This week, Mr. Schwartz took us through a 9/11 timeline. There was a phone message he played out loud to us--a mother leaving a message for her son, telling her son that his plane has been hijacked, and asking her son to do everything in his power to overtake the people who have hijacked the plane.
This moves me in a way I can't explain. Which explains why I started crying in class. Bawling is probably a more accurate word. I can't imagine what it would feel like to ask your blood to die--to, quite literally, send your son to his death in the name of heroism. I think a lot about love and its power--and I wonder what I would have done had I had someone in the Twin Towers or had someone in one of those airplanes.
"What happened after that had a dreamlike quality: in a dream I saw the jury return, moving like underwater swimmers, and Judge Taylor's voice came from far away and was tiny. I saw something only a lawyer's child could be expected to see, could be expected to watch for, and it was like watching Atticus walk into the street, raise a rifle to his shoulder and pull the trigger, but watching all the time knowing that the gun was empty...
"A jury never looks at a defendant it has convicted, and when this jury came in, not one of them looked at Tom Robinson. The foreman handed a piece of paper to Mr. Tate who handed it to the clerk who handed it to the judge...
"I shut my eyes. Judge Taylor was polling the jury: 'Guilty...guilty...guilty...guilty...'"
As a literature lover, this section of To Kill a Mockingbird has always moved me in quite a profound way. The imagery from the first paragraph helps numb me for the second section and then it's lifted and once I read the 'guilty' verdicts, my heart is stabbed, over and over and over again.
I've actually never watched the mov
"In the name of God, do your duty."
Atticus Finch is my moral hero. I've been contemplating lately what it means to grow up (as shown by my last post, too). I posted on Facebook the other day: "What are some signs that you have grown up?" I jokingly put that I knew that I was grown up the day I was doing my own shopping at Costco with my own Costco card. My friend Ray replied, "Bills."
The most profound reply, in my opinion, came from Jennifer Murphy, my former Instructional Resource Teacher at my previous school. She said, "Empathy." We've been talking about empathy a lot in class. It seems to be an appropriate topic considering Atticus Finch's incredible ability to empathize. This quote, from his closing statement in the courtroom, makes me cry every time--I empathize with Atticus' plea. In my head, when I read this section, I'm begging this jury to do the same thing. I wonder sometimes if I'm just a super emotional person, which sounds like a flaw. Other times I wonder if I'm just incredibly empathetic--which sounds like a strength.
"It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams."
~Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I'm 23 years old. I've been teaching since I was 19. I started teaching playwriting through the California Playwright's Project where I got to teach at a myriad of schools and got to meet a multitude of different personalities. When Taylor Swift was 22 and singing about "eating breakfast at midnight" and "dressing up like hipsters", I was a high school teacher teaching kids who were doing the same things as Taylor Swift. I have felt very old for a very long time, even though the truth is I'm still young and I've still got things to do with my hopefully long life. I am lucky enough to be a teacher--with students around me constantly who make me feel both very old and very young at the same time. The students around me are constantly dreaming--and one of my major dreams is to help my students achieve theirs. However, where I am REALLY lucky is that my students move me to remember my own dreams on a daily basis. A few of these dreams include one day:
1. Moving to Madrid and teaching English
2. Living in Italy
3. Traveling to Budapest
4. Getting a Masters degree in Fine Arts (Theatre emphasis)
5. Getting productions of plays I have written
6. Getting a degree in Psychology
7. Writing and producing and performing my music
8. Finding love and happiness
I went into education with the lofty and grandiose goal of saving creativity and imagination in school. I know that I will likely not do this alone. I know that skills are important, and that sometimes drilling facts is necessary. However, I don't ever want to forget how important it is to exercise our creative talents, to think outside of the box, to talk to our imaginary friends, to create senseless acts of beauty. I love Calvin and Hobbes because it reminds me of all of this. This particular comic touches me pretty deeply--it has commentary on medication that I don't quite agree with--sometimes (but not always) medication is something that's needed for a student to succeed. However, I think what it is saying about erasing imagination is something powerful that we should be wary of. I really hope that I never let creation/thinking outside of the box/imagination disappear from my type of teaching--and I sincerely hope my students and parents call me out on it if it ever feels like it is.