ECS 110- Summary of Learning

Hello all,

This is my final post for the semester so I hope you enjoy it!  My assignment was to make a video of some sort to summarize what I learned throughout the semester. I found it very difficult to keep it short but I’m sure you will love it!  I said in the video that I felt “blah” about the course but I actually meant to say I felt “blah” at the beginning of the course so keep that in mind as you listen!! I could not get the link to work so here is the URL for my video:

I have loved talking with this great group of people in this course and I hope to cross paths with some of you in the future.

Yours in learning,

Bailie Shindle


Deleting the “Dis” in Disabled

I will be the first to admit, at the beginning of this class I was the first person to question why we had to talk about Aboriginal people. I always thought they were just choosing to be the way they are and if they only worked harder, they could get to wherever they want to be in life. Although my views of minorities have absolutely changed, exceptionalities (or disabilities) were always different for me. My grandma had struggled with dementia, my grandpa has no leg and no ability to move his arm, and my sister has a brain injury. I guess because disabilities were present in my family, I always advocated for them no matter what others thought.

I think troubling the norms of disability means giving people with disabilities a voice. People with disabilities don’t want to be treated as babies, they want to be treated as humans and given the ability to live as humans. Disabilities should not be a binary, a wheel chair or personal aid does not mean you are incapable. It simply means you need more help to live your life and you can be totally capable. However, as Eli Clare states in “Stolen Bodies, Reclaimed Bodies: Disability and Queerness”, people with disabilities are automatically looked down upon and are often not given the chance to get a real career or a “normal” life. They often encounter “high unemployment rates, lack of access, gawking, substandard education, being forced to live in nursing homes and back rooms, being seen as childlike and asexual- that needs changing”.

I do not think the term “disability” properly suits these people with exceptionalities. I have thought about exceptionalities in this way for a while and I think the idea in “Becoming dishuman: thinking about the human through sis/ability”, emphasizes the fact that we need to think of disabilities differently. Like I said previously, it should not be a binary. They are totally capable just not in every aspect. I think Clare’s article emphasizes the importance that we need to embrace people with exceptionalities as “irrevocable different” instead of “wrong, broken, in need of repair, unacceptably queer”. My sister was constantly told to be like the other kids; hand things in on time, sit in class for an hour, be socially acceptable. This was never within arms reach for her as she had no ability to make it happen with her brain injury. I think what Clair is really saying is we need to embrace difference.

Self In Relation: Are We Still Gendered?

Gender binaries have been engrained in us from a very young age. At birth we are given pink or blue toques and blankets, which immediately suggests that we must choose one or the other. As stated in “Girls Are Pink, Boys are Blue: On Toddlers and Gender Roles”, our parents influence us as toddlers to act either masculine of feminine. Sometimes without even realizing it, they are giving us the idea that boys must be strong and aggressive and girls must be dainty and caring. The article suggests “it’s the social conditioning they receive that makes them pick up and internalize gender roles”, otherwise known as a gender schema. In my opinion, the common normative is that women still belong in the kitchen as well-kept, innocent beings, and men should be the breadwinners. Although this normative is slightly adjusting to a more gender-neutral society where women have an option to work or stay at home with the children, we are still a very gender-biased society.

I think my parents were pretty neutral in raising me as I had two older brothers and they constantly made me believe that I could do just as much as they could. Even though my parents were pretty neutral, other aspects of my childhood such as teachers, coaches, peers and media altered my views on gender. In my blog post, I talk about my life now and how I have a very traditional view of gender. I am a woman, a teacher, and a farmer but I am also a wife, a cook, and a cleaner. In my blog post, trying on my wedding dress made me realize that I love being a woman, and the appearance of a woman is what partially defines that. Along the same lines of my blog post, Jennfer’s blog suggests that in order to be seen as a girl, she was always seen wearing a skirt or a dress, wearing pink, with hair done, and showing the attitudes such as a fake cry, puppy eyes, or a innocent smile. In my opinion, this mimics gender stereotypes exactly as it suggests girls must always look perfect and be innocent. She expresses that she still has these characteristics by exclaiming “I still get excited when I get new dresses. I’m like a little kid in a candy shop! Or am just the stereotypical girl”. I think this is an idea that is presented to us again and again when society in general emphasizes the idea by their comments, views, and actions of how a girl should look.

Another post by Brie suggests women must dress in a certain way to be seen as powerful. We must wear the proper clothing, do our hair and makeup, and spend way to much time getting ready in the morning in order to be taken seriously in the workplace. Brie even questions why she has to spend two extra hours getting ready in the morning and states “I understand we want our teachers to look professional, what does them being all dolled up have to do with how well they can teach?” Which is totally true, how does that have anything to do with how we can teach?

Although the above blogs denote gender as having distinct binaries, this post portrays an opposite opinion in that men and women should have equal rights and responsibilities in the house and that by helping your other half in the home with “their” jobs, you are not defining you gender by doing a sink of dishes. It is important for both members of the household to contribute in order to have a healthy relationship and show respect to one another.

As you can see, these blogs show completely different ideas. In my personal blog as well as the first two blogs mentioned, we see girls and woman being identified with how they look and the innocence that they should possess. In my blog I personally talk about how even though my husband and I are equals in our relationship, him and I have very different roles within out household. However in the last blog, this student think that men should never be degraded to less than men, and men should help with the “woman’s jobs” of the household.

