They always take things literally.
But the thing about “wisdom” is that like “luck,” it is entirely retrospective. It is not the truth; it’s a gloss, an interpretation, a vision, a perspective. It means nothing and everything. A term for one kind of border, but hardly a definitive statement about what it means to cross from one place to the next.
Other girlfriends cheat
After the tiresome 12 to 13
Other girlfriends beat the street
Looking for other pieces of meat
My eyes drift down lazily as I fight my exhaustion
I don’t want to be caught slipping trippin
Not giving needed attention
But my body take away choice
Drifting into the wonderful abyss
Nope, wake up I’m going home
Because you’re asleep
Anger, fury and pain so sudden rush to overflow to the tip of my tongue
Meaningless words that won’t explain why my 13 hour days require me to sleep and not spare precious moments of time because my body doesn’t allow it rush to the back of my eyes
But my eyes fly open
And my mouth stays closed
Because we’ve had this argument
And I’ve offered my reasons
They’re not enough
But guess what
I’m not sleep
Paloma Noyola: The Face of Mexico’s Unleashed Potential
When a report emerged in September 2012 that a girl from one of Matamoros’ poorest neighborhoods had attained the highest math score in Mexico, some doubted its veracity. It must be fake, they said.
But it wasn’t fake. Her name is Paloma Noyola, and what most reports failed to mention is that almost all of her classmates also scored very high on the national math test. 10 scored in 99.99% percentile.
Paloma and her classmates also scored in the top percentile in language. Something special was happening at José Urbina López primary school in Matamoros, and Wired went to take a look.
The high test scores turned out to be the work of a young teacher who also came from humble beginnings. Sergio Juárez Correa was tired of the monotony of teaching out of a book and wanted to try something new to help engage his students when he came across the work of Sugata Mitra, a UK university professor who had innovated a new pedagogy he called SOLE, or self organized learning environments. The new approach paid off.
Although SOLE usually relies on unfettered Internet access for research, Juárez and his students had very limited access. Somehow, he still found a way to apply Mitra’s teachings and unleash their potential.
From the beginning, Paloma’s exceptional abilities were evident:
One day Juárez Correa went to his whiteboard and wrote “1 = 1.00.” Normally, at this point, he would start explaining the concept of fractions and decimals. Instead he just wrote “½ = ?” and “¼ = ?”
“Think about that for a second,” he said, and walked out of the room.
While the kids murmured, Juárez Correa went to the school cafeteria, where children could buy breakfast and lunch for small change. He borrowed about 10 pesos in coins, worth about 75 cents, and walked back to his classroom, where he distributed a peso’s worth of coins to each table. He noticed that Paloma had already written .50 and .25 on a piece of paper.
As Mr. Juárez implemented more of Mitra’s teachings in his classroom, Paloma continued to stand out as an exceptionally gifted student:
Juárez Correa was impressed. But he was even more intrigued by Paloma. During these experiments, he noticed that she almost always came up with the answer immediately. Sometimes she explained things to her tablemates, other times she kept the answer to herself. Nobody had told him that she had an unusual gift. Yet even when he gave the class difficult questions, she quickly jotted down the answers. To test her limits, he challenged the class with a problem he was sure would stump her. He told the story of Carl Friedrich Gauss, the famous German mathematician, who was born in 1777.
When Gauss was a schoolboy, one of his teachers asked the class to add up every number between 1 and 100. It was supposed to take an hour, but Gauss had the answer almost instantly.
“Does anyone know how he did this?” Juárez Correa asked.
A few students started trying to add up the numbers and soon realized it would take a long time. Paloma, working with her group, carefully wrote out a few sequences and looked at them for a moment. Then she raised her hand.
“The answer is 5,050,” she said. “There are 50 pairs of 101.”
Juárez Correa felt a chill. He’d never encountered a student with so much innate ability. He squatted next to her and asked why she hadn’t expressed much interest in math in the past, since she was clearly good at it.
“Because no one made it this interesting,” she said.
Although this Wired piece focuses mostly on Sugata Mitra, it does once again highlight the story of Paloma Noyola. Unfortunately, after a brief spurt of media attention, little on Paloma was ever mentioned and, as was pointed out by Wired, nothing was ever said of Mr. Juárez.
