Project Dissertation

I moved to this fabulous city three years ago mainly to; be near an airport for travel, be able to not trade my stilletos for trainers, and to finish my doctoral studies in four years. Yes, that pretty much sums up my priorities at 30. So now I am ABD with nine months to go and San Francisco is no easy city to ignore. Although, I would argue that each experience that deters my academic writing is really just needed inspiration. Welcome and I hope you enjoy...

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Bilingual, Bicultural, and Dual Citizen. J School B.A., M.A. in High Incidence Disabilities, & ABD in Education.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

La Selva

"This is no fairy story and no joke; the meat will be shoveled into carts and the man who did the shoveling will not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one." The Jungle, Upton Sinclair

As my student left the school I handed him The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and suggested he read it. "Why?" I read it when I was about your age and I think it is partially responsible for why I am a vegetarian. "Oh yeah and that planet book too you told us about," yes, the Diet for a Small Planet.

"Are you pushing your views on me?" No, it is a good read and reading is good. Besides it will give you something to do the next two days and I will count it towards the work you miss.

"You could be fired ," for encouraging you to read? Hardly.

I was standing at the door of the state test I was proctoring watching him leave school empty handed. Leave school without any work for two days. A student that historically failed at school and experienced great difficulty was banned from school without a formal suspension or expulsion.

I thought of all the violence in the neighborhood streets, his strung out mother, slanging father and ailing great-grandmother. It felt like rage quickly rising from my center and I asked him to wait as I went to the bookcase. I wanted to give him something to hold onto, to do, to bring him back to school. The Jungle was staring right at me.

"I will be back on Thursday," and you better be on time I added. "What if I don't bring the book back?" Then I will buy another, but I know that you will because you have never taken anything from campus you haven't returned.

Many of us had suggested he get some work so he did not fall behind and he was told he would have to make it up in detention upon his return.

And we wonder why we lose kids to the concrete jungle?

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