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An Unsentimental Education

by 12/09/2014
Neighborhood: Bronx

In a school full of hard cases, Theresa Fulife was the hardest. She looked like the oldest kid in the eighth grade because at 16 she was. Her scarred, nearly six-foot muscular frame looked like it had been tattooed by a drunken sailor. Her face resembled the pitted surface of some foreign planet. Her hair […]

You Go

by 08/30/2012
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

I have two photos of my daughter Lili on my desk, one taken in front of the the Brownstone School on West 80th Street in New York City in September 1996, the other taken at Ithaca College just a few days ago. I also have one of those acrylic, etched pieces she gave me for […]

All That They Can Be?

by 05/16/2012
Neighborhood: Bushwick, Ridgewood, Uncategorized

The local recruiter is at my classroom door again and I really wish he’d stop doing this. When I explain that there are designated areas throughout the building for him to speak with students or ‘potential recruits’ as they’re called in his line of work, he apologizes profusely. In fact, his demeanor and etiquette is […]

Any Kid In The City

by 04/06/2012
Neighborhood: Flushing

The students enter the building through a side door, where they promptly submit backpacks and any other personal items to the NYPD safety agent who greets them at the steps. There’s a male agent for the boys, a female for the girls. Everyone is scanned for weapons, cell phones and drugs upon entering the building. […]