Sitting in the auditorium we heard a woman say it took her four years to get her Master’s. I remember being on a panel on poverty with the same professor and he said, “well you don’t have to pay money back!” I thought it would be so unfair. I thought it would be really unfair for the people who were poor that they felt that they should be doing something about it.
Are you still working with the organization?
I’m now back teaching classes in the University System of Maryland, Baltimore County, and one semester this spring I’m teaching as well at the University of Central Florida. I was teaching at the University of Kentucky in the fall while I was doing my graduate work at the University of Arizona. I had done some field work in Honduras during my graduate training and the students at Arizona brought me in there, and I was teaching a seminar on women in Honduras with them. I also do readings for the Department of Education at the University of Maryland where I do my dissertation.
What makes it difficult to have a good graduate experience?
The graduate programs in education, especially those as part of the University System of Maryland, are really competitive. But it’s that competition that makes it difficult for many students to be chosen for graduate studies. There is a huge amount of work that is done to try to identify who we are as scholars and it really is a very competitive environment. We need to do more recruiting and get in and out faster to keep up. If your work doesn’t seem to be getting recognized, or at least has no impact, it is very hard to keep trying.
You have given a lot of talks on poverty. Do you think poverty should be tackled by policy?
Poverty is not a problem that can be solved simply through legislation. Poverty is a result of structural injustices that take place in the daily lives of people. So poverty is a deep problem that requires us as an intellectual community to work on it. In the long-term we are going to have to confront the question of whether poverty is going to get an adequate response.
Do you think poverty has an impact on the way we think about technology?
I don’t think so. I think that if you are concerned about technology you should be concerned about inequality, poverty and inequality. If you were concerned about technology you would have to be concerned with the ways that it allows a large number of people to thrive, and we are not very good at addressing that
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