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Exploring the child's world. With. Eat eat eat. There is nothing more interesting to study than people. The heart of people is its use. The only contact we can have with the youth is by observation and communication. The most effective form of communication is face to face conversation only by conversation can we explore the other person's ideas judgments feelings and attitudes. It is rather dangerous to interpret the actions of another until one knows these inner elements. For this reason Father Duffin a professor of sociology and director of the alumni association of Duquesne University has undertaken a series of interviews with delinquent and disturbed children. The purpose of these interviews is to discover what these children think and feel and to inventory their attitudes and reactions to life situations. A deep knowledge of a child
must precede any attempt to change his behavior or to reconstruct his personality. Planning and placement are useless without this knowledge. This is the kind of practical research on which any real and lasting reform of social life and social processes must be based. We're all agreed that we're not happy with a society which produces disturbed and delinquent children. We find that the world that produces such children does not understand them. For this reason it has not succeeded in helping them up to now nor has it succeeded in preventing similar pitiful situations from occurring. A growing boy needs more than a candle or a wish or a penny to grow on. He needs a model to grow. There is no father in the home or the father is present but inadequate the boy will grow and someone else. Usually if the model is good the boy grows well in the interview that follows the boy has no father so he grows in the furrow laid down by his uncle who has been in trouble with the police for breaking
and entering for drunkenness and for disorderly conduct. Harry is led to discuss his problem but one cannot understand the boy's actions nor his problem until he first understands the boy. To understand a boy takes some skillful probing into his background his family his school experiences and his personality. All of these things help to shape boys in some mysterious way. However he is presently waiting for a hearing before the honorable Bennett Rogers president judge of Allegheny County Juvenile Court in Pittsburgh. He was a 13 year old boy of Irish and German extraction. He's in the seventh grade in public school. The charges are car theft and runaway. To understand Harry the interviewer asks him to talk about his earliest recollections. These revolve around some pretty nasty experiences and some rather peculiar reactions on his part. They represent Harry's reactions to life in the form of fear. Record oil. Revenge. And flight. Here then to preview the features of this
child is father Duffy. Following interview was recorded at the detention facilities of the Allegheny County Juvenile Court in Pittsburgh. The boy in the interview stole a car and run away for one night. However he tells of his experiences at school at home and in the neighborhood. He reveals his self-image which is rather pitifully thin. He's led to see that he is patterning himself after his uncle Harry and Uncle Harry does not urge a very nice set of values on the boy. Henry tells what a boy feels like when he has no dad. He also recalls the first experiences of his life. These include head injury revenge on his screaming and his resentment of his mother's boyfriend. He recalls a rather shameful incident in which he locked the car keys inside the car just after his grandfather had had the window repaired because he had done the same thing the day before. He also recalls a rather
terrifying experience with a dentist whom he thought was trying to choke him and another occasion when he feared that he would float down the river on a barge. Harry has had several bad experiences at one boarding school that he attended where the officials appeared to take a very poor approach to children with problems as a conversation turns to his favorite uncle's criminal status and his drinking habit. Harry suddenly notices that his shirt is torn it looks like a rag. It is not unusual to find a person making an abrupt change of conversation when the subject or topic becomes unpleasant or painful to him. Here then is Harry a delightful adolescent who has won the affection of more than a thousand people who have listened to his story and who have been moved by his rather pathetic qualities. What's your first name however you want. How are you in school. 7. OK you doing pretty well in school don't you. You go to public or
procure public. What do you do worse than you think. Talk to me. In school I mean when I mess around I usually work but sometimes I talk to people he doesn't want to know what does she say she hollers and that sends me on the office to get power in New York and get a problem. Yes and it was a principal principal with the welcome. You know you're sent down by the teacher you last in there asks me why I'm down here for this town and what are you. And then they ask me if I think I actually get swats and I usually say a year and then what. What happens next. When he takes prattled on your studious want her too much and I don't play as hard as he can like in Charlotte
teacher's diner is what he wrote bait kid so hard making him cry and then what happens. Do you tell them at home about this. No Alarcon nobody I just you know take this watch. He says you can either take this watchers have become ssion for 60 nights fruits or I only just like this one because I like the pension. Who would ever be at home to tell you if you want to kill somebody. My mother my grandmother. And my aunt. My seeing my mother my mother owns a house and she rents out there's apartments to my grandmother and her family. And I sleep in the attic me and my uncle piece 18 you have to perspire their situation to get to your family but it's like we all owe it to me that he
lost. Just like in one big house where you back your stock there and then they want but we've got that we've got high fashion when ours breaks so we users in those banks they use ours and we you know just like one big house. It would be a houseful of women. Now there's my grandmother and I ALREADY IN MY MOTHER are near him and a bullet users carry me and my grampa and Jackie Lyons they are Harry he was a doctor once before. We're always here for you. Robin has risen now. Robin the shot I am you know I don't think so. When he got sent away for two years I don't know why. He told me to place it was wasn't very nice up here I'm in.
