Black History Month: Dorothy Counts and Ruby Bridges
In 1957, fifteen-year-old Dorothy Counts was the first black student to attend the previously all-white Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. She didn’t even make it into the building before she was spat on, targeted with thrown trash and told to “go back to Africa.”
As an adult, she is again fighting the resegregation of schools that began in the 1990s and 2000s. The district now has a student assignment plan where most kids go to neighborhood schools close to where they live, or to magnet and charter schools with limited numbers of seats. This means that high-resourced schools filled with affluent students are often located in different neighborhoods to schools with low-income students.
“[Harding High School] did change my life, but changed my life to say, ‘This is what happened to me,’ but I want to make sure with what I do in life, those kinds of things don’t happen to other children,” Counts said. (x)
Ruby Bridges is the little girl depicted in Norman Rockwell’s “The Problem We All Live With.” At age six, she integrated William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960. “I was going to school that day. But the lesson that I took away that year in an empty school building was that none of us knows anything about disliking one another when we come into the world. It is something that is passed on to us,” Bridges said. “We should never look at another person and judge them by the color of their skin. That is the lesson I learned in first grade.”
“I think it is fair to say that if it hadn’t been for you guys, I might not be here and we might not be looking at this together,” President Barack Obama told Bridges when “The Problem We All Live With” was displayed at the White House. (x)
Black history month day 21: desegregation poster child Ruby Bridges.
Ruby Nell Bridges Hall was born September 8, 1954 in Tylertown, Mississippi. She is best known for being the first black child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960.
The Bridges family moved to Mississippi when Ruby was four. When she was six, her parents responded to a proposal from the NAACP to participate in the integration of the New Orleans school system, despite hesitation from her father.
Bridges was one of six black children in New Orleans to pass the test that determined whether they could go to the all-white school, William Frantz Elementary. Two of the six decided to stay at their old school, and the other three were transferred to another district to integrate a different school, so Bridges went to William Frantz by herself. She and her mother had to be escorted to school by four federal marshals during her first year. One of the marshals later remarked: “She showed a lot of courage. She never cried. She didn’t whimper. She just marched along like a little soldier, and we’re all very very proud of her.”
Though Bridges showed remarkable bravery for a six-year-old, situation was certainly not without its challenges. The marshals would only allow her to eat food brought from her home due to one woman’s repeated threats to poison her. Another woman stuck a black baby doll in a wooden coffin and held outside the school in protest. Bridges said later that that frightened her more than any of the things they shouted. She began the practice of praying while she walked, which helped her block out the nasty comments, and she also saw a child psychiatrist named Robert Coles who helped her cope. Only one teacher, Barbara Henry, agreed to teach Ruby and did so for over a year, teaching as though she was teaching the whole class.
Bridges still lives in New Orleans with her husband, Malcolm Hall, and their four sons. She is now chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, formed in 1999 to promote “the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences”. In describing the mission of her foundation, Bridges stated: “racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it.”
Seriously. The Senate just let racists undo everything Brown v. Board accomplished. The GOP just told America it could have all the integrated public schools it wants, but they're going to be defunded.
Recently a neighborhood in Brooklyn made national headlines for a fight over public schools. Lots of affluent, mainly white families have been moving into new condos in the waterfront area called DUMBO, and the local elementary school is getting overcrowded.
The city wants to redraw the zones in a way that would send kids from this predominantly white school to a nearby school where enrollment is over 90 percent black and Hispanic and which draws many of its students from a public housing project. Some parents on both sides of the line balked.
“Liberal hypocrisy,” was the headline in the conservative National Review.
The tacit assumption was that sending children to a majority-minority school would entail a sacrifice, one that pits their own children against their (presumably) progressive ideals.
But there’s plenty of evidence that suggests the opposite: White students might actually benefit from a more diverse environment.
Someone please tell me why [DeVos] is the right choice to lead the public school system of the United States of America.
Her BA degree in political science and business administration isn’t enough to place her in a classroom, but suddenly, she occupies the top job.
