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  • #410917
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    People tend to be prejudiced or discriminate against different races, ethnicities or genders when they don’t understand things from their perspective and it sometimes comes from roots of fear. One factor of prejudice and discrimination is power, people who often are powerful might fear someone taking their status so they try to belittle people to assure a more authoritative role. I feel this happens in dictatorships and totalitarian regimes. The people in power are fearful that the people they rule might overpower them so they take away their access to media (or they heavily censor their media). By invoking fear in people, those in power will keep them in tune following the rules set for them. I’ve recently been reading the news about the protests in China and a journalist was captured and beaten. People were tired of being restricted in their travels as the government tried to stop covid spreads. They were protesting about President Xi Jinping isolating them and not allowing them freedom to explore the outside world. President Xi Jinping holds total power in China and there’s security cameras watching citizens who try to defame China’s President and if they are serious enough then the government locks them away. When one person holds all the power in a country, they can make laws and regulations and others are in the minority.

    The minorities are often small groups within a nation or they don’t have as much power as the person in charge so they’re often hurt and discriminated against. Media and news play a role in making discrimination more prominent too. Every time there’s a news about a black person killing someone it’s often the head of the news. The media can be selective about what order they feature stories in which makes them stick in people’s minds longer and leads to more fear and racism against blacks. However, overall blacks and other races have relatively equal crime rates when comparing things worldwide.

    I feel like discrimination and prejudice comes from what people are taught to believe by the media, how they grew up or corrupt leaders. There’s social discrimination too in the workplace where women earn less than men and they are more likely to be harassed in the workplace.

     

    I feel a lot of the discrimination and prejudice comes from not understanding different perspectives and cultures which is why having social studies in middle schools into college can be helpful teaching people about geography and different cultures.

     

     

    #410918
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Sometimes there isn’t a way to fully heal from the hurts people faced, but people can grow from them. I believe Jenny was able to let go of her anger, seek forgiveness and fly up into the sky like a bird. She found her wings to fly above the hurts and her spirit came by to reassure Forrest that she’s at peace. Forrest as the feather drifts down by his feet realizes Jenny has gotten her wings to fly, mending hurts, releasing things.

    I feel that holding onto anger and building it up is harmful for emotional and physical health. People who hold onto anger are more prone to anxiety and depression as well as having higher risk of heart attacks.

    Prejudice and discrimination often create anger and hatred which leads to violence in the world. I feel that allowing people in middle school through college to have emotional first aid classes and lgbtq awareness can help them develop more awareness about the diversity in the world. Students can learn anger management and stress management tips like meditation, music, talking in groups, playing games and learn how emotions can impact people’s health and the world around them. Likewise, having a culture awareness class like lgbtq community and gender identity might help people understand the community better. I feel like there might be some backlash with incorporating lgbtq and gender identity in schools because some people feel like it might impact people’s mental health. But I feel it would be helpful to bring awareness and might be fun for students to enjoy rainbow cake, learn about transgender people while coloring the trans flag. And having guest speakers from the lgbtq community host events like tea and music to make students more comfortable that lgbtq people are people too. I feel with more awareness for lgbtq and trans people there will be less prejudice and fears as people begin to value the people around them.

    Everyone is a snowflake, beautiful and unique and having that ability to learn to sparkle can help people in their lives.

    #410920
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    You have a way with words: “Everyone is a snowflake, beautiful and unique and having that ability to learn to sparkle and help people in their lives”- and so are you. Janus: a sparkly snowflake who helps people! I will reply further in the morning.

    anita

    #410944
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    Allowing people in middle school through college to have emotional first aid classes and lgbtq awareness… with more awareness for lgbtq and trans people, there will be less prejudice and fears as people begin to value the people around them“- I like the idea of providing emotional first aid classes in schools! And I agree that every person should be valued regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, etc., and regardless of educational, professional and financial position, if any.

