Inclusion and Exclusion in Our Daily Lives INTRODUCTION PART III: ADOLESCENCE PART IV: YOUNG ADULTHOOD
The works in
focus on adolescence and the growing responsibility we have for our own
inclusion and exclusion. Kate Lynn Hibbard in her poem, "Altar Boy,"
muses on growing up excluded from serving at the altar in her church. R.
Johnson's protagonist in "Catching Atoms" finds himself torn between
his need to belong and his growing awareness of the harm that his
going along with acts of exclusion can do to others, and to his own
self. In Frances Saunder's memoir, she describes an immigrant experience
is still common today, the tension between the inclusiveness of school
friendships between children who share immigrant and other forms of
status (the ideal in many ways of the melting pot philosophy of public
schooling) and the prejudices or their parents, whose ambitions for
children's social advancement often include adhering to the forms of
prejudice in both their native and their adopted countries. The ability
young narrator to define her own values and to put them into practice is
beginning of her moral maturity.
In Section IV, young adults begin to take on full
responsibility for their social actions. In Mark Tarallo's story, "Where
the Universes Are," the narrator muses on the phenomenon of popularity
how his life is shaped by knowing he is not striking, is destined to a
dreary social mean - and then has his assumptions tested by a surprising
social inclusion. Gina Tabasso, in her poem "You See What You Are
For," also muses on how our expectations, of inclusion or exclusion,
define what we see. Lizzie Farrell, the young mother in Susan
of that name, is a young mother with a history of drug use, and
cruelty to others, who now poignantly seeks inclusion for her own son.