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Showing posts from March, 2013

White Privilege

I've been struggling to explain white privilege to a few people lately.  It's easy to think of the idea as just another type of racism - of course I don't have any extra privilege because I'm white - that would be racist!  We're all colorblind here!  Unfortunately, white privilege is very real, has been studied, and affects many people in a variety of negative ways, including white people.

I can walk through an expensive clothing store and not be followed.  I can buy bandages that are my skin color.  I don't have to worry that if a landlord doesn't accept my application, it's because of my race or skin color.  I can behave badly, and not have someone chalk that up to my race or have to feel like I'm representing everyone who looks like me.

Those are only some of the examples I've thought of.  There are more here and many other places online.  It's easy for me to think of ways that I get treated differently (not usually in a good way) becaus…

Birthdays

Some adults find it hard to talk to children.  While I'm not advocating talking to strange children (well, they're all strange, I actually mean strangers talking to children), there is a secret I've learned if you ever need to have a conversation with your college roommate's kid or your boss's children.

If you ever want to get a child to talk, bring up birthdays.  Specifically their birthday.  A birthday is the one subject that every single child is absolutely enamored with because it revolves around them. You won't even have to ask much - just ask them when their birthdays are and most kids will be off and running.  Shyer kids might take a little more prompting, which is when you bring up cake or presents or birthday parties.

One of the first things I always did in my classroom was to make a birthday chart.  They have fancy ones at the teacher supply stores, but you can get any kind of calendar or posterboard and just write down names and birthdays. (This is…