    In regard to lgbtq awareness classes in middle school: there are many parents who are interested in their children following binary roles as far as gender and sexual orientation (with some flexibility, let’s say,  such as it’s okay for girls to climb trees and for boys to cry), and they worry that if their school age children are exposed-  in a positive way-  to a variety of possibilities in regard to gender and sexual orientation, that they will consider non-binary options. What would you say to these parents?

    anita

    #410977
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I feel allowing people to understand lgbtq and transgender communities can help them develop awareness of how to be more inclusive in the world. In 1969, a gay transwoman (named Martha P. Johnson) and other lgbtq rights activists started the Stonewall Riots protesting police searching lgbtq clubs in NYC. Martha P. Johnson was a black, gay transwoman and her and other lgbtq activists were able to seek better rights for transgender people and the lgbtq community. Johnson, being black faced racism too so she was able to fight against racism and prejudice against people of color. I feel like allowing people to learn about lgbtq and trans history can help bring awareness about the intertwining networks of racism and prejudice in our society. When schools incorporate an inclusive curriculum, students experience different cultures and perspectives allowing them to build better relationships to the people around them. One activity for middle school people could be having people form groups of five and write down answers to these questions:

    What is something someone wouldn’t be able to tell looking at you?

    How do you see yourself (what traits would you describe your personality)?

    What do you like as a hobby?

    Then the students would hand the questions  they answered on index cards and the teacher would shuffle the responses and have students try to match their responses to the person they thought wrote them. Many students who do this activity are surprised at how different their impressions of the people around them are. This lesson teaches students to be aware of not pre-judging a person and promotes more awareness.

    Having lgbtq and transgender safe spaces at schools can help improve mental health and lives of lgbtq people.

    Students can have tea and informal events with lgbtq and trans people learning about their experiences. Learning about diversity can help people be more open-minded about things.

    Parents who might be afraid that teaching lgbtq and transgender imclusivity in schools might impact their children could be shown resources about famous trans and lgbtq people who have changed history. They can learn that having supportive bases for lgbtq and transgender communities can help save lives. It’s a good way to share compassion with the community.

    Everyone regardless of gender, race or ethnicity has a right to be supported and loved for who they are.

    Having emotional first aid classes where people learn about mental health can be helpful because students often feel stressed.

    No matter who people identify as there’s a connection as we all came from the same gas and dust of stars from the universe.

    Allowing people to understand their communities and support lgbtq and transgender people can lead to more inclusive communities where there is less prejudice and hate in the world.

     

     

    #411009
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    Thank you for sharing about the index card activity in middle school, what an excellent activity!

    Allowing people to understand their communities and support lgbtq and transgender people can lead to more inclusive communities where there is less prejudice and hate in the world“- very well said!

    anita

    #412014
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Snowflakes form when temperatures are lower than -10⁰C (-20⁰ C snowflakes) and the air is saturated with water vapor.  The air contains tiny particles of clay, salts and dust that are picked up by the wind. When temperatures get cold enough and the air is saturated with water vapor, the tiny particles in the air start to freeze and form ice crystals. The tiny droplets of water vapor that freeze are still too small to fall to the ground. So they supercool which is when the liquid droplets are cooled below their melting point without freezing solid, allowing small droplets of water to accumulate until they droplets of water vapor become heavy enough to fall to the ground. The cold temperatures in the atmosphere air cause the droplets of water to freeze and crystals to form into different shapes of snowflakes. No two snowflakes are alike.

    In some places like Wisconsin when the weather drops below -40 ⁰ C the trees will explode because they can’t take the cold temperatures. This is another example of supercooling. When snowflakes form the temperatures outside are below freezing and trees must protect themselves. They do this by adapting to the cold temperatures with thick layers of bark and store sugars in their inner cells. However if temperatures get to below -40 ⁰C then the trees sugar sap contains water and water freezes. So the tree’s life supply freezes and it can’t take the pressure of the cold temperatures so it’s bark explodes and the tree dies. Supercooling of water is the reason why this happens. Since the trees store sap to prepare for the winter, if the temperatures are too cold (below-40⁰C ) then the liquid sap in trees becomes hardened and doesn’t flow as well and later the hardened sap begins to develop ice crystals that chill the tree from inside and cause its bark to crack.

