Diapers and Dragons

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You'd Think I Actually Expect Them to LEARN Something, for Pete's Sake

I am, apparently, a Very Mean and Unreasonable teacher.

You see, I am showing my sophomore honors classes the film Good Night and Good Luck in an effort to connect the Salem witch trials as portrayed through Arthur Miller's The Crucible to the Red Scare and McCarthyism of the fifties.

Oh, you're showing them a movie, you say, surprised that I'm being so wimpy. And how does this make you a Mean Teacher in any way, shape, or form?

Ah, but there's a catch. You see, I am MAKING THEM TAKE NOTES. And THE MOVIE IS IN BLACK AND WHITE. WITH NO CAR CHASES OR HAND-TO-HAND BATTLES. Or sex scenes, even.

I know. The horror.

I also keep pausing the film to ask questions and add commentary. Did you notice what they called the law enacted during that time? I ask them. That's right, the Internal Security Act. A law that was supposed to protect us from communist infiltration and just happened to stomp all over civil liberties while doing so. Does that remind you of anything? No? Really? Thank you! Yes, the Patriot Act. And do you notice the use of euphemisms there? "Internal Security." "Patriot." So what does that mean if you happen to disagree with any elements of the Patriot Act? Right. You must not be a patriot. Isn't that great?

I'm very subtle with my opinions.

Anyhow, you should have heard the groans when I told them the kind of movie they would be viewing, not to mention what they would be doing while watching it. You would have thought I was threatening them with waterboarding or something.

Hey, maybe that's what our government should do. Instead of torturing employing "enhanced coercive interrogation techniques" on all those suspected terrorists, they should just sit the suspects in front of non-stop black and white movies composed mainly of dialogue and character development and FORCE THEM TO TAKE NOTES.

I'm very much looking forward to hearing my students' reactions when I tell them about the paper they're going to be writing.

Next thing you know, I'll be brought up on charges of violating the Geneva Convention.

***************************

To keep my darling friend Lauren happy (which apparently involves hating me for my fabulous foot fashion), I'm gracing you with a gratuitous shot of my footwear today.

You're welcome.


13 bits of love:

Lauren said...

The photo was SOOOOOOO worth the public vilification.

Thanks!

Loukia said...

Love the shoes! What does your tattoo say? You sounds like an awesome teacher, by the way!

Beth said...

I ADORE those shoes.
and my word verification today is preggity . . . dear lord i hope not. i just got done being preggity.

Arby said...

So, is this a one-sided presentation where you express your opinions concerning the government? Do you make any effort at presenting an objective look at the situation that was taking place when the Patriot Act was conceived and enacted? Are there any elements of the Patriot Act that are just and can be saved while unjust elements are eliminated? The content of this post may cause conservative members of society to flinch and scream, "Liberal Indoctrination!" while liberal members of society might cheer the connection between the concepts of "witch hunt" and the "Patriot Act." That is, if readers look past the relative merits of a teacher’s popularity and fashionable footwear! :)

angelsandurchinsblog said...

OK, Ms Cruel Teacher (tell them British kids have to watch films in French with no subtitles), the question du jour (guess I did learn something...) is: where are those shoes from? And I have another question - did the tattoo hurt?

adjunctmom said...

Oh, my gosh. You're cruel :).

I haven't been in a classroom in five years, but I was notorious for the films I had students watch. Every term, my students watched _Instinct_ which does have a lot of those things (blood, guns, battles, and so forth), but then were forced to compare it to Daniel Quinn's _Ishmael_. They thought it was great until we hit the exam review :). There was apparently a run on the movie at local video stores every term :).

Heidi said...

"The content of this post may cause conservative members of society to flinch and scream, "Liberal Indoctrination!" while liberal members of society might cheer the connection between the concepts of "witch hunt" and the "Patriot Act.""

This liberal reader doesn't think that it's unfair at all to point out that naming it the Patriot Act does imply that one is not a patriot if one disagrees with any aspect of said act. Additionally, to defend TeacherMommy, she did not mention the Patriot Act in reference to Salem's witch trials (in the same post, yes, but in two separate paragraphs separated by three other paragraphs) but rather in the context of McCarthyism (which it arguably can be said to resemble quite closely).

Draft Queen said...

I think I may be in love with you.

Also? Took my kids to Salem this year for the first time. They weren't happy with all the education I forced upon them. (I head to Salem quite a bit myself.)

And HELLO shoes. Damn fine footwear.

LoriM said...

Hahaha, Lauren & TeacherMommy!

And yes, please you've mentioned the tattoo before but I forgot the story.

Maureen @ Wisconsin Mommy said...

I'm guessing in the past these kids have been parked in front of movies while the teacher (NOT YOU!!) took a quick 40 winks in the back of the classroom? This practice got so bad, one school I taught at banned teachers from showing movies at all. Good for you for doing it the way it's supposed to be done :)

LoriM said...

Just clicked on the movie link ... they're complaining about watching a *George Clooney* movie? Heavens...kids today.

GingerB said...

Please tell them. They have to know!

GingerB said...

Sorry about my inability to express myself - I meant you have to tell them about the Patriot Act, and how it is evil, and how it infringes on our civil liberties, and how dangerous it is. They need to know.

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