Care Ethics

In the reading titled “Ethics of Caring in Environmental Ethics” by Kyle Powys Whyte and Chris J. Cuomo, they both focus on two different paths of care ethics. One being an environmental point of view and the other a general view point. The first noted movement of environmental care ethics was 40 years ago, when the women and men of the Chipko Andolan movement protested for protection of their forests from the invasion of logging companies. This movement created ethics of caring for the environment.

According to Whyte and Cuomo, care ethics refers to “approaches to moral life and community that are grounded in virtues, practices, and knowledges associated with appropriate caring and care taking of self and others.” This type of ethics stems away from the more western ideas of ethics that we have previously learned about. A philosopher by the name of Virginia Held was a main proponent in this branch of ethics. Held’s definition of care ethics is “morality should address issues of caring and empathy and relationships between people rather than only or primarily the rational decisions of solitary moral agents.” She mainly focuses on the caring of people in the work that she performs. Held is also known to have taken a feministic approach to this topic. A lot of people think that caring and things of that nature is “women’s work,” as Whyte and Cuomo state. For example, when you’re sick at home, who tends to take care of you? For myself it is generally my mom who takes care of me due to the fact that my dad is always working.

The Drowning Child and the Expanding Circle

“‘Charity begins at home made sense, because it was only at home’ –or at least in your own town–that you could be confident that your charity would make any difference.”

Charity is defined as “the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.” While reading “The Drowning Child and the Expanding Circle,” this quote particularly stuck with me. Charity is a great part of utilitarianism, as that your “course of action, in any situation produces the greatest balance of benefits over harms for everyone affected.” This quote is basically saying that in order to fix anything in the world, you must focus on problems that are affecting where you live. I have already started this process myself. Throughout high school, myself and my best friend put together several events that raised thousands of dollars for local organizations.

Am I Blue?

The passage “Am I Blue?” by Alice Walker illustrates how animals, in this case horses, very much experience the same emotions that humans do. The passage is about how Alice and her partner rented a house out in the country. In the lot next to theirs, there was a lonely horse. As time progressed, she would feed the horse apples and the horse would become happy.

During the second year at the property, something unexpected happened. Another horse, of a different color appeared on the opposite side of the field. “Blue appeared to be afraid of it, and for several days made no attempt to come near,” Walker states. As time went on, Blue and the brown horse began to ease together soon becoming very close friends. One day, Alice came home and the brown horse was gone. The children that stayed next door explained that the brown horse had been “put with him (Blue).” Blue seemed to be very depressed once the brown horse had disappeared. Blue had no idea why the brown horse had left. The emotions that Blue expressed were very noticeable and strangely extremely human like. Alice states, “he galloped around furiously… he whinnied… he tore at the ground with his hooves.” This could be translated to a human pacing around angrily, crying, and stomping around.

Walker throughout the story brings about the idea of racism. She compares Blue and the brown horse breeding to owners raping their slaves. Blue had a white coat. Walker forces the reader to think of different situations in ways that we wouldn’t necessarily think of in the first place.

The Income Achievement Gap

For my synthesis and analysis essay, I wrote on the topic of the income achievement gap. According to Vanessa Sacks, the income achievement gap is “the disparity in academic achievement between students from high-income families and their less-affluent peers” (Sacks, 2016). There are many reasons as to why students suffer from this gap. Some reasons that students suffer from the income achievement gap is due to student mobility, the lack of parent involvement and the lack of resources at home.

 Student mobility

According to Sparks, student mobility “can include any time a student changes schools for reasons other than grade promotion, but in general it refers to students changing schools during a school year” (Sparks, 2016). The leading causes for student mobility is due to financial instability and job insecurity within the family (Sparks, 2016). For every time a student moves schools, the student loses roughly three months of material (Sparks, 2016).

Parent involvement

Parent involvement is exactly what it sounds like. The Child Trends Data Bank states that “students with parents who are involved in their school tend to have fewer behavioral problems and better academic performance, and they are more lily to complete secondary school” (Barton, 2004). Parent involvement in low-income areas is not seen as much compared to wealthier areas. 27 percent of families who lived under the federal poverty level had a parent volunteer at school versus 47 percent of families above the federal poverty level (“Parental Involvement,” 2018).

Lack of resources at home

The lack of resources at home can be categorized as the lack of a household having access to a rich learning environment and nutritious food. These are both hard for low-income areas. A rich learning environment could include parents who encourage learning and engage with their children. It is easier for low-income parents to just sit their kid in front of a television or feed them technology 24/7 due to rigorous work schedules. Nutrition is important to a child’s development also. A lot of low-income families live in what is called a food desert. A food desert is when areas lack access to fresh produce and other goods, which leads to unhealthy diets.

Obviously, you don’t have to watch the whole Youtube video unless you have the time. The first few minutes explains what a food desert is. I found the video interesting because it focuses on food deserts in Virginia. 

