Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The World Around Us

It's the end of the quarter, which means stacks of grading for me. It's not too bad this time, though. I've done a better job at entering the daily stuff right away after school. Given that, all I've really had to grade and enter into the computer this week are extra credit papers, some late work, and two English assignments.

I've been focusing on writing with my English class this term. They're writing I-Search papers right now. It's basically a research paper, but it's written in first person, it focuses on what occurs during the search process, and the topics must be ones that are particularly relevant to the students. Given that, they've picked quite the range of topics, including interior design, diabetes, the history of Halo, gangs, serving a mission, teen suicide, and modern dance.

One girl is writing her paper about the Holocaust. This afternoon, I read the section on "What I Know and Don't Know" (which they write before starting the research). While she was writing it in class earlier this week, I asked her if she knew what the word "holocaust" means. She gave me a confused look, so I also asked if there have been any other holocausts. As she started to say no, I gave her one of those knowing teacher-smiles (I like giving those) and walked away to check on another student. Here's the resulting part of her paper (verbatim and full of [sic]s, by the way)

"I also do not know if there has been more than one holocaust, I don't think there has been anymore, because it would be in headline news and everyone would be talking about the new Holocaust and things like that, and who they are killing, but there has been nothing spoken like that since the 1940's."

I'm eager to watch her discover the world.

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