Friday, February 20, 2009

Angela Whitiker’s Climb

Angela Whitiker's Climb

a. What test is Angela Whitiker about to take?
b. What does she expect will happen if she passes?
c. What were the conditions of her home life while she studied?
d. What was the cost of the entrance exam?
e. What did her parents do for work?
f. What had happened in her life by the time she reached the age of 23?
g. How does the article describe the neighborhood of Englewood and Ms. Whitiker's life there?
h. What did Ms. Whitiker do to keep her family out of the projects?
i. What role did Ms. Whitiker's son Nicholas play in the family's life?
j. Why was the outpouring of help from New York Times readers not enough to "materially change" the family's living conditions?
k. Why did Ms. Whitiker feel that the Robert Taylor Homes were "beneath her"?
l. What kind of perils and indignities did Ms. Whitiker and her family face when they were living in the projects?
m. How do the stories about Ms. Whitiker's car illustrate how her life was at the time?
n. In what ways did Ms. Whitiker's life change after she met Vincent Allen?
o. What was Nicholas' response to Mr. Allen's position in their lives?
p. What was the main focus of Ms. Whitiker's life between 1996 and 2002?
q. What was Ms. Whitiker's experience in nursing school like?
r. What was her reaction to her exam results?
s. Why was her son Willie not present at Ms. Whitiker's and Mr. Allen's wedding? How did Nicholas dress, and what was his mother's reaction?
t. How did Ms. Whitiker ultimately fare academically? Why was this not enough to land a job in a teaching hospital?
u. Why was working at the hospital on the South Side "unnerving"?
v. What kind of work was she doing?
w. How did Ms. Whitiker's income last year compare with that of other American workers? How did her rise to middle-class wages affect her relationships?
x. How did Ms. Whitiker's parenting strategies change?
y. Why is Ms. Whitiker's income not necessarily enough to make her life financially stable?
z. What luxuries do other people with similar income enjoy that Ms. Whitiker does not?
aa. What effect does Ms. Whitiker's working hours have on her and her family?
bb. What goals is Ms. Whitiker working toward? Which seem within reach, and which seem like long-shot dreams?
cc. What is Ms. Whitiker's ideal of middle-class perfection?
dd. How does her ideal compare with reality?
ee. In what ways has Ms. Whitiker's success come "too late" for Nicholas and Willie? What "painful decision" did she make regarding Willie?
ff. What goal did her daughter Ishtar accomplish?
gg. How and why is Ms. Whitiker trying to keep it "in perspective"?
hh. What aspiration does she have in mind for her son John?
ii. Why did Ms. Whitiker take a second job and what is it?
jj. What does she say is the most important thing in life?


scott said...

she started out doing the only thing she knew how to do. she would trade sex for a roof over her head. It may sound ugly, but she really didnt know any better. Then Allen swoops in and sets her straight cleans up her life, and makes her more succesfull than him by pushing her through college and nursing school.

LindsyM. said...

I really like doing those worksheets. For some reason it make it easier for me to grasp what it is that I am reading. I can't believe she had that many kids though. That's craziness.

dianna.l.beaulaurier said...

Its not the fact that Angela did not know anything different from what her friends or family were doing not to better themselves, but she did not really have any ways of changing at that low point in her life. Not only does it take money and strength to achieve success but add five children to the mix, even three children would have a significant impacted to hurt your chances of changing a social class.

dianna.l.beaulaurier said...

Even though, she did go back to college and earn a degree, (I dont know how with her life,) even with another stable adult in her life, having all those children would make me go crazy and loss focus. However, she used that crazyness and centered it to uplifting her life for the greater good of her children to have a different life than what she had.

dianna.l.beaulaurier said...

The story like Angela's and many others should help us to notice how lucky we are to have these opportunities to attend college or just not be living on the streets. We should really use this feeling of sadness and reality to achieve success and not become another Nicholas Whitiker.

dianna.l.beaulaurier said...

How is English class is focused around the problems we are actually facing as we become adults and have to start making decisions fast before its too late is really starting to scare me. I now am constantly thinking about the situations am going to face not only with myself, but maybe my children one day.

TeslaRR said...

Angela Whitiker's story is amazing and inspirational and i am so shocked that nicholas and will both wound up on the streets. they should have been inspired and appreciative of all the work that their mother did for them, to better not just her life but theirs too.

kristine.a.lefors said...

Whitiker did good at climbing out of poverty, but I don't think she is doing that great out of poverty, she is overspending, and on all of the wrong things.

Barry W. said...

who is this allen guy everyone is talking about... does he have a trust fund.. i want a trust fund..

