My biggest takeaway from each book is the theme of an accelerated maturation. I take this out of both books because both Beah and Esperanza had many complications in their lives that made them "grow up" faster than other kids they were around. For example, Beah became a child soldier and in turn lost several years of his childhood. This in turn forced him to mature very quickly for his age. In Cisneros, Esperanza matured very quickly because she had numerous siblings and she was forced to help tend to them and she even had a job at a very young age. One thing that I don't want to forget about each character's experiences and character of their own is that each child is still innocent and still a child in some sort of way, even though they were forced to mature very rapidly. A quote that makes me remember this from Beah is, "I have been rehabilitated now, so don't be afraid of me. I am not a soldier anymore; I am a child." I chose this quote because it shows that Beah is still a child and wishes for others to see the same, despite his tenure as a child soldier.
I found the documentary to be very interesting for the most part. I found that it made me think a lot about my childhood and how some teachers had been excellent and some had been very terrible. It made me feel like if my teachers had been like the negative teachers that Mr. Rafe talked about, that I wouldn't be in the place that I am in my life today. The quote that he and his students used in the classroom, " The readiness is all." Really showed that he got his students to buy into the program. I found Mr. Rafe to bear many resemblances to my fourth grade teacher. The way that he knew his individual students really stood out to me and hit home. This is because if my fourth grade teacher wouldn't have tried as hard as she did with me, I probably would have ended up going down a completely different path than the one I'm on today. So I salute teachers that can see the potential in their students.