Ms. DeVos doesn’t love public education and clearly doesn’t know the first thing about public education in the United States. Our teachers had to take a class on the history of education just to be considered for admission to the teacher education program.
To be certified as a high school teacher in Missouri, she must take classes on how to write a test, how to incorporate multicultural education, classroom management, assessment, the integration of school and society, educational psychology, alternatives for exceptional students, working with foundation-level learning, analysis and correction of difficulties in literacy, understanding how to teach her subject matter, and more. She’d spend less money if she dropped the education requirements, and probably graduate sooner, but let’s ignore these facts for a moment.
She must observe real teachers in action, be mentored by a successful classroom teacher, and spend a semester supervised by a teacher as she makes the classroom her own. She likely won’t be able to work during that semester, so she’ll have to figure out how to do things like pay for food and shelter, but hey, she’s rich. Presumably, that wouldn’t have been an issue for her, right?
She must pass the MOGEA test and the Praxis II.
Once hired, the mentoring doesn’t stop. More, teachers are encouraged to seek a masters in teaching to further their development. She’ll pay for that masters herself, carving time out of her busy week to take a class or two a semester. As consolation, her school district might boost her pay a few hundred dollars a year. In thirty or so years, she just might be able to justify the cost.
While on the job, she must learn how to balance long hours to educate students with her personal life lest she lose sight as to why she does the job in the first place. She must endure politicians both national and local lamenting how teachers don’t do enough, yet claim our school systems are “flush with cash,” while perhaps working part time at Barnes & Noble to make ends meet. She must accept less pay than other graduates because she is on the public payroll. She must learn to have a politically acceptable answer to, “You must love teaching because you have the summer off!” despite the research, planning, and reading - oh, God, the reading - she’ll need to do to keep her classes fresh.
She needs to experience the elation of developing an idea regarding how to teach a lesson, only to discover that the money to buy the materials she’ll need must come from her own pocket. She has to learn to smile through parent/teacher conferences where unknowing but well-meaning parents demand she raise a grade despite hours of planning, countless extensions of the deadline, and a lost weekend of grading. That smile must continue when the district tells her that they’re increasing the size of her classes because they can’t afford to hire another teacher. The public just didn’t go for that bond issue again this year. Tough luck.
To support her school, she will have to carve out the time to advise an organization or tutor students in need after the teaching hours end as the school can never really close. She will have to balance special plans for select students so she doesn’t inadvertently leave anyone behind, but be flexible and open to minute changes in graduation requirements, serve on countless committees, sit in frequent department meetings, and much more.
To work in public education, one must love public education. Teachers do it because, sometimes, one student suddenly smiles and says, ‘Because of you, I was accepted to college/got this job. Because of you, I learned something.’
They do it because they love it.
Ms. DeVos, I challenge you to serve one year in front of a classroom at a public school - a length of time shorter than would grant you tenure, a position as chair, or to become a principal - and then maybe can tell us how to run a school.
Oh, that’s right, you’re not qualified and are afraid of grizzly bear attacks. My bad.
I guess I’ll ask you, Senator Roy Blunt and those who voted to confirm this unqualified person to lead our beleaguered but honorable teachers:
Why was she the right choice?
My boss after hearing that Betty DeVos was confirmed as the Secretary of Education
Dorothy Counts (1942-) #RubyBridges was more famous but #DorothyCounts was first, as one of four black students to integrate schools in Charlotte NC. Just 15, Counts was subjected to jeers, stones, projectiles and spit at the direction of adults. She bore this abuse with a determined resignation that would have been difficult for the most experienced civil rights warrior. Photos of her torment inspired #JamesBaldwin to return from his self-imposed exile in France.
Aaaahhhh this took way longer than it should’ve. I’ve had such a bad case writer’s block lately. And I rewrote this a thousand times because I’m an over thinking anxious nut bar. Hopefully all of you, especially the original fic requester, like it :D
I really shouldn’t be here. The music is awful and everyone’s totally pissed. Penny said I should socialise more, integrate with the school population. But if this is how the school population acts out of class, like fuck I want to take part.
