Monday, October 06, 2008


Missed You

I'm back! Flew into Oakland Friday evening and then went home, dropped off my luggage, jumped into my car and headed for Prescott Joseph Center for the play, "Ebony and Johnny: A 'Hood Play." It was great adaptation of Romeo and Juliet! Six students showed up from all four classes and we hung in there through the rain. It was that good! I encourage you to go this weekend: Friday-Saturday, October 10-11, 7 p.m., Sunday, October 12, 2 p.m. at 920 Peralta Street in Oakland. There is an art exhibit inside you can visit during intermission. There is art in the front hallway by the door and on the wall along the first staircase and in the first large room in the front of the building.

I curated the exhibit and the reception is Wednesday, October 15, 6-8 p.m. It's free. I canceled the early class this morning. We watched a film I got in a workshop at the Success in Basic Skills conference I attended last week: Reading between the Lives: Chabot College students talk abut reading and more...".

The film explored college reading assignments and skills needed to success in courses. It also looked at how students learned to read and their reading experiences as children and adults.

Post a response to the film and then respond to another student's response. Share an early reading experience. How would you describe your relationship to text? Some of your spoke about wanting to read more, to stop watching TV as much, as a reason why you are in college. Other students spoke of not enjoying reading or writing. What happened to turn you off to text? What has kept you connected to text: reading and writing?

Share something you learned which you plan to add to your reading strategy? How would you describe your reading strategy? Use the Dyson text as the example. Discuss how you would approach reading Chapter 2: Son of a Panther (46)?

Read Chapter 2. Develop 5 questions from the text. The questions can be about concepts you do not understand or those you agree or disagree with. Bring in the questions.

Treana Penn
English 201

Free Write About Reading

After watching “Reading Between the Lives” a Tom Dewit Production, I have evaluated Reading used to be a fun factor back when I was a child at the beginning of my reading stages. The majority of my childhood I spent time staying with my Grandma. I looked up to my Grandma as a role model, a friend, a grandma a mom and a big sister, because we did everything together. So when it came down to getting prepared for school, she would take me to the library on free time to find some books that I was interested in to teach me how to read. I remember being about four years old and just hearing her words, looking at the words and the sentences started to make sense. Eventually, I began to reading little words, those little words slowly by the day became larger, increasing my vocabulary. The first couple of books we read together were “Goodnight Moon”, “The Cow Jumped Over the Moon”, and “My Grandmother and Me”. Those books are all classic to me and I will never forget the first books she taught me how to read.

As I got older, for example in the second grade, I loved to read out loud and act out all the characters in the stories. A couple years later my Grandma passed, something that was hard for me to accept as a child. I lost interest in reading while I was growing up and the only time I read in school if it affected my grade. When I got into High School, I was so out of shape with reading, I was always behind with class assignments. I did not like the feeling of being left behind, so I would skim through what I thought was unimportant parts. I would frequently ask many of my friends questions about the book that I thought would be on the quiz from the reading material. I agreed with many of the college students from Chabot College of the video, of devoting myself or not feeling smart enough or scared to get help in school. Tips that I would give out from watching this movie I would tell a future college student is to find a personal way to study, find your purpose in school, and you have to have a “Nike” mentality and just do it.

I have to be able to read a book and understand and take many of notes to remember what I have read. Reading “Holler If You Here Me” by Michael Dyson, I have been so engaged, that I have just been reading non-stop, but I need to slow down and plan out the book to make sure I am comprehending what I am reading.
Joshua Brown-James
English 201A

After watching “Reading Between the Lives” a Tom Dewit Production, It, made me see how many other students have the same problem i use to have with reading. It made me see how a teacher has the power to make a student want to learn or not. I like how the film talked about how a teacher can either turn or your learning light or shut it completely off. My learning light to me is always half way on i go into a class wanting to learn new things but if the teacher isn't cool and down to earth my learning light quickly gets shut off. I am the same way with reading if i come across a book that i like and have picked out for myself to read i often enjoy it very much and I like reading, but if the teacher assign reading material and tells us how much to read and when to finish it i always dread picking up the book and even getting started. I think I don't like reading very much because i never had the experience as a kid being read to before bedtime. I think if parents put in an effort while the child is young they will grow up to love reading because it has always been apart of their lives.
Everyone knows the importance of reading and how it will further your education and vocabulary but no one likes reading books that are long and boring which is most of the material teachers assign. the film talked about how now days reading is the last thing on everyone's mind when they can watch the movie of he book or do something fun instead of reading like playing video games. When I read I often do text to text, text to self or etc. This allows me to connect the book to world experiences or personal experiences and that's very helpful. I right questions I don't understand about the text so I can refer back to it later and possibly get my question answer to better understand the text this is a great way to read and i think everyone should do some kind of markings in book to help them reflect to understand what they were reading.
Tiffany Allen
English 201b

While watching the documentary “Reading between the lives Chabot students talk about reading and more”, I could relate to a lot of the challenges the students are having. I thought the film was something every student needed to hear. I think reading in school is hard for a lot of people especially when a person is not interested in what their reading. Teachers need to be aware of how their students feel about reading. This video touched on a lot of reasons why people don’t read or why it may be difficult for them to read. Over all I really enjoyed the film because it showed that everybody has some responsibility in making sure they get the reading done and understand the material their reading. I got a lot of tips from the film on how to get through the reading even when I really don’t feel like reading.

