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whom he called my family and other animals

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell is a novel concerning an English family, the Durrells, who suddenly leave their home in Britain in order to move to the Greek island of Corfu  With his terrible English and his booming voice, Spiro, a taxi driver, has great effect over everyone on the island  With his bouncy, fun-loving personality, Spiro soon becomes one of the family, advising Mrs  With all of these fascinating characters on the island, and Gerrys menagerie of animals, the Durrells five year stay in Corfu is full of excitement and peculiar encounters  When having difficulty communicating with taxi drivers, the family meets one of the most amusing and significant characters in the story, Spiro  To the story, he brings humor and a personality that is quite peculiar, which is great entertainment for the reader  To the novel, he brings great entertainment and the reader is constantly kept laughing  To resolve the situation as promptly as possible, it is arranged that George, an old writing friend of Larrys (Gerrys oldest brother) be left with the task of teaching Gerry  Throughout this time, Gerry, a young naturalist, finds much pleasure in roaming the island and discovering all of Mother Natures creations  Through George, Gerry soon comes to meet Doctor Theodore Stephanides, an expert naturalist, with whom he soon becomes close friends  This individual not a human being at all, but a gnome who had disguised himself as one by donning an antiquated but very dapper suit, is quite an eccentric as well, but immediately finds something he has in common with Gerry, his passion for natural history  This individual helps the Durrells through their dilemmas in finding a suitable villa, dealing with the Customs official and generally in settling in and getting started in a new place with a new life  This character, because of the innumerable rose beetles he keeps, soon comes to be known as the Rose-Beetle Man  This book is told from the viewpoint of Gerald Durrell, the youngest member of the family, who gives a detailed account of certain incidents that are imprinted in his mind, of the familys five year stay in Corfu  These encounters should be taken upon with an open-mind and in this way, we are able to develop our outlook on life  The short, barrel-bodied individual, with ham-like hands and a great, leathery, scowling face surmounted by a jauntily-tilted peaked cap and his determination to get his own way no matter what, makes him one of the most amusing characters even though he always means well  The two soon become close friends and both learn an immense amount from one another  The novel concludes when it is decided, by Mr  She is the wife of the gardener who looks after the Durrells estate and Mrs  She is a dismal lady who somehow seems to be in constant pain and is always seeking sympathy from whomever she can  She brightens up what might usually be a boring routine for the Durrells and even though some of the situations might not be pleasant for their family, they are humorous for the reader  Outside of his regular lessons, Gerry spends most of his time learning as much as he possibly can about all the species of wildlife that roam the island and soon obtains an immense number of pets including three dogs, two magpies, a gull, a pigeon, snakes and a gecko  Once again, as he is in a new environment, Gerry spends his time investigating his surroundings and becoming familiar with nature  On these daily explorations, Gerry soon comes across a curious man, from whom he buys his first pet, a turtle  Many of the passages illustrating the island and its wildlife are very descriptive and give the reader the sense of actually being there but occasionally these excerpts are overly depicted, thus making it slightly boring  Many of the anecdotes capture the most interesting of the familys encounters with the island and its inhabitants but the main theme is of two intertwined worlds; that of animals and wildlife, with that of people  Little did the family know that Lugaretzia, as she is called, is a melancholy old woman ... more

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Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood Education




Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood Education
Sex role stereotyping and gender bias permeate everyday life.  Children learn about sex roles very early in their lives, probably before they are 18 months old, certainly long before they enter school. (Howe, 1).  The behaviors that form these sex roles often go unnoticed but their effect is immeasurable.  Simple behaviors like: the color coding of infants (blue & pink), the toys children are given, the adjectives used to describe infants (boys: handsome, big, strong; girls: sweet, pretty, precious), and the way we speak to and hold them are but a few of the ways the sex roles are introduced.  These behaviors provide the basis for the sex roles and future encouragement from parents and teachers only reinforce the sex roles.
Toys, literature, media, and films also encourage sex roles.  Males are depicted as "doing", while females are always "receiving."  In this paper, 5 articles focusing on sex roles were used.  The articles look at the damaging effects of sex role stereotyping, and some ways the sex roles are accentuated in the schools.
    The research on sex role stereotyping is currently growing.  There are many theories regarding its existence.  Some attribute the sex roles to the media, literature and society, but it is a combination of all these factors.  Despite the best of intentions by parents to not encourage the sex roles, at the time of kindergarten, children will demonstrate behaviors specific to their sex.  It is believed that this phenomenon occurs because the children know that they are either a boy or a girl but are trying to figure out exactly what that means (Seid, 114).
    The behaviors that children seem to learn do have gender specific characteristics.  Examples of male appropriate behavior includes: aggression, independence and curiosity.  Female behaviors reflect the opposite of the male behaviors: passivity, dependence and timidity (Howe, 3). Parents have a strong impact on the sex roles that children acquire.  If the sex roles are stereotypical in the home then the children will imitate the behavior that is observed in the home.  Simple, parental behaviors such as who drives and who pays for dinner influence the childrens perceptions of sex roles (Seid, 115).  
This issue has been extensively researched.  Howe states " Schools function to reinforce the sexual stereotypes that children have been taught by their parents, friends and the mass culture we live in.  It is also perfectly understandable that sexual stereotypes demeaning to women are also perpetuated by women - mothers in the first place, and teachers in the second - as well as by men - fathers, the few male teachers in elementary schools, high school teachers, and many male administrators at the top of the schools hierarchy" (Howe, 2).  In literature research, "the boys of childrens books are active and capable, and the girls passive and in trouble" (Howe,2).
    In a mental health study conducted by Inge K. Broverman at Worcester State Hospital in Massachusetts, it was discovered that the qualities more considered healthy were those that are stereotypically male behaviors.  Women exhibiting these socially desirable behaviors were; however, not considered healthy.  Socially desirable male behavior Includes: aggression, independence, logic, confidence and ambition.  Female behavior was passivity, dependence, cooth and empathy (Howe, 3).  
    It has also been observed that despite any noticeable differences, girls are provided with fewer experiences "even in kindergarten" (Howe, 5).  The junior high school and high school programs further accentuate the sex roles.  Courses such as shop, metalworking, home economics and typing often have gender requirements (Howe, 6).
    Another school arena for open sexual discrimination is physical education.  The boys are often given priority in terms of equipment, gym availability and funding for athletic activities (Howe,6).
    Howe continues to discover more and more ways that the sex roles are depicted in a negative or unflattering manner.  She states, "The absence of the adventurous heroines may shock the innocent; the absence of even a few stories about women doctors, lawyers, or professors thwarts reality; but the consistent presence of one female stereotype is the most troublesome matter:
Primrose was playing house.  Just as she finished pouring tea for her dolls she began to think.  She thought and thought and she ... more

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