Amazing Grace Essay Research Paper Amazing Grace 2 — страница 2

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this neighborhood goes to a hospital in one of the wealthier districts, they are usually treated in such a way that they don?t feel welcome. One nurse who has been working in the South Bronx for five years tells Kozol, ?As bad as Lincoln or Bronx-Lebanon may be, at least receptionists don?t call a woman of color by her first name. And some of the nurses and housekeepers talk to you! If a woman?s black, Hispanic, and on welfare, maybe a drug user, or has HIV, she knows she isn?t welcome in a first-class hospital. This is not perception. It?s a fact. If they wouldn?t want you as a neighbor, why do you think they?d want you in the next bed?? (p. 175-176) And for those few that actually do get admitted to a facility in the higher income districts, they are placed on ?special? floors

dedicated to Medicaid patients. ?On the fifth floor of Mount Sinai Medical Center, a distinguished private hospital, according to the paper, 17 newborn babies are placed in a row in front of a window in the obstetric ward. All are white. One flight down, in the fourth-floor nursery, are 14 other babies- ?all black or Latino.? The fifth floor, supposedly reserved for private patients, offers ?private and semiprivate rooms with bathrooms.? On the fourth floor, black and Hispanic women are assigned, four each, to ?overcrowded rooms? with ?peeling paint? and ?showers in the hallways.? ? Patients on the fifth floor are given classes in nutrition, exercise, breast-feeding, and infant care, which, says a nurse, are not provided to the patients on the fourth floor. On the fifth floor a

nurse is instructed not to document the fact of alcohol abuse in making out a patient?s record. On the fourth floor, in contrast, ?nurses?note for the records a mother?s drug or alcohol abuse? and notify welfare officials if a mother uses drugs.? (p. 177) Education is also in a severe predicament in this area. With major overcrowding, students find themselves trying to learn while jammed into spaces not intended as classrooms, such as stair landings, gymnasiums, bathrooms and even coat closets. These large class sizes make it difficult for students to concentrate on their work and often result in increased disciplinary problems. Teachers therefore find that their effectiveness as a teacher diminishes exponentially as they spend more time trying to maintain order in an overcrowded

classroom. Another hindrance to the students? educational process is the physical conditions of these schools and the insufficient supply of proper materials. Most of the students are using outdated textbooks and do not have access to the kinds of materials or equipment that would enhance the learning experience and/or create the opportunity to explore subjects such as science. As for the physical attributes, these school buildings are in horrible condition with ?barrels?filling up with rain in several rooms? Green fungus molds… growing in the corners of the room in which the guidance counselor met kids who were depressed.? (p. 151-152) Qualified teachers are also in dire need. ??students seldom see a certified teacher but are instructed, for the most part, by ?provisionals,?

or permanent subs? (p. 155) while the more experienced teachers are choosing to work in schools located in better neighborhoods that receive better funding. You would think that with all these negative influences surrounding this community that everyone would lose hope. Fortunately this is not true for many of the children that Kozol both talked to and befriended during his numerous journeys into their neighborhood. The children speak of their problems with a great deal of maturity. Many of them seem far older than their age, for they have felt true abandonment by our city. Many of the issues they have had to deal with are not ones in which we would think of as children?s issues. AIDS for example, is not something that we think children would talk about or even think about.

However for the children of the South Bronx, AIDS is a major issue. With one-quarter of the pregnant women in this neighborhood testing positive for AIDS, pediatric AIDS takes a high toll. The numbers of children who have had one or both parents die of AIDS in the South Bronx and surrounding areas is the highest among the nation. ??if the city continues with its present policy of channeling its sickest and most troublesome families, often addicted and quite frequently infected, into housing in this area, it is likely that entire blocks will soon be home to mourning orphans, many of whom will follow their own parents to an early grave.? (p. 194) The city?s decision to place a waste burner in the middle of the neighborhood only contributes to the residents? view that they are being