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Hell's Kitchen 1916 At school, the day began in the assembly hall, where we were marched to the platform. The principal and his aides frisked each child for weapons: knives, billies, clubs, icepicks. Contraband confiscated. Grim silence. No lectures, sermons, admonitions, no flag salutes or pledges. Suspended walls rolled into place, making classrooms, where teaching reluctant learners began. Mine suffered. Teacher was a nice old Irish lady who favored me as her pet, sowing seeds of resentment among my classmates, further worsened because I was a Jew. My journeys to and from school were a gauntlet fraught with fear I'd be waylayed, belabored with stockings filled with sweepings from the streets. On reflection, I agree, it was less frightful. Today at even among the best of schools frustration, anger sparks terror with guns.
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