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?