Ethnography-workshop-1 by keralaguest


									Kimberly Sukhnandan

At approximately 7:15 in the morning I arrived at Richmond Hill High School once
again to start my second observation of the “business” class. As I approached the
classroom door I noticed that a few student were standing outside. Unlike the first
time, this time the teacher was running late. Outside the classroom door was the
CEO and Vice Presidents of the departments within the company. Now that the
students have become familiar with me coming to their classroom they didn’t feel
fearful when approaching me.

Monica Suarez, the Vice President of Human Resources (Orienting information) said:
“Good morning”

I responded: “Good morning. Where’s the rest of the class?”

Monica: “Actually, today some students are out doing a shadow-ship.”

I responded: “Shadow-ship?”

Monica: “ Yeah, since we all are guaranteed an internship they are in the shadow of
someone in the job they will be interning for in the summer. It’s a way, like, they get
to know what is expected of them.”

I responded: “Sounds interesting. Are you excited?”

(Story) Monica: “Ah….sort of. My entire summer vacation I’ll be working instead of
hanging out with my friends. Oh well at least I’ll be making money.”

The teacher then appeared. Mr. McCormack was dressed rather casual with slacks
and a button up. He seemed like a friendly teacher as he approached us all with a
smile. The rest of the students where dressed in professional attire with they
nametags attached, the gentlemen in a dark wash suit and ladies in a skirt/slacks
and a button up shirt. As we entered the class the students lined up to sign the
timesheet. I took a seat anywhere because only 14 students were present today. I
asked if it was acceptable to conduct an interview with 4 students while the class
was in session. Mr. McCormack had no objections, as he was glad for this class to be
apart of my research experiment.

Interview 1: Shyamodeen Nordeem (Just a few questions and answers)

- How did you learn about this program in your school?

“It was during towards the completion of my freshman year here and students from
the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism were recruiting students to join the
academy. They were very persuasive but what caught me attention was that it
provided us with internships. I wasn’t trying to spend 5 years in high school, I just
wanted to do my thing and get out of here.”

- What is your best experience in this academy?
“Honestly every experience is the best. This is what sets us apart from everyone else
in school. Teachers and even our peers look up to us and have the utmost respect
for us and what we do. Not to sound cocky but were well know throughout the school
even with 4,000 other students. They mostly recognize us by what we wear because
we are constantly dressed in business attire.”

- If you were able to change one thing about your experience, what would it be?

“That’s a tough question. The class has gotten stressful and overwhelming at times
but I wouldn’t change anything. If I did it would probably be starting the program
since freshman year. The people in this class you grow up with for three years and
they become your family. It made college worthwhile.”

Interview 2: Monica Suarez (Just a few questions and answers)

- What position do you hold in this business?

“Currently I am the Vice President of Human Resources and I basically handle
everything going on with the employees and making sure they are content with the
company.” (Typology)

- How does it feel having authority over your fellow peers?

“At first I was like yes, I get to tell them what to do and grade them but it’s not like
that. Surprisingly everyone has matured and they take on their position in the
company very importantly. Once we step through those doors we separate friendship
from business because in the real world that is reality. There has been tension
between a few employees because of this situation, however, we work to resolve it
and at the end of the day were practically family.”

- Would you recommend Virtual Enterprise?

“ From my opinion, Virtual Enterprise has opened my eyes to prepare me for college
and the real world. I enjoyed being in this class because it gives me various
opportunities. The perception that most people have is that they have to be a
business major but that’s not the case. We have students in here that would like to
become doctors and some that hate business. This program helps students mature
and provides us with openings with internships, resume writing, etiquette classes,
and professionalism. It’s basically everything you can think of for every different
major and/or job.”

Interview #3: Amanda Kewal

- Was it your choice to be in Sales and Marketing?

“ NO! I absolutely hated it at first because it is so much work. I’m probably one of
the view in the class that hates doing work and I complain often but I’m in High
School you can’t blame me. I was actually given this position. We usually apply for a
position but this was the one that the teacher thought I fit perfectly in. Although I
hate it, I wouldn’t change the experience.”
- Do you like having to grow up before your friends do by wearing business attire
and carrying yourself a certain way?

“ We actually get dressed in business attire once a week, unless the teacher tells us
otherwise. We’ve been dressing in business attire everyday lately because the
Director of the National Academy Foundation, Regina Flannery is going to be making
a surprise visit and she funds our program.”

- What project are you working on right now?

“Every project we have we work collaboratively and it takes a group effort. Right now
were working on the Business Plan and it is a big competition for Virtual Enterprise
firms. Usually the CEO and Vice Presidents present the information to the board but
the entire class works together to put it together. The Business Plan is actually how
we construct our business, what our intentions are and our future goal.”

Interview #4: Safiyyah Abdullah (A few questions and answers)

- How has this class helped you outside of school?

“From being in Editorial and Design I think I have found what I love to do the most. I
am actually considering becoming a computer major because I’m quite experience
and a natural at using Microsoft Word and Photoshop. I actually had the opportunity
of becoming certified in Microsoft through this program. Adding that to my resume
has made a huge impact because when I am applying to jobs I stand out from other
applicants. “

- Does being in this program reach your expectations?

“I exceeds my expectations because I never thought it would have such an impact
on my life. Honestly, I just joined the program sophomore year because they had a
lot of trips to go on and I hated being in school. Then half way throughout the
semester I wanted to drop the course because I thought it was too much work.
Looking back on my experience and thinking about the future months I have gained
a lot of knowledge and matured as a person.”

- Do you see a difference in the way you set your priorities as appose to your

“ Yeah. My friends and other students act so immature and they major concern is
looking cute. I mean I don’t totally act like an adult but I have set my priorities
straight. I have an internship from Virtual Enterprise, which I work during the school
year. I’m looking ahead at college and I want that experience to go as smooth as
possible and I think I am being well trained for that.”

