I noticed that Raven and Carole both challenged and pushed Pete to cite where he got his information from when he made a claim about something or related a piece of news, whether political, cultural, or health related. I saw another side to the boy I had been dating. He had a keen, sharp mind and could easily hold his own when his mother threw a question at him that contradicted some statement he’d made, forcing him to think about the subject from another angle. It was like a verbal sort of Ping Pong. Swifter and faster, arguments flew back and forth between them, sometimes the strain of the conversation snapping into laughter. I could not participate, but I watched and listened, soaking up their intellectualism like a thirsty plant. Here was a way of thinking and speaking that I had not been exposed to, but which was something I knew I wanted in my life. It seemed that the three of them had arrived at their liberal views of the world through educating themselves, analyzing ideas, investigating, and researching further what they had learned.
–Synanon Kid Grows Up by C.A. Wittman