Most of my academic life I’ve questioned how schools impact settlers’ integration into communities: How do people become members of society? How do recalcitrant gatekeepers become welcoming neighbors? These questions have moved me literally and figuratively around the world. Nine years ago, those questions carried me to New Orleans and helped transform me into a New Orleanian. Until recently, I haven’t spent much time considering what full-fledged community members go through when they voluntarily leave their homes. That is until I decided to take a job in another state.
The spate of headlines that drew them to our attention has died down. Yet I still find myself thinking about the faces of a certain 19-year-old man and his elder brother, accused by police of bringing about a tragic end to what should have been a day of joy and celebration.
Commentator Gary Borders and his family take time out to watch "Duck Dynasty" together, along with about 8.4 million other viewers of the hugely popular A&E network reality show. He even feels akin to the backwoods adventures at times.
Parents have always held visions of what professional uniforms their sons or daughters should wear. These visions are becoming fetishes in a world in which professional titles provide license to a reframed American Dream. Christina Freeland describes it as a “winner-take-all economy” in which “education is the trump card.” Consequently, parents over time have increased their investments in education to ensure that their children are not second-class citizens in a high skilled economy.
It's one of life's pleasures: watching a rainstorm from a warm, comfortable room at home -- and not feeling any looming deadlines. Commentator Gary Borders experienced one of those days recently, perched in his Longview study.