Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

NCLB Outrages

Metropolitan Diary

Ohanian Comment: I offer this Metropolitan Diary item here because this community spirit is what will be lost when the Business Roundtable and their political cronies succeed in reauthorizing NCLB and cementing the curriculum that trains children that it's a dog-eat-dog, do-or-die, highly competitive world there, every person for himself. When we have trained a generation of children to struggle for survival with no thought for the common good--or for one woman who needs help in finding her way, we will be truly lost.

Metropolitan Diary

Dear Diary:

The scene: Approaching Bergen Street during the after-work rush hour on an F train in Brooklyn.

A woman, probably from the Caribbean and needing directions, asked, âIs the train going to Broadway-Lafayette?â

A helpful fellow passenger answered: âYou missed it. You have to transfer at the next stop for a train back to Manhattan.â

But other passengers started worrying aloud that it is not possible to cross over to the other side for the next few stops. One passenger noted that you could indeed transfer to the other side at the south end of the Carroll Street station. A lively discussion among helpful strangers ensued.

In the meantime the lost passenger started giving more details about her desired destination. âI want to go to BAM. Isnât this near BAM?â

âOh, you want to go to the Brooklyn Academy of Music?â

âYes. Lafayette.â

âOh, THAT Lafayette!â

Upon hearing that, several voices chimed in at once:

âTransfer for the G next stop.â

âNo, she has to go back the other way on the G.â

âBut itâs hard to transfer to the other side at Smith and Ninth.â

âNo, she needs go to Pacific Street.â

Finally, one person took the Caribbean lady firmly in hand and loudly proclaimed to her (and the rest of us): âIâm a native New Yorker. I know where youâre going. Iâll take you there. Come on.â

And with that they exited the F together. Guenevere Knowles

— Metropolitan Diary
New York Times


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.