David Brooks writes an absorbing editorial in The New York Times about Clemantine Wamariya, who was six-years-old when the genocide began in Rwanda. Brooks’s op-ed features a link to the story Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil tell about love, loss, family, memory, and home. I highly recommended both works. After Wamariya describes the ostensible distance between academic work and lived experience, she offers an example of liberation that can serve black women well in this world. Rather than enact her professor’s vision of student comportment, Wamariya verbalizes this, “I can’t be less emotional. It’s personal,” but what she thought and did not say is even more compelling, “…I didn’t survive all that horror to sip tea and join his club.” In deciding the significance of her survival for herself, Wamariya declares that she “built a private curriculum.”
How do you understand the significance of your endurance/survival? Have you set about building “a private curriculum?” What is the relationship between designing one’s own curriculum and freedom?