Reviews

 

The film is a walk down memory lane-- back to that amazing time when everything seemed to be changing, and my generation was coming of age...Great interviews and great characters who say wonderful things. It's clear that the people who went through the experience were transformed by in what was a life defining experience for everyone involved.

— David Davis, VP, National TV Production, Oregon Public Broadcasting

 

"Walk Right In" is inspirational and nostalgic....Thought provoking and important. The film brings back vivid memories of Yale undergraduates demonstrating against the war in Vietnam—distressed that they were not receiving an education relevant to their lives – the very same education which the YSHS students had gotten a few years before!

The conclusion of the film, however, left me saddened. I wanted more. What would be the issues a real education (a la YSHS) should focus on today? And how one might structure such a program?

— Dr. Joel Isaacs, Psychoanalyst

 

The Yale Summer High School of 1968 was at the cutting edge of education. It was about justice, democracy, and transformative change Rather than being neat and orderly, it was messy and chaotic, but how could it have been otherwise? All the conventional givens were turned on their head. The great books were used to address contemporary racism, and structural economic injustice,; students were actually taken seriously, and diversity was treated as more than a set of empty platitudes. Kids learned how to encounter others in situations with which they were totally unfamiliar. In a short eight weeks, the very basics of our society and educational tradition were made problematic.

The film beautifully captures the specifics of the summer, the memorable portraits of the participants, but even more so, the spirit of hope and purpose underlying it.

—Ed Mikel, Professor of Education, Antioch University, Seattle

 

Addressing the issues which have plagued education through the history of our country, the film raises questions which educators and politicians generally avoid—education for whom?; towards what end?; for what purpose? Can and should our schools serve as a vehicle for fundamentally altering the social and economic fabric of a nation or merely continue to reinforce its empty value system (i.e., the acquisition, guarding and perpetuation of goods and power) that separate, divide and keep us strangers to one another's humanity and divorce us from the human condition.

Best yet, the film celebrates those who worked to redefine, rediscover, and remake education – those who have worked work actively towards helping reshape it in a more humane image—holding out the hope and the possibility that what happened some forty plus years ago, can happen again.

— Ira Goldenberg, Former Dean School of Education, Florida International University

 

When the first copy of the DVD arrived, Joe took a day off from work to watch it alone. It took quite a few days for him to recover.

Finally we watched it together. There were parts he cried through. He recalled how Algeo cut up his arm very badly. And because the boy Joe refers to as "the cracker from Tennessee" (whoever that boy was, I can't tell you how much anger and resentment Joe has toward him to this day) was no longer around, Cal who shared the suite with Joe had the responsibility of helping Algeo after his arm had been stitched. He had fond memories of Algeo and I suspect some regrets knowing of his death.

Then there were the stories of Floyd and Willie Toney, Joe Ory and of course, Spergeon Carswell! The dvd player was paused and restarted dozens of times so he could interject with his own stories; all told with a catch in his voice and glistening on his cheeks.

I know he'll want to watch it again. I know he wants our children to see it. But I suspect he needs to build up some strength first. The emotions are so strong! I wonder if you realized at the time how much of an impact you had on these kids? I suspect you may have underestimated the program's effect on them.

The DVD is a wonderful gift you've created and I can't thank you enough for it! I wish you much success in promoting it.

Peace be with you as well

—Stephanie and Joe Urban (YSHS '68 student)

 

Strong and compelling...Held my interest throughout...made me care deeply about each of the characters. Kudos to all involved.

—David Guilbault, Journalist/Filmmaker/Songwriter

 

This provocative film, though it describes events that took place decades ago, brings to life key issues that teachers continue to grapple with every day in our nation's schools. The film shows clearly how the difficult, complex issues of race, class, and human difference can be addressed humanely and productively. The Yale Summer High School's connection of academic rigor, social consciousness, and personal growth serves as a model of the kind of education that young teachers seek, but rarely find. There is much to be learned from this thought-provoking documentary.

—Katherine C. Boles, Director, Learning and Teaching Program Harvard Graduate School of Education