Plan and Deliver Reaction Paper

Topics: Edward James Olmos, Jaime Escalante, Stand and Deliver Pages: 3 (984 words) Published: July 30, 2013
There were moments in “Stand and Deliver” that moved me very deeply and other moments so artificial and contrived that I wanted to edit them out, right then and there. The result is a film that makes a brave, bold statement about an unexpected subject, but that lacks the full emotional power it really should have. “Stand and Deliver” tells the story of a high school mathematics teacher who takes a class of losers and potential dropouts and transforms them, in the course of one school year, into kids who have learned so much that 18 of them are able to pass a tough college credit calculus exam. The exam is so hard that only 2 percent of students nationwide can pass it, although everyone in this class does. The story is based on fact, on the life of Jaime Escalante, an East Los Angeles man who left a higher-paying job in business to return to education and prove something. What he proved is that motivation and hard work can rewrite the destinies of kids that society might be willing to write off. Escalante, played in the film by Edward James Olmos, faces a disheartening challenge on the first day of school. His class is undisciplined, unmotivated and rebellious. He doesn't confront them; he outflanks them. Adopting a weird sideways shuffle and a strange habit of talking to himself, he strikes them at first as simply bizarre; they stop making noise because they want to hear what foolish thing he'll say next. Then he starts teaching, using examples out of the everyday lives of his students, making them think things out for themselves, announcing that the “punishment” for not working hard in class is to be banished from the class - a class most of the kids would rather be out of, anyway. The kids themselves are amazed that this strategy works and more amazed still to find that they're expected to do 30 hours of homework a week and come in on Saturday mornings for extra classes. All of this material is fine and strong. Not so fascinating, however, are the vignettes of...
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