Heavy: An American Memoir - Part Four, “Addict Americans” – "Terrors" Summary & Analysis

Kiese Laymon
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Summary

"Terrors."

As the author starts a teaching job at Vassar College, he contemplates what his mother taught him about being a teacher, even while he is thinking about his mother’s inability to pay a mechanic to fix her car. He recalls her saying that “the most important thing a teacher can do is give their students permission to be loving and excellent” (180), and contemplates his belief that the primary point of his job is to do exactly that for the non-white students he encountered. He then describes his successes and his failures at doing so. He also refers to how he was visited by security in his office, and how his mother commented that “terror looks like this” (181) and how he laughed off the comment.

Shortly after he starts work, the events of September 11, 2001 take place (that is: the...

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This section contains 1,575 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Heavy: An American Memoir Study Guide
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