Thursday, May 5, 2011

Convergence

The last six days have been full of interesting historical events that have uniquely coincided with what the lessons in my class have been about.

Last Friday was the first interesting day, with the Royal Wedding.  The wedding also coincides with the date Hitler married his longtime girlfriend Eva Braun and is my birthday.  As far as birthdays are concerned it was an uneventful day, but I found the wedding quite lovely.

In class we have been discussing WWII and the holocaust.  The day of the wedding we were discussing the bombings of London and the students were moved by the heroics of the  Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain and when I mentioned that William is a member of the RAF they were intrigued by the timing of the class discussion.

My students were the ones who informed me about the US operation that led to the killing of Osama and his death coincided with the discussion of Hitler and Stalin (which the media were already making connections with OBL).  As I finally got around to discussing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor all the connections with 9/11 were easily made and the students and I had a great discussion on retaliation, foreign policy and war.

To top everything off, I am trainer in my district and I was leading a class on Wednesday for a literature group.  The book we were discussing was about a young man who was a medical student in Burundi when the genocide erupted and then he escaped to Rwanda only to get caught in the genocide there as well.  He eventually came to NYC where he was homeless before he found people able to help him.  Any discussion of genocides is an easy connection with the Holocaust.

Rarely does my curriculum so easily fit within the events of the day.  I love when I can make personal, relevant and current connections with the students.  My student Jonathyn came in on Tuesday and proudly announced that he had the most interesting conversation at home about WWII because of what we had been discussing the previous class.

Maybe I will be lucky and the rest of the month of May will offer even more relevant and convergent topics.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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