I think it is interesting that lots of people from rural areas, myself included, say they are from traditional, old-fashioned communities so therefore have to maintain the gender binary. In this reading by Laura Budd, although talking about inclusion of transgenders in small communities, I think the same idea applies to gender roles in the home. She states that although some people had negative opinions and were not afraid to voice them, most were accepting. I think if people reevaluated how they actually think about gender roles and the impacts their community and society has on their ideas, people might be more open to varying gender roles.

Blog Response 4: The Moment I’ve Always Dreamed Of.

It’s a moment I’ve dreamed about since I was a little girl. The sales associate walks into my dressing room with a handful of beautiful, glistening, white dresses.  Emotions are consuming me as I step into the first dress. Tears are starting to roll down my cheeks as I think about what this means. I will soon be a wife. A farm wife who will drive the combine until wee hours of the morning and check on the cows in the middle of the night. A wife who will make suppers for the men in the field and tidy the house when it’s dirty.

These are happy tears. I can’t help but stare at myself in awe of the dress. It’s beautiful. It’s everything I could have possibly asked for and more. I can hear my mom and soon to be mother-in-law laughing in the waiting area as they wait for me to come out. I open the dressing room door and silence falls as I take my first step towards the seating area. They both start to cry as I step up on the pedestal. The lace is so delicate and every single sparkle on the belt glistens in the light.

The sales associate looks at me, searching for approval, and as I give her the nod as if to say this is the one, she heads over with the bell. “Make a wish” she says. As I start to shake the bell I become the happiest I’ve ever been. My life is about to change but in the best way possible. My new role as a wife is one I’ve been waiting for since I met this man and it will soon be here. wedding2


How Being White Makes Life Easy

White people don’t often stop to think about their skin color and how it can impact their daily living. We get up in our warm bed, in our house, go to our good, stable job, come home to make supper, bath our healthy babies, and go to bed.

What does that same day look like for say, a person of color? They get up in their warm bed in a place they have made home. Often people of color have immigrated, or they are stereotyped as being irresponsible, so it is difficult for them to get a mortgage. Maybe they rent an apartment with a shitty landlord, maybe they own a house that they had to jump through every loop to get. I know this because I was a finance manager in a dealership for the last several years- a job that came relatively easy to me seeing as I’m white. They then go to work at a job that they constantly have to prove themselves at. They can’t just show up and do their work at their desk because they know everyone is waiting for them to make a mistake. If people aren’t watching them, they are most likely talking about them at some point of the day (most likely not always in a good way). Then they come home to make supper after they have brought groceries at the store where they received many looks and possibly had a secret shopper follow them throughout the store, just in the case that something might happen. They then bathed their babies, that may or may not have proper health care in a country where health care is supposed to be free, and they also may or may not have good drinking water which would obviously play a role in the health of their children.

So now that I have explained a little of what my life might look like in comparison to theirs, I guess being white helps me in every aspect of every day. I don’t receive any judgment for my skin color and therefore can get away with so many more things than a person of color can without being judged. I never really stopped to look at it but I guess we have it pretty easy!

It Makes You Canadian

My hands started to shake as I put down the rifle. I looked at my husband and could not believe what I had just done. My smile started to form from ear to ear as my husband wrapped his arms around me. He held me tight and as he lifted me up off the ground I could hardly breathe. This is when you wish you had a camera to capture the moment. A moment you knew you would look back on years from now and still have a smile on your face. I had just done it!

Hunting season had just opened and I had just killed my first moose. I was still trembling with excitement. I climbed into the driver seat of the truck and started to drive through the snow in the field. The day was beautiful. The sun was reflecting off the snow and it was warm enough for just a sweater. We hadn’t been there long. We had pretty much just stepped out of the truck to set up camp for the day and we already had to load my prize possession! I could hardly keep the wheel straight as I trembled with excitement. I could literally feel the excitement running through every inch of my body. The hair on the back of my neck was standing up as I jumped out of the truck. At that moment I knew I had done it! I could feed my family for the winter and I had just proved to my husband that girls that shoot.

Writing to Self 1: Home Is Where My Husband Is

wedding1Today I promise you this. I promise to never forget that you are my best friend. The one I wasn’t to laugh with, cry with, grow old with, and make babies with. I promise to love you when we are together and cherish you when we are apart. I promise to support your dreams and respect our differences. I promise to learn from you and listen to you, even though it may be hard. I promise to take you are you are and who you are yet to became. Together I know, we will build a love much greater than either of us could have ever imagined on our own. The words come out effortlessly as I daze at my soon to be husband.
Five more minutes and he will be my husband. Our journey in life together flashes across my mind as I faintly listened to the commissioner. I can’t help but think of everything we have accomplished together. That big beautiful house we built together, the many trips to the lake, the tropical vacations, the numerous road trips, and the abundance of trips to the store to get ice cream. I also can’t help but think of the huge move we are about to make. The smell of the cows in the field, the rain when we need it the most, or that rushed feeling to try and get everything off the field before snow flies. I’m thinking about the sprayer ride where we wrote our wedding vows and enormous amounts of sprayer rides we’re about to embark on as I am lesson planning in the co-pilot seat.
As the marriage commissioner announces “You may now kiss the Bride”, tears of joy sweep over me as he dips me and seals our marriage with a kiss. I know our vows are true. In this moment I know we will have good times and bad times. I know that we will have to work on supporting each other’s dreams and respecting our differences. I also know that we will build something much greater together than we could alone and I know that no matter what journey we embark on together, I will be at home.