Professor Josephine K knew what she was hired to teach. She was hired to teach Jonathan Kozol. Kozol is a recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship, and multiple fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Field, and Ford Foundations. Kozol’s website identifies him as “one of the nation’s most eloquent and outspoken advocates for equality and racial justice in our nation’s schools.” According to Manhattan Institute fellow Abigail Thernstrom, Kozol is a “guru” in university education departments. A survey of departmental reading lists shows Kozol’s name on every one. Chances are that anyone studying to be a teacher in the United States will be required to read Kozol. Indeed, Amazon reviewers of Kozol’s books sometimes mention that his books were required reading for a university class.
Education students reading Kozol’s works learn that America is an “apartheid” country. They learn that “there are expensive children and there are cheap children.” They learn that children are cheap because of “governmentally administered diminishment in the value of children.” Poor children are “locked out of opportunity … for no reason but … the budgetary choices of the government.” Kozol’s readers learn that there are two flavors of human in the US: rich, greedy, racist white victimizers, and poor, disenfranchised, powerless black victims. Rich whites send their kids to early education programs beginning at age two or three. “Low income children” “are denied opportunities” and thus “come into their kindergarten year without the minimal social skills that children need in order to participate in class activities.” Poor children “spend years at home in front of a TV” or in “a slum apartment gazing down into the street.” These deprived childhoods are caused by “high officials of our government” who “rob” black children “of what they gave their own kids.”
Black students, on average consistently perform less well than whites, East-Asian Americans, and Hispanics, on average. Teachers, administrators, and politicians want to solve this achievement gap. A new proposed solution appeared: performance-based learning. Performance-based learning is defined as “emphasizing students being able to do, or perform, specific skills as a result of instruction.” That is, students learn something, and then demonstrate their mastery through action. Kozol describes this method as having been devised by racist whites to “humiliate” black children who cannot possibly learn anything in America’s schools as they are currently constituted. “There is no misery index for the children of apartheid education.”
Prof. Josephine K’s students learned from Kozol’s National-Book-Award-winning publications that the achievement gap between blacks and other ethnic groups exists because of malicious whites working to hurt blacks.
Kozol offers readers a solution to the crisis he describes. Americans must “storm their state legislatures, then do it to Congress, and absolutely demand in passionate, angry language the end of the present system of school finance in this nation.” American citizens should exercise “direct civil disobedience” and stop “unspeakably selfish racial steering.”
Americans must use their taxpayer dollars to “create a utopian children’s village in every inner-city neighborhood.” These villages would follow Montessori and Eriksonian educational guidelines. Americans must defeat “the right-wing voucher movement” advanced by “insidiously clever propaganda.” America must be like “more enlightened nations such as France.” There should be no more than sixteen students per class. Taxpayers should fund “three years of full-day preschool.” Taxpayers should also fund psychiatrists, ophthalmologists, lawyers, and HVAC consultants for every child. The HVAC consultants will ensure that every child’s home is kept at a comfortable temperature. Parents of school children should be guaranteed never to be evicted from their apartments.
Prof. K’s students accepted Kozol’s pronouncements passively. They understood their job as memorization of what Kozol said, not disagreeing with or interrogating Kozol’s assumed-to-be holy writ. Many of Prof. K’s students would go on to become teachers themselves. They might someday pass on unquestioning acceptance. America is racist. Blacks are doomed. Massive taxpayer spending on social engineering is the only solution. Resistance to such spending is evil. Forever and ever amen.
By the time students reached Prof. K’s university classroom, they had been trained like Pavlov’s dogs. They didn’t salivate when a bell rang. They cried “racism” whenever they encountered anything that the teacher or the assigned reading might suggest was unjust. One day Prof. K mentioned Jack Phillips. Phillips had declined to accept a commission to create a custom-made cake for a same-sex wedding. The students accused Phillips of “racism.” Both Phillips and the gay couple were white, but “racism,” in their previous education, and also in the wider culture, had become a synonym for “injustice,” and the only injustice that mattered at all was white supremacy.
Prof. K. assigned the reading she was supposed to assign. The students took the notes and made the facial expressions they were supposed to make. Then Prof. K did something that the students did not expect.
“There are facts and there are opinions. Let’s separate the two.” Students gave no sign of discomfort. They put down their pens and leaned back in their chairs. This would be easy. Of course they all knew the difference between facts and opinions.