Dave said...

The main thing I learned from Angela is don't have kids until you can afford them. I read once that it takes a million dollars to raise a child. Seems kinda expensive for someone who can't afford a phone.

dianna.l.beaulaurier said...

Tesla I dont think that the boys would have ever been able to comprehend what their mother accomplished...

dianna.l.beaulaurier said...

LOl I bet if Angela had a financial advisor that she would be doing better out of poverty.

dianna.l.beaulaurier said...

Dave that is really interesting to hear that it takes roughly a million dollars to raise a child. Thinking of that reminds me of the "OCTOMOM" lol and that she is going to be millions is debt to try and provide her fourteen children.

dianna.l.beaulaurier said...


Octomom Nadya Suleman nixes porn offer – for her 14 kids’ sake
By Inside Track
Friday, February 27, 2009 - Added 4h ago

Need a dose of good news?

Octomom Nadya Suleman has turned down $1 million and health insurance for her burgeoning brood to star in porno flicks - for now.

As we told you yesterday, Vivid Entertainment, the world’s largest porn purveyor, offered the serial mom an $1 million contract deal and threw in health and dental insurance if she’d appear in a handful of X-rated flicks this year.

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“I think it’s kind of funny that I got offered $1 million to make porn,” Suleman, a mother of 14, told . “Those guys at Vivid video must be nuts! Who wants to see me naked? Maybe in a year when the baby fat goes away,” she joked.

But Octomom goes onto say that she’d need more dough to participate and the only way that happens is if she pops out more kids. “Of course, if I have more kids I may have to ask for $2 million,” she said. “Seriously, though, my mum didn’t bring me up like that. Besides, what will my 14 kids think when they grow up?”

She’s thinking of the kids now???

Although Suleman has test-tube octuplets, she’s still a traditionalist at heart.

“I believe in love and romance. Not cheap thrills that belittle women,” she said.

All I can say is wow! That could have taken care of one of the fourteen kids!!! I guess if she has more kids it will be 2 million, getting closer....

dianna.l.beaulaurier said...

So, I am sitting here watching Amercia's Best Dance Crew, (which is awesome), and reading and writing some stuff for our class. After giving thought to Octomom and her future in porno, it struck me as odd that we watch sooo much reality TV and how many jobs that industry creates, even the commericals for the shows. All I can think about is how retarded Survivor made it so long and that why is there a show called "I Love Money" and who the hell would watch "Flava of Love". Its a black guy with a clock around his neck, who is he anyways and his slutty girls? I think that as more people become depressed that our entertainment industry will spark to new heights because people need something to cheer themselves up. I know that exercise is the best medicine, but with all the McDonalds springing up in Walmarts it aggravating to see our butt grow larger not our wallet.

dianna.l.beaulaurier said...

Also, its going to be interesting to see the decline in home improvements shows because people are losing their houses like clean air in California...

Jaime said...

Angela Whitiker's story is very inspiring she was in serious poverty with 5 children it is crazy to think that one person could get out of that (although with help). It kind of makes you think that the problems that you may be facing in life might not be that bad. There are others out their in more need. We some times forget that.

Luke said...

Since we're all suddenly talking about VH1 reality shows, I thought I'd terrify everyone with the knowledge that...

Real Chance at Love is a spinoff of I Love New York, which is a spinoff of Flavor of Love, which is a spinoff of Strange Love, which is a spinoff of The Surreal Life.

Now nobody ask how I know this.

Dianna said...

HAHA thats too funny Luke, but I would like to know how the heck do you know....let me ask this, how long have you had cable for?

Luke said...


I guess I've had cable for waaaay too long.

Dianna said...

Lol yeah Luke thats what it sounds like! Have you all been working on your paper this weekend?

kayla said...

So this lady had a hard life and too many kids too early. That put her in a hard situation. BUT, I really don't thinking focussing on her to "duplicate her success" is plausible. She just seems lucky to me. If Allen didn't exist, I really don't think she would have done what she did. success or luck?

tonya said...

i wish more people could achieve what angela has. if they could our world would work so much smoother and be much more well kept

Dianna said...

Kayla I don't think you are understanding the deeper meaning of this assignment. Yes, it is luck but ask yourself this then, how can we create more Allen's then? How as a country turn people to become loyal law bidding citizens then? What can we do to create peace and happiness in families and make them understand the consequences and effects of no education and making horrible decisions? Ask yourself the deeper meaning....

Kirsten said...

Its kind of sad that according to the book, for a woman to pull herself out of poverty she needs a husband. So much for equality =]