Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sudhir Venkatesh and Will Okun

As someone who has been an 0ff-and-0n blogger for about two and a half years, I sometimes check myself for the reasons why I blog and why others blog too. The two reasons I blogged, I felt were very valid. The first blog I had was my online diary about my year studying abroad in Paris. Now this blog details my adventure of being a NUPIP Fellow at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. I'll admit I wasn't an avid reader of travel/study abroad blogs (let's be honest, the only people who were reading my blog in Paris were my friends and family), but I have become a voracious reader of blogs detailing issues in tutoring, mentoring, inner cities, public housing and especially education.
Two of my favorites both appear in the New York Times, although both have close ties to Chicago. The first blog, is that of Will Okun, writing in Nicholas Kristof's column as a guest blogger, describing his life and the lives of his students at a high school on the Westside of Chicago. I encourage everyone to read his blog because he describes the same struggles and joys that I face working with mostly African American, inner-city adolescents.
The other recent blog that I have discovered is Sudhir Venkatesh, who contributes to the Freakonomics blog in the New York Times. Venkatesh is a former University of Chicago graduate student, now a sociology professor at Columbia University, who began his research in the Robert Taylor homes, the notorious public housing projects on the south side of Chicago. Venkatesh has written several books about his experiences, including American Project: The Rise and Fall of the Modern Ghetto. His most recent work is Gang Leader for a Day about his relationship with a prominent gang leader in the Robert Taylor homes. Looks like an interesting read . . .

1 comment:

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