Sunday, September 19, 2010

Moving Forward, Making Progress, Taking Few Prisoners

I can honestly say that one of my favorite films is David Lean's masterpiece, "Lawrence of Arabia." Even writing such words seems like a cliche. My wife detests it. She thinks of it as nothing more than male glorification of empire expansion. Even part of my own psyche is repulsed by the idea that a British soldier is the only one who is meant to bring "order" to a world of supposed disorder. At the same time, there is something fundamentally wrong with a film that shows people from the Middle East region of the world speaking only flawless English, with British accents no less, and those who don't speak English cannot speak. As someone committed to historical accuracy and exploring hidden agendas, I struggle with why I love this film.
My answer lies in one scene: "No Prisoners!"
There is a moment in the film that exposes Lawrence at his very greatest and his most tragic as he yells, almost shrieks, "No Prisoners." Each time I see it and hear his battle cry, I get chills- literally, goosebumps. I have always seen myself as seeking to represent the focus, commitment, and drive in this moment. While I deplore his actions, the singular commitment shown in no more then fifteen seconds is simply breathtaking.
I call upon Lawrence right now as I think about what has to be done this week.
For the 7th graders, Trace Fossil Papers will be returned on Monday. Any grade can be revised and all revisions are due on Monday, 9.27. There is a quiz on 5.1 on Monday and we begin our study of the Road to Revolution afterwards. Scholarly Sparknotes will assist us as we put together our visuals this week in class. For the 8th graders, it's all about the Constitution. The Constitution continues this week with exploring the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch. At the same time, the first Checkpoint Quiz will be administered this week, worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 points. Additionally, there will be a study session this Wednesday during lunch. We had a good turnout at the first one last week, and I hope we exceed that attendance total this week.
Grades have been updated and will continue to be amended this week, so I strongly encourage you to check your emerging scholar's progress online. It was a pleasure to see so many new and old faces at Curriculum Night. I hope I was able to convey to you that I will do everything in my power to ensure that your child will progress farther down the path of scholarship this year. I pledge myself to this end and hope you feel comfortable reaching out to me if there is anything further you need from me in such a process.
All best and happy hunting.
Mr. Kannan

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