, I believe from the 4th grade level on (so for 3 years) children should have a one hour of elective. I also think there has been a serious decline in the importance of physical education, often recess is taken away as a punishment or weather means we do an inside activity. Children need to be encouraged to be active, whether at recess, physical education, sport electives, or after school activities. And for clarification the academic skills I’m talking about are math, reading, writing, and science; obviously tailored for each grade level.
After Primary School I think there should be 3 options: Vocational School, Online Education, and In class Secondary Education. Children and by now teenagers all learn in different ways and have different priorities in life. The drop out and faliure rate is ridiculous because teenagers don’t fit in the cookie cutter shapes of junior high and high school. Vocational schools would teach trades or occupations that do not need a lot of math, science, reading, or writing skills. I have many friends who work in fields with no college education (or not using anything they learned in college) or no use of their high school or junior high academics (some who finished high school and others who dropped out), skills taught could include: mechanical skills, sales, customer service, life skills (for those who want to be stay at home mom’s for example), or classes specified for teenagers with disabilities or special needs. Online education, works really well for some people. They are able to work at their own pace and feel less anxiety of keeping up with others, having to sit in class for a few hours straight, or be bored when they have already understood the topic. Also those using online education could have more options available to them in variety of classes as well as difficulty; currently in order to take college level classes while still in primary or secondary education you also must attend your normal schooling hours. In my opinion this just holds some teenagers back who could progressing faster. Also some teenagers need to work to help support their family or self and with online education would be able to balance the two well, another big drop out factor. Finally, some kids/teens just learn better in the classroom (I am one of them.) I think that with the three possibilities we also wouldn’t have class sizes that are too large and overworked exhausted teachers. Teens would have more flexibility to be where they want to in life and it would take pressure off teachers who need to manage students who don’t want to be at school and are not getting anything out of it. The focus wouldn’t be so much on testing and graduating, but rather preparing for going to college. I think many students choosing this option would want to pursue college; also there should be part of the day that it’s the teen’s choice to come in for specific skills or classes. They would need to sign up ahead of time, for example if a student participating in online education would like to take a SAT prep class or a student in vocational school would like to hone their writing skills.