26 April 2014


The article from John Rickford, in short, is about Ebonics. Ebonics basically means "black phonics," according to Rickford. Throughout the article, Rickford explains why some people feel Ebonics is not a language, but more so "lazy English." While linguist see the distinction between Ebonics and standard English. The claim of the article is the Ebonics is not standard English but it also not it's own language. Evidence to support this claim is on page 28 where Rickford says, "This is not permitted in Ebonics; the 'rules' of the dialect do not allow the deletion of the second consonants are either voiceless, as with 'st,' or voiced, as with 'nd.'...In short, the manner in which Ebonics differs from Standard English is highly ordered; it is no more lazy English than Italian is lazy Latin. This support the claim because where Italian is derived from Latin but has its own rules of how to properly speak the language, that is the case with Ebonics.

Dear Mr. John Rickford,
After reading your article, I believe I came up with an answer for your question as to why "linguists see the issue [of Ebonics] so differently from most other people." For starters, I believe it has to do with the fact that linguist study every aspect of Ebonics from the words used to how it's pronounced, where as other people do not. Linguists agree that Ebonics is not a separate language from English, but it is also noted that they do not believe it is simply "slang." In your article you mention that Ebonics has some form of grammar and "distinctive patterns of pronunciation." Since  most people have not studied Ebonics to the extent that linguists have, they will not particularly see the distinction between Ebonics and slang and Standard English. Being that linguists know and appreciate these differences, they are able to have a set argument on why or why not Ebonics is actually another language. But, what linguists need to understand is that people who do not study language will not pick up on the minor things that differentiates Ebonics, slang and Standard English, which is why they would prefer for Ebonics (slang in their minds) to not be used over Standard English.

Aliyah Allen

24 April 2014

Persepolis Summary

Persepolis (1-2 ) by Marjane Satrapi

       Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s, the main character and narrator, memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and the second Iran and Iraq war. In 1979, Islamic Revolution took place. The concepts of  bilingualism and co-education were abolished. Moreover, women were forced to wear veil by those that called for cultural revolution in Iran. People started to protest, there were both, people who supported this “cultural revolution” and people who were against. Marjane’s parents and relatives, including grandma and Uncle Anoosh, were used to attend these political protests to raise voice for their rights. Because of her parents, grandma and uncle Anoosh, Marjane’s passion lied in social activism and to enlighten her on revolution her parents brought her books related to social and political issues. Moreover, to clear Marjane’s misconception that the King , Reza Shah, was chosen by God, her father told her the truth that Reza shah was a soldier who organized a putsch to overthrow the emperor and install a republic. An influential british man leaned about his putsch, and because he wanted to make money out of the country's oil he supported him. However, many people were beginning to die during revolution , so Shah’s rule became impossible and he had to step down. After the revolution, she got to meet Uncle Anoosh and learnt how he survived and was imprisoned, which created a “heroic” image of him in Marjane’s mind. Soon, they learnt that Anoosh has been executed on the false charges of being a Russian spy. She felt empty and alone. At that moment, Iran Iraq war began. The war intensified, food and rations were low in the country and tensions ran high amongst the people, Iran’s borders were closed, women weren’t allowed to step out without veil and with makeup on, having parties and celebrations was forbidden. The war became very bad with millions of people dying. However, Marjane grew up to become a "rebel" and, after a confrontation with one of her teachers, she got kicked out of school. Fearing that the country was no longer safe for their daughter, Mr and Mrs. Satrapi decided to send Marjane to Austria to attend a French school there, at the age of fourteen.

       Marjane,s problem began as soon as she arrived in Vienna. Zozo, the family friend ended up sending her to a boarding house among nuns. She met Lucia there who filled the space of a friend in Marjane’s life. Language was a huge issue for her which kept her isolated. However, as Marjane is outspoken and rebellious by nature, so a conflict with nun got her expelled but she managed to stay at her friend’s place. That’s how she began to assimilate herself, finding a personal identity and coming to terms with the reflecting state of West. Her journey was clashes. she had self image problems, hurtful love affairs (she fell in love with Markus and also got addicted to drugs but Markus betrayed her) , loneliness ( after Markus she had nobody with her). Which led her to depression but it wasn’t enough she also had to leave the place where she was living in because she was accused of stealing.Living on the streets made her so sick she coughed up blood. She survived, and moved back home to Iran.Giving up her freedoms was hard, but living with her family was what she needed. Her mom and dad treated her as an equal which helped her to get out of depression. she met her old friends and relative. While in Iran, she continued to  work what social activism she could like designing a new uniform with a shorter veil). she partied with friends. She met Reza, they fell in love and decided to get married. But after sometimes Marjane felt imprisoned and started to have conflicts with Reza. They tried but ended up getting divorced. All these things were to help her find her identity. After a few years, she realized that Iran wasn’t for her. She moved back to Europe.With the final quote of the book, "Freedom had a price."

