I just couldn’t help adding this November 2013 Wired Magazine article here, and how it’s new teaching methods may be adopted within our community here in Rio Arriba — how a poor 12 year old girl, who lives next to a garbage dump in a border town of Mexico, suddenly got the best Math grades in the entire country — and the majority of her class scored in the 99.99%. I love stories like this!! –Barry Ira Geller, Administrator

The Class which scored at the 99.99% of Mexico, Paloma standing
The Class which scored at the 99.99% of Mexico, Paloma standing.

These students in Matamoros, Mexico, didn’t have reliable Internet access, steady electricity, or much hope—until a radical new teaching method unlocked their potential.

José Urbina López Primary School sits next to a dump just across the US border in Mexico. The school serves residents of Matamoros, a dusty, sunbaked city of 489,000 that is a flash point in the war on drugs. There are regular shoot-outs, and it’s not uncommon for locals to find bodies scattered in the street in the morning. To get to the school, students walk along a white dirt road that parallels a fetid canal. On a recent morning there was a 1940s-era tractor, a decaying boat in a ditch, and a herd of goats nibbling gray strands of grass. A cinder-block barrier separates the school from a wasteland—the far end of which is a mound of trash that grew so big, it was finally closed down. On most days, a rotten smell drifts through the cement-walled classrooms. Some people here call the school un lugar de castigo—“a place of punishment.”

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Cross-posted from Tikkun Daily.

On Thursday, February 17, I received one of the best phone calls of my life.

I wondered who was calling me from the (306) area code. Where was that anyway?

“It’s mrghhtbfxr,” said the voice on the other end of the line.

“Who?” I asked.

“mrghhtbfxr!” repeated the voice excitedly.


It’s River! I’ve found a kidney!” Kitsap River is a Daily Kos blogger. I had been trying to give her a kidney.

I was so happy for River. But I was also so happy for me!

After a year of tests, I had just been confirmed as a match. I was mustering my courage for a SERIOUS TALK with the husband and kids.

Saved by the bell! Now I could keep my kidney without feeling guilty.

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