Prof. K worked to retain her poker face. She didn’t want to force any belief on anyone. She didn’t want a smile or a nod to tell the students what they should be thinking. But, damnit, she wanted her students to be able to differentiate between a fact and an opinion. She said, “Tell me what Jonathan Kozol thinks is true.”
The students looked confused. Prof. K had learned, in previous semesters, that this exercise would be very difficult for students, and the next few hours of instruction would grind by slowly, with much frustration.
Students raised their hands and began to speak. Prof. K cut them off. “No. I don’t want to hear your opinion of this assignment. I want you to tell me what Jonathan Kozol thinks is true. I want you to point out exactly where in the text you learned that Jonathan Kozol thinks something is true.”
Facial expressions telegraphed anger and distrust. Geez, this teacher is stupid. Or maybe just mean. Many students, though told to do so, did not bring hard copies of the assigned readings with them. They had accessed the materials on the internet, and skimmed them off of a phone screen. They picked up the themes of racism and injustice, and figured that they were safe. They assumed it would be their job to arrive in class and express outrage at racism. But Prof. K was not accepting that. She wanted something else and they weren’t sure what it was, how to deliver it, or why she wanted it, whatever it was.
“American schools are racist! It’s so unfair! We’ve really got to change it!” a student cried out, in his most aggrieved voice. Prof. K ignored him. Well, he thought, she’s a rude bitch. He was doing what he was supposed to be doing and she wasn’t giving him any positive feedback at all. Not even smiling!
“I want to see your hard copies of the reading assignment on your desks. I want to you tell me what Kozol thinks is true, and I want you to support your assertion with a direct quote from what you read.”
Getting the students to understand that request, and actually to do it, took the relentless forward push of a military campaign. To retain a hard copy of something that they had accessed via the internet and skimmed from their phone screens, and to peruse it carefully, not just once but several times, to check facts, to weigh opinions against facts, accurately and thoroughly to recognize the product an author was selling, from Romeo and Juliet’s love to Marx’s communism to Kozol’s accusations of racism, was utterly alien to anything they’d experienced before.
Fatima, an ambitious, older, married student, raised her hand. The reading assignment was in her other hand. “Kozol thinks that America is an apartheid country. It says that right here, this page, this paragraph.”
“Excellent, thank you.” The professor finally offered some positive feedback! Low-key, but still positive. Students looked at each other. So that was what she wanted? Just to recognize and report words on a page? Huh.
Fatima had a follow-up question. “What does apartheid mean?”
Prof. K asked the class. No one raised a hand. “So. You read the assignment. A key point in the assignment is Kozol’s accusation that America is an apartheid country. And you never looked up the word ‘apartheid.'”
Prof. K met every student’s eyes. “One of these days, someone is going to ask you to sign something, and that something is going to contain a word you don’t understand, like ‘collateral,’ or ‘escrow,’ or ‘compound interest,’ or ‘do not resuscitate,’ and you are not going to understand that word. Will you still sign? Did you sign a student loan agreement that contained words you don’t understand?” she stared at every student. “Look up words, people. Writing is power. To read is to submit to someone else’s power. How submissive are you going to be? How much of your power are you giving away by your refusal to do the work of understanding what you read?”
Prof. K gave the students a brief explanation of apartheid. Then she wrote on the blackboard, “Kozol thinks:” and she began a numbered list.
After Kozol’s positions were enumerated, Prof. K asked another question that was absolutely new to the students.
“How is Kozol talking to you?”
The students were completely confused.
“How?” Jamal asked. “By his writing.”
“Yes. And what kind of language is he using?”
The students who had the reading material with them began to look at them again. Their looking, at least for the second time, at something they’d already read once, assuming that reading, or even just skimming something once was enough, thrilled and delighted her.
Fatima raised her hand. “He says here, ‘storm the legislature.’ Then he says we should make demands. We should be passionate and angry. This is very emotional language.”
“Correct,” said Prof. K, practically elevating out of her shoes. “Can anyone show me anywhere else in this text where Kozol uses emotional language?” Students found “insidiously clever” and “enlightened nations.”