2. Problem/Setbacks:

I usually visit the class on Friday’s but since there was no school on Friday I had

to visit the class on Tuesday when most students were absent, out on a field trip.
This time I decided to take in a tape recorder to only record what the students said
during the interview. It wasn’t as successful in the beginning because I wasn’t sure
how to use it but one of the students helped me out. I was also not able to have a
private interview with the student because it was an open area with the teacher and
fellow peers walking around.

3. Patterns, Insights and Breakthroughs:

Being that it was my second observation and only a few students were in class I
noticed few things. I honestly, haven’t heard one complain from any student I have
spoken to or from my observations. One thing that is important to them is each
other and they consider one another “family.” Does being with the same people for
three long years impact the effect the class has on them? Students also carried
themselves in such a professional manner; the ideals taught to them have stuck with
them throughout their three years within the program. One aspect brought up over
and over again in the interview was the idea of “internships.” This has become an
important aspect in their growth and maturity.
Christina Bellanie

Eng 110

November 30, 2010

My research question: How do college students' experiences with and
perceptions of technology influence how they describe their educational

                                  Conceptual Memo #2


I observed at the Rosenthal Library of Queens College at 3:00pm. As I began my
observation, I sat in one of the green couch chairs in the middle of the big tan carpeted
room. The room was well lit, with faded white colored walls filled with black and white
pictures. This time around, there was a little more noise but still quiet enough to
concentrate, and a fewer amount of people. To the left of me were the tables, straight
ahead were the small, individual cubicles and to the right were the individual computer
cubicles. (Description) There were many people walking through from the classrooms,
bathrooms entrance and elevators. This time I decided to move around to different parts
of the library to get up-close observations.

        Straight ahead I noticed a Caucasian male, dark hair, wearing a blue sweatshirt
that was wearing headphones over his ears and studying with his notebook in his hands.
A blonde haired female walks over and sits next to him. She appears to be his girlfriend
because they are very close to one another and he kissed her on the forehead. She takes
out her Mac laptop and opens Facebook, while her blackberry sits beside her laptop
on the desk. (Negative Typologies, Facebook, laptop, blackberry) I also noticed a
white Caucasian male sitting alone at one of the tables to the left of me with his
MacBook open but he got distracted from a group of friends who came over to talk. One
of the students sat on top of the table with a cell phone in his hand texting.

        I noticed one girl particularly who was very focused on her work at a computer
cubicle. She was a white Caucasian female wearing a jean shirt with her black curly hair
up in a bun. She had a bunch of books open on the desk with a piece of loose-leaf with
writing on it. On the computer, she had Word Document opened and was copying from
the piece of loose-leaf, along with reading her open textbook to the left of her. The only
time she used the Internet was when she opened Wikipedia up to look up the definition of
a word and other information based on what she was writing about. (Positive Typologies
Word document, Wikipedia) Other than that, she did not open up another tab on
the computer nor get distracted by any social networks. (Theory) She was still there
when I left an hour later. Next to her was an Indian male student looking up information
on educational websites for his essay.
               Another Asian male wearing a black sweater was studying the tables. He
was alone and he had papers and books sprawled out across the table in front of him. He
put aside his work and picked up his blackberry. He started texting and laughing. He put
it back down, re-arranged his papers, was about to start reading again but got distracted
and picked his phone back up to text.

                I also noticed little things while sitting in the library like how two
students; one female and the other male were sitting in individual cubicles both on their
cell phones. The female was talking on hers and the male was sitting back, relaxing and
texting on his. (Term – texting)

               I moved over to sitting at one of the tables by myself and observed the
students closer to me. At the table in front of me, I observed two male students studying
for math together. One was Caucasian wearing a white t-shirt and the other was an Asian
male wearing a dark grey sweatshirt. The Caucasian male was teaching the Asian male
step-by-step instructions on how to complete certain math problems. The Asian male
asked him questions when he didn’t understand and the Caucasian male would re-explain
all the steps.

               Everyone around me seemed very focused on his or her work. This time
observing I didn’t notice anybody who was working on a computer switch to a social
network. Everyone was religiously working on educational schoolwork.

               I moved again to sit next to an Indian male at the individual cubicle. His
name was Emran and he was wearing a green and black sweater and blue jeans. I noticed
he also, had big black earphones over his ears. He was reading a Communication in
History textbook. (Analytic point and orienting info) I told him I was doing an English
ethnographic project and asked if I could ask him some questions. The conversation went
like this:

       Me: “Hello. What are you working on today in the library?”

     Emran: “I am reading for my Media Studies class, a textbook called
Communication in History textbook.”

       Me: “Do you have homework in it or are you studying for a test?”

       Emran: “I’m just reading and taking notes in my notebook.”

       Me: “Oh okay, I see. Do you usually come to the library to do your work?”

      Emran: “Yes, I have a break from 12pm to 5pm on Tuesdays so, I come here,
borrow textbooks because I don’t buy them, and do whatever work I need to do.

       Me: Oh that sounds like a good plan. The library is a really quiet place to
concentrate. Do you ever use the computers?”
        Emran: “Yes, it is. No, I do not. I usually do any work that involves the computer
at home on my laptop so I have time to revise and look up on the Internet at my own
leisure. “

       Me: “I definitely understand. Well I must go now, but thank you for your time.”

While I was observing Emran, I noticed he kept checking his IPhone that was in his
pocket while reading. After I talked with Emran, I left the library at 4:00pm.


I had no problems while I observed for the second time in the Rosenthal Library. I
showed up on time and I was able to actually interact with a student. Next time, I’m
going to try and interact with a few more students, especially someone who is using a
computer/laptop so I can talk about how they use technology. I didn’t use a tape recorder
because I don’t seem to need one, I am able to interact and get down everything someone
has to say during our conversation. I am going to bring one with me for the next time
though. While I am in the library, things are moving very slow so I am able to jot down
everything possible.


