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This exam session wrecked me. Emotionally and physically. Three weeks of essays and exams and apart from one day, I spent it all at the library. I don’t have aesthetic photos, the library furniture too ugly for that. I was so tired that after I submitted my last essay I felt empty and went home and cried. Still, learnt so much and am so proud of making it because all my childhood and young adult years were told that I’m not good at studying. Now seeing how much I can invest myself in researching and how knowledge changed my world and my thinking, I wonder how many other things I might be able to do?

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No need for a kingdom to be a queen and Romanian women know it. Bride’s wedding ceremony head piece in Rupea village near Brasov. Found this beauty at the local ethnographic museum. Stunned.

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Spent almost a week in a wooden chalet near Brasov, in Romania, next to Ciucas mountains. In some of the days we visited the nearby villages and the local galleries and museums. I got the inspiration needed for the exam session from the snowy forests, the wild deers, and the local stories of people and objects long gone, but beautifully preserved in local ethnographic museums.

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Education inequaly in high school

Success comes through hard work. Although this is true, hard work often doesn’t take into account that there are pre-existing limitations to many students, and these limitations usually have a relationship to socioeconomic status. Many Students do work hard, not at school but at the jobs they work to support themselves or their families1. Students who attend a school not specifically designed for students in this situation may drop out or face discrimination because they simply do not have access to what they need. This is why studying schools is important, because the future lies with our children and how we pass our knowledge. Homework and studying are meant to be done at home. When a person does not have time to do this the student cannot hold information long enough for a test or spend any time on school. As for students who don’t work, we just cannot know what other outside factors can affect their learning. Other factors can be relationships through friends and family, or geography and distance from home to school, or it can social differences that make it difficult for a student to find connections to help and other resources after school or even if they are aware they may feel discouraged to join for many reasons.

It has been suggested that inequalities such as racism will not be challenged unless there is “interest convergence” between the dominant group in the schools benefiting from the inequalities of others2. Without studying the dynamic of the classroom system and school system

it would be hard to challenge any inequality. There needs to be evidence and voice from all students and by conducting ethnography, seeing through experience is a start at discovering where the links are between education and students. Overt racism is difficult to see in schools because it may not be reported by the victim (much like other forms of bullying). Microaggressions or systemic racism is harder to notice because it is ingrained in our culture and often denied because it is radical or unfair to change in the opinion of the people who don’t want to change the schooling system.

Each student has their own lives and interpretations, and teachers are all viewed differently, and teachers see students differently. Difference can be age, gender, race, ethnicity, or anything, but difference should not be ignored because treating different things the same can be just as bad as treating the same things different3. To better understand difference, it would better to understand it through a non-western feminist approach. To see a person at the same level and not just as an observer from the outside. Difference is interpreted incorrectly if it is understood using an outsider’s mindset. This is not to say a person’s normal mindset is wrong. But suggesting your perspective is the only right way creates a hierarchy of knowledge based on cultural and individual difference placing the other person in a position of subordination.

1. George J. Sefa Dei et al., Reconstructing “Dropout”: A Critical Ethnography of the Dynamics of Black Students’ Disengagement from School (Toronto, UNKNOWN: University of Toronto Press, 1997). 2. Sabina E. Vaught, Racism, Public Schooling, and the Entrenchment of White Supremacy: A Critical Race Ethnography (Albany, UNITED STATES: State University of New York Press, 2011). 3. Bell Hooks. Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics. New York: Routledge, 2015.

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So I’m currently doing a research project on my hometown. This was from my workshop day with a group of local kids. 

To Do: blur out the registration plate.

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