Letter to the Jackson High School Aministration

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Dear Jackson High School Administration,
As you know, each individual has their own views and ideals about life. But you may be wondering how these views are formulated? This is because of what Jane Tompkins calls “historical perspectives.” Historical perspectives are molded by an individual’s culture and background. For example, because of historical perspectives, an Asian student may view something in a completely different way than how an American student would. By analyzing Jane Tompkins’ “”Indians”: Textualism, Morality, and the Problem of History,” I have been able to conclude that these historical perspectives are heavily influenced by the symbolic complex of a culture and are one of the main cultural barriers between two cultures. Now, in order to solve this, we must have these cultures meet on equal foot. Continuing my analysis in UW English, I have found that these “equal footing” grounds are referred to by Mary Louise Pratt as a contact zone in her essay “Arts of the Contact Zone.” “I use this term to refer to social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other…” (Pratt, 2). By synthesizing these two essays, I have discovered that despite having these different historical perspectives, creating a positive contact zone will be able to benefit and influence those who meet in these contact zones.
Throughout my years of growing up through the halls of Jackson High School, I have met, interacted, and befriended many people I would not have seen myself befriending four years ago. Walking through the halls of Jackson, or any school for that matter, you learn how to interact with others. Every student has their own idea of what education is and how important it is to them. In order to see why each student’...

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... cultural and historical perspectives caused by the symbolic complex can create differences between students at school; however, if we are able to meet in a positive contact zone such as a “safe house” mentioned by Mary Louise Pratt, we can create an equal ground for these students. Creating an equal ground will eliminate the historical perspectives between students and their views on education. Various cultures view education differently, and when a child is raised that way, that may determine how they view this. Positive contact zones only assist in creating a level and horizontal axis where diverse cultures meet and learn together. We must continue to create ways that will improve schools so diverse amounts of students can continue to walk through these halls of Jackson and feel equal, welcome, and willing to interact with each other.
Jordan Asuncion
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