CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts - Multimedia and Performing

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CLASSES / ASSIGNMENTS

Course Description

Welcome to AP U.S. History with Mr. Polish!  Our class will meet period 7 and your attendance there is required.  Because we will usually only meet three days a week, it is important that you maintain communication with me by e-mail if you are having any issues with me, school, or the work.  My e-mail is bpolish@champscharter.org and I check it every day so expect me to get back to you no more than 24 hours after you have messaged me.

Upcoming Assignments See all

Due:

“The Trouble We’re In” Homework
READ “THE TROUBLE WE’RE IN” ARTICLE (FROM THE BOOK POWER, PRIVILEGE, AND DIFFERENCE BY ALLAN JOHNSON) IN ITS ENTIRETY AND ANSWER EACH OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS IN YOUR OWN WORDS USING COMPLETE SENTENCES (2 SENTENCES PER QUESTION) ON A SEPARATE SHEET OF PAPER.

PART 1: AN INTRODUCTION
1. What is the author, Allan Johnson, really saying in the first paragraph of this article? Do you agree with his point? Why/why not?
PART 2: DIFFERENCE IS NOT THE PROBLEM
2. In the last paragraph of page 16, Johnson writes that “There is nothing inherently. . . (over to page 17) isn’t something we’re born with.” What’s his point here? How do you feel about this?
PART 3: MAPPING DIFFERENCE: WHO ARE WE?
3. On page 19, paragraph 4, Johnson says that “the trouble around diversity. . . or harass.” What’s your reaction to the ideas he raises in this paragraph?
4. What do you think Johnson means when he says at the top of page 21, “Clearly, diversity isn’t just about the ‘variety’ that the word. . . but only in some other world.” What does he mean here?
PART 4: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF DIFFERENCE
5. On page 21, what does James Baldwin’s quote mean? Why do you think Johnson quotes him?
PART 5: WHAT IS PRIVILEGE?
6. How do you feel about Peggy McIntosh’s definition of privilege?
7. What points does Allan Johnson make about privilege on page 24, paragraph 3? What is your reaction to his argument?
8. What does Allan Johnson mean by the luxury of obliviousness? Why is this concept so important to grasp? How is this concept connected to Johnson’s concept that “to be white in America means not having to think about it”?
9. Why is the concept of “privilege” so hard to accept for dominant group members?
PART 6: TWO TYPES OF PRIVILEGE
10. According to Peggy McIntosh there are two types of privilege. Define each one and explain each using an example to show how they operate in society.
11. Give and explain two examples of milder and stronger forms of privilege.
12. One of the founding principles of this country is that the U.S. represents an equal opportunity meritocracy. Does the concept of privilege mean that the U.S. is not a meritocracy? Explain your answer.
PART 7: WHAT PRIVILEGE LOOKS LIKE IN EVERYDAY LIFE
13. Pick five examples of privilege that are listed between pages 27 through 33 and explain each.
14. If people are privileged, what are the four life experiences they need to examine according to Johnson on page 33? Try to explain each one.
15. What does Johnson mean when he says that “In the U.S., a person is considered a member of the lowest status group from which they have any heritage”?
PART 8: PRIVILEGE AS PARADOX
16. What does Johnson mean when he says that “Individuals are the ones who experience privilege or the lack of it, but individuals aren’t what is actually privileged”? Why is this important?
17. What are the two primary consequences of the paradox of privilege (last paragraph of page 35 and last paragraph of page 36)? What does each mean?
18. What is the corollary to being privileged without knowing it (bottom of page 37)? Explain this corollary. Why is it important to understand this?
19. Explain the meaning and important of the “paradox that privilege doesn’t necessarily make you happy.”
PART 9: OPPRESSION: THE FLIP SIDE OF PRIVILEGE
20. What point is the author trying to make when he tries to distinguish between pain and oppression?

Due:

The ISM Project Final

Now that you know a little bit more about some of the problems in this country, you, like John Lennon, are ready to "imagine" a better world.  Therefore, your final project is an opportunity to fully express what it is that you believe and how you want to imagine the world. 

On your final, I want you to think about some of the problems in contemporary U.S. society and how we can solve them.  In this class so far, we have examined racism, sexism, heterosexism, and classism as well as some of the ideological movements that have arisen to challenge these worldviews – feminism, anti-racism, and unionism, in particular.

However, instead of simply latching on to an already established “ism,” I want you to create your own worldview, your very own “ism.”

In other words, for your final, your job is to convince the class that if everyone adopted your worldview, this world would be a better place.

Your worldview must be elucidated through a visually appealing poster or powerpoint that includes the following things:

  1. A name for your “ism.”  For instance, if you believe that the world would be a better place if everyone played a musical instrument, your worldview could be called “musicism.”
  2.  An analysis of the problem(s) that you want to solve.  This must be at least one full paragraph.
  3. 10 precepts that form your “ism.”  Precepts are statements of belief and your beliefs are things that you want people to do to create the kind of world you want to see.
  4. A paragraph-long explanation of each precept.  Therefore, your poster must include at least 11 paragraphs in total!
  5. At least 2 pictures.

Your “ism” presentation must last at least 10 minutes and include the following:

  1. An explanation of each of your precepts.
  2. Some kind of performance/skit/song/poem/activity/game that proves that your ism will make the world a better place.  For instance, if your ism is “musicism,” you might want to consider bringing a drumstick for every member of the class in order to lead a class drum session.