“What did you feel,” Prof. K asked, “when you read about the little black children who don’t have social skills, who spend all their time looking out of slum windows? And right after he talks about that, Kozol talks about super rich white people in Manhattan spending tens of thousands of dollars a year sending their kids to private schools. Kozol is juxtaposing two pictures in your head. Juxtapose means to put next to each other. An author or an artist puts those two things next to each other in order to get a reaction out of you. What reaction did Kozol get out of you?”
Students talked about imagining a a poor black kid staring out a slum window unable to play, juxtaposed with an image of a rich white kid going to an exclusive private school.
“How did you feel when you read those passages?”
“We need to do something!”
“When you were feeling so strongly,” Prof. K asked, “were you doing any thinking? Were you questioning Kozol’s logic? Were you asking yourself if it is plausible to provide every two year old in America with a psychiatrist and an HVAC consultant?
“Lahoma, I’ve seen you working the cash register in the book store. Working a cash register is hard. Customers are rude, it’s hard to stand in one spot all day, and mistakes come out of your earnings. Have you looked at your paycheck, at how much is taken out in taxes? Multiply that amount by however much it would cost to supply every American kid with an HVAC consultant. Does that feel good to you?”
“I’m not paying it,” announced Steve, a golf course caddy.
“I think New Jersey has the highest property taxes,” said Amir.
When the blackboard was covered with a complete list of Kozol’s assertions, and the emotional language he used to support his assertions, Prof. K asked the students, “In your opinion, is any of this true? Let’s start at the top. Is America comparable to South Africa during apartheid? What facts can you adduce to support your opinion?”
And that was the question that changed the class. Facial expressions changed. Postures changed. Note-taking changed. Energy levels changed. Later in the semester, when it would be drawing to a close, and some students would approach her with final thoughts, they would mention just this moment. Students would say things like, “You know how we talked in class that day? I did that with my mom. While we were making dinner. We talked about things that way. We started doing it all the time.”
“Everybody,” Prof. K said. “Amir’s father came here from Bangladesh. He took difficult jobs, saved up, bought a rental property. How would you convince Amir’s dad that he should pay higher taxes than he already pays, either the highest or among the highest in the country, to foot the bill for a utopian children’s village, for psychiatrists, for HVAC experts visiting homes? And, if he said no, he didn’t want to pay higher taxes, how successful would you be if you called him a racist?”
Ted, a big guy, an EMT, who might or might not change career course and go into teaching, he wasn’t sure, raised his hand. “I don’t know if this is what you’re looking for,” he began, tentatively.
“I’m looking for your opinion of Kozol’s points, your opinion backed up by facts you adduce to support your opinion,” Prof. K said.
Ted looked unsure. He was brave, though; he had just come from an over night visit to a fatal collision on Route 80. “When we started this, I thought, okay, I’ve heard all this before. I mean, we’ve been hearing it since grade school. We hear it on TV. America is racist, blah blah blah. And that’s the cause of all the problems.
“I mean,” he continued, “when we are assigned stuff in other classes, we are supposed to take it as is, and just agree that it’s right. But you’re asking us if we think it’s right. And looking at it that way, I’m not sure.”
That was all he said. That he wasn’t sure. Just announcing in class that he wasn’t sure took all the courage he had.
Hands shot up. Too late. Time for class to end.
“Students,” Prof. K began the next class. “When you are looking at a piece of writing, please be mindful of what the author is not saying, as well as what he is saying. There are a couple of sentences in Kozol that he glides over quickly. Here’s one, ‘a quarter of the children are likely to go off to prison every weekend so they can see their fathers.’ Here’s another one. The children he’s writing about ‘come into their kindergarten year without the minimal social skills that children need in order to participate in class activities.’ Why doesn’t Kozol expand on those two sentences, and what’s hiding behind his silence?”
“Some of the kids’ dads are in jail! He’s talking about the real world. Lotsa fathers in jail! My cousin has to take two buses every weekend! Just to see her man!” Lahoma declared emphatically, with a combination of mourning and indignation. Lahoma looked around the room with the confident air of a student who is convinced that she has said the important thing, and had the final word. She was waiting for approval.
“Yes, that’s what Kozol is saying,” Prof. K said. “And he doesn’t elaborate on that. He doesn’t say more. Why not? Is there more to be said?”
Ever since they began reading Kozol, Maria had been watching Prof. K with the eyes of a character in a heist movie. Maria looked as silently thoughtful as someone planning to break into the world’s most carefully guarded museum and purloin the world’s most famous jewel.
