Lulu tells the story of Daniel Kish, who’s blind, but can navigate the world by clicking with his tongue. This gives him so much information about what’s around him, he does all sorts of things most blind people don’t.
Nancy hears from Producer Ben Calhoun about the moment when the cool teacher in school told the girls they should pay attention to Ben, and they did. Also, Ira Glass interviews actress Molly Ringwald about what happened when she watched one of her own movies, The Breakfast Club with her daughter.
Ira plays tape from an interview that he did more than 20 years ago, with the author Doris Lessing, about her novel The Fifth Child, which tells the story of a woman who gives birth to a goblin-like baby. The archival audio appears courtesy of National Public Radio, Inc.Then Ira's conversation with Cheryl, from the top of the show, continues.
Ira talks to 15 year old Jada who, when she was in third grade, moved from Akron Public Schools in Ohio, to the nearby Copley-Fairlawn schools in the suburbs. After two years, Jada was kicked out by administrators who discovered that her mother was using Jada's grandfather's address in Copley, instead of her own in Akron.
Reporter Ruth Padawer tells the story of a woman goes to her neighbors with an incredible request—to help care for her son after she dies—and is shocked by their response. Ruth Padawer writes for the New York Times Magazine and teaches at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
The story of a father who relies on the help of his neighbors in order to take his baby daughter out on a walk. Actor Daniel Beirne reads this excerpt from Ryan Knighton's book C'mon Papa: Dispatches From a Dad in the Dark (which is not yet available in the US).
Reporter Ted Gesing interviews Mike Nyberg about adopting a little girl from Samoa, only to learn over time that her Samoan family had no intention of giving her up for adoption. The US adoption agency had told the Nybergs that their adoption would be closed, and that their little girl Elleia had been living in a foster home waiting for adoptive parents; but in Samoa, Elleia's parents were told that their daughter could come to the US and receive a better education, and that the adoptive family would send money and regular updates on their daughter's progress.
Measles cases are higher in the U.S. than they've been in a decade, mostly because more and more nervous parents are refusing to vaccinate their kids. Contributing Editor Susan Burton tells the story of what happened recently in San Diego, when an unvaccinated 7-year-old boy returned home from a trip to Switzerland, bringing with him the measles.
When Amy Silverman's daughter was born with Down syndrome, she followed the advice of all the parents she met: She signed her daughter up for "early intervention" therapy. But her daughter's progress had unexpected consequences, forcing Amy to make a choice she'd never predicted.
Ira talks to the teen editors of Sex, Etc., a national magazine for teenagers, about the mistakes parents make when talking—or not talking—to their kids about sex. Then, the story of what happened when one anonymous mother learned that her daughter was having sex. All the names in this essay have been changed, and it's read on the air by producer Julie Snyder.
Regular This American Life contributor Dan Savage, a syndicated sex columnist with possibly the filthiest mouth of anyone you could ever meet, finds a TV program so dirty, so weird, and so perverted that he won't let his son watch it—even though it's a kids' show, made for kids, and broadcast on a network for kids.