In teaching another group at NorthStar, I was again surprised, overwhelmed, encouraged, exhausted and perplexed. I spoke with our Director of Operations, Susan about this and she provided perspective. In explaining to her that I was teaching in Watts 30 (again that large number) years ago, I thought I was prepared for an urban teaching setting. Susan explained that 2 generations makes a big difference. It hit hard. Years of struggling and never seeing results or experiencing change, hardens everything. Especially hope. Those four-year-old students, may have spent years working several jobs, watching their children get shot, dreaming about success following their passions and contemplating a way to get out...all these things but nothing about their circumstances changes. Responsibility for this aside, hardened hearts and weak spirits result. What I experience in the classroom is just a little taste of their tough reality. These kids are used to people not showing up, not keeping their word, and having to figure out things for themselves. The support I offer isn’t trustworthy, because they haven’t been able to trust many or much at all.