I'm back. I know you didn't miss me because you're not reading in the first place.
I'll start on a happy note. Way back on May 23, the Baltimore Sun ran a piece by Trang Diem Vu, a soon to graduate of Johns Hopkins University. She was going to be going to the Mayo Clinic for medical school. The same day, her sister would be graduating from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and beginning a residency. Nothing terribly unusual in that, nor even that their family had come to the US only in 1990. Immigrants working hard to have their children seize opportunities is a long story in the US.
What's unusual is that she didn't sell it as a "pulling up by my own bootstraps" sort of thing that's been twisted into a level of rationalization for selfishness that's dumbfounding. No, "I got mine, screw you!" that's so prevalent in the Know Nothing movement.
Instead, she took the time to write this piece to thank all those who helped her. In particular she thanked the city of Baltimore, a much maligned institution in Maryland. She sings the praises of neighbors and teachers and many programs in the city and its schools that are in place to help the econimically distressed achieve. She had an extended communtiy, Vietnamese, black, and white, that helped her and her sister to be fluent in English and achieve in school.
As she says, the graduation ceremony "is the peak to which the city of Baltimore has carried me and my family."
Congratulations to her for recognizing that she's not traveling life alone, that success is not a singular achievement, but one of community and caring.