Looking at both my observations, I found very different things. The first observation I
noticed a lot of students getting distracted by social networks while they were doing their
schoolwork meanwhile, on this second observation I found that students were very
focused and barely got distracted at all. I know that I’m not looking for a specific answer
to my research question so I’m open to whatever I observe. I want to narrow down on my
next observation to someone using both technology and educational books and websites.
I do notice that everywhere on campus, not only the library, students are carrying some
sort of technology, whether it’s a cell phone, laptop or IPod.
Zachary Schlessel
English 110
Professor Zino

Conceptual Memo #2


English class, same as for last memo and the setting of the room is the same.

The bell rings and walk into the room. At the desk the teacher is sitting talking to
a boy in a light blue shirt sitting on one of the desks. As the class comes in starts
to play a movie based on the book/play they were reading, “The Crucible”. When
goes to turn off the lights, the light switch by the door, she tells me how since
showed this in previous years she is gonna use scene selection to skip over the
nudity part. As the movie begins, a girl in a black skirt and gray and white lined
sweatshirt asks to go to the nurse asking while already starting to stand up, “Can
I go to the nurse?” Teacher responds “Yes, but need to come back with note
from nurse saying you were there!” As the girl is walking towards the door, her
two friends ask her to bring back lollipops. The teacher thought they were asking
this girl to bring back drinks as are saying different flavors/colors so says “Don‟t
bring back any drinks!” The girls go on and teacher realizes that not talking about
drinks and says “No bringing back any lollipops for them”. As the movie is playing
the teacher looks around the room doing the attendance on a laptop. When gets
to a certain scene the teacher stands up and uses the remote to use scene
selection to skip over a certain scene she doesn‟t want the kids to be seeing, the
nude scene. Theres a soft knock at the door and a girl in a black jacket nods at
teacher pointing at door and teacher nods back to go open it. It is the girl who
went to the nurse, who walks in and gives a white small piece of paper proving to
the teacher she was actually at the nurse. Girl in purple shirt calls out “why are
the women all wearing white covering/hats on their head?” Teacher explains
“they are puritans and thats how they dress”. Girl in front asks “when is this
movie from?” Teacher responds “early ninety‟s”. Another girl responds that
weren‟t born yet then. Teacher takes the box of the movie, looking for the date of
when was made and says its from 1996. A scene of an old woman comes on
with really bad teeth and looks kind of scary, a girl in orange/brownish boots and
blue and white shirt turns her face covering eyes because scared. Girl in purple
shirt and guy in red shirt in the back are both texting. This girl asks the guy where
her books are since when left for a second before class he moved it. He points
saying that it is in the back desk and in the front pointing to where it is, but she
doesn‟t believe him. Boy with orange hair hears them talking so turns head to the
girl in the purple shirt. as his head is turned and talking, the teacher realizes not
paying attention ands is talking so tells him “Shh, pay attention” in a soft tone.
Hear a noise coming from the hall of girls talking, so teacher gets up and opens
the door looking into the hall, and she says to whoever was in the hall “It is a
problem that can hear your voices over the movie we are watching”. Shuts the
door and the girls got the point and didn‟t hear a noise from them for rest of
class. As walking back to the teacher‟s desk, the teacher realizes that three girls
are whispering amongst themselves so is curious and asks “What are you
whispering about?” One of the girl says “the guy looks really dark, but suppose to
be a white character”. The teacher looks closely at the movie and realizes are
correct. Boy in red shirt calls out if anyone saw shrek. The class responds yea.
He says “doesn‟t that actor over there (pointing at the screen) look like the prince
umm whats his name?” the class gives guess for the name and figure it out and
the observe the actor and realize does look similar. a scene comes on with a
black woman being whipped, this scare that girl again making her cover her face
and look away.The boy in the red is told the class is almost over so gets up and
goes to the front of the room to get a pink notebook hat was in between a pile of
books. the teacher sees this and asks “is that yours?” He says “No, its hers”,
pointing to the girl in the purple shirt. Girl in black jacket tells teacher there is two
minutes left. Someone goes to turn on lights. Teacher says “this is a good spot to
stop at and continue next time.” Boy in the red asks “can we leave now?” Before
teacher answers the bell rings and everyone leaves.

Math Class same one as last memo so setting is the same :

