Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Here's a telling item about the community I teach in. At the beginning of every year, I have my students fill out a questionnaire so I can get to know them a little better, be a better teacher to them. I ask a variety of things, including what they do in their spare time, what they are good at, what tv/radio/book/graphic novel/video games/movies they like, etc. I ask what city they were born in and what language they speak at home. This is the first year I have 2 students from Micronesia who speak Chuukese at home. I also have a student recently from Sierra Leone, here to escape the fate of child soldier or worse. He speaks three African languages and his grandfather is chief of his village. That is only a touch of the variety of students I have - some here recently others born and raised. Russian, Ukranian, Bosnian (2 who escaped the genocide as toddlers), Croatian, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, Laotian, Vietnamese, Guatemalan, Equadorian, Honduran, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Rwandan...the list goes on.

But all live in or near this neighborhood.

and so, when I also ask "how do you picture yourself 10 years from now?" -- it's not surprising anymore for me to see several questionnaires come back with the same answer: "hopefully, not dead."

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