I think the nice use of first time you get here. The second song even my first Charlie on Thursday and what you try out for this time. Well I was approached for taking a car and then when I got home I ran away from my mom and I was going to commute home about 11 o'clock but then I thought my mother would call over here so I might as well stay out. And then I came home the next day. QUESTION And inmore stay at No. War was no fun in that song. You translate them she would understand it. Sure I know I knew that should bring me over here. See cuz Mr Donato said that if I you know didn't stay and listen to her for her to bring the over me she rang me over there and she knew it used car and overnight it would mean real enough to know the car not from me.
You're driving you know. But you were with the other kids. Like kids to other kids you think bigger or only and who's the bad one time. Both my uncles one win more games than was and why I feel like a hairy beast of where you think that you're turning the best of the bad. I think in the best of the bad ones where you stand you in the middle are all the same you know Harry you are eighteen months and so you don't know why he was there for you and I don't know whether I'll get the thought of you no matter how well these ones that live in the House which one is the most like you need to carry and if you one was in for 18 months. And it was a woman's not at all like your bones people a man who is the one opposite of
yours. By your spade jockeyed towards me. 3 He swears and as you know he don't know what he's saying. He you know he picks it up from Harry. But then he's about the best one family you never know though he goes out in the yard now you just you know don't get in trouble. So you're going to be like your uncle who will baby be like. I don't know what a baby will be like. Whose 2000 babies were here each from Perry used to know me and what happened to your parents. My dad he said he. He rocked and he does move with you. Now I'm going down to live with them if I get out of the strong arms first. I was supposed to be in the school but then I saw you. They made me
stay in my aunt's and I didn't like it over there. So when I came home for my birthday. I want to do is just come over here. You just came from the back over there. But then they might know I was going to make me come back over there so we we took that car and we you know who rode around and parked it but it was raining and we don't want to wreck it. Do you ever wonder why they didn't want you. Like other kids her mother and I used to mess around and in love with kids in the summer we used to. Already through a pressure cooker would mean missed me and I got real mad when backed up and threw it back in here. And she had a car planner in order that if she wished she talked about the need to modernise and those mother didn't like or really lame people finally took a hint moved to action she called her online knowing that
Truong being a bunch of names and said they was a juvenile delinquent. And then she ran up and got behind a screen door in Stark County are common names. For me didn't you wonder where your father goes we were with you the other day and said you forced that my mother and then looked pretty hard to get through with our father's name. But how do you feel about. That I'm used to it now. He was right by the car what I always grab the car up and wash cars and at night you know to show him the shine and oh yeah I like cars ever since I've been right there I like them. I mean you're doing it to show him that you like him here help him out. I shine a Carson at you will you remember from when you were little baby little child. You must remember something. I slipped and broke my head open arms to you. And then once when my
mother was working. My aunt was watching me in. There was a law class side of the bathroom door. And she told me not to lock it not locked and kept her in there for about three hours. She was run mad she told me should beat my head in when I let her out. Signed in on her own and one other component or are my folks like you would you like to lock all women up. Did you lock her up. Yeah I was Will I'm going to get even with her for what she used to always scream at me. And every night we used to make popcorn and shit when I used to scream at her or something but she wouldn't give me no one should tell me to go to bed and I wouldn't know and should tell my mother.
