Rebecca Jones's Blog

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Final Reflections on Class

May 20th, 2011 by Rebecca Jones · Uncategorized

I really learned SO much in class. I loved that we focused on really practical knowledge about the immigration system. When we talked about legislation one immigration, our focus was on the ways in which its implementation would/does affect real people in their daily lives and what strategies can be used to help them. I really liked the lesson that focused on the history of the border and the ways in which policies like NAFTA promote cross-border economies and create a market in which people need to cross the border to make the economy function, but are penalized for doing so. I also thought that our first lesson, when Mari, Cyndi, and Meredith gave us an overview of the immigration system and how it works for someone trying to migrate to the US was one of the most helpful explanations on the topic of Immigration that I have ever received. I still have the little zine they made about it and refer to it sometimes to clarify questions.

I also think that I learned a lot from the way the class was structured. It was set up so that we all learned from each other, so two or three people would lead class but everyone would add their own knowledge of whatever we were learning about. I think that sort of learning, rather than just having one teacher who is the ultimate holder of all knowledge, is more interesting because we learn from a variety of perspectives.

I loved this class!! I’ll miss everyone in it. I hope I can help out with IWP next semester.

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Final Reflections on ESL

May 20th, 2011 by Rebecca Jones · Uncategorized

Mimi and I were both a little disappointed that we didn’t get to spend much time teaching English. But I really thought that the opportunity to get out of the Oberlin bubble once a week and talk to people whose days involve something other than sitting in a classroom was really interesting and really opened my eyes to the existence of other communities around Oberlin. It’s my first year at Oberlin, so I really didn’t know anything about the area other than the college. The first private reading meeting that I went to surprised me; I really didn’t know that there was such a large migrant population here. I think that going to Willoway once a week really helped me locate myself within the community, and to have more appreciation for what it means to live in rural Ohio.

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Leading Class

May 20th, 2011 by Rebecca Jones · Uncategorized

Today, Claire and I led class on Immigration Reform in the private reading. It went pretty well, although I think there was way too much of us just talking at everyone else. We talked about some historical Immigration Reforms, like IRCA under Reagan, and some present proposals, like REPAIR, CIR ASAP, and AGjobs. We discussed what’s going on at the state levels, like SB 1070 copycat bills and state versions of the Dream Act, and Obama’s stance on immigration and secure communities. We had a pretty good discussion about what we think the best ways to go about reforming the system are, and briefly entertained the (beautiful) idea of a borderless world and then talked about why that won’t/can’t happen. I was pretty excited to read about the cooperation between labor organizers and immigrant rights groups on May Day, a traditional day of labor marches that were joined this year and last year by immigrant rights groups.

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Empty Classroom, Take Two

May 20th, 2011 by Rebecca Jones · Uncategorized

Another lesson with no attendees :( Cindy, Mimi and I went to Willoway, planning to use the lesson Mimi and I already had prepared. Unfortunately, no one came to class after we walked around and knocked on everyone’s doors. We think it’s really just a bad time for class, it’s during dinner and the classroom location is pretty far from where everyone lives. We talked about ways to make class better, and asked a few of the guys why they didn’t go/what would make them want to go more, and it seems like some of the guys are intimidated by the people who come to class and already speak pretty good English. We talked about the possibility of making an advanced class and a beginner class for next semester.

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Empty Classroom

May 20th, 2011 by Rebecca Jones · Uncategorized

Mimi and I went to teach ESL again, this time on our own. We planned a lesson about cooking, and our plan was to go through some food/kitchen vocabulary first and then do an activity. We were going to ask everyone to think of all the items they use to cook, like vegetables, fruits, and kitchen utensils, then go through the verbs involved in cooking, like cutting or frying. Then we were going to ask everyone to think of a dish they like to cook and explain to the rest of us how to make it. However, no one came to class :( We went around and knocked on everyone’s door, as usual, and told them (in our very limited spanish vocabulary) where class was, etc., but it was around dinner time and it seemed like they had had a rough day of work. So we went and waited in the lunchroom for 15 minutes then packed up and headed home. On our way there and back we practiced our Spanish, because we had some trouble communicating without Mari there to help.

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1st ESL Class!

April 14th, 2011 by Rebecca Jones · Uncategorized

Mari, Mimi and I had our first ESL class yesterday. Only two people came, but it was great and really exciting. Our lesson wasn’t super well planned out so Mari did a lot of the teaching. We talked a lot about how to be more useful to the guys, since their living situation in the camp doesn’t require a whole lot of English and so there isn’t a huge motivation for them to learn it. We also have our lesson around dinner time, so there’s another thing deterring people from coming. We talked about screening movies, bringing people from the bike co-op, having a cookout, playing games, etc.

I’m excited to plan an awesome lesson with Mimi for next week!

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Hello world!

February 22nd, 2011 by Rebecca Jones · Uncategorized

yo! Hi. i haven’t taught ESL yet, so I’m going to write about class. So far my favorite thing about class is that we are learning REALLY useful information. I feel like what I have learned so far is preparing me to be a good, educated activist for migrant rights. It’s important to know, for example, that undocumented people are only required to give their name and birthday to police officers when asked, and that they should, for most other questions, use their right to remain silent. Knowing that when the police knock on your door, you should not open it unless they show you a warrant and that you should ask to see an immigration judge before divulging anything in immigration jail is information that is absolutely vital to undocumented peoples. If sometime in the future I end up teaching an ESL class with undocumented people in it, all the information I’ve learned will be really important to give to them, and incorporate into my lessons.

other thoughts: it’s really disturbing to hear about how much police officers can get away with when it comes to immigration cases, not only by illegally obtaining information or beating people, but also within the law by lying and verbally terrorizing people. It makes me think about what we read for class–the pedagogy of the oppressed–and the way oppression dehumanizes both oppressed and oppressors. I can’t imagine what treating human beings that way does to someone’s humanity.

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