My first reading experiences were good because liked what was reading so that made me want to read. I remember reading my story books from school that I had to practice reading in every night. It was a very large chapter book filled with different stories but easy to read. Over time I lost my I stop liking read because it was forced by teachers as I got older. I really hated reading out loud because it was like punishment for not paying attention instead of just wanting read aloud. I really didn’t feel comfortable speaking in front a large quite room of people. I didn’t feel l was a strong reader strong reader so I rarely raised my hand unless it was a small amount people in my class. I would get so nervous because everyone would be staring at me and really didn’t understand what I was reading after I read it. I struggle when the teachers would ask me a question right I had just finished reading because I would be so focus on getting out the words that I wouldn’t pay attention to what the paragraph was saying. The teacher would make me feel really dumb so I hated reading in elementary school.

When I was in middle school I had a friend who introduced me to a lot of books that I never knew existed. My friend would say “you need to check this book out its really good, I’ll let you borrow it”. She made it seem like it was fun so I read the book and found out reading doesn’t just have to say within the walls of the class room that I could start reading material that I like. I start buying books and it seemed like my mind would be ease when I would read. I know reading kept out of the streets because I would get out of school and pick up a book and have my mind on that until I do my homework. Me and all my friends read books and would tell each other about what we thought each other should read next. I like to read but I haven’t been reading material that I like because I have so much reading for my classes. I may start reading a new book soon. High read was easy because I learned how to talk to the text and fully understand what I was reading so I wouldn’t have to reread the material over and over. I learned that my ninth grade year with my English APA teacher who was very strict but cared about her students learning. Although I didn’t always like her assignments it helped my reading and changed my life for the best. My strategies for reading are underline anything I don’t understand and write on a separate sheet of paper explaining the sections I’m reading. I take breaks from reading its helps me get through hard reading material. If I don’t put the book down I get sleepy and then I may never get the reading done. I really just try my best to get through the reading and make sense of what I’m reading even when I get frustrated or tiered.
Sara Yusufi
English 201A

Free Write about Reading

AFter watching "Reading Between the Lives" we were able to learn how reading is an important part of college. I realized that it seems to bother the students who are not able to do as told. Some students struggle with it and most still get emotional about it. I feel that being in college and being emotional for one assignment is not a great thing to do.
The teachers should also realize that not all students think the same. Some students may be strong in one area while another isn't. They should be able to get help by teachers when necessary instead of being told that they should already know how to do that. Not always are students able to help other students.
Students are assigned to read certain pages and chapters by a certain day. It doesn't help them if they do not know what they are reading and then they are expected to have full knowledge on what they read the previous nite. Students and teachers have to be fair in terms of their work because college is an important part of our live and we cant lose it over a struggle that we have. Students are struggling and show how they are not getting much help. All students deserve to get all available resources because they are obviously there to learn.
Overall students deserve to get the best of education in a positive matter. Rather than being put down so that they feel that they are not capable of doing what they want to. Everyone has the right to do so and if they stay strong and get all they help they need tehy may be able to succeed. Not everyone is intelligent or extremely smart when they start college; they are trying to add on to their high school education so it is a difficult transition for them. If they work hard they can easily learn it and succeed in college.
After watching "Reading between the lives" a Tom Dewit Production, it opened up my eyes because there were other students that had stuggles with reading. Reading to me has always been fun, it was one of my favorite hobbies. I was tutored at a young age, my parents wanted it so that i would be able to read third grade level books when i was in kindergarten. And thats what happened. If i watched this video six months ago i would have been shocked, i would not have understood why people did not like to read.

But now i do, sometimes you do not get to read books you are used to reading and the type of books that you like. Therefore making it harder to understand. Personally my favorite type of book is literature and fantasy. I absoulutely adore Shakespear's works, and i find it easier to analyze and understand because there is so much i could talk about. But i later had to read a book that was not the usual literature i was used to, and it was hard to understand, mostley becauase i couldn't realate to the story and the main character. And i think this is the main reason why students do not enjoy reading anymore, because they do not understand the book, or the book is unintersting to them.

