What is your education?

The paradox of education through Baldwin’s meaning is once a person is educated, he or she will question the world around him or her :“Thus, for example, the boys and girls who were born during the era of the Third Reich, when educated to the purposes of the Third Reich, became barbarians. The paradox of education is precisely this — that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated”. In that sense, I concede with Baldwin’s paradox of education meaning. I was educated in Vietnam most of my life, once I gained enough knowledges I began to question the ethical practices of the goverment.

Baldwin believes once you educate your children and students (especially colored youths) you should not teach them to fear, condemn and contemn others. He also believes that you should teach you children and students to challenge the society “To ask questions of the universe, and then learn to live with those questions, is the way he achieves his own identity. But no society is really anxious to have that kind of person around. ” I believe his ideology of education, it’s give a voice to student. Through out his seven pages article, he delievers his dark expereinces as a black/ low-income child in New York “The Park Avenue I grew up on, which is still standing, is dark and dirty…Later on when you become a grocery boy or messenger and you try to enter one of those buildings a man says, ‘Go to the back door.’” As colored child in New York city, the society doubt him “There is something else the Negro child can do, to. Every street boy — and I was a street boy, so I know — looking at the society which has produced him, looking at the standards of that society which are not honored by anybody, looking at your churches and the government and the politicians, understand that this structure is operated for someone else’s benefit — not for his.”

My experience with early education was a contrast compare to him. Through out high school, I got many assistants from my teachers, school, programs, mentors and my family. With the assistants I never felt loss or confuse to get into college.

Jesmyn’s experiences at Mission High was more beneficial than her middle school “…Jesmyn’s mother thought her middle school in the more affluent, Marina district of San Francisco…Jesmyn receive mostly Fs and Ds there.” Also, her teachers at Mission High spent more efforts to develope her intellegent. As we see, Baldwin’s ideology influented many generaion in America; one need to teach students to think logically and give them a voice. He also believes students need to be teach without colors “In order for me to live, I decided very early that some mistake had been made somewhere. I was not a “nigger” even though you called me one. But if I was a “nigger” in your eyes, there was something about you — there was something you needed.” I agree with his point, I was discrimminated against because I was the only Asian in a Spanish dominated classroom.

It is important for Jesmyn to present Trayvon Martin’s case because she needs to prove to her classmates that being colored and wearing a hoodie is not danger to society.

Jesmyn believes that her responsibility as an educated person is to strive for high expectation, never give up and do not want to use her family’s conditions as an excuse “When I am in school, when I get real work done there and I feel like I am learning…I dont want my teachers to pretend that they can understand what’s going on in my neighborhood.” As an educated person, my responsibility is to challenge society to think instead of telling them what to think. In the end, I hope to learn how to be proactive in a situation instead of reactive.

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