ReSET Volunteer Bob Williams writes:
I'm sure that this is not new for many, but at out meeting I spoke to a couple of people who did not know the Ben Carson story, so here is a tickler. Ben Carson rose from poverty and inner city chaos to become a world-famous pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins. I found his story to be inspirational for teachers, volunteers, parents and children. Here is an excerpt from an interview: My fifth grade science teacher, Mr. Jake, was really the first teacher to express confidence in my academic abilities because I was the only person who could identify a rock, which was obsidian, and it was because of the reading that I had been doing because after I got through with the animal books, I went to plants, and when I finished all the plant books, I went to rocks because we lived on the railroad tracks and there were a lot of rocks, so I became an expert in geology, and this was while I was still a dummy in the class. So, it was like the first time that I had an opportunity to raise my hand and demonstrate my knowledge because nobody else knew the answer. Everybody was absolutely flabbergasted, but Mr. Jake said to me, "Benjamin, that's incredible." He said, "Why don't you come by the laboratory after school and we can talk about starting a rock collection for you." And, from there I started going to the laboratory every day, getting involved with feeding the squirrel, a red squirrel named Maynard. There was a tarantula, crayfish, a Jack Dempsey fish and I got involved in all this stuff. There was a microscope and I started looking at water specimens and learned all about paramecium and volvox and amoebas, and it was just incredible. That really was what started me on my way. His story "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story" is available in book form (adult and children versions) and also a DVD (although the richness of the book is not to be missed).