Hunger of Memory

The excerpt I read from "Hunger of Memory" is about a young male named Richard Rodriguez. Initially, he struggles to learn and understand English but further reading goes to show he learns English then struggles to understand his first language, Spanish. First, Richard expresses how speaking Spanish with his family bought him joy. He also expressed how different life was for him at school and at home. With his family, Richard was outspoken and happy. While in his English-speaking school, he was quiet and afraid to talk because he knew he was no good at English. The nuns at Richard's school noticed the language barrier within his family and encouraged his parents to speak more English with Richard and his siblings. Richard, naturally, was still shy but paid very close attention to the way his peers would pronounced their words. Over time, Richard and his siblings spoke English very well, causing them to not speak Spanish at home. He also notes that his siblings made fun of their dad, who did not partake in their English conversations, for being shy. But Richard noticed that his father, in fact, was not shy. When around their Spanish-speaking family members, their father was extremely outspoken and interactive. Soon after strictly speaking English, hearing Spanish became a painful memory for Richard because it reminded him of the intimate memories he shared with his family.

I enjoyed reading this because I felt his happiness and sadness throughout the excerpt. I found humor in how he said they pronounced his name. I also feel bad because I feel like him being forced to learn English and not speak Spanish is ridiculous. He suppresses his Spanish identity to assume a more "American" identity to please society. I think it is good that he learned English but his parents and teachers should have tried to find a balance between the two languages. Without them doing that, it sort of implies that being different isn't always a good thing.

Welcome Back from Spring Break! Here's your Homework!

Welcome back!

For this weekend's homework, I'd like you read one of the two articles I e-mailed yesterday--your choice! We'll all be reading both articles eventually, so pick whichever one seems more interesting right now. Both include a short summary at the beginning to help you choose.

Then for the blog, you'll respond to one of the discussion questions at the end of the reading. If you choose June Jordan's "Nobody Mean More to Me than You..." respond to either Question #3 or #6; if you choose John Rickford's "Suite for Ebony and Phonics," respond to Question #5 or 6.

Keep in mind that your response should include a Claim, Evidence, and Analysis (to explain how your Evidence supports your Claim).

Also, be sure to come to class on Tuesday knowing what topic you're going to be tackling in Essay #2!

Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?

23 April 2014


Maus II

In chapter one Artie's discusses the relationship with the Holocaust and how it impacted so many different peoples before his time. But Artie felt he couldn't live up as his role to his father because tension they have growing up. Artie had always wondered how his parents live through different hardship and felt how he could imagine living around the time with them since he has it a bit easier.
In chapter two it seem the it doesn't not follow much as jumping around from past to present as much in part one of the book. But also how Artie's father had died and still had a unresolved issues with one another which make him feels guilty. Also how the characters in the book was symbolize as different animals but with masks. This was Artie's second thoughts for his book. Artie had issues focusing on the guilt between him and his father because his father survived the Holocaust and felt that since everyone else died, He took it out on his son.
In chapter three after Valdek and Anja was separated before they met up at the end of the war was over, they thought nothing but to survive. The struggle to survive became harder to focus on friends and religion. Also Valdek did not once think of Anja or even decided to add her to the escape plan like if he didn't care about her survival. But even though r during those difficult times the struggle for survival was for his own. The communication between vladek and Anja was passed through with notes on the food between. Even though something like that can get them both killed. During the Holocaust it was not just Jews but entire race of different people from all around the world.
In chapter four vladek tries to get use to Artie's arrival and asked his some to move in with him for a while to try to get by Mala being gone. His father asked his son to help but instead what Artie's does was ask him about his wife experience during the Holocaust but as some time telling the story he had chest pains and to a break. As trying to return back to the story telling about his wife in the Holocaust but there's not much to tell him since it deeply impacted him. After his wife long deep depression since much of her family was taken from her and then Anja killed herself by running into a electric fence.
In chapter 5 Artie tapes his father when he was on the phone. After that Artie's calls the hospital to find out that Vladek wasn't there to be found and had left. Artie flies down to help out with his father and then to board a plane to go to New York to go to the hospital. After months later getting to sell the house. A year later that Vladek found out he had diabetes that he was suffering from. At the point when Vladek ask to turn the tape recorder back on he calls Arties Richieu by mistake and then an image of a gravestone of Vladek and Anja.
As this second part to maus was great as the first part I can tell how there was great description of every detail that went on with Vladek life and how Arties was suffering about how much his father was deeply impacted through out life from before the Holocaust. The way Vladek spoke about his life during the Holocaust and how he spoke about his wife during it as if he didn't care about her what. Shocked me the most. But as I read and saw he was getting sicker almost dying from diabetes to eventual die felt very surprising to me.