Manali holler at me. So the young why everybody in with them. And do you mean with your money for leaving right now. I don't I want. My dad I think. He just I don't know why. Would you leave her if you have a chance. He she they probably will know she's nice. She wants to know why she goes out to eat with her boss. And they go. I mean I go to our dine place to be there. Then she comes on but 10 o'clock. She usually brings me pizza home and she watches. So you will get mad at her for going out with him. Don't go out with them you know like every night she goes out with a mike is when he asks you out once or
twice a week I don't know I don't like the guy. Someone will meet him. We've got a real big car and there I told the farmer I would like to ground to guy knock all his teeth but you know I don't you know I figured it out. My mother she was going to get to go out with me and you know if you go out with someone Mormon on moon it yet my kim. And what else do you remember from when you were little. My grandpa have just got the door fixed or one of the fixed on his car you know will stop Iran will say it was bought eight or nine years ago happen. You have. We will not run and crush it will start right. I was in one. And you you know you have to run and so on at the airport. And they left me and
and you know how when you press a button on a card one swam a long walk. Yeah well it was running and he just got the wind in the 60s she had a pride of to do it once the one and only had to do it again and you locked him out. I have you know a lot much luck and I'm not talking Martin shall venture and holler at you know I don't know I remember will be holler at me. But for me you must come from in other words you have forgotten how the memory and what was your worst struck that you haven't got to think. I went to the dentist once and he he just a little too thick and he put some kind of rag in my mouth you know so good that there was blood in it you know after you get to know what I had done but anyways it was a blade and he put a rag and I started choking and he started shoving it down my throat and I hit him.
And I told the dentist our sorry you know but I thought he was trying to kill me when you don't know and I didn't know a lot of time I'll stand on the arch and some kids non-POD the ropes and started going and I grabbed the ropes and. And I thought I thought I was going to go on the roof. And you down the river all alone to you. In that. Watch my head from the sun. I don't know what do you worry about most that actually you worry about so much and I can't remember. Do you ever worry that you're not like other kids and I got a lot of friends but I mean are you like all of you are of a different kids I don't know what I want and better than you are no worse than I can
better mean I might be worse than me. There are some kids worse and mean your son it better than me. And how how I wonder better how are we better. Well. I like that my good good grades in school. Got you waiting to see I mean maybe they were better. How about the ones that are worse than you are and you want to get worse grades in your life. Well Gary too many people would get washed grades in a bit. This is this is the NRA trying to get out I want to give you no more trouble. We scientists that some kids they just keep down and slip in and watch out will only get who are being rushed to life out of
you begin to tell me that before we get into a very quiet. You often felt boxing when you were in that one school where they had a high wall around here around it fences and I like you know I kind of ran away from it but when I ran away from a place I figured I would not take me back so I know I run away. Why try to run away from here I can't get very far. I might get away from the cops in there but after I went home and. You know that's the first place to look for me sad. I want even thank around away from this life. Well tell me about this place where you were told that you were Princeton prepared. But there are big fences and there were holes and stuffed you could get under and that. Oh no I never I was I was going to run away from it the first day I got up there but after I was separate for a while I stayed there for two years.
Dancing to that they had a harvest festival up there. Nice stories work in that. I used to and you know some of their stuff. I go home every weekend except at first I was in one for two months because I tried to you know run away from the place live. Well these places aren't very pleasant grove. No you don't get much affection in them now. There was a plan set him on a little bench in there and the sister noted it well you know I was a holy so her room would be crowded and she knew we had to sit on the bench. I am one I received on the bench to plant flowers. And so she told my mother I wasn't allowed to go home for the weekend. And I was going to you know by our new plant when I went home that weekend so I wasn't fired plant. There are a lot of time you know how the roads in the country are bad. Well this is what I want to
say. There's no other you have to get a lot of speed to make this one I see here because it was a detour. It was room size and big big street highway and we had to go through the back streets to get there now goes in and in their list the city didn't take care not of that there was so ice and everything on the road and there was just one hill that there was a bend in it. When my guests and I don't know whether it was shaped like an ash Ina and you had to get a lot of speed to make get somewhere else you would make it. So either she she gave a you know little not too much gas she put in low and almost got to the top of the hill wanted red. Yes if you know a question I asked you what my cat she had turned back in the car just slid. She wants nothing she can do. And so we finally got a ride to school at night. There were all kinds of wrecks and now that my car ski
slid off the side of the road and. I was in my home for two weeks I'm kind of that you know cos we were like back to school. And when the principal walk girl. Well you couldn't help but if you was if you if you had to grow up to him like get in the lad on a flight he's a good driver spent there watching tonight people who could got straight in there with back it nearly that wrong. And what do these two experiences have in common. What was a common thing in both of them. Well I couldn't help but the new one of the things you and I store and you're never going to show the end and you got punished as well. Yeah in one case where you couldn't go home you have a case where I can go get both. Both times them two were both the same school and you. You didn't feel that was very fair way to you now I let you know wasn't fair I now wasn't fair and has a right to you I can pretty much
live with this kind of thing too. Right. Right or wrong you know what some kids talk to hubcaps and blamed it on me and my dad had to pay for them. You know everything it happens kids blame it on me. Why would you do that. Oh no what do you kids think your sissy you know I'm not just saying well I know you know because they think you know one of the kids I live with don't but this was before or were kids you know and I used to live next door to a kid named film you know. No he was up there couple times and he and he start we start work on this car. Will you still let me help him with that. Because we live next door to each other. We established a connection with older kids you know pushed me around the net. My uncle went with him and if he could handle him he had a lot of friends.
