Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lester Bangs and World War I: "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we're uncool. "

Click here for the World War I Bag of Websites.  The notetaking guides on these videos as well as a paragraph on one of the films are both due on Tuesday, 1.22.

Click here for a copy of the homework given Monday night and due Tuesday at the start of class.

This week will be one of the most intellectually intense weeks in the curriculum.  If students buy in, they are in store for an amazing intellectual voyage which, if navigated properly, will reveal elements about their own state of being in the world.  It's nothing small when a profound reflective moment in the classroom can be generated.  While so much in the current educational system is rooted in the idea of being a proctor or observer in the education process, there is still something to be said when a student is able to take ideas relayed to them and critically think about who they are in the world and who they wish to be.  It is profound. I can hope that all of the students will join me on this voyage.  Some will opt to not tag along.  In the end, no one can fault anyone for their choices if they are an expression of oneself.  Yet, I would only wonder why one would not wish for the opportunity to walk away from a class period thinking about oneself and one's place in the world.  It's already happening.  Great students, profound thinkers, and even nice human beings are saying, "Yeah, that's bleak" or after a day in which the sadness and anger intrinsic to World War I was complemented with Boxer's death in Orwell's Animal Farm, I had a student say:  "This has been a sad day."  
Yes, success!  It is the Archimedes moment of "Eureka!"

This week,our plan is as follows:
Monday- Homework on WWI Themes given and due on Tuesday.
Tuesday- Collect homework and continue themes on World War I.  HW:  Continue to review and reflect on World War I Themes.
Wednesday- Discuss themes/ wrap up lecture.  HW:  Make sure that you are ready to go with tomorrow and Friday's "filmi" analysis of World War I Themes.
Thursday and Friday:  Analyze film clips to find themes of World War I.  Finish enrichment sheet and paragraph- Both due Tuesday, 1.22

Feel free to examine the team syllabus for nightly extra credit opportunities and don't forget to devote 15 minutes a night to your meditation practice.  This is a big week and you might need it.

I can only hope that you, as stakeholders, continue to offer as much support as possible in order for students to give their maximum effort.  While there will be so many elements that can prove challenging to students, I only hope that students will able to understand that the voyage of scholarship is a worthwhile quest to undertake.  It is one in which it does not build character.  Rather, it reveals the true character of one who undertakes it.  Lester Bangs was onto something when he argued that "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we're uncool."    In the end, the voyage of scholarship is an "uncool" one.  It is one where superficial notions of the good are tossed aside for something more pure and substantive.  In the end, this is where the only true currency lies, as it is something shared by colleagues, teachers, and stakeholders.

And this is what makes  us actually cool to those who matter and to those whose voices help to define our own being. This is the only true currency.

If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
All best.
Mr. Kannan

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