It’s odd for a year 13 to not have attended a single party in all their time at a school. But I’m not a usual student. I’m a scholarship orphan charity case, supposedly so gifted that I had to attend Watford School. I’m not sure what Headmaster Mage sees in me. I’m just pleased to have an education.
The ones who aren’t pleased are the snooty rich assholes who think I’m below them, and don’t deserve to attend their fancy school. And one of those assholes is my roommate, who is here, of course.
The Fat Cat was a pretty popular night club in NYC that allowed people under eighteen in so long as they wore indicators that they weren’t allowed to be sold alcohol–normally in the form of a large stamp on their hands the shape of a cat. Since freshmen and sophomores weren’t allowed to go to prom unless invited by an upperclassman as their date, many of the underclassmen decided to meet up at the Fat Cat for a fun time. New to the school and thinking this would be the perfect opportunity to meet people her age, (Y/N) decided take up Flash Thompson’s offer to meet up at the club with a bunch of other kids from her new school. (Y/N) and Flash had been competitors since they were young, mostly for scholarships to the most prestigious schools and positions in once in a lifetime internship opportunities, but overall he had tried to integrate her into the school. He wasn’t necessarily a bad guy, but he also wasn’t her cup of tea. She could take him in doses, but too much flash lead to migraines and long arguments or debates between the two. Going to the Fat Cat would give her the opportunity to interact with her longtime acquaintance for a while and then slip off into a crowd of new potential friends when he got to be too much for her to handle.
(Y/N) hoped she hadn’t shown up too over or under dressed for the establishment. She came from a place that didn’t have ‘teen night clubs’ and was still kind of wary about the place when she arrived. Upon walking in the door, she was immediately stamped with the Fat Cat logo and sent on her way. The different colored flashing lights made it hard for her to see what exactly was happening and who was where. Slowly, she made her way toward a group of people that looked to be around her age and slowly, Flash came into sight.
“Look who decided to show up,” he said in a sly, mocking tone as (Y/N) lingered along the outskirts of their group. “Boys, this is the little ‘protege’ I was telling you about,” he mocked again.
“You’re just going to take that?” one of the guys standing beside Flash asked the girl who just strode up on them.
“I prefer to let the scores speak for themselves,” she said in a sly, confident tone. The previous week, students interested in the decathlon team tested for their positions. (Y/N) hadn’t even known her new school had a decathlon team, but her history teacher was the teacher and had her take the entrance exam after class one day. Needless to say, (Y/N)’s scores soared above Flash’s as well as almost everyone else’s on the team.
“Whatever,” Flash grumbled at her put down.
“I wonder how Parker’s going to feel about that,” another one of Flash’s friends murmured.
“Parker doesn’t deserve to feel anyway about it because he ditched the team,” Flash snapped. “He’s been absent the past week; there’s no way Coach is going to let him test now.” Slowly, (Y/N) started to wonder whether she had ever heard this ‘Parker’ kid mentioned before.
“Who’s Parker?” she asked hesitantly.
“Like I said, (Y/N), it doesn’t matter,” Flash grumbled. “He even ditched us tonight because he’s wrapped around Liz’s finger, so don’t go getting any ideas that he’s some nice guy like everyone else in this school seems to think he is.” (Y/N) didn’t know who Flash was talking about or why he was so adamant on portraying him as a horrid human being, but his attitude was starting to rub her the wrong way. Her lips pursed as she backed away from the group and wandered around the club, waiting for some excuse to dance or leave, or at least get the irritating, sticky ink off her hands.
In frustration, she dropped herself into a seat and gazed out across the dance floor. Quickly, she noticed that most, if not everyone in the club was between the ages of fourteen and sixteen and realized Flash’s parents had more than likely rented the place out in hopes his money could gain him more popularity. (Y/N) huffed. She knew they were good people but there were very selfish things about Flash that she could never get over, and the way his friends agreed so blindly with everything he had to say about this kid named Parker only furthered her understanding that most of the kids at her new school weren’t any better than those who bullied her at her old one.
