Sunday, November 30, 2008
Don't forget that we have mini grants available for your Holocaust projects. Contact Sondra or Jennifer with your requests.
We hope to attend the meeting at Philadelphia next year.
Happy holidays to all.
David A. Field
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Budget cuts are threatening to curtail some of the work we do at my school, and I fear the same is happening everywhere. I guess we will have to become more creative in finding funding and resources to support our students.
I was glad to see everyone and hope we can all get together soon. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving all.
Friday, November 21, 2008
The filmmaker has shown the film at the Rwanda Film Festival, over Rwandan television, and at Gisenyi Central Prison (where one of the perpetrators who attended the workshop was imprisoned for his crimes during the genocide), all with the hope that more people will become aware of these workshops and these opportunities to come together, to break down barriers, and to work toward a future of hope.
The final moving portion of the documentary shows groups of perpetrators and survivors working together to identify the “roots” or actions, and the “fruit” or results of the actions. So often, many of the group presenters kept repeating the term Icyizere, which means hope, and, at least for me, knowing the one term and knowing what they were doing-identifying actions that would lead to hope for them as individuals and communities-was like a wave of hope for me. I know that may sound weird, and I don’t think I did a good job of describing it, but I guess it was my purely emotional response to the presentation.
At the end of the night, there was a question and answer period, and the filmmaker brought up many of the same issues that Gatsinzi did in his presentation, especially laying the groundwork for the Rwandan genocide. I was like an excited student with the right answers, able to connect the dots between the causes. For that, I must say thank you to Gatsinzi, for sharing the history with us. And again, I feel like I should thank Sondra and Jennifer and Alice and David and Ellen and Mark and Carole for allowing me to participate in one of the greatest experiences of my life. I left a local pub to go to the theater, and normally I would not have done that, but I know that the time spent together in New York has left such an impression on me that I’m moved to participate in these educational community gatherings. I feel like it’s these little things that can bring us together, and that in the end will keep us together.
To finish on a lighter note, and to add a bit more personal humor to the blog, I've included a school picture from the last day of soccer season. It was the Friday of Spirit Week, and it was "Nerd Day," so I just dressed up like myself, but added the hat and tape on my glasses. I hope you enjoy.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I am constantly amazed as I teach the Holocaust to one of my classes. The students in this class seem to look forward to the activities we do. This is the third year I have taught the class, but the first year we have studied the Holocaust. As my students drafted posts and comments for the blog discussion of Night we are having with Danielle's class in McCool Jct., I decided to clean up my work area. In doing so, I discovered the identity box created in NY this past summer. I remembered the fun I had creating and sharing my box with my fellow participants. I debated whether or not to do the activity in my class, but chose not to as of yet because I did not have any scrap fabric or glittery craft supplies, and acquiring them, in my chauvinistic opinion, is a slightly effeminate activity. :D Maybe I might find a huge box of fabric in a garage or rummage sale, but until then identity boxes were on hold.
I decided to save my identity box in a locked cabinet as an example for a later time, but as I passed by my tables of students to put the box away, one of them pointed to my yellow, sunflower adorned box and asked me about it. I started to explain what my identity box represented, and two things happened. For some strange reason I started to be overcome by emotion, and my students all stopped their discussion and listened as I told them about each item on my identity box. Before long, there were multiple requests, "Can we make one?" I mentioned my problem with the lack of cloth fabric, and before I knew it, two students volunteered to bring some the next day we met as a class. So, all I need to do now is go to the craft store and get some other supplies, which only requires a little bit of cash and my ability to overcome my masculine pride and tap into the other side of my brain. :D
I am excited to see what they create.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
To Blog or Not to Blog_ Blogging for Beginners
A Blog a Blog a Kingdom for a Blog_ Advanced Blogging