Blogs

From Ed Portal to Harvard Yard

first_imgWhen incoming freshman Kevin Yang learned he was accepted to Harvard College, he quickly wrote and thanked one of the people who helped him the most — Tri Huynh. As a Harvard student, Huynh, now a teacher in California, tutored Yang once a week at Harvard’s Education Portal in Allston.Opened in 2008, Harvard’s Ed Portal serves as a cooperation agreement between Harvard and the city of Boston to bring the University’s greatest strengths of teaching and research to the Allston-Brighton community.For Yang, who moved many times during his middle and high school years, the Ed Portal was a constant. “We’ve lived all over Massachusetts, and moving so often was difficult,” Yang said. “High school was very stressful, and writing my college essay helped me reflect on my identity.”While Yang’s parents worked — his mother is a nurse and his father a scientist — Yang’s grandparents drove him back and forth from the Ed Portal several times each week. These days they drive his younger brother Neil there for his mentoring sessions.Noting his parents high regard for education, Yang said: “You’re always stepping on the backs of your parents to go further. Getting into Harvard is a new experience for all of us — it has been a roller coaster ride. At the end of the day, they are proud of me.” 1Incoming freshman, Kevin Yang, foreground, and his family, at their home. From left, Yi Jin, Kevin’s mother; grandfather, Yongshou Jin; brother, Neil Jin and grandmother, Yi Qun Zhu. His dad, Hailin Yang, not pictured, was at work. 5Neil takes Kevin’s longboard for a ride in their neighborhood. 15In Harvard Yard, Kevin checks his new Harvard ID, comparing it to the one from Boston Latin, and noting how much he has changed. 7For several years, Kevin’s grandparents drove him to and from the Ed Portal, school, and other activities. Currently, Kevin is in the driver’s seat with his learner’s permit while his grandfather instructs him from the passenger seat. 12Neil plays a computer game, while Kevin looks on. Remembering his own mentor, Kevin says, “He was more than a tutor — he was a real person, he helped me to chill. He recognized my human side … he also saw my interest in biology and helped me with my studies.” 2A shelf in the living room displays Kevin’s many awards and some family photos. 8Kevin attended Boston Latin School, the oldest school in America, founded in 1635. 4Kevin’s younger brother, Neil, looks up to him. 6Kevin’s grandfather, Yongshou Jin, speaks Shanghainese. Kevin speaks English, Latin, Chinese, Spanish, and Shanghainese. 9Five signers of the Declaration of Independence along with many other notable historic figures attended BLS. 10Kevin graduated in June. 3Kevin reads his acceptance letter to Harvard. 13On freshmen move-in day, Kevin, returning from his Freshman Orientation Program (FOP), greets Catherine Zhang ’19, on left, while his mother, Yi Jin and father Hailin, look on. Yi Jin rejoiced when she saw her son following his FOP of hiking and camping in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. 14Kevin greets his new roommate, T.J. Song (right) of Gilroy, Calif. They’ll share a room, part of a suite in Weld Hall. 11Kevin and Neil pose inside the Harvard EdPortal. When Kevin attended, the Ed Portal was across the street from its current location at 224 Western Ave. in Allston. Membership is free and hundreds of students like Yang take advantage of the Allston-Brighton mentoring program, which pairs a Harvard student with a local youth. 16Kevin hugs his mother. His father, Hailin, said he would miss work to be at move-in day partly so he could, “park the car in Harvard Yard.” The family car is to the left.last_img read more

