Hazim Hardeman’s journey from North Philadelphia to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar is worthy of a bio-pic. This young man’s life will be one worth watching, and we can learn much from what he already has accomplished.

That’s why I see his story as my favorite among all those that I chronicled here during 2018 and the one I want to celebrate as a positive way to begin 2019.

Here is the first of two recent pieces by Philadelphia Inquirer writer Susan Snyder.   http://www.philly.com/education/a/hazim-hardeman-rhodes-scholar-temple-north-philly-20181219.html Next week, I’ll share the other one.

Readers of this site know that I wrote OPEN ADMISSIONS about my momentous final semester of teaching at my alma mater, Community College of Philadelphia. Even if Hardeman had not studied in the same academic program in which I taught at CCP, I would have been drawn to his amazing story.

If you have read my posts before, you know that I am intrigued by turning points in our lives—moments that alter our life’s course. Sometimes these are matters of chance or of someone else’s doing, but I am most interested in the conscious turning points. Like Hardeman’s mother’s actions to make sure her son ended up in the kind of school where he might blossom. Or like Hardeman’s own choices about how and where to spend his time.

You’ve read in Turning Points and in my book OPEN ADMISSIONS about the ways that psychologists talk about life’s turning points: concepts with big names, like engagement, academic enculturation, locus of control, reciprocal determinism, and so on, but do not be thrown off by the terminology. You’ve seen these phenomena occur in the lives of others around you and in your own life.

You just might find some of them in Susan Snyder’s excellent articles. Enjoy the beginning of 2019 by looking at such moments in Hazim Hardeman’s inspiring life, and by realizing that mindful examination of life—both our own and that of others—can offer us opportunities to learn, grow, and change.

That’s what my fellow Community College of Philadelphia teachers and I taught our students to do, and it’s something we ALL can do. Learning a little about learning might be the best new year’s resolution you could make. And I’ll help you do it, one post at a time.

Happy New Year!