Roger Sale

In the late '60s, the University of Washington sponsored a federally funded summer program called Upward Bound. Unlike an easily mistaken program called Outward Bound, Upward Bound provided high school students from economically disadvantaged communities with the opportunity to prepare to enter the University of Washington.

Roger Sale in the early 1970s.

Professor Roger Sale, along with Professor Jack Brenner, taught English in the Upward Bound program. Professor Sale, affectionately and sometimes not-so affectionately called, "Rog," was the Bounder Class of 1970/71 first encounter with beings from higher education. During the course of our first summer, he became the one with whom we tested our so called "street" knowledge and wit, even though few of us really possessed such knowledge in 1970. However, since we looked the part and assumed he perceived us in this role, we attempted to challenge him by asking questions charged with controversy. I believe somewhere in our high school minds, it was important to establish our identities, to show some superior knowledge in an attempt to counter balance a sense of lacking and put us on equal footing. Professor Sale, with his establishment cigars and hippie-like hair, saw through our obvious attempts and without offense engaged us in discussion that led to an understanding of our true selves and strength of that knowledge.

When we returned the second summer, we knew the work Professor Sale expected from us. Our discussions were charged with inquiry trying now to get from him what he saw in the assigned readings. However, he didn't want us to see simply what he thought, but instead pushed us to think beyond him, which was our real challenge. And so, each Thursday evening before papers were due, the dorm was quiet in contrast to the earlier part of the summer before. In the first summer, he challenged us to know about who we were and, now in our second summer, he was having us look outward to interpret the world around us. Although two summers were too short to impart all the critical thinking techniques we would need, he provided glimpses of what would be expected when entering the UW that coming fall. Glimpses were certainly more than would have had otherwise.

The statistics would show that the success rate of Upward Bounder participants is very low, hence the program no longer exists. However, the Bounder Class of 1970/71 did produce an editor of the Daily in 1976 and an English professor. Although many of us may not have succeeded by completing our academic studies, we have succeeded in other aspects of our lives. All of these accomplishments are attributed to the dedication of Professor Sale, Professor Brenner, Ralph Hayes (the late Seattle Public School Educator and African-American Historian) and Rick Nagle, Franklin High School educator, all of whom we owe deep appreciation for showing us what we could achieve.

Jeanette Martin, '76

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