(Y/N)’s eyes dried to her feet as they poked out from under her dark denim jeans. Determined, she rose from her spot and made her way onto the dance floor. A new school meant a new opportunity; she could start over and didn’t have to wallow in her own self-pity. The DJ at the club had also been paid off by Flash’s parents to make the occasion sort of like a school dance, which made the night a bit cheesy in (Y/N)’s opinion, but she didn’t waste any time thinking too much into the choice of music being played. Once the popular hip hop/pop music faded into what was now considered an old classic, ‘The Cupid Shuffle,’ (Y/N) faded into the swaying crowd of dancers.
The dance floor was too small for the amount of people trying to congregate around it, and (Y/N) was stuck near the middle. She didn’t mind how close her peers were to her so long as no one stomped on her foot, that was until someone in the line beside her turned the wrong direction. A pair of sneakers met toe to toe with her white converse and she lifted her eyes to the person in front of her. From his sneakers, she trailed the rest of the person’s attire: dark denim jeans that hung slightly loose around his legs and a regular black t-shirt with the words “The Physics is Theoretical, but the Fun is Real” written through an atom. She laughed at his choice of shirt for a fun night out and then quickly judged her own shirt that read “HOLDEN CAULFIELD THINKS YOU’RE A PHONY.” As they each continued their individual movements of ‘The Cupid Shuffle,’ she couldn’t help laughing at the floppy haired, brown-eyed boy in front of her. As the lyrics flooded into the ‘walk it by yourself’ portion of the dance sequence, he offered her his hand. Without thinking, she took it and he spun her around before quickly jumping into her line and swaying his hips to the music alongside her.
With each step in the directions given, her hips swayed in small half circles causing her butt to pop back in an intriguing motion for teenage boys. The one beside her was no exception. It wasn’t exactly her intention to draw attention to herself while dancing; she just wanted to have fun and couldn’t help the fact that her hips happened to be wider than the idealized sophomore preppy girl. As the line traveled left, she couldn’t help looking beside her at the boy who had just jumped in line beside her. His hips swayed methodically and his legs and arms flowed as if music was a river in his veins.
As the lyrics signaled for them to turn in line again, (Y/N) swayed her hips back and forth as she lowered herself closer to the ground and then rose. Upon putting the boy behind her and swaying her hips up from her squatted position, she felt a foreign entity pressed against her backside. Immediately realizing what was happening, her heart jumped a beat. Rather than freaking out and pulling herself way from the stranger, she went with it. Looking down, she watched his sneakers and paired her strides with his, shaking her ass along the front of his pants with each step of the dance and allowing him to grind himself against her with the denim of their jeans being the only thing separating the obvious sexual attraction he had toward her.
(Y/N) bit her lip seductively as the music indicated it was time for them to turn and be shoulder to shoulder with one another. Instantly, she turned her head over her shoulder and winked at the boy who immediately realized what he had done. The music faded into ‘Shape of You’ and he took her hands in his and spun her into a sweetheart before pulling her out of the spin and pressing her body against his. His left hand dug into her lower back, pressing her hips against his, making sure she could feel every step he took and hoping she’d follow. (Y/N)’s right hand rested on the back of the boy’s neck as he stared down between the pair’s bodies. Unsure of if he was watching their feet or her breasts, she puffed her chest out as he pushed her out from him and then spun her around twice, bringing her back in toward his body.
They entered a swing-dance like pattern of steps, their bodies so close together they could feel the pounding in each other’s hearts. He wanted nothing more than to lift her, to swing out of the club with her arms wrapped around him just as they are now, but they had attracted quite the crowd and too many eyes were on them. Growing more embarrassed by the second, he quickly spun her off the dance floor and around the stand the DJ stood on, away from the attention of others.
“What’s the matter?” (Y/N) quickly asked with a wink, “can’t handle the heat?”
“You’re new to Midtown High, aren’t you?” he asked, not even slightly out of breath. (Y/N) nodded with a smile.
“Yeah, I transferred about a week ago,” she said through her grin, “I’m (Y/N).”
