ASD English class meets author

On Thursday, Oct. 13, the Academy for Science and Design’s advanced language and composition class traveled to Boston to see Jeannette Walls, the author of the critically acclaimed novel "The Glass Castle."

In the memoir, Walls recounts a bittersweet childhood with dysfunctional parents. She describes the adventures and tribulations endured when she lived in poverty, as well as her climb up the socioeconomic ladder to be a successful journalist today.

Since Walls’ novel perfectly correlated with the first unit – poverty and family – of the advanced language and composition curriculum, the class was required to read "The Glass Castle" over the summer to prepare for the unit.

On the first day of school, the 10 students of the class collectively agreed that Walls’ novel was both intriguing and eye-opening.

"?’The Glass Castle’ will forever be one of my favorite novels because how wonderful and moving it is," said senior Nathaniel Yaakov. "I laughed and cried, but most important, I’ve changed after reading it."

Thus, the class was exhilarated when they learned that Walls was coming to Boston as a speaker for a charity event benefitting Rosie’s Place, a women’s shelter in Boston that provides meals, resources and support for homeless women, victims of assault, teens in abusive families and any women who need assistance to get their life back in a positive direction.

In preparation to attend the charity event, the class filmed and edited two public service announcements for Rosie’s Place to use, one informing about the negative consequences of gambling behavior and another promoting awareness for the effects of alcoholic behavior on family relationships.

These two themes are common in both "The Glass Castle" and in many of the guests at Rosie’s Place, deeming them very impactful for the organization.

"The PSAs put us outside our comfort zones to make something will actually benefit someone," said senior Ethan Towsley.

Similar to the effects of "The Glass Castle," the charity event widened the class’s perspective on the world. Not only were they able to hear Walls’ speech, but the class also uncovered the prevalence and the severity of the obstacles endured by the lower class.

In essence, students learned more than just about poverty and family from this field trip; they learned about changing the world.

Justin Yeung is a senior at the Academy for Science and Design.