Welcome to NOLA, where you'll find plenty of "that je ne sais quoi, that elan, that bon temps" but absolutely pas d'excuses. In other words, it's time for us to button up our lab coats and get busy. We've got an achievement gap to crush.
The 10-hour school day and remorseless homework assignments paid off. It was not easy, but what kept me going was the fact that I was a part of a team, I was a part of something that was extraordinary.
The most recent education news provides alarming indications that the "pipeline" from early childhood neglect to young adult incarceration is disappearing. I don't suggest that the problem is going away. Quite to the contrary.