     

    I love learning about nature in my pine barrens class. My pine barrens professor believes everyone is unique and has potential to inspire the world. I’ve learned lots about the New Jersey Pine Barrens in the class. I learned about supercooling with trees too. The Pine Barrens spans from Ocean County to Cape May County New Jersey and it’s a UN  recognized biosphere  because of the importance of its species like pine barrens tree frog. The Pine Barrens contains red cedar trees (which are actually juniper trees ) and the true cedars are Atlantic White Cedar. Atlantic White Cedar trees make good tassels for building road paveways and for making charcoal to help keep warm in winters. There are lots of “ghost forests” where the Atlantic White Cedars were chopped down for industrial purposes and it takes about 90 years for the trees to regrow back. Atlantic White Cedar trees are very important since they help with holding soil together and prevent bad floods. The Pine Barrens is just as large as Yosemite National Park and the Great Egg Harbor River in Egg Harbor City, NJ used to be as deep as the Thames River in England. The Pine Barrens has 17.7 trillion gallons of water underneath that feeds groundwater Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer for people in South Jersey.

    Before the Pine Barrens was a “no-place” and people didn’t think much of it because it’s sandy, acidic soils couldn’t grow anything but now it’s a “someplace” with books written about it and its biodiversity.

     

    #412015
    Janus
    Participant

    I feel like nature is beautiful and people are made from the elements of nature’s universe, beautiful, magikal and unique. Nature’s wonders can be seen in each one of us. Cellular respiration which allows people to break down food molecules for energy and photosynthesis done by plants are similar chemical reactions. There is a unity in life and we are all connected in this beautiful universe.

    For reference

    Cellular respiration

    C6H12O6 (glucose) + 6O2 —–> 6CO2 +6H20 + ATP (energy)

    Photosynthesis

    6CO2 + 6H2O +  sunlight energy  —-> C6H12O6 (glucose)

    #412039
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Opponents of incorporating LGBTQ inclusive curriculum mostly are concerned that it might impact other children or infringe on parents’ rights to raise their children as they see fit. Some families who are Christian oppose incorporating LGBTQ inclusive topics into schools.

    However, having sexual orientation and gender identity taught in schools can help promote more diversity in the environment. Students learning about LGBTQ people will develop awareness about them and learn skills to communicate in the world without prejudice and discrimination. There’s prejudice and discrimination with hate crimes against people of color and LGBTQ people in the world and education might bring awareness and allow people to build better relationships. Everyone deserves to be appreciated for who they are and LGBTQ people are no different. In some English writing classes, students are required to read the book “The Picture of Dorian Grey” about a man who sold his soul to not age. His pride over his appearance led him to lose his free will to the Devil. What’s not mentioned is that the author who wrote the novel was gay. The more people are aware of people’s differences, the less prejudice there will be. Ignorance often causes apathy and not caring and sometimes leads to fear over people who are different. Children need to learn that it’s okay to be different and be able to learn things that help them build diverse perspectives on the world. Having LGBTQ inclusive education helps LGBTQ people who will have safe spaces and will improve their mental health.

    Having age-appropriate LGBTQ education can help mitigate parents objections to things. Such as providing K-2 children activities like coloring. Coloring activities like tracing hands and coloring the hands different colors can help children learn about diversity because everyone has different shape hands and different colors. The students can take turns hanging up the hands and linking them together to show cooperation and teamwork. Since people of color are often marginalized and hurt, the hands activity might promote some sense of connection between people of different races and genders. The teacher can explain that everyone is different like the shape of their hands and each child could go around sharing something about them.

    Then in grades 3-5 children can start learning about gender identity with simple activities. They can have a crayon with their name and write three things they enjoy doing. Have the teacher encourage the students to write hobbies that they enjoy. Each person is unique. If a guy says he likes to cook then that’s great. Have teacher explain to them that cooking and building things are life skills not limited to gender. By fifth grade, they can join clubs and community events. Maybe have teachers hold a tea party and invite a guest speaker about gender identity to help students better understand different perspectives.

    Also, allowing students to get involved in the community allows them to see different people and builds connections.