Bell rings and the students start to walk in and find seats. Teacher goes “Good
afternoon everybody!” Everyone in the class responds in unison “Good
Afternoon!” As about to start the lesson, girl wearing a blue and gray shirt asks
the girl next to her what is the joke in the aim? which says: Sir(Avraham‟s only
son)‟s method for approx roots. On another spot on the board it said newton‟s
rule. The friend explains to her it and teacher goes “umm that was probably the
longest it ever took someone to get the joke”, saying it in a happy voice while
smiling. The girl in a green, white, and yellow big striped jacket says “and she
thought she was smart” laughing. Teacher starts to explain a certain question on
the board and realizes that two girls are talking to each other, so teacher says
“Not gonna repeat this stuff for you girls, na nan na na na”, making fun of them.
Girls realize to sop talking and teacher continues with the problem. Hear an “Oh
my gosh” scream from the hall and some of the kids in the class turn towards the
door laughing. Teacher drams a graph on the board and asks the class what is
the equation, y= what? Four out of fourteen students raise their hand. Teacher
calls on girl in blondish/brownish hair. she gives an answer, is correct and
whisper “ooo that is smart”. Move on to next part question. Calls on rebecca
while looking at someone else. Rebecca looks around room, confused, if theres
another rebecca in the room. asks if talking about her and gives answer. She
asks who he was looking at, but teacher never responds. After a boy and girl
answer another question, teacher responds that was very good. Teacher asks
“does everyone understand what we did so far?” Class answers “yes!” Teacher
asks “Does anyone want to take a wild guess as to the next step to the
problem?” The class is hesitant to raise their hands, but a couple of students
raise their hand. Teacher calls on one of them and was correct. Teacher goes on
with the problem and announces to the class will need a calculator for rest of
problem. If calculator wasn‟t already on the desk the student took it out and put it
on the desk. Boy sitting in front of me asks if i want to look on when uses the
calculator, so I move my desk up to b on the side of him. Teacher calls on girl for
an answer for an equation. The girl is slow answering so boy calls out continuing
the equation at same time, which makes it seem like both are answering at same
time, sounds pretty funny/weird. Teacher starts to tell a made up story using a
girl‟s name in the class to explain what is going on. Tells them how to use the
calculator for the problem. Calls on boy in blue shirt and glasses. Tells him good
job and asks the class id everyone knows what is going on. Girl in the colored
striped coat asks about a certain case and teacher responds to that. While
plugging in certain numbers and equations for the problem, the teacher asked if
“happy with that” regarding the answers were getting. The class answers yup,
while one boy in a white sweatshirt says “only if you‟re happy”. Teacher explains
a couple of more problems and how to use the calculator, step by step, to figure
out the answer to the problems. There were two time that the class started
murmuring so the teacher stopped teaching and banged a long ruler on a metal
cabinet a couple of times to get quiet. This ruler wasn‟t used to hit the kids it was
used to help set up the graph on the board. While working on a problem together,
almost all the students get the same value while one girl got a value of 10 which
was wrong, so teacher went over to help her saying that it was impossible to get
that. The teacher presses certain buttons but still get 10. Teacher continues with
the lesson of how to use the calculator and solve the problem, the girl speaks up
showing somehow got the right answer now without changing how did it. Teacher
says “gonna do one more question, kapish?” Moves on doing the next problem
and rebecca gives the answer. Boy in blue shirt raises hand and says after being
called on “I don‟t get how we got that answer”. Teacher responds “we didn‟t get
it, rebecca did”. Teacher then explains to the kid how got it and he says he
understands. The bell rings, teacher goes “have a good day everybody, please
hand in your homework as you leave.” Boy in white is walking up to give teacher
the homework and everyone gives this boy their handworks to hand in. Teacher
asks when students are already leaving “was everyone here?”

On November 23rd, I observed the senior girls‟ navi (prophets) class. When got
to the classroom the door was locked and the girls were either standing or sitting,
waiting for the teacher. The teacher came to the room two minutes after the bell
rang. She decided that the class was gonna be taught in the student lounge
instead of the real classroom since was locked, even though the key to the room
was on a key chain around her neck. The student lounge has two white walls,
one orange yellow wall and the other blue. There are eight black and white
pictures of New York City on blue wall, one big picture of the city skyline, and one
all black and white of times square and colored taxis. There were several orange
and red chairs scattered around the room as well as blue bean bags. The floor is
a boxed floor covered by several carpets. In one corner there is a flatscreen
television hooked up with an xbox. In the middle of the room there is a fuze-ball
table with red and white players. There is a clock on the blue wall. There are
twelve students, all girls, in this class. One girl is on the floor, seven are on
regular chairs, and four are sitting on the blue bean bags. They are sitting in a
circle, relaxed, with feet up. Teacher, sitting on a regular chair, has long brown
hair with thick black headband, skinny, and is wearing a green long puffy sleeve
shirt and black skirt. A girl is eating doritos and one of the girls tell her “you‟re not
allowed to eat in here”. Girl responds by saying “oh, I didn‟t know that” as she
puts the doritos away.
 Teacher begins to a read a story that she received as an email. It is about the
relationship between a husband and wife, as the topic being discussed is being a
good wife, what is expected of you religiously and secularly, as well as how the
husband should realize these things and show appreciation. In the middle of the
teacher talking a girl out of no where says “you know what would be cool? If they
paint the outside of the wall” regarding to the setting of the student lounge. The
teacher moves on after quieting the class. A girl walks in very late to class and
goes “whoa this is sooo cool!” Teacher tells her to come sit down quietly since in
middle of the story. While reading the story, the teacher keeps looking up and
down from the papers that have the story on them. She reads the story with
several hand gestures. After a few times of looking up she realizes there are
some girls who are constantly bbming or using their blackberries. She goes “girls,
please stop with your blackberries, its very rude” in a soft voice, but can tell that it
is annoying. The girls cut down on their blackberry usage. A girl says to the
teacher “sorry mrs. gerstly, I can‟y sit here anymore, can I leave? The walls are
bothering me”. The teacher with a smile is like ok if you really want o you can
leave, so the girl left. Less than a minute later there is a knock at the door. Boys
come in and make an announcement regarding going to their basketball game,
they want fans, telling them where, when, and against who. At the end of the
story everyone said “aww” all at once, while some were adding how amazing or
touchy that was. A bunch of boys walk in and want to play x-box, but the teacher
makes them leave. She says “there is a class going on” They say “oh sorry we
didn‟t know” and decide to leave respectfully.
The bell rings everyone rushes out, while one girl says “kay lets bounce”

