http://skywaysmedia.co.uk/video/mvis-photo-promo/ Scholarship is something that I think many of us take for granted. It’s more than getting good grades or going to the right schools. Scholarship is a code. Like being a samurai, or a ninja. Or a knight, or a gentleman. Or even the code of the street. But it takes a scholar to recognize another scholar. And being a scholar is not something that can be faked. It has nothing to do with school. It is an approach to life that can be exemplified even by individuals who hardly ever set foot in a classroom. Abraham Lincoln had in total no more than a year’s formal schooling throughout his youth, but became self-educated by taking on private mentors and through voracious reading, eventually becoming one of our greatest presidents. Such achievement is the essence of scholarship, and it has nothing to do with grades.
us pharmacy no prescription neurontin The same could be said for Frederick Douglass, who began to educate himself after being taught how to read illegally by the wife of his “master”. Frederick Douglass went on to become a great author, public speaker, statesman, and overall profound and formidable intellect on behalf of the abolitionist movement not only because of his intimate knowledge of the inner workings of slavery in the South, but also because of his tremendous command of the English language which made some even doubt whether or not he ever was enslaved.
And so conceptualizing scholarship as a system of coded principles became something very attractive to to me. Making it almost like a fraternity that one belonged to. On the surface, I think this is what the Delany Scholars Program attempts to do through its nine principles. However, it takes more than principles on a sheet of paper to awaken the spirit of young men. It takes at least one individual who already embodies those principles who is willing to shed blood, sweat, and tears in order to pour that same spirit into his or her young initiates. This is true mastery. Not sitting back with a title and salary, but the intimate pouring out of one’s own spirit into one’s own students, even when there’s no paycheck involved.
I have been best friends with Reginald Hickman since the first grade. Because of this, I have had the opportunity to see him evolve in terms of his own scholarship. I can personally attest to the code he lives by as a scholar. We did six years of elementary school together, and then we went to college together where we were roommates for a time. As a result of this close proximity, it has been fascinating to observe “Rege”, as I like to call him, develop not only himself as a scholar, but also to watch the unique community of scholars that he belongs to evolve around him.
We are black men, who are faithfully married to our wives, each with our own sons and daughters. Our wives go out together and our children play together, and a few times a year we all gather for meals, and birthday parties, and New Year’s celebrations at each other’s houses. We laugh together, cry together, and share in each other’s joys and sorrows. While there are principals and medical doctors and Ph.D.’s among us that hardly matters. What matters is that we are a community. And scholarship is one of the primary codes we live by. It is something that we all value and that we all as individuals, as parents, and as a community are instilling into our children.
Rege is a game changer at home. This is the most fundamental reason why he is poised to be a game changer in the Woodland Hills School District.
We Still Rise!