Maus II

 “Maus II” is a biography and autobiography by Art Spiegelman in which he continues to tell his father’s story of his time during the holocaust, specifically of his father’s time in Auschwitz, and how he gained freedom.  In the beginning of the book, Vladek leaves a message to Art saying he has just had a heart attack. When Art calls Vladek he learns, that Vladek is healthy and staying in a bungalow in the Catskills. He left the message, to ensure that his son would call him back. Mala has left him, and Art and Francoise immediately depart for the Catskills. On their way there, Art tells Francoise about his puzzling feelings about the Holocaust, including the guilt he feels for having had an easier life than his parents, and about his sibling rivalry with a snapshot of his brother. After arriving to the Catskills he asks Vladek to tell him what happened when he arrived at Auschwitz. Vladek arrives at Auschwitz with Mandelbaum. All around, there is chaos and a foul smell of burning rubber and fat. They see Abraham, who tells them that he, too, was betrayed and forced at gunpoint to write the letter that sent Vladek and Anja to the camps. Vladek begins teaching English to his guard, who protects him and provides him with extra food and a new uniform. Mandelbaum is soon taken off to work and never heard from again. After a few months, the guard can no longer keep Vladek safe as a tutor, and he arranges for him to take a job as a tinsmith. It is 1987; a year after the publication of the first book of “Maus” Art’s considering the critical and commercial success of Book I.  it's also five years after Vladek's death. Art is depressed and overwhelmed, and visits his psychiatrist, Pavel, also a Holocaust survivor. The two speak about Art's relationship with his father and with the Holocaust. They focus specially on issues of guilt. Art leaves the session feeling much better and returns home to listen to tapes of his father's Holocaust story. While Vladek is at Auschwitz, Anja is being held at Birkenau, a larger camp to the south. Unlike Auschwitz, which is a work camp, Birkenau is one stop before the gas chambers. Anja is faithless and frail, and her supervisor beats her constantly. Vladek makes contact with her through a kind Jewish supervisor named Mancie, through whom he is able to send additional food to his wife. Vladek also arranges to be sent to work in Birkenau, where he is able to speak briefly with Anja.

Vladek arranges to switch jobs from tinsmith to shoemaker, and by fixing the shoes of Anja's guard at Birkenau, he greatly improves her treatment. He learns that some prisoners at Birkenau will begin working at a munitions factory in Auschwitz and saves large amounts of food and cigarettes for a bribe to ensure that Anja is among them. Soon, though, Vladek loses his job as a shoemaker, and he is forced into manual labor. He begins to get dangerously weak, and he must hide during daily "selections" so that he will not be sent to the gas chamber. As the Russians advance towards the camp, he works again as a tinsmith and is made to deconstruct the gas chambers. The Russian army is now within earshot of Auschwitz, and the prisoners are evacuated under German guard. They march for miles in the freezing snow and are packed like animals into crowded boxcars, where they stay for days with no food or water. Eventually they arrive at Dachau, another concentration camp. Very few of the prisoners actually survive the trip. At Dachau, Vladek meets a Frenchman who is able to receive packages through the Red Cross due to his non-Jew status. He shares what he’s receiving with Vladek. Vladek eventually succumbs to typhus and is sickly ill days, just as he starts recuperating; the sick that are able to walk are boarded onto a train bound for Switzerland to be exchanged as prisoners of war. Vladek is among them. Vladek is made to leave the train and move on foot towards the Swiss border. The war ends before they reach it, and their guard’s march them back onto a train that they say will take them to the Americans. But when the train arrives at its destination, there are no Americans, and the prisoners walk off in all directions trying to not get caught by Germans. Vladek is stopped by German patrol, first he and the other Jews are made to wait by a lake, The Jews think that they will be killed, but by morning the guards are gone. Vladek begins to walk again, but encounters yet another German patrol, which force him into a barn with fifty other Jews. Again, they fear for their lives, but again when they wake up the next morning, the guards are gone. Vladek and Shivek a friend he reunited with while at the lake, eventually find an abandoned house, where they stay until the Americans arrive and take the house as a military base. Vladek shows his son a box of old pictures of his family, mostly from before the war. Of his parents and six siblings, only one brother, Pinek survived.

Art is in his apartment when he receives an urgent and unexpected call from Mala. She is in Florida and back together with Vladek, though she doesn’t know why she’s back with him. Vladek had just been admitted to the hospital for the third time in a month, and he leaves the hospital against the advice of his doctors. He wants to see his doctor in New York. Art flies down to help him get home. Back in New York, Vladek sees his doctor and is cleared to go home. A month goes by before Art visits his father again. When he arrives, Mala tells him that Vladek has been getting confused and forgets things. Art sits by his father's bed and asks him about the end of the war. Vladek and Shivek leave the German farm for a displaced persons camp, where they receive identification papers. Life at the camp is easy, but Vladek soon leaves with Shivek for Hannover. While in Hannover, Vladek hears word that Anja is still alive, and he departs for Sosnowiec. The trains are largely broken-down, and the journey takes him over three weeks, but he eventually arrives for an emotional reunion with his wife. The book ends by Vladek ending his story: "I'm tired of talking, Richieu," he tells Art, calling him by the name of his dead brother, "and it's enough stories for now."   

I enjoyed reading this book, even though it’s such a dark topic, it was a really good book to read. The panels give a much more vivid picture, and I can understand the story much better with them. It also extremely different from the way other holocaust stories are written. a really sad and shocking part of this story is at the end of the comic Vladek confuses Art as Richieu. I imagine it might have made art feel even more jealous of a brother he never even met. something I find extremely shocking is how Vladek was able to hide without detection during the selections.