I've been very interested in the idea of good and evil, and the line between love and hate. There's a TED Talk by Philip Zimbardo (which is absolutely mind-blowing, but pretty disturbing simultaneously) that is about this concept of "The Lucifer Effect". He talks about Lucifer meaning "light" and how Lucifer was God's favorite angel. Then, he discusses Lucifer's fall from grace. Zimbardo, who was the head researcher and the superintendent of the Stanford Prison Experiment, talks about how the same exact situations can produce good OR evil in us--how the same situations produce heroes OR villains. If we are conscious of this, though, we are more empowered to walk away the lover, the hero. Another thing that moves me about his talk is the third thing that you can walk away as--guilty of the sin of passivity. These are those of us who don't do anything at all, and just let the evil go on since we neither participate in it nor fight it. That's one of my greatest fears, actually--that I will be guilty one day of participating in evil because I don't recognize it around me. This quote by Marilyn Monroe reminds me that I'm very much capable of that and have to constantly be aware.
"The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom."
~Martin Luther King Jr. I Have a Dream
I think it's easy to forget that we are all connected. Sometimes, we are all so caught up in the rat race. We are all caught up in ourselves and our individuality--what am I having for lunch? What is stressing ME out? What are MY hopes and dreams? What is standing in MY way? Something that I have learned to accept and embrace as that we are all connected to one another--therefore, if there are problems in the world, especially in the case of large problems facing humanity, they are my problems. I love this section of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech because he recognizes that other people are realizing this very thing--that our destinies are tied up with one another's--that we can never be completely free until we are all free.
This quote from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird moves me because I know this feeling. When I was in college, there was a point in time where I wasn't getting a whole lot of reading done. An avid reader for the vast majority of my life, I realized that I wasn't reading at all when I started living with a girl who was always reading 10 different books at once. She knew so much! The conversations I had with her were (are--we still talk!) so lively and so interesting, and I was reminded of how much more fascinating a person is when they are readers. This got me back into reading, and now, I'm always reading 10 books at once as well! Thanks Janie Schumacher!
When I was younger, there was period of time when I was SUPER obsessed with dreams. I read a bunch of dream books, read a bit of Freud and what dreams might mean (that was a little disturbing...). This quote by Edgar Allan Poe really moves me because it reminds me that we don't need to be asleep in order to dream. And in fact, we SHOULD continue to dream while we are awake--it is the best time to dream since we can work on making those dreams come to life!
I have read in a couple articles and in a couple books that Steve Jobs was maybe not that nice of a guy. However, it's pretty obvious how genius he was throughout his career and throughout his life. Truth be told, a lot of his quotes move me. It is really important to me to question the world around me--to analyze what is going on and to rationalize my way through why certain rules, expectations and norms are in place. There's this short story called The Lottery by Shirley Jackson where a community kills one of its members every year, simply because it is a tradition and it has been done every year for as long as they could remember. This quote by Steve Jobs reminds me that the crazy ones, the questioners, the trouble-makers "push the human race forward." It is important to be smart about this, though, and not just to be crazy! It is important to have purpose and reason. However, this reminds me not to be afraid to step outside of the box, to not be afraid to break the mold.
developed by Carol Cabrera
Below is a description of the year-long Moral Compass project students in my class will be embarking on during the school year. I will also be doing the project along with them via this blog!
What are students going to do, and why are they doing it?
Students will search for truth in literature and art and history throughout the school year in order to develop a sense of self and identity. They will find quotes, art and events that move them and speak to them, for whatever reason, and they will archive these in a notebook that they will also decorate according to the type of person they are and the type of person they wish to be. The journal will be kept up during the entire school year--and it is not expected to be neat or orderly. Students are encouraged to journal, to cross things out, to draw, to paint, to take photographs and stick them in between the pages. The important thing is that students are beginning to compile a sense of self. At the end of the school year, students will create a piece of artwork that is based off of truths that they have discovered during the school year--they will boil their findings down into four essential truths that they want to or already live their lives by, and a compass will somehow be represented in their artwork. What are the 4 truths that point us in the major directions of our lives (N, S, E, W)? Students will write an accompanying artist statement that is divided into four sections, explaining what truth they have found, providing evidence for where they have found this truth in history, literature or art, and explaining how the truth is represented in the artwork.
What are the essential questions that inspire students, require them to conduct serious research and relate to real world issues?
What truths can I find in art, history, and in literature?
What are my moral values?
What are the essential truths by which I live my life?
What will students to do/write/create/build?
-Yearlong journal (or blog) compiling art, literature, history and reflections on these studies.
-Students will develop a piece of artwork representing 4 major truths (the North, South, East and West of his or her core beliefs) that they have discovered about themselves over the course of the school year. These truths will be developed by analyzing the compilation of material the student has collected over the course of the school year and categorizing this material into the 4 most dominant trends.
-Accompanying artist’s statement divided into four sections, explaining what truth they have found, providing evidence for where they have found this truth in history, literature or art, and explaining how the truth is represented in the artwork he or she has created.