Another class observed on November 23rd was a tenth grade european history
class. The class was in a small classroom which had a blackboard in the back of
the room, a smart board system, four large windows on one side of the room, a
radiator*which is making a lot of noise), two file cabinets, Israel posters around
the room, big Israeli flag above the smart board, teachers desk in back of room
and twenty three desks all attached to blue chairs with a metal tray on the
bottom. There are seven students made up of two boys and five girls. Three of
them are using Mac laptops. Teacher is tall and thin, has long brow hair, and
wearing a long sleeve button down light blue shirt, grey skirt, black bots, red
glasses. One specific girl has long blonde hair in ponytail, wearing a white long
sleeve button down shirt with a collar, a short black skirt, and uggs. (Description)
She has a blackberry with a green case on it on her lap and is typing on her
white Mac computer. She takes feet and lifts both on to chair sitting sideways on
her feet. She answered several questions brought up including one that she
answered “the black death”.
Teacher walks up and down aisles, constantly moving and constantly using hand
gestures, as she speaks enthusiastically reading off her notes that are shown up
on the projection of smart board the students are copying in down or from adding
material that isn‟t on the projection that only a couple of students were able to
catch and write down. Teacher says to a student “you need to open your
notebook”. Teacher starts talking about Michelangelo, the Renaissance, and
Raphael. Teacher asks for what occurred and opinions or feeling regarding what
was done by theses people and in that period of time. Boy gets up and moves to
another seat next to the other boy in the class and starts to talk to him. Teacher
shushes them telling them to be quiet please. While teacher is teaching the
material, students keep looking up and down and typing or writing the slide that is
on the smart board. If don‟t understand anything or want to add something are
able to by just raising the hand and being called on. Two students realize that
teacher made a mistake on smart board so tell her how to fix it. One student is
not writing so the teacher says “you know that pen works”, not knowing if actually
works or not. Student says that it doesn‟t actually work and he proves doesn‟t
work by scribbling with it and showed her that it did not work. Teacher asks the
class “does anyone have a pen to lend Ben?‟ Someone gave him a pen. The
teacher changes the slide and says “this is one of my favorite quotes…the ends
justify the means”. She points to me and says how I was a former student and
introduces me to the class saying that I am doing some research work for a class
in Queens college. She says that I remember her teaching this. Teacher assigns
the homework and says homework numbers 21, 22 , and 23 are due after
thanksgiving break. Starts to talk about homework in depth by explaining: “who is
your renaissance man? Who is a role model to you? Who do you want to
emulate?”After discussing the homework, teacher introduces aim for the next
class…”moving on up..the renaissance move north”. The bell rings everyone
packs up, puts laptop and notebook in backpack and puts bags on backs and

I sat in again on the tenth grade european history class on tuesday november
30th. It is the same room where the class was when did the first observing.
However, since the class is taking a test the make up of the desks is changed a
lil bit. The room since is a test is quiet and for some reason is actually pretty
chilly. There are five rows of chairs. The first row has three desks and two girls,
one in the first seat and one in the last seat. Second row has four chairs and one
girl is sitting in the first seat. The third row has five chairs and two boys sitting
there, one in the second seat and one in the fourth seat. The fourth row has four
desks, but no one is sitting in that row. The fifth row has three chairs, two girls
who are sitting in the first two seats. Going by rows down the first girl keeps
twirling her hair with her finger, keeps looking up at clock squinting to check the
time, and using a pen, writing at a fast pace. The second girl asks 3 questions
throughout the test. The third girl has head tilted on desk and looks back and
forth between her pages. The first boy is slouched in his chair and seems to be
turning the pages of the test relatively quickly. The second boy has his head on
desk and ankles crossed. The fourth girl has her legs crossed, slightly slouched
in chair, and head is to the side. The fifth girl leaning back puts her hair in a
ponytail and then twirls it, has her legs crossed, and her elbow on desk and hand
on head. The teacher is wearing a black sweater and a blue and black pencil
skirt that hits the knees
As the bell rings everyone takes their respective seats. Once find their seats and
aren‟t sitting right next to each other, that is aren‟t on top of each other, the
teacher hands out test and scantron. After everyone gets the test and scantron,
the test has begun and can start doing the questions. The teacher then takes a
pile of lined paper and distributes it out, giving at least two pieces of paper per
person in order to be able to write a lot for the essay or short answer. The
teacher then takes a seat by her desk. She keeps an eye on the class to see if
anyone is cheating or needs help, while going through her own belongings,
sifting through papers. Girl raises her hand signaling that needs some sort of
help. The teacher walks over and whispering between each other answers
whatever question the girl had. Teacher takes sit by computer that is attached to
the smart board. Another girl raised her hand signaling that didn‟t understand
something or needed help. The teacher gets up from the chair and goes over and
whispers something to her, so that don‟t disturb the other students. While helping
the girl, one of the boys realizes has a question so raises is hand waiting for the
teacher to finish helping the girl. Once finishes helping the girl, the girl says thank
you and the teacher goes to help the boy. The teacher is pacing back and forth
around the room keeping an eye out for cheating and stopping by students with
their hands up trying to help them out. While pacing back and forth around the
room, the teacher comes across a book. She lifts up the book and starts looking
through it. She answers another girl‟s question then goes back to her desk. One
of the two boys there says “I‟m done!” Teacher responds “do you want to go over
it?” Boy shakes his head and says “no”. Teacher says in response to the shaking
head, “are you sure?” Boy says “yea, I won„t change anything”. Teacher then
looks at watch and asks the other students what time the class is over at. One of
the girls answer “50”. Teacher tells the boy realizing have several more minutes
left “look over your essay and make sure you don‟t leave anything out”. Two min
after that the boy hands in the test. Teacher makes sure doesn‟ need to look it
over and has done everything asking “you wrote an intro, conclusion, and your
name?” Boy responds “yes”. Now that the boy is now done looking test over, the
teacher takes his test, papers, and scantron and puts them into different piles on
her desk. One of the girls asks “can I have another piece of paper” Teacher says
“yes, of course, more were this came from” and walks over to students desk and
gives lined paper to her. The boy who was done with his test asks to leave.
Teacher seems surprised by the rush to leave asks, “where do you need to go?”.
Boy answers her “the lunchroom to study for a test”. Teacher lets him leave but
says as leaving “don‟t hang out in the halls”. Teacher comes to me and starts
talking to me and saying that I wrote a lot for a class that is taking a test. Then
asks me what class it is for and says she is surprised that it is for an English
class. Then she starts talking to me about what good teachers should take for a
history class. A girl raises her hand so she walks away and goes to the girl. Bell
rings! Teacher goes “ ok everyone! That was the bell hand in your tests”.
Everyone hands it in except one girl, she stays with the teacher. The teacher and
the girl student are the last to leave and the teacher locks door. She takes the
other student upstairs because she said she has un-timed testing and the room
for that is upstairs.

