Connections to Johnson
In many ways the few chapters that we read from Gerri August’s Making Room for One Another reminded me of situations Johnson described in Privilege, Power, and Difference. I noticed that August referred to Johnson in terms of some of the codes and of power that he discussed. Like Johnson said on page 7, “it doesn’t seem unreasonable to imagine a school or workplace, for example, where all kinds of people feel comfortable showing up, secure in knowledge that they have a place they don’t have to defend every time they turn around...” This is similar to the case that Gerri was looking at with Cody. Cody would come to school, but would often be very careful in how he articulated his thoughts. This demonstrates that he was not comfortable in his setting and would hide his “private” (Rodriguez) world from his public one.
Cody was a student who was also Cambodian. He was proud of his culture and came into school with a Cambodian mask. When he was asked to come into school with pictures of his family, he only chose to bring in one picture, which he was not even in. This reminded me of Johnson’s quote where, “people are tagged with other labels that point to the lowest-status group they belong to” (p. 34). In this case, Cody was tagging himself with labels. He was identifying that coming from a homosexual home made him part of the oppressed group, but this was not the same for his Cambodian heritage. I am unsure whether or not the fact that he was adopted also played a role as to why he identified himself as more Cambodian, than a son of two women, but I am sure it did.
Overall, I thought that these chapters were interesting. I loved the idea that we were focusing on the child that came from a different background and watched his behaviors with different subjects. Zeke tried to make his classroom a positive environment for all students. He took on teachable moments and planned time to teach his students about differences. I wonder if any of this really made a difference with Cody. It seemed as though he was still unsure where he fit in and was not ready to share his private life with others. I hope that this is something that will change for Cody in the future. I hate to imagine that he always has to sensor himself as he grows up, avoiding stories from home. His voice is already becoming silent, at the age of five or six. Finn would say that his life is somewhat predetermined by this time. Does this mean he will always be silent?