Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hard Times Indeed

I finally got to watch the HBO documentary Hard Times at Douglass High last night. If you have kids, you should watch it. If you don't have kids, but think you might eventually get old and have to depend on a younger generation one day, you should watch it.

I taught for one semester at Frederick Douglass about 2 years before this documentary was filmed. I believed when I signed up, that I would be there for the rest of my life, and I was heart-broken after just three months. If you're a teacher, maybe you know what I'm talking about.

If the 70 hours a week wasn't going do me in, the kid who muttered threats under his breath might have tried, although I doubt it. Still, Godfrey didn't like my chances, and the morning after my last day of class, I woke up realizing that there was a really good chance that no one was going to cuss me out that day. The first day in 3 months.

It is a baseline documentary. You don't see the lowest lows, but you really don't see the highest highs, either. And that is a shame, because there is genius in Baltimore youth. Genius that I've never seen in other towns. Genius that is all them.

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