Israel night

On thursday night, November 18th, I went to my old school to observe Israel
Night for boys. “Israel Night” is a program held at one of the yeshivas in the
community and boys from different schools go to that chosen school. There they
listen to speakers representing certain yeshivas or an army program in israel,
since the schools are presently in try to influence the graduates to go for at least
a year to Israel in order to gain a bigger insight into the religion and the love for
the land of Israel. Luckily this year the program was at my old school, so it would
be easier for me to get around. When I got to the school, which is a long, three
leveled, old looking brown building with several windows around the building, the
program wasn‟t starting yet but were getting ready. In the front there is a grass
area, which is divided in half by a cement walkway to the front door. In the back
there is a parking lot, but since it is a program for several schools and a few
hundred boys came with their parents, the parking lot was full of cars, so cars
were parked all around the school on the streets. I got to the school at around
715 ad as walked in there were already a bunch of kids and their parents there.
The program was planned to start at 730. When walked through front door and
walked straight up about 10 steps there was a long table with a blue tablecloth on
it. On the tables were sheets and green booklets for the boys to get. In the
booklet it explained the schedule for the program. At 730, the high schools had
meetings in reserved rooms in which one of the rabbis of the school would speak
about Israel and the importance it is, giving a dvar torah and then wishing luck to
everyone to pic the right yeshiva, which can change your life. The high school
meetings were in the auditorium, lunchroom, gym, a new classroom 15a, and the
beis medrash. After a half an hour of that, the boys with their family member with
them are then suppose to go to certain classrooms of their choice to listen on to
yeshivas that are interested in. There would be three half an hour timings for
those sit-ons. After all three, everyone would come together for a closing
statement in the auditorium followed by the evening prayer, then are free to do
whatever want to do. As it was getting closer to 730, more and more people were
coming in taking the booklets and going to their respected rooms. If needed help
finding the room, there were girls wearing red t-shirts representing the school of
choice who would point them in the direction or walk them to the room needed.
At 730, there was an announcement on the loudspeaker by one of the rabbis of
my high school, saying that should go to the respected rooms needed so can
start. So everyone started going to the rooms were their school was speaking. I
sat in on the one were the students from my high school were meeting for only
ten minutes, since was done giving a speech about Israel and was trying to help
explain the different types of yeshivas/schools here tonight that should try out,
depending on what looking for.
I decided to go to the top floor to observe the yeshiva which I attended last year
in Israel. When was walking through the halls saw that there were posters hung
up of pictures of the yeshivas there, signs with the names of the schools, etc. so
that it would be easier to find the yeshiva looking for to sit on. The yeshiva
observed had a poster on a stand showing what the school looks like, kids
learning, and had the yeshiva‟s name on it. I walked into the room, and there
were about thirty desks attached to chairs facing the front of the room where the
teachers desk was. On the teachers desk there was a shopping bag, next to
folders and sheets and a college student was putting sheets into the folder and
piling them up. Some of the desks already had those folders on them so when
the people come in can take one and look through it. It had a cd, a schedule of
what the yeshiva does on a daily basis, and a booklet of important information.
As walked into the room, there were two kids there, one with their dad only and
one with both parents. The father of the boy sitting in the first row against the
wall, asked “Are you the rabbi?” I was pretty shocked that he asked me that, but I
was wearing fancy clothes so I guess that is why though that. I explained to him
“No, I am not the rabbi. I went to this yeshiva last year, I just came in to visit my
rabbis and observe the program.” He goes “ooo, so maybe you can help us out
with certain questions since were a student there”. I was like “yea sure, why not”.
He starts first by introducing himself, shake hands, and asks where I‟m at now for
college. I tell him queens, so he asks regarding certain schools how many credits
get for the year in Israel. I tell him “I‟m not sure about all, but know maryland
doesn‟t take any, queens does 18 credits, and binghamton does 32 credits.” I
said those colleges since those are the schools his son is interested in going to
after the year. He then asks me questions regarding the location of the yeshiva,
how long the trip is from Jerusalem, and how get there. I answered these
questions, but as answered how to get there he was bothered by the fact said
buses, I guess since doesn‟t think is safe as learn later on. He asks me about the
daily schedule, breaks, what do for shabboses, if miss a shiur, what activities do
besides learning, about the trips and about the rabbeim. While I am answering
the questions, the two rabbis representing the yeshiva come to the room, one
saying to me “oooo zach trying to help out the yeshiva, helping with recruiting?” I
go “yea, trying to give something back to the yeshiva, that is the least I can do”.
The rabbis, who are wearing suits and ties, tell the parents that they are early for
the meetings with the yeshiva representers and should be by their high school
meeting room. The parents explain that are in a rush to go somewhere so
wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. Rabbi with blond/brownish hair
tells them fine we‟ll make this fast telling them to sit down. He takes a seat facing
them. Starts to give a five minute talk about the yeshiva, the goal of the yeshiva,
what goes on, what is expected, etc. Opens up for questions so the parents ask
similar questions that asked me and others like regard to security, if yeshiva is
open on the holidays or are the kicked out, how do they deal with students that
get sick, are homesick, or have an issue. The rabbi answers them and in the end
the parents ask about the yeshiva putting them up because sounds really
amazing and want to go there too. The parents and the two boys there have to
leave so get up and say “thank you sounds really great”. One of the rabbis gives
his business card to a father who wants to email him certain questions. As
leaving the second rabbi asks the boys to write their names, number, and email
so that can get in touch with them. There is an announcement on the
loudspeaker that should start getting into the yeshiva rooms to sit on and listen to
the representers. More and more people come in finding their seats and the boys
sign in on the sign i sheet. Now that the room is full, the rabbi gives the same
speech over again but makes it longer this time and then opens for questions.
This occurs another two times after that until the time to meet in the auditorium.
On the weekend afterwards,


