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Educated
2020/10/18 16:31:22瀏覽990|回應1|推薦7

Writer:

Tara Westover is an American memoiristessayist and historian. Her memoir Educated (2018) debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list .

Westover was the youngest of seven children born in Clifton, Idaho (population 259) to Mormon survivalist parents. She has five older brothers and an older sister. Her parents were suspicious of doctors, hospitals, public schools, and the federal government. Westover was born at home, delivered by a midwife, and was never taken to a doctor or nurse. She was not registered for a birth certificate until she was nine years old. Their father resisted getting formal medical treatment for any of the family. Even when seriously injured, the children were treated only by their mother, who had studied herbalism and other methods of alternative healing.

All the siblings were loosely homeschooled by their mother. Westover has said an older brother taught her to read, and she studied the scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to which her family belonged. But she never attended a lecture, wrote an essay, or took an exam. There were few textbooks in their house.

As a teenager, Westover began to want to enter the larger world and attend college. She purchased textbooks and studied independently in order to score well on the ACT Exam. She gained admission to Brigham Young University and was awarded a scholarship, although she had no high school diploma. After a difficult first year, in which Westover struggled to adjust to academia and the wider society there, she became more successful and graduated with honors in 2008.

She subsequently earned a Masters degree from the University of Cambridge at Trinity College as a Gates Cambridge Scholar, and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University in 2010. She returned to Trinity College, Cambridge, where she earned a doctorate in intellectual history in 2014. Her thesis is entitled "The Family, Morality and Social Science in Anglo-American Cooperative Thought, 1813–1890".

In 2009, while a graduate student at Cambridge, Westover told her parents that for many years (since age 15), she had been physically and psychologically abused by an older brother. Her parents denied her account and suggested that Westover was under the influence of Satan. The family split over these events. Westover wrote about the estrangement, and her unusual path to and through a university education in her 2018 memoir, Educated.

Westover was the Fall 2019 A.M. Rosenthal Writer in Residence at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard Kennedy School. She was selected as a Senior Research Fellow at HKS for Spring 2020. (r.1)

 

Story:

Tara Westover’s Educated was such a fascinating read. This bestselling book is the memoir of a woman who was brought up a devout Mormon in the US by a mentally ill father (bipolar) and a mother dedicated to her husband, refusing to question her husband’s views.

And these views were often paranoid, dangerous and alarming. They included an extreme suspicion of government involvement in their lives. As a result, the children were home schooled and treated for sometimes terrible unjust at home as the medical institution was not to be trusted.

And then there was Tara’s sometimes friendly and warm brother who often became violent towards Tara, calling her a whore among a range of other insults.

Even when Tara leaves home in search of an education, her family retains a strong hold on her with a woman trapped in a stifling and heavily patriarchal religion who attempts to break free.

It was intriguing to read about Tara’s introduction to the wider world, where she embarrassed herself in class when she asked the meaning of the word ‘Holocaust’. The question illuminated just how removed she had been from mainstream society when she was growing up.

Some of the scenes with Tara’s violent brother, Shawn, were harrowing, but equally disturbing was her parents’ unwillingness to intervene. In some ways, it was hard to see why Tara had such trouble breaking away from this dysfunctional family. However, ultimately, they were all she had ever known of the world until then.

It is an interesting and illuminating read about family, religion loyalty and knowledge – in a way an education in itself.(r.2)

Highlights vs self- reflection:

1p.316: Our parents are held down by chains of abuse, manipulation, and control…They see change as dangerous and will exile anyone who asks for it. This is a perverted idea of family loyalty..They claim faith, but this is not what the gospel teaches. Keep safe. We love you.

2.p.311: IF I might be mistaken, if my memories might be false-was evidence that my soul was in jeopardy, that I couldn’t be trusted.

Our heart is the best compass to show us the right direction.

3.p.41:College is extra school for people too dumb to learn the first time around.

What can tell parents doctrine are all right.

4.p.102:Those instincts were my guardians.

No matter what happened. Don’t lost our own instincts which will help us find the way out.

5.p. 156:Doctors were Sons of Perdition. Homeschooling was a commandment from the Lord. What we pass on to the kids are true or false? Conflict brings truth-seeking..

6.p.113: I was fifteen and I felt it, felt the race I was running with time.

We are our own soulmate.

Golden Sentence:

1.p.105: if you know what you are doing you can incapacitate a man with minimal effort. you can control someones whole body with two fingers. Its about knowing where the weak points are, and how to exploit them.

2.p.111:It’s not affecting me, that was its effect.

3.p.257: Emancipate yourselves form mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.

4.p.273:The past was a ghost, insubstantial, unaffecting. Only the future had weight.

