The issues of systematic redlining targeted in the Tuft Observer article by Carissa Fleury has a particular application to me. The city I was born and raised in, St. Louis, is regarded along with Detroit and Baltimore as one of the most segregated cities in the United States. Issues addressed within this article especially that of appraisals within the entire housing system has resulted in the isolation and trapping of minority groups to the interior low of value sections of the city. As minorities moved into the city of St. Louis, the appraisal of these areas quickly dropped and white people quickly moved out. With them, the money and business of that kept the city alive for generations moved into the now over developed suburbs of St. Louis County.


This progression is similar to that described in Medford and Somerville by Fleury’s article and in both the low evaluation of housing has trapped many ethnic groups into a tragic repeating cycle. Where I disagree with the author is her concern over the recent gentrification of the Medford and Somerville areas. She identifies the low evaluation of the housing in these areas as the root of the never ending cycle that cornered these people many minorities. The then proceeds to identify the absolution of this issue, a rise in the appraisal of the housing in these areas as a new issue. St. Louis has not experienced such a rise in evaluation. The people that have been stuck in low income, underprivileged areas will continue to be because of, as Fleury explains, the low evaluation of their housing. The solution in St. Louis, and elsewhere, would be a rise in these appraisals. This is exactly what has happened in the Medford and Somerville areas that surround Tufts University.


I do understand that gentrification can cause challenges for old residents, but Fleury presents totally contradictory arguments without explanation for this conflict. My home of St. Louis needs gentrification. We need the money to return to the city.. It is the only way to allow the generational local residents an opportunity to leave areas that have bound them. Without it, the same issue has bound them to these areas will only continue to do so.

The op-ed, “The Gender Dap at School” by David Brooks addresses the rising drop in interest and achievement in literature among men compared to that of women. He blames the current school system for these issues explaining that because it treats men and women the exact same. He explains that men and women’s brains function very differently especially concerning verbal and emotional processing, but the current educational approach treats them as if they are the same, favoring the functioning of women.


This is an interesting issue in the 21st century. We have progressed not only in equality between men and women, but also between ethnicities. The fact that all people deserve equal opportunities regardless of their physical attributions has more and more greatly become a standard in our American society. Of course, countless challenges still remain and we still have much more work to do, but equal opportunity has reached a history climax today. However, this has created some confusion that is addressed in this article. People have come to confuse this new standard of equality for biological uniformity.


Everyone deserves equal opportunity and equal treatment, but not everyone is the same. In a society where we try to treat everyone equally, we have forgotten that not everyone really is the same. Some people are tall while others are short. Some people are fast while others are slow. Some people are able to conquer calculus while others master languages. Brooks explains that men and women have different neurobiology that results in different comprehension and reactions for information. Such biological differences also impact people of different ethnicities from different gene pools. It is no coincidence that four of the last six marathon records were set by men of Kenyan nationality while the other two were set by Ethiopians. We have differences and we should not ignore them. As emphasized in this op-ed, neglecting our biological differences can actually result in inequality. We as a society have come to an adverse conclusion about the diversity of people. We all deserve equal opportunity, but we are not the same.

The Quick Brown Fox Jumped over the Lazy Dog, a Liam Elwood interpretation

Original: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

Overly Historical: In the year of our lord twenty-hundred and 17 more, the noble tan fox performed the daring “Great Jump” over the lazy dog.

Journalistic: Currently investigating the alleged jumping of an animal, believed to be a brown fox, over local area lazy dog. More to follow at 11.

Horror: The hulking beast with its deathly gaze and dark fur lurched over the fearful puppy.

Romance: “Please, I’m not ready” the sultry puppy murmured. The dashing brown fox ignored the cry, and leapt passionately over the lazy dog.

