Mary Sherry is from Bay City,Michigan.She graduated with a Bachelors degree from Rosary College in River Forest Illinois. Mary also teaches an adult literacy class which sets up the purpose of this short passage. The beginning of the novel speaks about how millions of students graduate high school. The problem in this novel arises when the author talks about students barely passing by or just dropping out. In the passage Mary reiterates that students are passed by because they are “do gooders.” These students feel like they have been cheated or lost out in their education. The author brings up that students can not always focus due to distractions which include drugs,abuse,and divorce.She feels that despite these distractions teachers can get the attention of their students. Mary then goes on to say her son was an example of someone who just got passed on in high school. The change is when the authors son gets a new teacher named Mrs.Stifter who promises to fail him if he does not apply himself. The potential failure in her class pushes her son to go on and achieve an A.The author throughout goes on to talk about how her adult students were motivated by the word and experience of failure.
She feels that teachers cheat their students when they do not challenge them to master their skills. Mary’s students who are adults seemed to be motivated because they have experienced failure. The students are motivated to do better in school to achieve