"to Penetrate and Dissipate These Clouds of Darkness, the General Mind Must Be Strengthened by Education," Thomas JeffersonEssay "to Penetrate and Dissipate These Clouds of Darkness, the General Mind Must Be Strengthened by Education," Thomas Jefferson and over other 26,000+ free term papers, essays and research papers examples are available on the website!
Autor: people • October 4, 2012 • Essay • 1,044 Words (5 Pages) • 437 Views
"To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education," Thomas Jefferson once wisely said. Coming from where I'm from I have certainly learned a thing or two about the darkness of which Jefferson spoke. The place in which I grew up was shrouded in this darkness. The streets of my neighborhood, not unlike those in any other ghetto across America, were home to the usual cast of characters: pimps, pushers, drug addicts, prostitutes and hustlers. For three generations my family stayed stuck there in the darkness haunted by abject poverty and unrelenting despair. In fact, it was there in this darkness that my mother and father were consumed. Both of their lives claimed in unrelated homicides. For many years it was as if any attempts to escape the circumstances of our condition, to break the generational curse as it were, would be futile. That is, until Ruth was born. And it would be the very education, which Jefferson spoke of, that would illuminate her path to becoming the first woman in our family to graduate from college and the first to find her way out of the darkness.
My daughter Ruth, or Rudy as she is affectionately referred to, is proficient in four languages. She is a National Merit Honor Society inductee. Throughout her tenure at Loyola University she remained on the dean's, where she was also a member of the Phi Eta Sigma freshman honor society. These are all accolades that would make any mother proud. But without having been given the opportunity to receive a solid foundational education things could have turned out much differently.
With the choices of public elementary schools being determined by the area, or district, that you lived in, prior to Hurricane Katrina, families like ours were very limited in their ability to select what is typically regarded as being a "good" school for their children. Before the advent of charter schooling Louisiana public schools were, in part, funded by the property taxes collected in each schools respective district. And as I've already stated, our neighborhood was not exactly the kind where one was likely to find high taxable real estate situated. This undoubtedly left the schools in communities like ours with substandard books, equipment and facilities. The classrooms in these schools were also overcrowded with the very same impoverished children from the neighborhood who all had the same hopeless prospects as our Ruth would have had, had she been forced to attend one of these low income "district" schools.
In New Orleans, though, at the time that Ruth was to begin elementary school there was one other alternative for parents like me who could not afford a private school education for their children. This choice was to apply to greater quality "selective admission" schools. And they were hard to even qualify for consideration. Every year as the admissions process began for schools like the one that Ruth would ultimately