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Unformatted text preview: Ruffin family. It began with a large headline—RUFFIN FAMILY BOASTS SEVEN COLLEGE PROFESSORS. Under it was a large photo of Callie and Esau sitting on their front steps, smiling proudly at the camera. Below them were the senior portraits of all eight children—Al through Sam. My story began: When Calia Harris was forced to drop out of school in the tenth grade, she promised herself her children would be able to finish not only high school but college as well. The year was 1926, and Calia, or Callie as she prefers to be called, was, at the age of fifteen, the oldest of four children. Education became a luxury when her father died of tuberculosis. Callie worked for the DeFarnette family until 1929, when she married Esau Ruffin, a carpenter and part-time preacher. They rented a small duplex in Lowtown for $15 a month and began saving every penny. They would need all they could save. In 1931, Alberto was born. In 1970, Dr. Alberto Ruffin was a professor of sociology at the University of Iowa. Dr. Leonardo Ruffin was a professor of biology at Purdue. Dr. Massimo Ruffin was a professor of economics at the University of Toledo. Dr. Roberto Ruffin was a professor of history at Marquette. Dr. Gloria Ruffin Sanderford taught Italian at Duke. Dr. Carlota Ruffin was a professor of urban studies at UCLA. Dr. Mario Ruffin had just completed his PhD in medieval literature and was a professor teaching at Grinnell College in Iowa. I mentioned Sam but didn't dwell on him. By phone I had talked to all seven of the professors, and I quoted liberally from them in my story. The themes were common—love, sacrifice, discipline, hard work, encouragement, faith in God, faith in family, ambition, perseverance; no tolerance for laziness or failure. Each of the seven had a success story that could have filled an entire edition of theTimes. Each had worked at least one full-time job while struggling through college and grad school. Most had worked two jobs. The older ones helped the younger ones. Mar...
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This note was uploaded on 07/18/2010 for the course LIT 301 taught by Professor Dra during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.

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