But ofr me, i still read the book, even though its hard to read, and hard to realte, i still read the book, even if i have to read the book ten times before i understand it, because without variety in your reading, you do nto learn.
Melissa Mah
English 210A
Professor Sabir

i forgot to put a heading for my last post
Dalena Tran
English 201A
MW 1:00-2:50 PM

"Reading Between the Lives" basically demonstrated everything that was in a way common sense to me. Students struggle through alot of reading, especially when it comes to school text book requirements. I really admired the director of this short film because it actually presented the the audience (mainly students AND TEACHERS). Hopefully, some teachers and administrators would understand what students are going through. I do understand that they were students a while ago, however, there are some invididuals that learn things in different ways. I had a similar experience with learning at a slower pace than the rest of my classmates, however, I also did believe that as a student I should be able to find a solution for myself to catch up. Also, it is a teachers duty to aid that student.
I agreed what the documentary presetned, especially one of the statement that said students read what they have to read for school. During my middle school year, I struggled with English for the longest time. My parents always told me that I must read in the Summer in order to build my vocabulary. As a young teenager, of course I didn't want to spend my time reading. Since I've gotten into a rigious high school, I found myself struggling even more. This last summer, I gave myself the opportunity to read a series of books that I enjoyed. I came to the conclusion that reading for school requirements doesn't help build your intelligence. This film made me realize that reading is important. It builds up our intelligence. We should be blaming our teachers or school for forcing us to read, but to be thankful for the resource we are provided with. "Reading Between the Lives" can be a blunt film, however, if one takes the time to examine what students are saying, you can elaborate more into thoughts.
For our text Dyson, as a reader, I try to put myself into the character's feet. It allows me to create an image of what the author is trying to display. Although the text seems a bit slow to me, I realize that, that is how all lives are like. It takes time for excitement or something to happen out of the blue. This relates to how Tupac's life was. Living under poverty and violence everyday, until finally, he became a well known hip - hop artist to everyone.
Reading creates images and builds characteristics. It allows creativity and expression. It also allows one to think in different perspective. I believe reading is more than just scanning words. It involves all elements in life.
Vonreesha Jackson
English 201 A

I love to read long as it is a book of my choice. I usually read gangster love novels or street novels. I find them to be very ghetto informative. My relationship to books at school is very poor. I only read a book when there is a test. If there is a novel and it’s not interesting to me, then I scan it and pick out things that are catchy to me. Hoping that that will be on the test or it will be discussed in class. Sometimes I find myself reading more than I watch TV which is a good thing. Mainly I wish I could read more than being on the computer. I need to focus more on reading the books that are for class not books that are bought from Unfortunately I don’t love writing as much as I love reading. Writing my thoughts down on paper really bothers me because I am a very private person. To have my thoughts read by another person is so disturbing. When having to write an essay I procrastinate until it’s no more time left to write it. Therefore my thoughts are all choppy and the essay doesn’t flow.

I am turned off from text because I have no interest in my text books. My instructors sometimes don’t do much work from the text. They mostly lecture which is from the book but broken down. The thing that has kept me most connected to my text is my instructors... If they don’t assign work on a consistent basis then I fall off. I need to know that I own these books and those they are being used and that they need to be used. I have been connected to writing because I have to write essays all the time.

I learned that study groups are every beneficial and good to join or start. In the study group we could all read the chapter and discuss it. Maybe make up test questions and test each other on them. My reading strategy at this time is to just go for it. I have to make the time to do it and once I got the time then I need to just do it. Also what is needed is to make sure I have a quiet place to read. Most of the time I do my reading while my son is away. But today I will be dong my reading in the car while my son rides his bike in front of the house. I found that to be go cause I did to things at once. I watched my son and did my homework at the same time.
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Questions Chapter 2

Pg 55.Why do you feel the Panthers were a failure? They did so much.

Pg 59.Why can’t the black and brown cultures express themselves the way they want, when have gold chins become a threat to society?

Pg 60.Why do you need 200Swat team members to arrest one person (Tupac)

Pg 62 What was the struggle for Tupac?

Pg 65 how can critics see Tupac’s logical outcome be traced back to the Black Panther Party? Is that from a Dominate point of view?

English 201 B
Watching “Reading Between the Lives” a brilliant film perfectly put together. It’s like they took the words right out of my head. Just about everything that was said on the film is how I felt. For the exception of two instructors Wanda Sabir, Kelly Pernelle, Darrick Smith and Urana Jackson theses two incredible instructors help you out they make time for you. They come down to your level so you have a better understanding. In all my 22 years of age I never experienced magnificent teachings like they have taught me. Reading in college is hard, nobody constantly tells you to do your reading, like they do in high school. I never read on my own until a teacher asked about how was the reading coming along I never read than I skimmed through the book and tried to keep up with the class discussion. After a while I got fed up trying to BS my way through. In My English class there is no possible way you can BS the readings, because she will know you haven’t done the reading. There are not very good instructors in the education systems, but when I do come across a brilliant instructor like the four that I listed above I try my hardest to stay with them. When I have questions I am never scared to ask them I don’t care about who looks at me crazy or has something to say I take pride in my education. I was taught in my younger days of my education. A QUESTION THAT IS NOT ASKED IS A STUPID QUESTION. I never feel stupid about asking a question, the only time I do feel stupid is when I don’t ask my question, because I could be speaking or helping someone else that do not have clarity on the subject at hand. As far as the film goes ALL teachers and instructors need to sit down and watch that film, so they can hear and see how students really feel.

English 201B
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