Maria Sanchez, a petite Latina, was in her late twenties, so she was a bit older than the average student. She came to class in business attire. She worked as an administrative assistant and was paying for college herself. Maria was never the first to raise her hand, even when she was the first to know or understand, and that was often. Her behavior suggested that she was the kind of person who proceeded with caution.
Maria appeared to have decided that it would be to her benefit to speak, and that today’s class was a safe environment in which to speak. She raised her hand with neither fear nor coltish energy. Maria had all the time, and all the confidence, in the world.
“Maria,” the professor acknowledged her.
Maria nodded. “So, here, Kozol points out that twenty-five percent of the students have a father in jail. And over here,” Maria held up her hard copy of the assigned reading and indicated to the class the passage she was referencing. “Over here he says that the students have no social skills. He also says that they are trapped in a slum apartment, gazing down into the street or in front of a TV.” Maria made eye contact with the professor.
The professor nodded. “Yes,” she said.
“Okay,” Maria continued. “What I think you’re asking us to see is a couple of things. Well, a few things, actually. Kozol brings up these facts, the fathers in jail, the kids without social skills, how they spend all their time watching TV or staring at the street in a slum, to support his overall agenda. As we said in the last class, his writing is very emotional. He’s trying to get us to feel sad and angry. And we do feel sad and angry for little kids whose fathers are in jail. And we are supposed to go along with his main idea, that all the bad things happen because white people are racist. And the solution to all these bad things is that white people need to pay more taxes to fix all this. But.”
Prof. K was staring at Lahoma, chatting with the student behind her. “Lahoma, can Maria please have your attention? Maria did pay attention to you when you were speaking.”
Lahoma twisted around in her chair, never making eye contact with the professor or Maria. She lifted her four-colored pen and began to scribble loudly and quickly in her notebook, her pen almost slashing the thin paper.
“Maria, please go on.”
“There’s a possible relationship there that he never comments on. He wants to keep it hidden from the reader. Maybe the kids lack social skills because, and maybe their lives suck so much because, because their parents aren’t there for them. Like, the fathers are in jail. So the mothers have to work and nobody is taking the kids to the park or teaching them how to behave.”
“Maria, does anything you just said relate to a possible solution?” Prof. K asked.
“Yeah. The kids need parents.”
“Jamal,” Prof. K asked, “Can you tell me what Maria just said?”
Prof. K spent several minutes making sure everyone in the class understood Maria’s point. She ended with, “And how are tax dollars going to solve the problem?”
But it was time for class to end.
The next class, Prof. K asked, “Kozol uses the word ‘insidious’ to describe the ‘right wing.’ What does it mean to be right wing? And are right-wing people ‘insidious?'”
After writing student definitions of “right wing,” a term some students were familiar with, on the blackboard and defining “insidious,” a word no students looked up, Prof. K pointed out that there are scholars who see things differently than does Jonathan Kozol. She reminded the students that there are supplementary readings available to them by right-wing authors, or authors presenting a right-wing point of view: Abigail Thernstrom, Thomas Sowell, Jason Riley, Shelby Steele, John McWhorter, Nick Kristof, and Amy Chua.
“If you choose to read these authors, I want you to keep a running tally. Kozol mentions many facts. Are his facts correct, according to the right-wing authors? Kozol says that the solution is more taxpayer dollars. What does Abigail Thernstrom say about that, specifically in reference to the funding of DC schools? Thernstrom claimed that ‘the best estimates are that [black and Hispanic students] have about as much money spent on them per pupil as the national average … Washington, D.C., is an almost entirely black system and spends’ a lot per student and yet ‘has the worst public schools in the country.’ In Cambridge, ‘despite colossal expenditures, despite a pupil-teacher ratio of something like nine students per teacher, the schools’ black performance there is worse than the state average.’
“Kozol says that the solution is smaller class sizes. Do facts support that? How big were class sizes in the 1950s? One source says between 35 and 40 students per class. Class sizes have gone down since then. You’ll find that in the 50s, class sizes were larger, and students were handling more difficult material.
“What does the Vanderbilt Study say about the efficacy of universal Pre-K? Have you heard about the Vanderbilt Study? No? Well, if you are going to be teachers someday, or even just taxpayers, you should know about it. Researchers spent years studying the impact. Over the course of time, students who attended pre-K actually did worse than students who did not.
