"I'm Her Mother, Not Them"
If they argue with me they argue with me. She [Vicky] will not be in no special education class. I'm the one who has to sign the papers. I'm her mother, not them. So they can argue with me all they want to. —June (transcript, 3/26/98)
I guess I let them put her into it [special education] just to get it over with. —June (transcript, 6/13/98)
In January of 1998, the school sent home a form letter asking for parental permission to begin the special-education referral process on Vicky. June stood in her kitchen and told me the reading teacher had called her to explain what the paperwork was. After the phone call with Mrs. Matthews, the reading teacher, June told me what she viewed as the school's intention for testing Vicky. June stated, "She just say that she wanted to, test Vicky and see how she, how she goin' before she gettin' into the middle school. And then she just gonna show me what she gonna be test on if I want her tested."
"What is the purpose for the testing?" I asked.
June responded, "She just said to just see how, you know, see how she goin', what her level and stuff is, before she get into the middle school. I tol' her I'd think about it. She said don't worry about it now because it ain't until just like, before they get ready to get up outta school."
"So," I asked June, "what is your view on the testing?" June responded:
I don't know, I want to see the papers and stuff first before I decide what she gonna be tested on. I want to see what the paper is and what, you know, and what they is about and stuff. And if I feel she need to be tested on that, then I let her go ahead and test her. But she said that she can't do it unless I'm concerned about it. You know, I sign it and stuff. 1
Embedded in this quotation, similar to all utterances, are orders of discourse including genre, discourse, and style. The genre of this quotation is part of an interview. The discourse—or the ways of representing— includes how June understood the institution of the school. These phrases