The way education is perceived has drastically changed. The gap between the less fortune and the elite is a major concern that affects our education system. This gap causes insecurities, as well as, success for those who are able to come across it. In the podcast “Three Miles,” Lisa and Angela, two teachers, believed that their students should come together and learn about the differences in each others school. Although their idea worked, there were some results that affected a student named Melanie.
Melanie, a student at University Heights High school, was devastated after seeing Fieldston, an elite private school. It was what she had dreamed of. Melanie loved reading and was an intelligent student. She was so disheartened after seeing this elite school that all she said was “we’ve got to get out of here.” Melanie felt like she didn’t belong there. She felt like a “ratchet-ass girl from the hood.” She also explained that there is a racial gap saying that the students at Fieldston “were just a sea of white, blonde, blue-green eyes.” Her race and her social status made her feel unwelcomed and hopeless.
The insecurity she had caused her to believe that the elite colleges wouldn’t even consider her. Even though her intelligence got her a Posse scholarship, she became selfish and only went after the one college she had always wanted to go to. The college she wanted to go to, Middlebury, rejected her and it tore her life. She felt that if she didn’t get into Middlebury, she wasn’t smart. Instead of applying to other colleges, she decided to not go to college at all. Now she regrets not going to college.
Jonathan, as opposed to Melanie, never really saw college as anything important. He was a foster child and always thought that his experience in cleaning wouldn’t help him in college. Just like Melanie, Jonathan felt devastated after seeing Fieldston. He felt like that was where all the rich people went and he didn’t belong there at all. His girlfriend, Raquel saw that he had the intelligence and potential to go to college. Jonathan did end up getting a full scholarship to the college he wanted to go to. The pressure of being the “only black guy,” not having the money to buy books, and the insecurity that college wasn’t for him caused him to flunk out.
Raquel, on the other hand, went to college. Even though, she struggled and was in the same situation as Jonathan she seemed to manage. This is because she valued education. She graduated and became a teacher. Although, she wasn’t as smart as other kids she proved that she can become successful. Raquel also believed she didn’t deserve it because her parents weren’t educated and they didn’t have money. Through hard work, she finally accepted the fact that she truly did deserve it.
Success isn’t granted. You have to work hard for it. Don’t let anyone or yourself let you down like Melanie and Jonathan, but focus and put effort and you’ll find a way out. Just like Raquel succeeded, anyone can. At the end of the day race and social class doesn’t matter as much as dedication and effort does.
Do you think insecurities or people demoting you come in the way of education?
How can we improve or change the way education is perceived for a low income student? High income student?
Glass, Ira. “Transcript.” Home. WBEZ, n.d. 13 March 2015 Web. 25 Sept. 2016. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/550/transcript
Glass, Ira. “#550: Three Miles.” SoundCloud. n.d. 13 March 2015 Web. 25 Sept. 2016. https://soundcloud.com/danica-savonick/550-three-miles