Book Trailer For Madam President

Friday, August 29, 2014

Teaching Down in the South Side of Chicago

Your first thought is you are going to get shot.  Could GPS really have screwed up? No way. Turn around. But you don't you keep driving and looking for the school. And there it is between some run down homes and you park in the gated lot with razor wire along the top and go on in and face the room full of Latino men and women who have come to learn. And you are the only one who doesn't speak Spanish

So you trot out all your writer tricks. You have used them before with other students at more affluent schools and they worked but here not so much. The stakes are much higher and no one has time to lose. Everyone has children and everyone works several jobs. And it is a rough area and many live in even rougher areas. So you plow through looking for an alley to walk down where you can meet on neutral ground.

And they realize that you are not like the others. That you too are on the outside and the stories come out and the guards come down and they turn into students like any other students. And then they read their essays and you understand the odds. So you try harder and then it is over and you are driving back to the suburbs

Your wife asks you what it was like and you try and say how it was...but for once, words fail you.

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Books by William Hazelgrove