“Hi, I’m Peter,” he said, flashing her an irresistible grin. “So, um, (Y/N), what are you doing the rest of the night?”
“Whatever you want, Peter,” she smirked. The smile on his face widened as he took her hand and ran up to the rooftop, prepared to take the newest Midtown high student on a proper tour of the city, in a way only he could deliver.
If you’re like me, you recognize this photo and you know it’s from Arkansas at the beginning of school integration but you probably don’t know much else. I’d never actually looked this up but I just saw the link in a comment thread.
1) The angry white woman is actually a 15-year-old student. 2) The photo was so famous, the girl’s parents pulled her out so she actually never went to a school newly integrated by the Little Rock Nine. 3) The two of them tried to make amends decades later and even had a brief friendship. But some wounds never heal.
So does anyone else have mini panic attacks when they think about where our characters will all be when season 4 starts? Like how are they doing right now? Are Vilde and Noora eating well? Has Sana gotten her grades up in Biology? Has Even integrated back into school OK? How is Isak’s relationship with his parents? Is he sleeping well? Is Mahdi getting enough waffles in his life? Is Magnus fulfilling all his kinky cat fantasies with Vilde? So many important questions.
Prompt: Imagine Gerard taking you to a local record shop in New Jersey
I tried to make this an entire one shot but I got lazy because I woke up at 5am and spent two straight hours thinking about Dan and Phil
Genre: Just pure fluff to be honest
“Y/N… I know that this new school is difficult for you,” My mom paused, a pitiful look in her eyes, “but just remember that you can always talk to me, right?”
I nodded, a fake smile plastered on my face, “Sure, mom.”
My mom stood up, a look of resounding success on her face, like she had won the argument. “Good talk. Also, Donna wanted me to tell you that she would love it if you and her son could talk to each other more.”
Stifling a laugh, I played along. “Why’s that?”
She hummed, “I suppose they think that Mikey could use more friends. I think the same about you but…” Mom trailed on absently.
“Well then. I think we got that squared away. But honestly consider it, okay? I think you and the Way boy could be good friends,” she said happily, closing the door behind her with a resolved click.
To my mother’s dismay, Mikey wasn’t the Way brother that I was more interested in. I let out a sigh of relief, turning towards the wardrobe. “She’s gone. You can come out now.”
Without a moment’s hesitation, Gerard pushed open the doors, a mischievous grin on his lips. “Close one, huh?”
I scoffed, “It wouldn’t have to be close if you could be quiet.”
“Whatever… So how’s your famed school integration coming along? Got your schedule yet?” Gerard asked, sitting next to me on the bed and pulling his leg up to his chest.
“No. I’ll get it tomorrow though,” I muttered with an air of bitterness laced around the edges.
The dark haired teen offered me a sympathetic smile, “Listen, I remember you said you missed your music shop back in L.A, right?” I nodded, “Well It’s not exactly around the block but Michelle’s place is pretty close by and she’s got all the latest shit. I might be able to get you an album or two for free if you can convince me.” He said with a cheeky grin.
I gasped, gleeful realization sweeping over me. I threw my arms around Gerard’s shoulders, giggling excitedly like a goddamn schoolgirl.
“Hey, Michelle! You here?” Gerard called out inside the empty shop. Soon a woman with frizzy dark hair, dark skin, and brown eyes emerged from the room behind the desk.
The store was small, containing a main room that only featured a few rows of albums and records, a restroom with a sign that missed a few letters, and a back room where Michelle appeared from.
She smirked, resting her hand against the counter. “Well if it isn’t my least favorite customer. Who’d you drag along this time?”
“Nobody, actually. Y/N wanted to come.” He said with his hands in his pockets, eyes wandering over the album covers.
Michelle raised an eyebrow, “Damn. You found a girl who has a taste like yours?” Gerard nodded. “Well you found yourself a keeper, Way. So keep her.” Michelle said before disappearing behind the counter, shouting something along the lines of “opening the new shipment”
“So… How many others?” I asked tentatively, stepping closer to the rack of CD’s.
