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Act One: Mother Of Invention

Karen Sosnoski's one-year-old son, Anton, was born with what's known as Mosaic Down Syndrome, a rare condition where some of his cells have the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome and other cells don't. So as he grows, he could end up having all the health risks and challenges of Down syndrome...or just a few of them.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass introduces a story on the most ambitious and hopeful solution to urban poverty in the country—the Harlem Children's Zone. The project's goal is nothing less than changing the lives of thousands of children in Harlem, starting at birth and continuing until they go to college.

Act One: Harlem Renaissance

Paul Tough reports on the Harlem Children's Zone, and its CEO and president, Geoffrey Canada. Among the project's many facets is Baby College, an 8-week program where young parents and parents-to-be learn how to help their children get the education they need to be successful.

Prologue

Amy Roberts thought it was obvious that she was an adult, not a kid, and she assumed the friendly man working at the children's museum knew it too. Unfortunately, the man had Amy pegged all wrong.

Act Four: Hollywood-Induced Nightmare

Production manager Seth Lind explains how he ended up watching Stanley Kubrick's The Shining when he was six years old, and how it led to two years where every night he had trouble falling asleep and nightmares. Seth is a member of the improv comedy group Thank You, Robot and hosts a live storytelling show in New York called Told.

Act Three: Educated Guess

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.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with Kayla Hernandez, a seventh-grader who likes to reminisce about when she was a child, back in fifth grade. She visits Room 211 in her school, where her fifth grade class met, and looks at her old books, thinks about what happened there.

Act Four: When We Were Angels

The most innocent possible student uprising imaginable...documented by an actual student, Hillary Frank, using the crude tools of a telephone answering machine and a shiny red boom box.

Act One: Rubber Room

We hear from New York City school teachers about a secret room in the New York City Board of Education building. Teachers are told to report there, and when they arrive, they find out they're under investigation for something.

Act Two: Bar Car Prophesy

Writer Rosie Schaap tells the story of how she ingratiated herself into the adult society of the Metroliner commuter train bar car as a teenager. She would cast Tarot card prophesies for riders, in exchange for beer.

Act Four: Tough News Room

Malcolm Gladwell is a best-selling author and famous journalist at the New Yorker magazine. But not always.

Act One: And So We Meet Again

Sam Slaven is an Iraq War veteran who came home from the War plagued by feelings of hate and anger toward Muslims. TAL producer Lisa Pollak tells the story of the unusual action Sam took to change himself, and the Muslim students who helped him do it.

Act Three: The Devil Wears Birkenstocks

Some people battle inner demons, but contributor David Ellis Dickerson went one step further. David tells the story of the time he took on an actual demon in his college classroom.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass tells a story about how, when he was in seventh grade, he was over at his best friend's house and saw beer in the fridge. He'd only ever seen beer in fridges on TV; he didn't think it existed in real life.

Act One: Teen Wolf...blitzer

When he was a teenager, Haider Hamza worked in the Iraqi Ministry of Information. He was specially trained to talk to visiting dignitaries and foreign reporters, and he loved his job.

Act Two: A Sense Of Place

Filmmaker Tony Hill took his friend Sally Goode, who was born blind, to a place she'd never been before, then taped her trying to figure out where she was. We first heard Hill's story care of our colleagues at the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

Prologue

There's a 200-person operation based out of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas called the Center for Army Lessons Learned. Host Ira Glass speaks with Colonel Steve Mains, who runs the Center, and with Craig Hayes and Lynn Rolf, two men who answer soldiers' requests for information.

Act One: Cassandra

This American Life producer Nancy Updike tells the story of Conrad Crane, the head of the U.S. Army Military History Institute.

Second Half Prologue

Ira speaks with Milt Hileman of the Center for Army Lessons Learned about the single most-requested publication they put out, Soldiers' Handbook: The First 100 Days: Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures. It explains how to avoid getting killed in your first hundred days in Iraq, which is when a disproportionate number of U.S. casualties occur.