Of a Time and a Place | -19, '20 | Issue No. 32

The namesake of one of the most expensive private schools in all of New York City, famously deemed education the great equalizer -- and like all American Dreams, the democratizing potential of the public school system has all but dried up, deferred by the socioeconomic and racial inequity that define and infect every system in the nation. In a perfect world, you’d go to school to learn, to make friends, to eat breakfast, to eat lunch, to be looked after, counted, to explore, to grow. And like all of the symptoms of this insidious disease, the ability to survive citywide school closure is largely shaped by which version of the city you live in. And now, in a moment that gaps New Yorkers farther and farther apart from each other, the chasm between what some kids can achieve and others are forbidden, mostly by design, is exigent, loud, and as long as a school day. 

Because school these days looks nothing like it used to. It’s working from home, working remotely, working overtime, and not working for some. It’s online if you’re connected, an ipad if you’re lucky, no more pencils, no more books, no more teachers thoughtful looks. And nobody knows yet what it’ll look like in the fall, but before school’s out for summer, out forever, out completely, this week we’re getting a higher education. 

“A Sink in Every Single Classroom”
by Brian Vines, Sachar Mathias, and Ross Tuttle

At the end of May, New York City schools chancellor Richard Carranza said there's a 50 / 50 chance that public schools will reopen in fall 2020. Coin toss odds for the city's one million students to return to class. But what will those schools be like? And will they be fully funded? In this episode, BRIC Managing Editor Brian Vines explores the school of the future, and wonders if we can afford it.

“Concrete Stories: Youth Media Festival”
by Charlie Hoxie and Emily Boghossian

BRIC's Youth Media Fellowship is an 8-month internship that culminates in a film festival put on by the teen fellows, featuring young filmmakers. This year's fest, though moved to the virtual sphere, still provided a space to celebrate NYC's next generation of creative visionaries.

“Good Afternoon and Welcome”
by Charlie Hoxie

We dropped in on a few virtual graduations as students donned their mortarboards from Florida to South Dakota to Hawaii, and various points in between.

“The Long Method That We Know”
by Khyriel Palmer

Akeem Shepherd was looking forward to presenting the senior thesis he had devoted two years for at John Jay College and walking across the stage this spring, but the Covid crisis disrupted his plans. In this episode, he tells us how he is navigating graduation at the time of a pandemic. 

“A Gap in Their Learning”
by Khyriel Palmer

Natalya is a teacher based in London for five years. We call her up across the pond to hear how things are going and the challenges she’s facing with regards to teaching her students online and keeping them motivated.

“The People Who Are Not There” 
by Khyriel Palmer

“This pandemic really revealed how bad professors are communicating with students.”
A sophomore at the New City College of Technology talks to us about the transition to being an online student and the steep learning curve of adjusting to a ‘new normal’.

“A Hands-On Apocalypse” 
by Emily Boghossian

New York City students give us a glimpse into their virtual lives: from the moment they wake up for school, to hanging out on the house party social app and playing video games like minecraft.


“Weekend Weather with Junior Meteorologist Giff City” was produced by Emily Boghossian, Taylor Cook, and Lauren Germain. Brooklyn USA’s “Messages From Over Here” are produced by Voltron.

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Brooklyn, USA is produced by Sachar Mathias, Emily Boghossian, Shirin Barghi, Khyriel Palmer, Mayumi Sato and Charlie Hoxie.

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