Father’s garden

first_imgBy Wayne McLaurinUniversity of GeorgiaAs Father’s Day approaches, I remember with fond affection my ownfather. He wasn’t a big man, but was very big in my eyes. Noteducated in a modern sense, he never failed to have time toanswer my thousand questions. He was never too busy to talk to uschildren.Many of the conversations came in the garden, started by aquestion.”What plant is that?””Is this bug good or bad?””Is that ready to eat?””Why are some peppers hot?””What causes tomatoes to turn red?””How big can a watermelon grow?””Can we quit now?”Railroad gardenWe always had a big vegetable garden on land we used with permission from the railroad.At 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. a passenger train passed by going toforeign places as far as we were concerned — northbound toWashington, D.C., and New York and southbound to New Orleans.We knew we weren’t going there, so we just waved at the people onthe train and showed them Southern hospitality while we wentabout our chores.Everyone had chores in the garden. One of my least favorite wasto pick squash and okra — both sticky. I was the fifth child,and now I think this chore was passed down as the older ones gotmore power and control.Okra lessonsLittle did I know then that I’d wind up getting a Ph.D. inhorticulture at Louisiana State University and do all of myresearch on okra. I reckon that garden got me geared up for life.Daddy never was into “gadgets.” We didn’t have a tractor or evena mule, just hand tools and a pushplow.Having come through World War I and the Depression and having sixchildren to support, Daddy was somewhat tight-fisted. Why haveone of those gadgets when Mr. John Scott would come over and plowthe garden with his mule Hugh?Besides the chores, we did everything else that was asked. Daddyalways asked. He never told us what to do. Of course, we neverrefused to do what he asked.That one time…Except there was that one time when my older brother V.L. decidedif he stuck his foot with a pitchfork he could get out of work –we always worked barefooted. Instead, he stuck it through his toe.Daddy took him back to the house, poured iodine on the puncture,bandaged it and made him wear shoes back to the garden. All of uslearned a lesson: don’t try it, because it won’t get you out ofgarden work.We didn’t have any of the supplies modern gardeners can’t seem todo without. We knocked pests off the plants into a coffee canwith a little kerosene in the bottom. After we were through, westrained the bugs out and saved the kerosene for the nextonslaught of insects.Specialized hoesWeed control was never a problem. We just used hoes and kept themsharpened. As the hoe heads were sharpened, of course, theybecame smaller.That was never a problem. We used the small-headed hoe to getclose around the plant. With this implement I could get rightnext to the stem and cut the grass.Woe be unto the kid, though, who cut a plant. We’d get “Son, whydidn’t you just pull the grass from around the plant with yourhands?” in the kindest of words.The newer, wider hoes were for the middles. And we never chopped.We “drew” the hoe along the top of the soil without disturbingthe soil, letting the sharp edge do the work. Chopping brought upweed seeds, the exact thing we were trying to control.Lots of lessonsWe not only planted and raised each vegetable but picked it,shelled it, helped cook it and, of course, ate everything. Theplate was never passed twice, and no one wanted to be at the end.Yet there was always enough to eat and share with others lessfortunate (or as we kids so selfishly saw it, too lazy to have agarden).As I look back, gardening with my father was one of the bestlearning experiences ever. All of the formal education I’ve gonethrough has only refined and enhanced what I learned in myfather’s garden.(Wayne McLaurin is a horticulturist with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

James H. Jasper

first_imgJames Harmon Jasper, 81, of Aurora, Indiana, passed away Sunday February 24, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio.He was born September 9, 1937 in Somerset, KY, son of the late Edward Jasper and Ada (Cook) Jasper. James served with the Kentucky National Guard.James worked as head of maintenance with Cooks Screen with over 42 years of service.He enjoyed yard work, gardening, camping and horse shoes. James loved to hunt and fish, but his favorite thing was playing with his grandkids.James is survived by his loving spouse of 60 years, Imogene Jasper (Adams), daughters, Brenda (Mack) Johnson of Aurora, IN, Charlotte (Ron) Gascon of Milan, IN, Diana (Tony) Womack of Moores Hill, IN, Bonnie (Mark) Pennington of Moores Hill, IN; three siblings, Ron (Brenda) Jasper of Attica, IN, Don (Peggy) Jasper of Attica, IN, Barbara Shelley of Waynesburg, KY.; 12 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; 1 great, great-grandchild; .He was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Ada; siblings, George, Roy, Paul & Jessie Jasper, and Dorothy McKinnley.Friends will be received Thursday, February 28, 2019, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm at the Rullman Hunger Funeral Home, 219 Mechanic Street, Aurora, Indiana.Services will be held at the Funeral Home, at 2:00 pm.Interment will follow in the Mt. Sinai Cemetery, Aurora, Indiana.Contributions may be made to the Hogan Township Fire Department. If unable to attend services, please call the funeral home office at (812) 926-1450 and we will notify the family of your donation with a card.Visit: www.rullmans.comlast_img read more