Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Pimple VS Your Lecture

Dear Teacher,

     Why are we learning about World War I? Why do I need to know this? 
     Right now what I care most about is the huge, red pimple on my forehead. Everyone is looking at it and I am mortified. I tried to cover it up with concealer make-up but it wore off hours ago. 
     Did you know that my brain is growing and developing in amazing ways. There is this part of my brain that is really concerned with what I look like. No matter how hard I might try to care about the Treaty of Ver…whatever, this part of my brain is just in overdrive and I can't seem to think about anything else.
     You know what you could do? Quit talking at us. Get us up and moving around. Let us pretend to act out some of this stuff that you want us to learn. Moving will help my brain get out of this rut its in. Make it fun for us. Don't you think learning would be more fun if it were fun! Ha, betcha never thought of that! 
The more that we all just sit here being talked at about dates and names and wars the more that I want to just fall asleep. 
     Another thing you can do is to help me relate this to my world. After all, as a teenager what is most important to me right now is the things in my immediate world. That's just the way my brain is whether anyone likes it or not. This is called adolescence. So, help me to make all of this stuff about WWI relate to my world. Can you show me how the Allies are like my friendships and the enemies are like the bully situations that happen at school all day everyday (you just don't see or hear them). Like, in March this girl at a nearby high school punched another girl in the head right in the middle of the hallway. A teacher tried to break it up and got hit, too. How is that like WWI? Now, if you related it like that, I might really start to understand this distant, far off war that happened back in the dark ages. Somebody says that my great, great grandfather fought in that war. I don't even know what his name was. Maybe it was Cyrus or some weird name like that.
     Also, don't these historical wars seem like the same thing over and over again? They do to me. Let's study that! I'd like to better understand why societies keep getting in these power struggles. Why don't we learn from our mistakes? How are my peers and me just perpetuating the same thing? 
Now, that would really help me relate this old war to my life and actually remember it 10, 20 or 30 years from now.
     Let's make a deal. I'll try to forget about the huge pimple on my forehead if you'll start making this topic interesting. 

Your Student