Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I have become mildly obsessed with this lately. I subscribe to the podcast and get a weekly audio treat for free. It's fantastic. I have listened to stories about baby switches, inmates performing Hamlet, break-ups and even some more serious pieces on the War on Terror and the plummeting economy. We usually get about 2 and a half episodes in during her class each Monday and Wednesday. Today we listened to a story about "going big" that features a new approach to ending urban poverty. The thought lies in bettering the children's future by teaching their parents to be parents. (It reminds me a bit of this song. So. Classic). It was not only inspiring to listen to these parents sacrificing so much in an effort to prevent their child from leading the life they had lead. It also reminded me of Obama's early education plan which, when I first looked at it, looked like a lot of hooey to me. Early education? Can't parents do that? I mean really, do we honestly need other people to sing to babies for us? But in listening to the show today, I learned that so many children had such a different upbringing that I had.

Of course cognitively I realize that my childhood wasn't like an inner city kids, but it just didn't cross my mind that they weren't sung to, or smiled at, or read to. Those just seem like intuitive things to do to a child. But many of the children growing up in inner cities can't read, many of them because no one ever read to them. (Speaking of books, another thing that reminded me of the program was this book. Thanks OlderAndWiserToo for the recommendation).

I realized that I had taken so much for granted, and that so many do who just assume that our life pretty much mirrors the life of most of the general populous. It just isn't so. It is everyone's job to make sure they're doing their part to take care of America's children; to create a safety net woven so tightly that children simply can't fall through. I'm just glad that people like him are willing to take a stab at such and overwhelming problem.

I took a moment today to be grateful for my parents, for my childhood, and days filled with wonderment and sing-song games. Who knows, maybe without it, I wouldn't be a Coug.


Wendy said...

I love This American Life. Also, There Are No Children Here really taught me a lot. Those boys were growing up during my high school years there in Happy Valley. What a different world. It's amazing what kinds of environments some kids grow up in. I really enjoy your blog. You are a really good writer. I hope you don't mind sharing your thoughts with me.

Wendy said...

P.S. I tried to find out what happened to the boys in There Are No Children Here, but couldn't find any info. If you hear anything, let me know. I wonder how they are doing.

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