“Not as many as you think, I’ll give you that. The most recent one was about a month or two ago. She had to move to fucking Canada and knew that those long distance relationships never work,” Gerard spoke like it didn’t really matter as he flipped through the records in the other part of the store.
“Gotcha…” I was severely bothered by his ease for some reason, despite not knowing Gerard for long. It wasn’t like we were dating or anything like that. I had only moved in a week ago.
All thoughts of confusing jealousy evaporated as my eyes fell on a certain picture. Buried underneath another stack of Ramones cds laid an art cover that I instantly recognized just by the corner of the plastic.
“No way, you’ve got Siamese Dream?” I beamed, clutching the album. Gerard looked shocked, walking over to me with a dorky grin spreading on his lips, “You like Smashing Pumpkins?” I nodded eagerly, tucking the CD under my arm to fish around for money in my back pocket when Gerard pulled my hand back.
“I said I’d pay for it, right?” He chuckled, waving a few dollars in his hand.
“No, you said you’d pay for it if I convinced you. And what have I done to do that?”
Gerard hummed, “Y/N, you like Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana, you’ve already impressed me.”
Jesus that was a drabble wasn’t it
Can someone just fucking kill me already my writers block is STILL HERE
Considering that the self-esteem movement and school desegregation were more or less contemporary, do you think complaints about "snowflakes" are a cipher for complaining about integrated schools?
God, I fucking wonder. I mean, the thing with the “snowflake” argument that bigots like to put forth is that, really, it’s about minorities (of whatever kind) asking for the same considerations and showing the same self esteem that powerful people have always exhibited. I’d imagine this might come about both because of the ways that greater integration in society exposed minorities to the, let’s call them, Traditionally Powerful, and so minorities started realizing they could and should demand the same considerations.
Conversely, it’s pretty clear that with the implicit degradation of the supremacy of bigots that this type of self preservation and self esteem implies, they’re freaking the fuck out? So yeah, I guess you’re probably on to something???
hello, I'm really sorry to trouble you, but d'you recommend anything that could help me learn Japanese? I really really want to but I'm not sure how to go about it :/ thank you for your time :3
Hey there, you’re not bothering me at all! Japanese, like other languages with a script other than the latin script, is a bit more difficult to jump right into, especially when learning on your own, but it is definitely doable. If at all possible, I would recommend joining a japanese class either at your school/uni or any language-learning programs that are offered in your area. If not, that’s completely fine! LIke I said, teaching yourself a language is completely doable with the right attitude and resources.
Very first step! Learn Hiragana: Hiragana is the phonetic ‘alphabet’ of Japanese and is the very first step into reading the language. It’s phonetic, so they aren’t ‘letters’ per se. Each character has a sound, like ‘mi’ (み) or ‘yo’(よ) or ‘ka’(か). You combine these characters together to make a word, so in this case, it would be: みよか (miyoka)! I’m sure the resources that I give you for learning Hiragana will explain more in depth, but that’s the jist of it.
I’d also recommend downloading apps onto your phone! Just type in ‘hiragana’ into the apple/play store and plenty are bound to come up. One of my favourite apps for learning Japanese is “Human Japanese”. The full version costs money but it’s worth it. (I believe it is on both the play store and the apple store)
Second step! Learn Katakana: Katakana is only really used for foreign words that are introduced into the japanese language. For example, コンピューター (konpyuutaa) which means computer. As you can see, it was borrowed from the english word. Most of the loan words in japanese are borrowed from english and chinese (or at least from what I have seen), but there are a few that are from other languages as well. For example, アルバイト(arubaito) which means ‘part-time job’, is a loan word that comes from the german word ‘arbeit’ which means job. Foreign names would also be written in katakana (whilst japanese names would either be written in hiragana or kanji). My name (Brooke) would be ブルック (burukku). Often times, katakana is deemed unimportant compared to hiragana or kanji but it is important to know! Don’t skim over it, katakana shows up more in writing than you think.
Like hiragana, the apple/play store always has great katakana learning resources!
Kanji: I wouldn’t call this the third step, because it is something that you never really stop studying. Even Japanese people struggle with Kanji sometimes! In fact, most kids’ books are written in hiragana and katakana. If there does happen to be kanji featured, then the hiragana would be written underneath the kanji in brackets. Some people call Kanji the third alphabet of japanese, but it’s not really an alphabet or a phonetic system like hiragana and katakana. It’s more of a ‘pictoral’ system or ‘symbolic’ system if that makes sense (I don’t know the proper term). One character represents a word, instead of writing the entire word out. So it could kind of be like putting a dog emoji instead of writing out ‘dog’. If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is just like the chinese writing system! In fact, kanji is borrowed from chinese. Many vocab words have a kanji equivalent. For example, おんな(’onna’- woman) would become 女. おとこ (’otoko’-man) would become 男. はなす(’hanasu’-the verb ‘to speak’) would become 話す And so on and so forth. There are a number of kanji that are taught to japanese school children and are generally the most frequent kanji that you’ll see. These are the ones that most people start with when studying kanji. Kanji often has two different readings (sometimes more, sometimes less): おんよみ (onyomi) and くんよみ (kunyomi). Kunyomi is the traditional japanese reading and is often read when the kanji is by itself. Onyomi is the Chinese reading (because like I mentioned earlier, kanji is borrowed from chinese). Onyomi is often read when the kanji is paired with another kanji. Onyomi readings are usually written in katakana, because the word is foreign and not from the japanese language. An example of kunyomi and onyomi is this: 西
(’にし’: nishi) is a kanji that means ‘west’ when by itself. にし is its kunyomi reading.
西瓜 (’スイカ’: suika) is a compound word using two kanji. This kanji pairing means ‘watermelon’. It uses one of
西 onyomi readings, which is スイ(sui). Notice how it’s written in katakana?
Of course there are many exceptions to these two rules. There really are no set rules when it comes to reading kanji, in fact I reckon that it is one of the most difficult parts of japanese, but you will get it. It just requires dedicated practice!
Third step! Now that you can read basic japanese, it is time to start actually understanding it. If possible, check out your nearest book store (or online) and see if there are any japanese learning resources (like grammar/vocab books, full japanese course books, dictionaries, and books written in japanese). I would recommend focusing on the grammar first before focusing on vocabulary building, but some people prefer to focus on phrases and vocab before delving into learning the grammar right away. The grammar is much different than english, or any indo-european languages for that matter, so I think it’s important to at least understand how basic japanese grammar works.
Some good Japanese phone apps are: Memrise (also a website), Imiwa(dictionary), HUMAN JAPANESE (as mentioned above. One of my favourites), Learn Japanese, Learn Japanese by Mindsnacks, FluentU, Kanji Senpai, and so many more
Honestly, there are so many resources out there and I could spend hours on this list. Try a quick google search if this list doesn’t provide you with enough resources! (and it won’t, especially when you start to advance)
Immersion: Not really a step, but rather as something that should be integrated into your studies as much as possible! This includes but is not limited to: Music, Movies, Books, Dubbed tv shows and movies, Anime (yes, anime. As long as you realize that the manner of speech in anime is often exaggerated, it can be a great immersion aspect if it’s your kind of thing). If you can listen to music while studying, then try listening to japanese music. Have it on whilst getting ready in the morning, on the way to school/work, whilst doing housework, etc. This goes for movies and other immersion aspects as well. Seize any moment of the day for some extra and low-effort study time! Try configuring your computer/phone and any social media you have (tumblr, facebook, google) into japanese once you get a bit of a start into the language (preferably when you’re able to read it). Even your internet browser of choice!
Culture: It’s always a great idea to research the culture of the country(s) that speak your target language, as it can deeply impact your understanding of the language. Japanese culture is incredibly rich, so there’s no way to fall short in that aspect. Try learning the geography of Japan as well, such as the main islands, the major cities, and the prefectures. There are plenty of geographical-related quizzes online.
I hope this helps you get a jumpstart into the language and as always, if someone would like to add resources and/or advice/tips, then you’re welcome to, of course!