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72 Hours and 14 Minutes Until The Final Harry Potter Movie

July 12, 2011

So this blog actually has nothing to do with Harry Potter but the title got you reading! That was my goal. I hope the fact that you’re bitter about the fact that I tricked you doesn’t cause you to stop reading here.

3. The first time I’ve read an article about a budget and been angry about its contents.

So I guess I should start this post by saying that I don’t often read articles about budgets. I know it’s silly but I’ve always just kind of thought that changes in the budget didn’t really directly affect me. I had always been told that it was important to pass the school budget but other than that I was kind of blissfully unaware. However, at work I’ve been hearing about the new budget since the beginning of the summer. I’ve been hearing about how spending was kind of on hold in all the different programs because the budget year was ending and people were waiting to hear about the changes to their particular programs.
Therefore, there was no way I could go another year completely ignoring the budget.
But back to this budget in particular. The article I read (found on http://www.thecaap.org/News/corbett-gets-his-first-budget-done-on-time-79/) was called Corbett Gets His First Budget Passed On Time. In the article, Nick Kotik was quoted as saying “he simply ‘can’t win’ as a Democrat on this issue. If he casts a yes vote he would risk the ire of those who fear it is an attack on the poor if he votes no then he ignores the 99 out of 100 constituents who genuinely believe ‘people get $2,000 in monthly benefits’ and use those benefits ‘to smoke marijuana and buy beer.’” This quote in particular angered me. Our policy makers are the ones who are supposed to be above the stereotypes and be able to make policies without being caught up in the thought processes that really have no basis in reality.
I’m not saying that our policy makers should be completely ignorant of what their constituents want but I am completely against the idea of them feeding into the stereotypes. Policy makers feeding into the stereotypes only perpetuates these thought processes instead of challenging people to change them. There’s a lot of debate about whether policy has to change before people’s beliefs can change or if people’s beliefs have to change in order for policy to change. I’m not particularly inclined to believe other side. However, I think it’s completely impossible to change stereotypes about welfare recipients if policy makers still feed into them.
Finally, I am inspired by the words of Bud George who’s quoted in the article as saying “I’m on a mission. I’m on a mission to find men and women with the courage to stand up for those who are living in despair, trying desperately to live lives of dignity…those lawmakers with the courage to look past the stereotypes.” I’m hoping in the future our policy makers think more like Bud George.

4. First time I’ve felt comfortable enough to speak Spanish in front of a group of native speakers.

Despite the fact that I’ve been taking Spanish on and off since I was in 7th grade, I’ve never really gotten the experience of speaking in Spanish to native speakers. Of course, conversation has always been a part of my grade but it’s always been with classmates; other people whose Spanish was clumsy and were just as uncomfortable speaking as I was. Of course, my Spanish improved over the years but the idea of speaking to native speakers was terrifying. I was worried about my accent, that they would speak too quickly and I wouldn’t be able to understand, or that I was not that good at Spanish and I would forget all the vocabulary I had been taught.
However, I’ve gotten multiple chances to speak to native speakers since starting the Heston Internship. The first time was when I did drop-offs for the LIU families and I was terrified. I thought I was going to freeze up and fail miserably but it actually wasn’t that bad, once I got started. I just needed to get into the hang of it and once I did, it was a lot of fun. People are always really happy to talk to me and they understand that my Spanish is not perfect so they speak slowly. Of course, our conversations are sort of broken and not that in depth but I’m finding it to be a lot of fun.
Last Thursday evening, Cam, Elle and I went to Aleks’s class at the LIU, where migrant people can learn English. During the lesson, we were supposed to help the students in whatever way we could. I tried to make some connection by explaining some abstract English concepts in Spanish and making parallels between English and Spanish.
After class, we were talking to one of the students. He kept asking me how to say certain things like “what are you guys doing this weekend?” and “Do you want to come to a party with me?” in English. Yes, it’s quite obvious that he was trying to hit on the four of us, but he was trying to do it in English which is really cool!

Well, that’s all I have for today. There’s more to come soon! Thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoy the new Harry Potter movie!!!

Laura

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