Drama (Shakespeare):

Scene 1: A lazy park, the grass is smooth and bees buzz in the wind

Dog: From what doth my lazy eye see! A demon of brown has whirled cross my being

[Fox jumps over Dog]

Fox: Forsooth my speed be tempestual, my lazy foe (END SCENE)

Buzzfeed: This brown fox wanted to jump over a dog. What happened next will BLOW YOUR MIND!

Tufts Observer Articles

Of the two articles from the Tufts Observer posted on Trunk, Delivering Justice, discussed the history  of midwifes and doulas and their role in delivering children today. I had no idea that doulas or midwifes could possibly cause so much political and racial tension in America. I was also surprised and disappointed when I read that an African American women giving birth in America was three times as likely to die during childbirth than a white women.

After being shocked by the first half of the article, I found the efforts being made to make childbirth safe for all women very encouraging. I understand that some people, including President Trump, see these midwifes and doulas as unneccesary and are trying to make them harder to employ. I also see how women need support after they give birth, and that these midwifes and doulas are there to support women during and after they give birth. Tashianna Dew, a woman studying to become a midwife, brings up a great point in saying,“The doula is someone who is there for you throughout your whole pregnancy, coaching you, grieving with you. It’s like a sister. They’re feeling your pain and they’re right there to help you through it.” I believe this is true, as childbirth is unbelievably stressful and women deserve all of the free or inexpensive support they can get while in the hospital in order to help them recover quickly and allow them to get back to their lives before they pregnant as quickly and safely as possible.


Tufts Op-eds

I really enjoyed the first Op-ed about Midwifery. This subject is clearly a topic of considerable interest for the two authors. They clearly did a lot of research and are knowledgable about the subject as well. Hopefully I can choose a topic that I am very enthusiastic about as well. I think this will make the whole experience more fun for me. I also like how the two authors incorporated their research as well. For example, the Op-ed used quotes, statistics, and personal narratives in order to present information. Also, the information presented is indicative about their own opinions on the topic as well. It is very clear that the authors support midwifery and believe that is has an essential role in modern day life. I’m still confused about how much of our own opinions should influence how we write out Op-eds.

The second article was very well written as well. The author seamlessly transitions from the past to the present and weaves her analysis in as well. While some of the writing seems lighthearted, it is very clear that the writer is talking about serious issues. Gentrification and the legacy of segregation are surprisingly more intertwined than I originally thought before reading this article. It gave me a new perspective on housing in America, and was definitely a worthwhile article to read. Hopefully my article will be just as useful and informative. I will need to do considerable outside research in order to create a more convincing argument for my paper.

Relatable and Precise Articles

These two papers were very informative to me; they forced me to think of what makes articles most compelling. Neither of them cover extremely complex topics that are difficult for the reader to comprehend, however, they do successfully cover topics that are specific and unique while still being relevant to the reader. Both papers focus on specific details, something that really helps me absorb the point and the opinion of the paper. For example, in “Color-Coded: Race, Class, and the Lasting Legacies of Relining” the author describes a scene in which, “White college students and nuclear families with blond hair spending $10 for a carton of strawberries at Dave’s Fresh Pasta.” The author does a great job of using specifics to create a scenario that all Tufts students and professors can relate to, not necessarily because they have experienced the situation, but because everyone can recognize the white students and identity the local Dave’s Fresh Pasta. As a result, the argument successfully depicts the gradual change of race and class in the areas surrounding Tufts university. Similarly, in the “Delivering Justice” article, the author references an alumni of Tufts. This interview allows for another connection to be made between the reader and the paper.

After reading both student written article’s I now feel as if I have a better grasp of how to approach the next paper. A powerful article comes from not a broad, general topic, but rather a precise, relatable subject.