I met all the outward kids I know through my Uncle I want to see a criminal not a criminal. What form of come from you know from. When he straightened out now I don't know much of one who what one wants to join keep friends at home and drinks at home. I sure love this life. What can we learn from this interview with Harry. One thing that struck me was his school experiences. In one instance the treatment could not be criticized. The boy admitted that his problems in school were not concerned with learning difficulties but rather with his own bad conduct. The teacher then sent him to the principal. Why did he do this. I think it was because the teacher could be emotionally involved and might be inclined to be too harsh so he sent the boy to the principal and the principal in
turn tearing the boy over to the vice principal. And this man first asked the boy why he was down to the office this time. It's quite obvious that the boy had been there several times before for similar misconduct. And then the vice principal asked the boy whether he thought he deserved this Watts and the boy admitted he did. And then the vice principal offered him a choice. Either take this watts or take detention in lieu of swats. And the boy elected to take the swats and even then the vice principal didn't hit him as hard as he could. In the other instance the boy had legitimate complaints about a boarding school where he was punished for breaking a little pot holding a plant. This kind of thing is a perfectly normal accident and should be regarded as such by teachers and principals. On a second occasion in the same school a boy was returning home and the car was involved in a wreck. The state police picked him up at the scene of the accident and took the boy back to the boarding school. The boy nevertheless was punished for
returning late. It is true that any organizing institution such as a school has to have rules and authority and roles and sanctions and these have to be used with great discretion however for as we look at it the institution exists for the welfare of the child. The child does not exist in order to conform to the institution. In other words allowances have to be made for accidents and for in deliberate actions for forget fullness and for slips. If a child returns late perhaps he should be punished mildly. If he has escaped an accident in which his life was risked or threatened all rules and alternations are called off or put into a balance next week then we will further explore Harry's life and experiences his reactions to them and give some possible interpretations. At this time I would like to thank the honorable Bennett Rogers and the staff at the court for their cooperation.
You have been listening to exploring the child's world. A program in which the child speaks. Father Francis Duffy Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University has conducted the interview with the child and to find the outlines of this world in the summary that followed. This has been a production of the radio service of Duquesne University in cooperation with U.K. news sociology department technical director Frederick Williams program director and our older man. Listen again next week for another in the series exploring the child's world. The. The the the the the preceding program was made available to this day by the National
Exploring the child's world III
Hard luck Harry
Producing Organization
Duquesne University
WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
A 13-year-old boy is led to discuss his ideas, feelings, attitudes and behavior and is helped analyzing them for the first time.
Other Description
Interviews with delinquent and disturbed young people who are encouraged to discuss their experiences and express feelings. To protect individuals, each program is a re-creation of an actual interview using different names and places.
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Producing Organization: Duquesne University
Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-5-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:28
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Chicago: “Exploring the child's world III; Hard luck Harry,” 1963-11-14, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 23, 2021,
MLA: “Exploring the child's world III; Hard luck Harry.” 1963-11-14. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 23, 2021. <>.
APA: Exploring the child's world III; Hard luck Harry. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from