Academic workshops were scheduled for each morning — Janet Mayer taught English and reading. Tamika stuck to her, and so began their relationship that has stuck for all these years. Although not all the ninth graders in Mayer's summer school class were scheduled for her September class, Tamika was. This Bronx high school was huge. It was built in the early 1970s and could accommodate five thousand pupils. Some would learn to navigate this large system; they could speak up for themselves, even correct mistakes on their programs, a chronic problem; they could arrange for guidance counselor visits and, in general, not get lost in the bureaucracy. However, for a great number of students, coming from small junior high schools, this vast system stymied them. The program committee was, as always, inundated, swamped, with hundreds and hundreds of last-minute program changes, and it was common for students to wait many weeks for their correct programs.
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