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Homeless Alone

Comment by Carly Pedersen
February 23, 2007 @ 05:49PM

Blood diamond: I have had the experience of being a suburban homeless youth five times from the ages of 15 to 21. Plus the fact that I'm black means twice the hardship. My mother and stepfather were both college-educated, my mother a schoolteacher, my stepfather a logistics specialist. My mother, younger brother and I moved to Cheektowaga (a suburb of Buffalo, New York) in 2000, when I was 14, after she and my stepfather separated. She took out her anger on me because she strongly dislikes my biological father. I started to lose focus in school, and by 15, had already been kicked out of two high schools. My mother would use food denial as punishment, and would turn her wedding ring with the diamond inward and slap me across the face with it. She would lock me out of my house and not let me shower, even though I had to go to school the next day; of course, my school socialization failed. I never developed any close friends in high school, and the white teachers were not sympathetic to a black kid coming from a supposedly middle-class black Buppie household. I scored high on tests (I was in a gifted and talented program from grades K3), and the teachers recognized my intelligence, but not my plight. I committed petty vandalism, getting arrested and placed on probation from 16 to 18, and ended up at a litany of youth shelters.

Comment by wnycrusty
February 27, 2007 @ 10:10AM

Good Grades
Two Press staffers receive national education awards

Two Houston Press writers have been honored with 2006 National Awards for Education Reporting, sponsored by the Education Writers of America.

Staff writer Todd Spivak received First Prize in the Feature, News Feature or Issue Package category for his story "Cut Short," which addressed zero-tolerance issues in a local public high school.

Editor Margaret Downing was issued a Special Citation in the same category for her story "Opt In, Opt Out" about Community Education Partners, a private alternative school used by the Houston Independent School District.

As a first-place finisher, Spivak is eligible for the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, open to all first-prize winners in the contest. The grand prize winner will be announced at a May 5 awards banquet in Los Angeles.

WTF, Indeed

The article "SXSW, WTF?" [Wack, by Jonanna Widner, March 1] incorrectly stated that alternative showcase Fuck by Fuck You is now defunct. In fact, FXFU is alive and well.

In addition, two stories, "Rocket Launch" [Night & Day, by Dusti Rhodes, March 1] and "Tear-Stained Letters" [Night & Day, by Dusti Rhodes, February 22], stated that movies playing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Bottle Rocket and Letters from the Other Side, were free. In fact, the MFAH charged its standard ticket prices for both films: $7 general admission; $6 for students, seniors and members; free for members of Film Buffs and children ages five and younger.

The Press regrets the errors.

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