Observer Posts

While the articles did not directly relate to on campus issues that we are used to seeing in student run papers, I found the two articles interesting. The idea of redlining and systemic racial discrimination through restricting access through loans is shocking to me. Coming from China, these issues were not something that I’ve encountered before. While I was aware of segregation at large, I’d never considered the allocation of housing neighborhoods and real estate sales to be something that could be used to discriminate so effectively. I found Fleury’s article more interesting than “Delivery Justice” mainly because it touched upon economic issues that I am interested in, particularly concerning the cycles of inter-generational poverty; this goes beyond disadvantages in schooling but represents a systemic disadvantages of entire areas purely on racial composition. Similarly, I found “Delivery Justice” to also be very intriguing to me as it touches upon discrimination in midwifery and obstetrics, a field in which I did not consider such racial biases could occur in. However, I felt less connected with the articles in sense because it touches on issues that I know less about and more unknown to me; I felt it was a real and relevant issue but something I could not connect and understand as much as I did with the social economic research in “Color Coded”.

Articles from the Tufts Observer

After reading the article titled ‘COLOR-CODED: RACE, CLASS, AND THE LASTING LEGACIES OF REDLINING’, I understood the significant impact that race plays when determining whether someone is eligible for a loan. There’s always ideas being projected that we have overcome a time where race is a major issue but have we really broken all stereotypes as this evidence would suggest that we have not. This vicious cycle of poverty has been almost impossible to escape once one is trapped in it. This idea of housing has always interested me as housing affects education of one’s children. Since my family is heavily involved in the education business, this idea that if your neighborhood is that of a low-income and the public school nearby is that of a low quality then it is almost impossible to receive a good education and escape poverty.

The second article for me provided an interesting perspective of midwifery. This is because I never knew that midwifery had such strong links to race and culture. One thing that I observed was that the style of the article was written where it expressed an opinion however never explicitly. The article never used the first person but there was a tone that suggested bias or simply a preference for one side. This has led me to examine my style of writing. Obviously, everyone has an opinion on issues however it is learning how to formulate a way of expressing it where you can do so in a manner which shows that you have carefully examined both sides and then taken a stance on the issue.

Tufts Observer

The two articles from the Tufts Observer seem to be reaching out to discuss topics that stretch off of the immediate Tufts Campus. The one I found more interesting was the article about midwifery called Delivering Justice. I was unaware that there was any sort of problem regarding midwives. I assumed that mothers simply choose whether to have their child in private with a midwife or in a hospital setting with a doctor. I never thought one was better than the other but simply that people had their own preference. It makes sense to me that doctors would be against the use of midwives, as they are taking away patients. The discrimination factor though plays a bigger role in the situation as black women are significantly more likely to die in childbirth. Not only could the mothers be at risk, but the possibility for discrimination often adds stress to the mother, therefore affecting the pregnancy itself. The concept of midwives and doulas seems to have helped this situation though as a doula is most cost effective for low-income mothers than a hospital visit and a doctor. I believe that with the many uneasy feelings regarding reproductive justice in the world today, this debate only adds to it, but is something that many would be unaware of. Since the current news generally speaks of Trump’s view on abortion and birth control, topics like this do not receive as much coverage.

Tufts Obs

I found the article on gentrification from the Tufts Observer very interesting, and it made me a little uncomfortable to realize how ignorant I am when it comes to topics such as gentrification. As a young and white female, I enjoy the fact that there are so many stores in Somerville and have even been to the “artisanal oatmeal shop”. I didn’t even think twice about how it negatively impacts people in the area, or realize that the new developments were  catered to people like me, and not to everyone.  For one of my classes focused  on early childhood education, I visited one of the public schools in Somerville called The Healey School, which is populated by children who live in the surrounding area (which happens to be full of immigrants and minorities). This school definitely is an example of a redlined school, and in meetings that I had with teachers they expressed that the children in this school are far below performing at the state average. It is so awful to see real life examples of HOLCs policies set back in 1935 impacting the futures of children, and it’s even worse that there isn’t a possibility of an easy solution. While these schools do do everything they can to prepare their students for other schools or to fix the problems in their learning, a lot cannot be helped due to lack of funding and resources. The author of this piece did a very good job at delivering a very informative piece without sounding too biased, which makes the article even more effective.