Sunday, September 11, 2016

Kristof - Quotes

Kristof titles his article 'U.S.A., Land of Limitations?, rather than land of opportunities as America is more commonly known as. The reason? America does not have equal opportunities for all who live here, no matter what one may think.

Within the first few paragraphs, one quote stuck out.
'"We have never been a nation of haves and have-nots," Senator Marco Rubio once declared. "We are a nation of haves and soon-to-haves, of people who have made it and people will make it."'
While this is true, and does describe some opportunities for those living in this country, it is not the whole story. This quote means that America is not simply divided into people who have and have succeeded and those who do not have and have not succeeded. Rather, America is a country where some already have and others will have given time and opportunity.

 The second quote that seemed to stand out for me was,
'School might have been an escalator to a better life, for Rick had a terrific mind, but as a boy he had an undiagnosed attention deficit disorder and teachers wrote him off. In the eighth grade, the principal punished Rick for skipping school, by suspending him for six months. Rick was thrilled. By 10th grade he had dropped out of school for good.'
This was important to me because it showed what the school system is lacking, even today. For teachers to just push students off and send them up in grades just so the burden isn't theirs is what truly bothers me most. As a teacher you should care about the education and the message you are sending to these children. If they are being pushed aside based on some type of learning disorder or other reason, you are teaching them that because of this their education and knowledge isn't worth anything to anyone else, therefore, making it worthless for them. The end result? More high school drop outs simply because no one has helped them learn to their full potential.

'Consider that 77 percent of adults in the top 25 percent of the incomes earn a B.A. by age 24. Only 9 percent of those in the bottom 25 percent do so.'
This quote truly depicts what the impact of financial status has to do with higher education. Those in the bottom 25 percent either feel they cannot further their education or their financial status does not allow them to. Some may have to work right after high school to support families, putting college out of their plans. Those that are fortunate enough to go to college do, widening the gap.

A point to share would include a few other quotes from this reading. Quotes that show some people do go above what would be expected of them. Others, further explaining why the life you were born into is what determines your future. As someone who works with elementary children, I've personally seen what home life can do to a child's idea of their future. Some feel because of their race or whether their parent went to college that determines whether they go or not. Some children are experiencing being pushed off by teachers, making them feel they are not capable to learn what is being taught in class. I use my job to tell them their wrong. I help to encourage them to do better and strive for what they want. And watching them come in, waving their report cards, excited to tell me they did better in math or reading than last report card is the best reward I can ask for.


  1. I picked the same quote about having what you have-not haves. He makes a great point about it all because truly our society has come to it all on what each and every child has. Even though I do believe that we should be making this change.

  2. Alex, I enjoyed reading your write up and you had a great use of quotes. I imagine some of us may choose the same ones! Good way to relate your experience in the classroom by discussing further quotes as well!

  3. These are some great quotes and I think you did a great job of breaking them down and explaining. I agree that teachers need to help students to the best of their ability. Maybe giving a student a little bit more attention a few times a week after school could prevent them from thinking about dropping out.