 

 

Reference List

Barton, P. “Why Does the Gap Persist?” Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.2004, November. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov04/vol62/num03/Why-Does-the-Gap-Persist¢.aspx

Child Trends. “Parental Involvement in Schools.” Child Trends. 2018, September 16. Retrieved from https://www.childtrends.org/indicators/parental-involvement-in-schools

Sacks, V. “The other achievement gap: Poverty and academic success.” Child Trends. 2016, August 22. Retrieved from https://www.childtrends.org/the-other-achievement-gap-poverty-and-academic-success

Sparks, S. “Student Mobility: How It Affects Learning.” Education Week. 2016, August 11. Retrieved from  https://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/student-mobility/index.html

Videos

The Rise in the Income Achievement Gap: Sean Reardon by Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality

Living In a Food Desert Documentary by VSUOfficialChannel

 

 

Yorktown to RVA

It was the morning of August 18, 2018. I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock blaring into my ears. I get up and sit on the side of my bed and ponder my thoughts. Today was the day that would change my life forever. Life will never be the same after I leave my house in Yorktown, Virginia and open a new door in Richmond, Virginia.

I had been up all night procrastinating packing. As I finish packing, I think about how all throughout senior year, I was wishing to get out of the house and away from home. It never occured to me about how hard it is to actually leave. Now, it has come to reality that my childhood is officially over.

We begin to load the truck as the time has finally come. Package after package, the truck is now starting to look like a U-Haul. At last, the final items are placed inside of the truck. I stand at the bed of the truck and look around. The sun is shining bright but it is comfortably warm. The grass is a perfect green and precisely cut, and the wind is gently blowing through the trees. In a few hours the environment will be completely different. Instead of plentiful green grass, it will be endless roads that lead to who knows where. The trees that I am used to waking up to will now be replaced with buildings upon buildings.

The drive to Richmond was just as fast as it usually is. I had made the drive there numerous times due to my sister playing field hockey here. We exit the interstate and we are immediately stuck in all of the traffic from everyone moving in. The traffic here was so much different than at home. I didn’t even complain because that was more time that I got to spend with my family.

We arrive at Gladding Residence Center and begin dumping all of my belongings into big cart. Everything was extremely overwhelming. People were rushing from point A to point B,  and I could hear talking in every direction. It was as if I was on the subway in New York City. I don’t even remember moving into my room, everything was a blur. With the snap of my fingers and the blink of an eye, my family was actually gone.

It finally hits me. Virginia Commonwealth University is my new home. Back at home I knew everybody and everybody knew me. I went from being one of the most involved people in high school to one of the least involved. The transition from home to college has been one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make, especially when you’re navigating uncharted waters.

View from GRC, By: Grant Zabicki

 

Driving Blindly

On the morning of February 4, 2019, I was driving back to VCU from my home in Yorktown, Virginia. I have made this drive numerous times, I can’t even count how many times I’ve driven to and from. As I was heading west-bound on interstate 64, I noticed mile markers on the sides of the road. I had never noticed these mile markers ever before despite paying attention to the road. It is kind of weird how one could focus on the road and driving but never notice a mile marker every two-tenths of a mile. The question to myself was, what are the purpose of these? The reason for these is for someone to be able to pin point their location to emergency services. If you were to get into an accident, you could say to the dispatcher “I am near mile 270 on I-64 West.” This allows them to get to your location faster.

Mile 237.4 I-64 West

Mile 237.4 I-64 West

The only place I had noticed the mile markers before was in the Outer Banks and in Emerald Isle, North Carolina. At the beach thats how you know where places are.

Intentionally observing yourself feels sort of weird to say the least. It’s hard to observe yourself and try to pick up on something that you never noticed before because you have become accustomed to it.

Driving in Beszel & Ul Qoma

In chapter eighteen in The City and The City, Mieville writes “‘No, thanks. I think it would be a bit confusing.’ Driving in Beszel or Ul Qoma is hard enough when you are in your home city, negotiating local and foreign traffic. ‘You know,’ I said. ‘When I was first driving… it must be the same here, as well as seeing all the cars on the road you’ve got to learn to unsee all the other cars, the ones abroad, but unsee them fast enough to get out of their way.’ Dhatt nodded. ‘Anyway, when I was a kid first driving we had to get used to zooming past all these old bangers and stuff in Ul Qoma, donkey carts in some parts and what have you. That you unsaw, but you know… now years later most of the unseens have been overtaking me'” (pg. 194).

In this passage, Borlu is in Ul Qoma alongside Dhatt continuing the investigation. Now that Borlu is in Ul Qoma, whenever he sees something Besz, he has to “unsee” it. Basically, unseeing is literally pretending like you never saw that person or object  and making yourself forget about it completely.

The idea of living somewhere that is crosshatched becomes scary when it comes to driving. You are expected to drive alongside Besz and Ul Qomans, and are simply supposed to act like they aren’t there.

I can personally relate to the first part of this passage. Mievelle says “driving in Beszel or Ul Qoma is hard enough when you are in your home city, negotiating local and foreign traffic” (pg. 194). In my hometown of Yorktown, Virginia, there is a lot of tourism due to the historical significance of where I live. Foreign people and even out of state people drive different than local people, so I have to get used to their mannerisms on the road.

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