illustrated portrait of African American first lady Michelle Obama

Becoming

by Michelle Obama

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Student Question

What are four ways Michelle Obama changed during her time at Princeton University in Becoming?

Expert Answers

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In chapters six and seven of Becoming, Michelle Obama changes in several ways throughout her years at Princeton. Let’s look at some of the changes Michelle’s college days bring.

For one thing, you might discuss the broadening of Michelle’s world and how she makes new friends with people like Suzanne, learning that not everyone is as meticulous and organized as she is and that people can still be likable and fun.

You might also spend some time discussing Michelle’s work-study job at the Third World Center and what she learns from that, as well as the connection she makes with the center’s director. Think, too, about how Michelle begins an after-school program for kids and how this gives her a new perspective.

Third, you could talk about Michelle’s increasing connection with her family’s roots during her Princeton years. She spends time with her aunt and discovers more about her South Carolina family. Reflect on how this changes Michelle.

Finally, do not ignore Michelle’s first meeting with her future husband, Barack Obama. This, of course, will change Michelle’s life forever.

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In chapters six and seven of Becoming, what are four ways Michelle Obama remained the same from the time she entered Princeton University to the time she graduated?

In chapters six and seven of Michelle Obama’s Becoming, we read about Michelle’s years at Princeton. While she experiences many changes during those years, some things also remain the same.

You might first talk about the closeness between Michelle and her family. She follows her brother Craig to Princeton and spends time with him there. She also calls home often.

Second, consider Michelle’s character and primary traits. Those do not change all that much during her college years. She is still extremely organized and meticulous even though she experiences others, like Suzanne, who certainly are not.

Michelle also remains dedicated to helping others during her years at Princeton. Explain some ways she does this, thinking, for instance of the Third World Center and her work there and with the children. This extends what Michelle had learned from her family and was already doing in Chicago.

Finally, you might write some about Michelle’s connection to Chicago and how she identifies herself with her old neighborhood. Reflect on why her hometown and home neighborhood remain important to her and what that connection symbolizes.

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