Road Node 101::Address to Hopelessness

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Speaking to Carl Weaver's class of young people-on-the-edge about jobs in film and videoblogging.

Carl writes that one of the fellows you see here has gone back to jail and that another is on his way if things don't change. He calls them, "...the rusty knives in society's silverware drawer."

Hadn't planned to post this because it's 16 minutes long, but Jonny Goldstein is gathering teaching materials and thought this might be of interest.

Tags: Faux Press Road Node 101


  1. Great lecture and congrats to you for what you are doing working with kids.

  2. It's not me, it's Carl Weaver's gig. He and wife Elise made all the arrangements. I'll gleefully pass along your comment to them.

  3. Hi, Jan. I haven't watched this yet, partly because I was there and saw it live (and I am a bit burned out and don't want to see these kids right now), but I wanted to add to the quote.

    They are society's rusty knives, but it's largely due to lack of care given to them. If you take care of a knife it most often won't rust. But if you throw it aside at the first spot of rust instead of trying to remove the blemish, the whole thing will go to hell.

    These aren't bad kids. Most have been dealt a bad hand in life and their current circumstances are shaped by that. Most of them don't see the connection between their past actions and their current situations. Many think life's occurrence are more or less random.

    No, not all of them are criminals. Some are very good people who made a simple mistake - dropping out of school - and are getting things back together and on the right track.

    Not all of them are where they are because of just one thing they did wrong, but you would be surprised what one mistake - one lapse of judgement - a single moment - can do to alter the course of a person's life. I see it with a lot of my current students and I used to see it with my clients at a homeless shelter I worked at. The whole conecpt just blew my mind when I realized it and again when I realized how my course through life could easily have led me to the same point.

    Jan - sorry to take up so much space here. I can't just say two lines about these kids because it's not that simple! Thanks - I look forward to this, maybe next week after I get some rest.

  4. This was super cool! I didn't know you worked on Sopranos! I probably met you. I worked on one Steve Buscemi directed at some mansion in New Jersey (about 2 years ago) were you there? There were all these elaborate old huge paintings on the wall, and he was getting some footage of the paitings, and one had a naked guy in it, and he'd be like.. ok, zoom in a bit. ok, tighten up on the dick... it was hilarious. anyway, you must know John Silvestri, too? I just acted in his first film he wrote and shot this spring. the slomo on this video and what you're saying are super.

  5. Carl, thanks for expanding on this important topic.

    Most important thing to come out of our talks about education is the idea that there has to be a way to teach / reach these kids to give them ways out of the cycle. But what is it?

    OMG, yes, I WAS there, Clark. Recall the helicopter scene we shot that same day, too. Small darned world, eh? Silvestri is a great / smart guy for sure.

  6. How to reach the kids? I think early intervention is a big key. Studies have shown that most kids who get into trouble do not have a positive role model of the same gender. Good role models are hard to come by but very important. We all learn from watching, especially those of us who are visual artists. And, like I said in another video, almost all these kids are artists. At least the youthful offenders.

    But yeah - maybe more one-on-one or small group programs would help. Cuts in education make this nearly impossible, but it's a good idea. These kids need the extra help with academics because the traditional classroom does not work for them.

    What we really need is a whole army of Jans to come talk to and inspire at-risk youth.

    The most important part of my job is not the academic component. Just being an example of someone doing things the right way (more or less - I am certainly not perfect or a pillar of the community) is really important. Just boosting them up a bit and showing them that the expectations I have for them are high but attainable is crucial. Giving someone a pat on the back or saying, "good job," makes a world of difference.

    When you come from an abusive household you most likely don't hear anyone say that you are good and worthwhile and capable of greatness. Just saying these things plants a seed in a person's mind. It may not grow to be a tree today but by nurturing it you can help it germinate.

    All these kids need love and support and encouragement. They get precious little at home and if they end up in the juvenile justice system they get even less.

    Here I go again, talking up a storm about this issue.


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