For these students, my class was the only hope they had of escaping poverty, of achieving a middle-class life. If they didn’t pass my class, they couldn’t take English 101, and if they didn’t pass English 101, they couldn’t graduate from college. It was, or at least should have been, a life changer. I felt a tremendous responsibility to do all I could for them, but too often my efforts were not enough. In a typical semester, half my students would have dropped out by Thanksgiving. Two thirds would never pass English 101.