5.p.329: They were the choices of a changed person, a new self. You could call this selfhood many things. Transformation. Metamorphosis. Falsity. Betrayal. I call it an education.

Conclusion:

1. Parents are part of the maniace. From the education, kids will find the real truth and lead them to their future that we never reach before.

2. It seems to me the Mormon survivalist parents shows another Scientology, what the different is they don’t bribe money, but love.

3. God will sent angels as friends and sent slaughters as family and sent us courage to distinguish it.

4.“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― 
Mother Teresa

5. Father’s misleading complete her better philosophy for education.

6. Be aware of the dysfunctional relationships as an adult.

(1)observe your family and take notes.

(2) Dont Sound Accusatory

(3) Realize That Some People Wont Change

(4) Self compassion

(5)Acceptance

(6)Find a healthy way to cope

7.“People’s reactions to my trauma made me feel like it was my problem.”

“Once she reported to the police about what her husband was doing to her, her community shunned her. The community started to watch and follow her and became part of the abuse.” “You don’t meet anyone else in your situation. Where is the support network? Where is the opportunity to meet other women going through this? What helps people to find their way through this?” “Some communities don’t want the justice response, don’t want the man to leave, they just want the violence to stop.” If we didn’t help solve the problem. We are part of the problem.

8.Forget what hurt you, but don’t forget what it taught you.”forgive, forget and move on.

Summary of the book — Educated — by Tara Westover by Faye

          This is a memoir of Tara Westover’s childhood and how she made to became an independent and successful woman. Tara was born 1986 in Idaho, in an area that is completely surrounded by mountains. With 7 kids in the family, they have to work very hard to survive. During warm weather, the family builds sheds and barns for other people. When the weather was icy cold, the whole family works at the junk yard sorting and separating metals. The family belongs to the Mormon Church (also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

          Her father Gene is very religious, and always like to lecture hours to the family members with God’s scripture. He even likes to shout out loud to a point that people can’t stand it. He does not believe in schooling; he thinks that public school will lead the children away from God. Thus, her father firmly believes home schooling is the best solution for his children. Her mother taught them how to read at home. 

          Although she does not have a state license, Tara’s mother Faye is a midwife.  Fortunately, Faye knows how to delivery a baby and knows how to use herbalist treatment on other people. Because her mother’s midwife services provided income for the family, her father decided to let her do it. However, in his mind, Gene believes a woman should traditionally stay at home. Faye is also very supportive to her husband, even when he is lecturing or shouting. She supports him, and would never say anything to annoy her husband. 

          Unfortunately, Tara’s father opposes all forms of modern medical treatment, and never carries car insurance.  When the family encountered several serious accidents, he would tell the ambulance to send them home. The injured family members would  suffer at the home without any hospital treatment.

          As kids growing up, Tara’s siblings started to find their way for better life. 

Her siblings are: 

Tony (the oldest brother): Tony got his General Educational Development (GED) diploma, and is married with kids. He owns a trucking company.

Shawn (the second oldest brother):  Shawn is the brother who is violent and abusive to Tara.  He also commits domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend Erin and his wife Emily. 

Tyler (the third oldest brother):  Tyler is very helpful and supportive of Tara’s pursuit of higher education. He is the first sibling to go to college, and the first to receive a college degree.

Luke (the fourth oldest brother):  Luke is the brother who was injured in a fire at the metal scrapyard.

Richard (the fifth oldest brother):  Richard pursues higher education, and he ultimately obtains a PhD in chemistry. He is still a Mormon.

Audrey (Tara’s only sister):  Audrey becomes estranged from Tara, because Tara will not conform to the role of a woman who is submissive and traditional. 

          At age of 17, Tara decided to leave Buck’s Peak, with Tyler’s help she was able to apply colleges and take the ACT exam.  She was accepted into Brigham Young University (BYU). From there she got a Gates Cambridge scholarship and got a master degree’s in philosophy from Trinity College. She became a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University in 2010. She later traveled back to Trinity College at Cambridge to enroll in the doctorate program.  Tara was awarded a PhD in intellectual history in 2014. The title to her doctoral thesis was:  “The Family, Morality and Social Science in Anglo-American Cooperative Thought, 1813–1890” 

          From the second part of the book, she told us how her father reacted to his rebellious daughter, and how the family separated into two different categories.

One side of the family focused on higher education and advanced degrees.  With these diplomas, they became independent and capable to taking care of themselves.  The other side of the family chose not to even earn high school diplomas, and became totally dependent on their father to make a living.

          Tara believed that a chasm had appeared, and it was continually expanding. The distance between Tara and her father became too great. Eventually, her parents refused to see her. 