As with most stories in the Mexican press — and with in the middle-class — things suddenly become very important once it’s featured in a gringo publication. Which is a very sad commentary. We hope, however, that this story pushes those in the press, state and federal government to look not to the United States for validation but to Mexicans like Sergio Juárez doing good work in places like Matamoros.
The clear message in this story is that there are thousands of Paloma Noyolas going to school in Mexico who, just like her at one time, are not being challenged and therefore aren’t very interested in school. This story can, if we want it to, raise enough awareness to shift the discussion from poverty to opportunity.
Paloma truly personifies both Mexico’s challenges and unleashed potential.
Read the entire Wired story here: How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses
Editor’s note: As an addendum, Wired provided information on helping support Sugata Mitra and his School in the Clouds project, and although they donated school supplies and equipment to José Urbina López School, we’re interested in seeing if we can help set up a similar fund for Sergio Juárez, the teacher featured in this story.
Also, $9,300 was raised to help fund Paloma’s education last year. We going to follow with the economist who led the fundraising campaign to see how she’s doing. Stay tuned for updates.
Orgullo mexicano es una sequía bien mala, en especial a nivel educativo. Esto es bellísimo!
[trigger warning: misogynoir] D.N. Lee (@DNLee5), a Black scientist (her blog is called The Urban Scientist on Scientific American Mind) was treated in the most disrespectful way by a science publication, Biology-Online.org. They wanted her to blog for them. She inquired about what they wanted, the frequency and the pay. The editor advised her of the details and that there is no pay. She politely declined.
Then their editor replied with “are you urban scientist or an urban whore?”
A Black woman works hard to become a scientist only to be called a “whore” because she expects to be paid for her work. PAID FOR WORK, you know that neat thing that people all over America expects and one that America has a history of not always doing where Black women and Black people in general are concerned? Black women are regularly insulted when we fight back against labor exploitation or even simply say no, like she did. We cannot say no? I’ve been called every name in the book for this.
So not only is the well-engrained hatred of sex workers involved in this insult (because they’re paid for sex, which is outlandish to patriarchy since men feel they are owed sex), not only is there the misogyny that women in STEM face endlessly, but the way this person used her blog title in the insult to be “clever” also implies specific anti-Black misogyny or misogynoir.
Did you ask why some Black women/women of colour and White women avoid STEM like a plague? Did you think it was the sexist myth that all women “can’t” do science and are “afraid” of math? Very few people recognize the gravity of the sexism and racism in STEM and how that (in addition to capitalism) actually shapes what degrees are deemed “useless" or not and even creates a hierarchy among the degrees deemed “useless.” Very few want to examine how the cycle below contributes to why some women opt out of STEM and why some women face so much abuse in STEM:
Gender socialization → Sexism → Misogyny → Stereotype threat → Confirmation bias
The fact that this person would actually type the word “WHORE” in a professional email to someone they sought work from turns my stomach and makes me stabby as hell.
I love her confident and nuanced reply in the video above. I LIVE! She deserves to be treated with respect and this publication with its misogynoir needs to re-evaluate themselves and the editor needs to be held accountable.
(I am not clear if she lost her blog position but her post about her experience was taken down from Scientific American Mind but elaborated on in a post on Isis The Scientist. Read more here: An Open Letter To Scientific American Mind And Why You’ve Lost A Reader #BoycottSciAm from someone who followed her situation.)
White male directors are silent when they are confronted about their privilege and the dishonesty within their industry. Steve McQueen hands them their asses.
"I’m not stepping into that"
The fact that someone can say this about a racial topic is a white privilege. The ability to remove yourself from anything pertaining to race is a white privilege. People of Color have no choice, they live their lives as a people of color and can never change that aspect about themselves. This black director can’t one day say, “Oh I’m not going to be black today so I don’t have to deal with racial issues.” And yet white people have to choice of “stepping into” the issue or not. They can buffer themselves from these difficult conversations in which other people cannot.
Slavery at that time was only a bad thing if you made it a bad thing. Not all slaves looked at their status as terrible because it meant you had a place to stay and food to eat. Slavery just eventually came to have a bad rep because masters started to abuse the power and distort it into something that it wasn’t meant to be.