Tuesday, September 25, 2007


my cap class toured brooklyn today. we were instructed to travel in groups of two (less likely to be approached for prostitution) & not to engage people on park benches (probably drug dealers), because, as fletcher put it: "this is not roland park." with that being said, i had a lot of expectations for the experience. i was surprised. (even though i'm finding that i'm not very good at detecting when people around me are under the influence.) it's easy to say that area is depressed and help is needed. but even that conclusion after spending a day there is lacking sensitivity to the people there. that is their life. and with cap you are always an outsider.

being the hopeless optimist i am, i always look for something to grab onto. a glimmer of something good amid a shitty situation. i found that in the elementary school there. they were so welcoming... & so excited to participate in "a neighborhood called baltimore." the staff is fortunate to have what they do. they made the environment a bright, fun safe haven for the kids to grow and learn. the vice principal took us around and showed off every room, every group of kids. i can't wait to go back and actually work with them and see what they create.

the art teacher there was great. (we found out she was a former mica/johns hopkins student... it has got to take a certain kind of motivation to be so young, just out of school, and willing to commit to teaching in baltimore, living off of a teacher's salary.) my favorite thing was her piet mondrian project with the pre-k kids. so cool. it is so important that they are able to have art classes and be creative... that isn't always a standard with inner city schools. the kids may never remember who piet mondrian is or doing a cut paper assignment when they were 6. but maybe when they are 16 they'll remember the power art had to allow them to escape from whatever was going on at home. maybe they'll grab construction paper, glue, and scissors instead of turning to drugs. maybe...

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