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Oct 02
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Education

You Never Forget

At 36, a schoolteacher learns how to ride a bicycle from his former student, who’s still struggling to succeed in school programs that value order above all else.

This summer, a moody, recalcitrant seventh-grader from South Boston named Raheem taught me to ride a bike. I am 36 years old.

I did learn, technically, when I was in second grade. My mother promised to buy me a toy if I could make it across the playground at my school without training wheels. I did it, secured my prize, and didn’t get on a bike again for another 28 years.

When I was a child, I refused to learn because I was stubborn, and we lived walking distance from school and town. As I grew older, it was because of my perception of cycling as a culture to which I would never belong: the specificity of the apparel, the self-righteous attitude.

Lots of my friends ride bicycles to commute and for fun and adventure, and while I’m sure most of them would have been happy to teach me, I wasn’t ever going to feel comfortable learning from them. I didn’t want to be evangelized to; I simply wanted to conquer an old fear.

I used to work for Growing Edges, a nonprofit that helps... Continue Reading

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Today’s Headlines

Oct 02
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