Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Public School Education

I have had this wonderful impression of Public School system in the US. Somehow poverty or dropping out of school didn't seem to be a part of it. And then I saw a couple of movies to change my mind about that. Namely Sir with love (which is originally a book!) and Dangerous Minds. As stories go they are typical: about good and bad and how much difference an individual with a strong willpower can make. Its mostly about an idealist teacher ending up at a public schools where children are from poor families. There are pressing issues of survival which do not include going to school. There are kids who get into drugs, there is teenage motherhood, there are kids turning into crime...

That completely describes the book " Up the Down Staircase" by
Bel Kaufmann. The book is not unique in the story it tries to tell. But unique in how subtle it all is. The whole book is a collection of a bunch of letters, notes to teachers, notes between teachers, instructions etc. All these simple scraps of paper come together to tell you a tale. An example of strange rules is how people are not supposed to climb up the "down" staircase! You would think that stairs going up would come down too, but try telling that to the school board.
Its about a teenager who falls in love with her English teacher only to have her love letter returned with her grammer corrected. I would like to tell you it will make you laugh. Except its tragic. Its tragic that its so hard to get past the red tape. Its tragic that more often than not you are as helpless as everyone else.
At the end of day all the effort makes you stop one young life from dropping out of school meanwhile loosing several inspite of your best efforts.
But its about it all being worth it for that one young life into which you have brought the hope to find a better future!!!


Blogger Bdeshini said...

Ligne, nice to find another fan of heartwrenching fiction (assuming this is fiction).

Its about a teenager who falls in love with her English teacher

How do I know this is not going to turn out good?

8:42 PM  
Blogger ligne said...

oh it was just one small incident in the book.. i meant to write more but i guess in the flow i forgot :)
but the book by itself is positive.. and it is fiction :)

8:52 PM  
Blogger atma_tripta said...

Even the small efforts could make a difference and for that its worth using all the talent and capability one has, for they say: The woods would be very silent if only the best birds sang
or putting it in a different way,
Little drops of water and little grains of sand;
make a mighty ocean and a pleasant land!

12:20 AM  

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