“What, then, is missing?” Prof. K asked. “If Kozol is wrong about what explains the achievement gap, then what does explain it?”
The students were stumped. It appeared that it had never occurred to them to ask that question. If black students are not doing as well as white, East-Asian-descent, and Hispanic students, and if the explanation was not racism, what was the explanation?
“Read some of the right-wing authors to find out what they think,” Prof. K said. “And read them as critically as I encouraged you to read Kozol. Separate fact from opinion. Check facts. Notice what is not being said. Notice if you are being manipulated. Notice when they use language meant to play on your emotions. Look up words you don’t know,” Prof. K said, knowing full well that she lacked the magic wand that would get students to look up words that they did not know.
After the class had emptied out, and the hubbub of students flirting or joking, rough-housing or arguing had died down, and Prof. K’s only companion was the sunlight leaning into the room from the row of miserably awkward awning windows, she heard a little knock on the door frame. She looked up.
“Maria. What’s up?”
Maria approached. She didn’t wait till everyone was gone, she didn’t knock quietly, because she was timid. She was calculating. She wanted the same A in this class that she received in every other class. She wanted no risk. But her inquisitive brain demanded that she take on risky acts.
“Professor, I read those right-wing authors you have in the supplementary reading file.”
“Oh? Which ones?”
“All of them,” Maria said.
“Okay,” Prof. K said, trying to hide her delight.
“I grew up in the Bronx,” Maria said.
Prof. K nodded.
“I went to one of those schools. The kind Kozol talked about.”
“Mmm,” Prof. K said.
“There were African students. Not African American but from Africa. They did really well.”
“There are black people in my family. Some Hispanics are more dark skinned. Some are really successful. Some are on welfare. All in my own family.”
“I wonder why.”
“So I was thinking, can I write my final paper on this?”
“Be more specific.”
“I don’t know. How some people do better and some do worse. Is it Kozol? Is it white supremacy? Or are the right-wingers right?”
“Our final papers aren’t due for some months yet. But now is a good time to start. Check out the documents I’ve posted online. You’ll find a handout on how to write a research paper. You’ll find examples of previous good papers. Have a look at that material, and keep in touch with me as your thoughts develop.”
Maria almost looked happy, but too big of a smile, too much investment of enthusiasm, would be too big of a risk. Maria didn’t leave. She was thinking, but not speaking. Prof. K intuited what Maria might be thinking.
“Maria. Your task for this class is to write a research paper, not an opinion paper.”
“Yes, but what if…”
The ellipsis were not a sign of timidity, but strategy.
Prof. K wanted to get home so she cut to the chase. “What if your results support Kozol? What if your results prove Kozol wrong? What if you say something with which I disagree? Maria, you know Fatima, sits two seats across from you? The woman who wears hijab. She was in my class last semester. She disagrees with me about almost everything. She got an A. I wrote her a great letter of rec when she applied for a scholarship. I graded her on the quality of her work. Not her opinions.”
Maria looked at Prof. K the way an appraiser looks at a diamond. Real, or fake? And what price would she pay if the professor were lying, and the professor graded on opinions? And what were her opinions, anyway?
“Maria, sit down.” Prof. K sat across from Maria.
“Look. I assign a research paper because when I first arrived at this school I realized that students aren’t aware of some of the basic tools of scholarship. Students knew how to get emotional, how to voice an opinion as emphatically as possible, usually the opinion that they assumed was the professor’s, usually a left-wing opinion.
“But students didn’t know what a thesis statement was, or a research design, or a scholarly article. They weren’t familiar with basic concepts like peer review, double blind, quantitative versus qualitative, or the scientific method. Some students, after this class, will become teachers. Some won’t. But I want every student to benefit from this class, and one of those benefits will be writing a research paper, will be mastering the very basic methods that our civilization has developed for differentiating fact from fiction.
“That’s all I want you to do. To dip your toe in. To test drive academic inquiry. I don’t care whether you support or undermine Kozol. I care about the quality of your performance in the driver’s seat of the engine of scholarly research.”
Prof. K always teared up at the end of the semester. The students were gone; their final papers were in a colorful tower of Pisa on her desk. Of course Maria would wait till everyone had left before she knocked, quietly, on the doorframe.