I didn‟t really have any problems or setbacks. I was able to get easy access to
observe the classes and were on time. Perhaps maybe the only problem had
was for the english class, the teacher told me were suppose to have a test that
period but was switched and are now watching a movie. Instead of being able to
observe how a class was ran as teacher teaching the material using the book
and notes instead of a movie, but perhaps was good since showed different style
of teaching. For next time will ask beforehand what will be doing during that
period so I will know whether to observe that specific class or not. I wasn‟t able to
do a recording for the classes as wherever I would put the recorder, not all the
conversations would be heard. I think when do interviews will have a recorder
with me, so it will be easier to go back and listen in to what the people said.

Patterns, Insights, Breakthroughs:
After observing several classes in my high school and observing the “Israel
Night” program I realized several things about my school. First off, sometimes
yeshiva day schools don‟t push both secular studies and religious studies, but my
high school does as it has classes in Jewish studies as well as secular studies of
english, history, math, and science. By attending this school, are getting the best
of both worlds as are being taught the secular stuff in order to go onto college,
live a secular life, and get a job, as well as being attached to the religion,
knowing about it, the history, the laws have to follow etc. The school tries to push
students to get good grades, doing the best can do in order to get into the best
possible college by making sure they understand before moving on or helping out
afterwards. In addition for pushing to go to college, the school tries to influence
the students, both girls and boys, to go to Israel for the year. While I was walking
the halls to the next class, several students and teachers were asking about
Israel, yeshiva, etc and where are now for college and how thats going. It
seemed that the teachers were very warm in regard to the interactions with the
kids, never screaming at he students even if were talking. Rather would use
different techniques by either stopping the lesson, telling them to be quiet, saying
a joke to infer to be quiet, or make a noise. The teachers made the class
enjoyable in own specific style, as there was the math teacher making jokes and
using weird language, or the english teacher showing a movie of the book/play in
order for the students to better understand. The students seemed to know that
the teachers are above them by calling them Rabbi, Mr. or Mrs. followed by the
last name. There seemed to be the rules that should be quiet during class except
when called on and should listen to what the teacher or student says without
making any mean comment because can be helpful. After observing the classes I
realized there was/is big emphasis on technology as well. The students are
texting on their phones, using their blackberries, or typing and looking up stuff on
their computers. As well, the teachers are using laptops to do attendance, using
smart board to teach their class, and have certain programs online that are useful
for the students. as there was texting, computer usage by the students and there
were technology used by the teachers with the computer and smart board.
Kevin Hiralal                                                              11/30/10
Professor Zino                                                             English 110
                                  Conceptual Memo #2

1. This time around during my observation at the daycare, the three kids, John, Joy, and

Mathew, were seated in the living room upon arrival. They were all watching "The

Wiggles" when I entered and their eyes were staring off in the TV. John has told me that

"We love The Wiggles." They were watching the show on their DVD player. Whenever

the show would finish the Joey and Mathew would keep crying until it was replayed for

them. I saw Joey with a bump on his head. I asked John what had happened to him and

he replied, "Ohhh, Matt threw his car at Joey because he took his sword from him." The

car and the sword are obviously toys. While they were watching The Wiggles the topic

of careers were brought up and when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up John

responded "The President." When I asked him why he said, "Because I want to rule the

world." They then started playing with their toys and coloring books where Joey and

Mathew got at it again over coloring in the same coloring book. John then intervened

and he wanted to have the coloring book. Everyone was crying until my mom ripped out

pages for each kid to color in.

The setting for the house remained the same except with the hanging of a turkey on the

outside window. The only people in the house were me, my mom, John, Mathew, and

Joey. While the kids were watching TV I was sitting on a kitchen chair I brought into the

living room and while they were playing I was sitting on a mini chair by their bookshelf

in their playroom.
Some key interactions that took place occurred when John informed me that he wanted to

be President to rule the world and when Joey and Mathew were fighting over the coloring

book and John wanted to get involved. John was trying to force both of them to give him

the book but they would not.

2. During this observation I did not encounter any major complications. Joey and

Mathew were too involved with watching TV and playing to notice me too much and

whenever John did come up to me I took the time to ask him questions.

3. John's faith in being President in order to "Rule The World" and the repeated crying

until all three of the kids get what they want demonstrates some characteristics illustrated

by Jean Twenge's "Generation Me."

The interactions between the three kids tells me that even though there is a sign of respect

towards John being the oldest, Joey and Mathew seem to want to have things their own

way even if John tells them otherwise. Joey and Mathew seem to be fighting more and

more but they still are mostly side by side.

John has caught my attention the most out of the three kids again mostly because he

wasn't as gazed off into "The Wiggles" as Joey and Mathew were and was susceptible to

answering questions. He was more than willing to answer any questions I had.

I have begun to see that the children communicate with each other during this observation

mostly by whining and crying. When a demand has not been pleased, they will begin to

fuss until they have their way.
My research question has been altered from an educational standpoint to a more character

attitude standpoint.
Sally Lu
Professor Zino
December 1st, 2010
Conceptual Memo #2

        The assistant principal of High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies
handed me the yellow slip of paper with my sister’s class schedule on it and then looked
at her watch on her left wrist. “I’ll walk you to the classroom since we’re late.” The late
bell had rung just five minutes ago. First period started at 8:45am. We walked out of her
office and turned left, walked through double doors and stopped at a wooden door on our
left with windows. Looking through the windows of room 516’s door, we see students
studiously writing at their individual desks. “Oh, I think they’re taking a test,” The
assistant principal commented as she opened the door. The blonde English teacher
walked up to us and the assistant principal told her who I was and I smiled. After the
assistant principal left, the teacher told me I can sit in the back of the room by the
computer, next to the windows. I walked down the rows of desks without meeting
anyone’s eyes. Sitting at the back of the room, I noticed that blue lockers lined the back
of the room next to the computer desk that I was sitting at. At the front of the room, the
aim for the day, do now assignment, and homework were written on the marker board.
The students’ desks were lined up in rows and the room was illuminated by white
fluorescent ceiling lights. Big chart papers with “The Writing Process” and “Grammar
Reminders” were on another marker board next to the door. “Are you guys done with
your journals?” The teacher asked. After a few minutes of silent writing, the teacher
engaged the class in a discussion of the book that the class was reading together, Lord of
the Flies. She asked questions in an excited voice and students would join in the
conversation. At first, the students would raise their hands but as the discussion
progressed, students would shout out answers and the teacher would be excited by their
responses. She would occasionally ask the students, “Anything else from this chapter?”
after discussing one of the chapters that the students read for homework. After the
discussion, the teacher passed out a worksheet on literary elements from Lord of the Flies
for the students to complete. “You can work with a partner.” She told them. The students,
most of them dressed in hoodies, jeans, and sneakers, worked with the person next to
them or behind them; some working alone. As they collaborated, a low mumbling filled
the room. The noise level of the room never reached over the low mumbling. The teacher
would walk around the room and answer questions that students would sometimes have
about the worksheet. She told one student, “I told Nathaniel you can use the dictionary.”
A boy walked over the bookshelf next to the window and grabbed a dictionary. At the
end of the period, the bell rung, and the teacher told the class to finish the worksheet for
homework. “I want everything filled out, nothing left blank!”

        In art class, the teacher, dressed in a green American Eagle polo shirt, brown
pants, and Nikes, passed back some art pieces to students. Black tables were lined up into
three rows and each table had two students. I sat in the middle row, second table, next to
a guy in a black short sleeved shirt and jeans. A sink was next to the door and shelves and
closets lined one side of the wall and the back of the room. The windows had pots of
plants on the sills. The teacher started the class out by telling them that they were going
to critique each other’s finished projects for today’s class. “Use vocabulary words we
talked about in class. What words have we used?” He asked. Students raised their hands
and said, “vanishing point, tone, blending.” The teacher then said, “For those of you who
are not finished, figure out what you need to do, but it will be 25 points off your work.” A
guy sitting behind me whispered, “Oh, shit.” The teacher told the students they will rotate
their work around the room. In the first row, they will pass their work to the person
behind them, and then the last person of each row will pass it to the person sitting next to
them. Each person critiques each art piece on a piece of loose-leaf, rating the piece on a
scale of 1-10, and adding a “warm and cool comment” about it. The teacher would
occasionally say “rotate” and the students would pass the piece on to the next person to
critique, not saying anything. Drawings of black and white portraits of people were on
walls and pictures of objects were pasted on the cupboards above the sink. Some students
in the next row speak Mandarin to a guy behind me. Close to the end of the period, the
teacher tells the students to “return the artwork to its owner and then give yourself a
rating, critique your own work.” After doing so, he told the students their homework

         In global class, the teacher had a short haircut, glasses, a tan shirt, black pants,
and brown shoes. She wrote the aim, vocabulary words (capitalism, free enterprise
system, market economy, communism, planned economy, and command economy), and
the do-now on the marker board. Lockers lined the back of the room, just like in English
class. Tables were in three rows, with two students per table. I sat in the back of the room
with two other female students. The teacher’s desk was at the front of the room, next to
the marker board. Students were not paying attention to the teacher, though she kept on
carrying out the lesson for the day. At the next table, I can see that two male students
were finishing their art projects, and a female student was doing her science homework
because I can see she had her Periodic Table in front of her. There was a very low
murmuring in the room and I can see that not many students were paying attention. Two
girls sitting at the table in front of me were talking to each other in Mandarin. The teacher
would often hit the table at the front of the room with her black marker to get the class to
quiet down. She would point me out and say, “You know Sally is here and she is writing
down everything you are doing, you want a good report from her.” At one point, she got
so fed up by a student that she said, “Andre! How many times do you want me to say
your name?” The guy, Andre, looked up at the ceiling, and pretended to think about it,
then responded, “I don’t know, it’s your choice.” At the end of class, the bell rung, and
teacher said, “Oh! Let me write down the homework!”

        A complication that I had was in one of the classes, the teacher kept pointing me
out to the class so the attention was not on the teacher, but on me. Having the teacher say
that I am there and writing down everything that they were doing did not really help since
that will refine the way the students act. She wanted to the students to behave and listen
to her, and by using me as a way to get the students to behave, it did not give the room a
natural feel between the teacher and students. She was constantly reminding the students
that they “had a guest” and that they should be “on their best behavior.” This alters the
way the students would usually act.

Patterns, Insights, and Breakthroughs:
        After observing the students for hours today, I notice many times that students are
more comfortable speaking to each other in Chinese. In the classrooms, the students
speak to the teacher in English, but when the bell rings, and students are switching to
their next class and at the beginning of each period, before the class starts, students are
mostly speaking to each other in Chinese. In the hallways, students stand outside of their
classrooms waiting to go into the room are speaking in Chinese, and at the beginning of
the class, students stand at tables in small groups speaking in Chinese. At lunchtime,
students are speaking to each other in Chinese. It seems as if the students only speak
English in the classroom when the teachers are teaching the class.

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