    In middle school, sexual education along with sexual orientation is important to teach. Many people are reaching puberty and they might feel insecure or have emotional well-being issues. Providing mental health courses can help middle school people like courses in emotional first aid allowing students to talk about their feelings. Telling men it’s okay to cry, dispelling toxic masculinity. Having groups with lgbtq people hosting bake sales or having tea can help people realize that lgbtq people are just like everyone else who deserves to be supported. People during middle school will often feel self-conscious about their bodies as they undergo changes and it’s a good thing to talk about biological anatomy and incorporate transgender and nonbinary people in here.

    High school with SATs and college pressures can cause lots of mental health problems for people. Some people bullied in middle school might start developing depression and begin to socially isolate when going to high school. That’s why bullying, depression and racism are important topics to cover in high school. Many high school teens attempt suicide too. Having high school teens know there are safe spaces can save lives. That’s why it’s important that lgbtq people have mental health resources in high school because having safe spaces can help them with their mental health.

     

    Most colleges are diverse and teach various topics maybe with the exception of religious private colleges. But public colleges are quite diverse and having students learn about lgbtq people and gender identity in early grade school can help them when they meet diverse people in colleges..

    Even though lgbtq people might not have it easy in life, education brings awareness and understanding so there’s less hate and prejudice in life.

     

     

    #412043
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Hope that you have a great holiday season

    #412052
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    Good to read back from you! I will reply further tomorrow.

    anita

    #412072
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    Talking about snowflakes: they are falling down right now, as I am typing these words, going this way or that way with the wind, silently falling, and like you said, I can see (through the windows) that indeed, “No two snowflakes are alike“. Thank you for the science lesson on snowflakes and on the New Jersey Pine Barrens. I just looked at images of the pine barrens tree frogs, they are very tiny, very green and pretty! Sad to read about the “ghost forests“, where the Atlantic White Cedar trees were chopped down, and that without them, there is nothing to hold the soil together and prevent floods.

    Cellular respiration: C6H12O6 (glucose) + 6O2 —–> 6CO2 +6H20 + ATP (energy)

    Photosynthesis:  6CO2 + 6H2O +  sunlight energy  —-> C6H12O6 (glucose)“- the biochemical wonder of nature!

    The more people are aware of people’s differences, the less prejudice there will be… Having LGBTQ inclusive education helps LGBTQ people who will have safe spaces and will improve their mental health… in grades 3-5 children can start learning about gender identity with simple activities…  If a guy says he likes to cook then that’s great. Have teacher explain to them that cooking and building things are life skills not limited to gender“- excellent activity, thank you for explaining this because when many parents hear about LGBTQ education in elementary school, they think of (and disagree with) the teacher introducing the topic of sexuality to their young children, which, by your example, is not at all true!

    In middle school… Telling men it’s okay to cry, dispelling toxic masculinity. Having groups with lgbtq people hosting bake sales or having tea can help people realize that lgbtq people are just like everyone else who deserve to be supported“- I agree with and like what you wrote here: it is about exposing school aged children to people of different gender identities within a positive, friendly and accepting context.

    Bullying, depression and racism are important topics to cover in high school. Many high school teens attempt suicide too. Having high school teens know there are safe spaces (for them) can save lives“- these are indeed important topics which should be addressed responsibly in public (and private) schools and colleges.

    Dear Anita Hope that you have a great holiday season“- thank you! The snowflakes I told you about at the start of my post- they became very thick (and less reactive to wind).. until a moment ago, and now they are back to being thin (and more reactive to wind). I wonder why or how the change in size happened…

    I wish you a great holiday season as well!

    anita

    #412154
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    It’s been sunny and breezy in New Jersey with some rainy 🌧 days. I think that snows 🌨 are starting to come later in the year. Hope that you stay warm from the snowy weather.

    Snowflakes are often associated with star shapes because when the hydrogen and oxygen in water meet other water molecules, the molecular bonds that form align the molecules into a six-fold symmetry pattern.

    As snow ❄ falls, it interacts with water vapor in the atmosphere. At low humidity there is low water vapor in the air so the snowflakes are thinner and form a shape referred to as “plates.” At high humidity there is more water vapor so the snowflakes ❄ exhibit branching, the water molecules collect and bond together and the bond orientation creates straight lines (dendrites) that branch out in different directions causing the star-shaped patterns often associated with snowflakes ❄ Additionally at higher humidity, more water vapor can freeze to form snowflakes so the snowflakes are heavier.