“Maria. What’s up?”
“I wanted to give you my paper.”
“The thing is.”
“Maria, I don’t care what your opinion is.”
“Can you read it right now? I can change it.”
“Have a seat.”
Prof. K sat down, and she read. “Redistribution of material resources has a very poor track record when it comes to actually helping those who are lagging whether in education, in the economy or elsewhere. What they need are the attitudes, priorities and behavior which produce the outcomes desired.”
Prof. K had offered students a variety of catchy ways to begin a paper. One way was to open with a quote. Maria had opened with a quote from Race and Culture: A World View by Hoover Institution fellow Thomas Sowell. This book was not assigned. Maria found it on her own. With her first sentence, Maria had wowed Prof. K.
The rest of the paper lived up to the promise of the first line. Maria didn’t hem and haw. She came right out and stated her thesis. She summarized the point of view she aimed to shoot down: the achievement gap can be explained solely as an artifact of white supremacy. She cited those scholars with whom she disagreed, and she cited scholars, like Sowell, who pointed to group values as exercising considerable influence on group performance. Maria conducted original research, surveying dozens of students on their natal home and natal culture’s values, and compared those results with their GPAs.
Her results supported her thesis. Student performance matched student and the student’s family’s investment in time, and their attitudes toward education as a valuable enterprise. The Asian-American students in her survey invested the most time and had the highest GPAs. African American students invested the least time, and their parents talked to them about their schooling the least. They had the lowest GPAs.
Maria rhetorically stomped her opposition. Prof. K wondered if Maria’s ringing tone was inspired by her ethnicity. Maybe Maria was tired of leftists offering people like her a hopeless option: “You are helpless. You can only be saved when racist white people experience a change of heart and sprinkle their dollars upon you.” Perhaps Maria was thrilled by scholars like Sowell who saw an immediate route to success for her. And, perhaps Maria was relieved to encounter scholars who didn’t shame her for her own exceptional success, for being different from her own impoverished family members and her neighbors in the Bronx. Right-wingers were not shaming Maria for being a success. They were praising her for being a success, and telling her brothers and sisters, cousins and uncles that they could be a success, too, with the right attitude. Finally, right-wingers allowed Maria to understand her own success as something she created herself, out of her own hard work, dedication, and focus. Maria was Maria because of Maria. Maria was not Maria because some “enlightened,” rich, white liberal generously sprinkled taxpayer dollars upon her.
Prof. K thought of something. She invited Maria to the classroom computer. She turned to Jonathan Kozol’s website. In several photos, Kozol looks the heroic crusader. He is the center of attention, even though he may be surrounded by black students. In one, he is in the foreground. Behind him are people holding signs. The sign behind Kozol, held by an invisible protester, reads “PROTECT CHILDREN FROM SEGREGATION.” A black woman, behind and appearing a foot shorter than Kozol, is partially obscured by her sign. Her facial features are blurred, while Kozol’s are clear.
There was no place for Maria on that page. Beautiful Maria, working to pay for school, carefully assessing everything she heard in class for its value, applying herself to her research, reading major scholars in her field, both those she agreed with and those she rejected. Maria’s presence would have made Kozol look small, even comical. Maria simply doesn’t need a rich, white liberal to crusade for her.
Prof. K used her usual red pen to write an A atop Maria’s paper. She handed it back to Maria.
“Please send me an electronic copy. I’d like to keep this.”
“Maria, I want to help you publish.”
“Yes. This is one of the best student papers I’ve received in my entire career. You have a fine mind and a feisty and yet disciplined prose style.”
“I can’t. The rest of the world isn’t like your class.”
“The world is a pretty big place, and there is room for –”
“No. I still have plenty of classes to go before I get my degree. After that I have to get a job. You yourself showed us that education is dominated by left-wing faculty and staff.”
Prof. K shrank in her chair. She suddenly felt cold.
“It’s not my job to tell students what opinion to have, or what to do with their lives. I’ll just say that, if you ever change your mind and I can help you find a publisher, let me know.”
Maria left. Prof. K gathered up the precariously leaning tower of final papers, some in colorful binders, some simply naked white paper, and packed them into her backpack as carefully as she could, and she told herself, as she had so many times before, not to let the disappointments get her down.
Danusha Goska is the author of God through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery.