#78: School is for healing
Welcome to Extras #78! Thank you for voting last week to rename Extras. Here are the finalists: Bookmarks, Things That Matter, Remarkables, Highlighter, The Gist, and The Longform Shortlist. My favorite write-in candidate was We Are What We Read. I’ll be thinking about these names and let you know the winner soon!Today’s Extras is about education, lying, and staying healthy. The first article is featured as a must-read (and please discuss!). Travel to Alaska to learn how an Iñupiat community reclaims its culture and traditions through revamping its curriculum. Then come a pair of articles about lying, followed by a pair of articles about staying healthy, where issues of race and class are prominent. Thank you for reading this edition — please enjoy!
Featured article of the week: “Our School”
This article by Lauren Markham is the best article on education that I have read in a very long time. (I’m recommending that my colleagues read it next August at their back-to-school professional learning.) Ms. Markham reports on the new curriculum in Alaska’s North Slope Borough School District, home of the Iñupiat people. It is a story of how a community can rebuild its schools in order to decolonize, resuscitate, and heal. If you are an educator, or if you care about education, there are many connections here. It will push you to think again about the big questions, like: What is education for? and Why do I teach? In fact, I encourage you to respond to a prompt on this article by clicking here or on the talk bubble below. (Ms. Markham was previously featured in Extras #63 for her excellent profile on the mayor of San Salvador.)
Posters on the wall in Shannon’s 9th grade English classroom, San Francisco.
The Woman Who Said Emmett Till Grabbed Her Was Lying
Carolyn Bryant testified that Emmett Till in 1955 grabbed her and verbally threatened her, in addition to whistling at her. It turns out that Carolyn was lying about the grabbing and the threatening, according to The Blood of Emmitt Till, by Timothy B. Tyson, which came out on Tuesday. This is reprehensible. It is possible that Ms. Bryant’s lie led to the murder of 14-year-old Emmett and to the acquittal of his murderers.
The Perils of Calling Trump a Liar
Even though President Donald Trump is lying to us all the time, I’ve been feeling uncomfortable that the press (most notably, the New York Times) is beginning to use the term “lie” more often. This piece perfectly explains my sentiments, with a history lesson about President Richard Nixon. Do you agree — that if we call everything a lie, then the word will lose its meaning — or do you think journalists should keep using the term?
Once again, here are beautiful books, every which way but loose, facing the peril of disorder, in public school bookshelves across America. #KCPforever
Why Succeeding Against the Odds Can Make You Sick
Last week, I introduced you to Dr. James Hamblin, who writes for The Atlantic. This week, he’s in the New York Times SundayReview, where he argues that grit and hard work may actually make you sick — and much more so if you are African American. The difference, of course, is racism and the trauma brought on by discrimination.
The Heroism of Incremental Care
Wow, Dr. Atul Gawande knows how to write. In this piece, in which he argues that we should put more resources into primary care physicians (i.e., incremental care), Dr. Gawande brings up his own decision to become a surgeon, his son’s chronic heart condition, and how humans shouldn’t be like bridges. (If you haven’t read his 2014 book, Being Mortal, please do.)
You made it! Here are three things you can do: (1) Please welcome new subscribers Sonya and Jennifer! (2) If you were moved by the first article, as I was, please consider writing a response. The Extras community (91 subscribers and counting!) is a thoughtful one, and we grow through conversation. (3) Feel free to forward this issue to a friend and coax them to subscribe. Have a great week, and I’ll see you back here next Thursday at 9:10 am!
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