          The author believed that education is needed to connect with outside world. At the very end of the book, she said, “You could call this selfhood many things.” 

Transformation. Metamorphosis. Disloyalty. Betrayal. 

I call it Education..

Summarized by Faye Wang

10/15/2020

Faye’s Discussion Questions:

Please watch this Youtube video at your home:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS0P1ovIRos

On Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul Sunday, Oprah quoted Tara Westover with saying these two quotes:

“You can love someone and still choose to say goodbye.”

“You can miss a person everyday and still be glad that they are no longer in your life.”

1.  Do you agree with these two quotes by Tara Westover?

(1)“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― 
Mother Teresa

2.  Do you have any friends who are estranged from their families? 

One of my friends push her daughter to study at boarding school for junior high. No matter how hard she cried, no matter how the teacher punisher her for the worse grades. She failed for the university entrance test for twice and after she got married, she change the way her father taught her, finally her kids get into their dream school.

Father’s misleading completer her better philosophy for education. 

3.  Does living in a dysfunctional family lead to dysfunctional relationships as an adult?

(1)observe your family and take notes.

(2) Dont Sound Accusatory

(3) Realize That Some People Wont Change

(4) Self compassion

(5)Acceptance

(6)Find a healthy way to cope

4.  Does living in an isolated survivalist family increase the risk of domestic violence? 

“People’s reactions to my trauma made me feel like it was my problem.”

“Once she reported to the police about what her husband was doing to her, her community shunned her. The community started to watch and follow her and became part of the abuse.” “You don’t meet anyone else in your situation. Where is the support network? Where is the opportunity to meet other women going through this? What helps people to find their way through this?” “Some communities don’t want the justice response, don’t want the man to leave, they just want the violence to stop”

5.  Could you forgive your relatives if they created a childhood filled with violence and dysfunction?

It’s not easy, but the best way is to forgive yourself.”Forget what hurt you, but don’t forget what it taught you.”forgive, forget and move on.

KIWC  Annual Fee

Dear All,

I am so sorry to forget to tell you that we need to hand in our KIWC Anual fee in the last notice, all the book club members belong to Kaohsiung International Womens Club, so we need to pay NT$1500 to KIWC that is to use the fund to perform social welfare work, if you have paid the fee on the day of October monthly activity, please forget it, KIWC hold a meeting on every fourth Wednesday, if you are interested and do not join the KIWC line group yet, please let me know, I will invite your participation. Furthermore, our book club still needs to pay NT$500 for our annual fee, so, you need to hand in NT$2000 totally on our Nov. meeting. Thank you so much for your long-term support at our club.

Florence Cheng

Great Thanks to Faye and Andrew who lead our discussion to the climax.  Andrew told us many of Momon doctrines and conventions, Faye told us the dysfunctional family that Taras father caused many accidents and separation of family members.  I would like to share Emmas note which has some good golden sentences and conclusions to the books, please enjoy reading it.

 

December Activities:

Book: An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good

Author: Helene Torsten

Leader: Clive Hazell

Time: 1 p.m.  Dec. 7, 2020

Place: Qubit Cafe (Hanshin Arena) No.6, Lane 50, Bo-Ai 3 Road,

Zuo Ying District, Kaohsiung.  Tel:07-3459477

高雄市左營區博愛三路506

http://qubit.bais.com.tw/

https://www.google.com.tw/

Parking: in the basement of the Qubit Café

 

You may have a luncheon at the restaurant before our meeting at 1:00 pm,  we look forward to seeing you.

* Please let us know if you will be absent. 

Related Reading:

1.Tara wetover: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tara_Westover

2.Educated review: https://readability.com.au/2020/08/07/book-review-educated-by-tara-westover/

3.Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS0P1ovIRos

4.How to deal with dysfunctional family: https://www.regain.us/advice/family/how-to-live-with-a-dysfunctional-family/

5.Family violence: https://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/1168584/ACT-Family-Safety-Hub-Insights-Report-v2-5.pdf

6.Family could not be perfect, you love someone and still chose to say good bye: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS0P1ovIRos

 

 

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2020/10/19 18:52
我很快讀過您的這一篇,真是擲地有聲的作品和簡介,雖在其他報刊略見引介,但您輯錄特好,使不禁連想,有多少孩子的成長的有無教育、以及受教育的品質。👏👍👍👍
Bifröst Kærlighed(readingclub) 於 2020-10-21 06:06 回覆:
感恩用心閱讀喔, 待讀書會大家討論後會將大家討論整理出,遠距udn共讀何嘗不是一樂,天下父母心,還是天下府母薪,真是需省思.