     

    Article: “Why are all snowflakes unique?” (BBC 2022)

     

    #412157
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    The Pine Barrens provide economic and ecological value for people. Eastern white pine forests were once quite expansive stretching from Minnesota to Maine and southward to the mountains of Georgia. But few old eastern white pine trees remain today. Due to long periods of deforestation for building and construction, eastern white pine trees have been reduced in population. Furthermore, eastern white pine trees are valuable for their soft even grain wood making them great building materials. Some pine species provide pine-leaf oil that helps with inflammatory conditions like acne and provides antioxidant properties. The stone pine can be used as windbreaks to protect crops in fields from strong winds. Likewise the stone pine provides delicious pine nuts.

    The North American stone pine provides protection for watersheds storing water. Trees roots anchor soil allowing water to sink into the ground and flow replenishing our groundwater aquifers. The watersheds collect water and it can be purified for people to drink. From UN 2020 report , three quarters of the earth’s freshwater are from watersheds protected by trees so deforestation can exacerbate water quality conditions.

    Without trees to hold soil together there would be more soil erosion and less suitable soil to grow crops. Also, a lot of the rain water without trees to hold water the soils can become saturated with water and the overflow of water sometimes flows into oceans where it becomes inaccessible for drinking. If the sea level rises more due to climate change, pollution and deforestation there could be more flash floods..

    Trees are carbon sinks and store carbon from the atmosphere so when they are cut down they decay releasing CO2 into atmosphere.

    The Pine Barrens contains oak and pine trees. White oak trees have waterproof bark that can be used to make boats. Oak trees have acorns that can be ground into acorn flour to make different foods.

    Frogs are important parts of the ecosystem web. Tadpoles keep waterways clean by eating large amounts of algae. Frogs eat insects like mosquitoes that can transmit diseases like malaria. Frogs are important food sources for birds and fish. Frogs are important ecosystem indicators because their permeable skin absorbs toxins in their environment. Frogs have survived ice ages, asteroid collisions and other environmental disturbances since the 250 million years they’ve been on earth. Up to a third of the frog species on earth are threatened or on the brink of extinction due to pollution, habitat loss (ponds drying up), and deforestation and this is alarming.

    Therefore it is important to protect the forests and nature because of economic and ecological value.

    “Pine: Description, Conifer, Genus, Species,, Uses, Characteristics & Facts” Britannica 2022

    “Deforestation: facts, causes & effects” LiveScience 2022

    “Ready to Plant the Future? Here are 10 ways trees help the environment.” The Environmentor

    “Why frogs 🐸  are important ” savethefrogs

    2017

     

     

     

    #412158
    Janus
    Participant

    Having an lgbtq curriculum promotes diversity and safe spaces in school. People gain awareness of different sexualities and gender identities providing them wider perspectives of the world. Providing lgbtq history in social studies or maybe mentioning lgbtq people in mental health courses can improve the mental health of students. Mental health is just as important as physical health and there’s not much emotional first aid courses offered in grade schools. Providing students with emotional first aid courses such as learning healthy coping mechanisms can help reduce depression, anxiety and suicide rates. I think that people come from different walks of life but they share the same skin. We all want to be loved and appreciated. By allowing a community of lgbtq people to feel safe can build relationships and help people feel less fear and prejudice towards lgbtq people. Some states like California, New Jersey, Oregon and Nevada have passed laws requiring lgbtq curriculum in schools and not allowing discrimination based on sexualities, race, or gender.

    Scientists have discovered that about 10% of people who attend public schools identify within the lgbtq community, that is about 5 million students. If people can opt their children out of health and sexual education as well as lgbtq education, this does not promote acceptance and awareness of mental health and diversity. By acknowledging lgbtq people there can be more diversity and inclusion in the world.

    Even though we all come from different walks of life we are made of the same elements. Earth the body, fire the soul, water the blood and air the breath. We all are connected in the ecosystem and by lifting each other up we help encourage diversity and caring communities reducing hate and prejudice.

     

    “LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum as a path to better public health” ABA human rights 2022

     

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