Susan Drury tells the story of Chauncey Julius, who ended up in over his head completely by accident. As a high school student, Chauncey decided to turn his life around, only to be overwhelmed by all the attention he got for his achievements.
Ira tells the story of two friends of his who were like superheroes. They had this incredible power to save someone.
Host Ira Glass talks to Jonathan Gold about the bully in high school who knocked Jonathan and his cello down the stairs one day as he was walking to history class—and why Jonathan felt a sudden surge of satisfaction about this almost three decades later.
Jon Ronson goes to his high school reunion to try to figure out why his schoolmates—his friends!—threw him in a lake when he was sixteen. The only trouble is, no one at the reunion seems to remember it quite the way he does.
Karen Sosnoski's one-year-old son, Anton, was born with what's known as Mosaic Down Syndrome, a rare condition where some of his cells have the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome and other cells don't. So as he grows, he could end up having all the health risks and challenges of Downs syndrome...or just a few of them. Through a website, Karen found a kid with the same diagnosis, named Tim Colvin, who was doing really well...perhaps because his mother, Kristy, invented a surprising and unusual way to raise her son.
Host Ira Glass talks to Adam Stein about the very real cat-and-mouse game between his friends and the vice principal of his high school that preoccupied them throughout their high school careers.
Kristy Kruger realized in college just how bad her high school education had been. She was always having to pretend she knew what the people around here were talking about when she didn't know.
When Muhammad Kamran's Pakistani parents sent him off to college in Philadelphia, it was understood that he'd come back to Karachi after four years. But now that graduation is almost here, Muhammad thinks he might want to stay in America.
Host Ira Glass tells the story of Marisela and Yadira, who were honors students in high school. They wanted to go to the best colleges, but they couldn't get federally-funded scholarships because they weren't U.S. citizens; they had come from Mexico when they were little.
When Ira heard that Cathy La Luz, the best public school teacher he'd met during all his years of education reporting, was considering leaving her job, he went to see her in her classroom.
Washington Irving Elementary School became a model of school reform in Chicago a decade ago. The school did it without adding a ton more money.
We continue with the story of Irving Elementary, and hear what's happened to make Cathy La Luz think about quitting. In just nine months, the reforms that had made the school a model began to unravel.
Colin Dunn had an A average as an eighth grader, and he was in a program for gifted kids. But he hated school.
The story of Colin's truancy continues. The whole thing was especially awkward for his dad, because he's a behavior specialist for 100 public schools in Oregon—including Colin's school.
The story of a prank that the family was building up to for years. But when the youngest sister executes it—perfectly—her mother can't forgive her.
It seems apples for the teacher is a bygone tradition. Host Ira Glass talks to Mindy, a first-grade teacher, about the rather racy gifts her students give these days at Christmas.
Host Ira Glass visits the Richard E. Byrd Community Academy, a public elementary school in Chicago in need of repair.
Sure, those who can't do, teach. But what about those who can do? Marlon Brando has created a set of instructional videos about acting, called Lying for a Living. Reporter Jod Kaftan got a sneak preview.
Brent Runyon tells the story of the day in eighth grade that he set himself on fire...and what led to that. He wasn't a loner, he had friends, his mother was a teacher, his parents took an interest in his life.
Host Ira Glass talks with a bunch of special ed students. By and large, they thought of themselves as regular kids—until each experienced a shocking moment of revelation when they discovered that they were not the same as other kids, and that the other kids already knew that...and had known for a long time.
A high school boy explains how prom is the culmination of his effort to get in with a cool group of people.
For a more typical view of prom night, we hear prom night at Chicago's Taft High School.
Host Ira Glass talks with Kayla Hernandez, a seventh-grader who likes to reminisce about when she was a child, back in fifth grade. She visits Room 211 in her school, where her fifth grade class met, and looks at her old books, thinks about what happened there.
Sylvia becomes the first person in her Mexican-American family to go away to college, at a predominantly white school in upstate New York.