Teacher Reflection: This project taught me more about World History than any of my courses taught me when I was in high school. An English class nerd myself, it always felt like people expected me to be good at history too, even though history was much more challenging for me. This project made history interesting for me too! I was genuinely curious at all the students' different discoveries and had so many questions for them every time they brought new research to the table. The idea for this project came from a thesis I wrote for theatre school that set Romeo & Juliet inside the French-Vietnamese Conflict. I realized then that the story could be applicable to any world conflict, and I decided to bring that to my students in this project. Working with Kurt Schwartz on the Physics aspect of this project was one of the easiest integrations in my co-teaching career. When I mentioned "War", Kurt began talking about the money spent on war machines and physics of different weapons. The idea of re-inventing these weapons of war into tools for good paired well with re-inventing Romeo & Juliet into this new time and place. If I were to go back again, I think that I would have taken back the day that I spent watching the 1996 film in class--we had watched the stage play at The Old Globe Theatre which felt like enough of a powerful experience for the students, that I feel like showing clips of the 1996 film would have been much more effective, as by that time, the students had read the play, watched a stage version, and began work on their own version. I also might shorten the length of this project a little bit OR added more field trips or guest speakers--we spent 7 weeks working and exploring which was wonderful, but I feel like it made class feel a bit stagnant at some points. Overall, this was probably the most rigorous project of my project-based teaching career, and conversations with my students help re-inforce this feeling. I love talking to my students about the different things they are walking away with!
Student Reflection, Johanna Guatemala: For the Humanities side, I learned about an Ireland war that ultimately split the land into an Ireland and a North Ireland. I also learned that a problem between two people can create a war of politics and later when it is declared “over” people will find another reason for hate. I will take away with me from this project to be tolerant and do my best to cause change. Something I would have changed from this project were the last minute add ons but otherwise the project put more into you than you put into it.
Student Reflection, Bonnie May: During the Humanities half of this project, I learned many things. As I mentioned before, researching the conflict was the best part of it. I got to learn so much about the culture of Israel and Palestine when drawing the costumes or sketches. I was fascinated by the war and how long it has been going on. One thing I will take away from this project is that if you let conflict and hatred go on, it spirals into a rivalry that lasts for generations and cannot be stopped. I wish I could have gone more into other conflicts and learned about other people's wars. I didn't know anything about anyone else's conflicts and I wish I had more time to go around and see everyone's booths.
Student Reflection, Miguel Mendoza: For humanities I learned a lot about what Romeo and Juliet is about as well as collaborating it with historical events that could possibly represent Romeo and Juliet. I now have a lot of knowledge about the Civil War plus the conflict of good and evil in general. Some things I wish I could have explored more about would be the lifestyles of all the conflicts and how each can be related to Romeo and Juliet.
Student Reflection, Gabriela Schnepp: I’ve learned about the meanings of evil, the mistakes of the past and the possibilities for the future during this project. Learning about these conflicts and finding connections between them allowed us to see why conflicts are often started. I’ll take away the knowledge of my topic, as well as some information I’ve picked up from others.
The Last Goodbye at The Old Globe Theatre
Students travel to The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park in San Diego to watch a rock musical version of Romeo + Juliet!
Old Globe Artists
Professional actors from The Old Globe Theatre come to show our students the beauty of Shakespeare!