Death by PowerPoint

I thought this was brilliant. I’m mostly putting it here as a marker for when I want to find it again and show it to my students.

My leadership classes are going great this term. I finally figured out what I wanted to say and do with the class. My 9-3 history class is basically a walking disaster, and I wish I could figure out how to fix it. I’m trying not to think of it as a lost cause, because I don’t. But the kids don’t do any work, it is my fault, and I’m tired of beating my brain up trying to think of ways to wake up their curiosity and interest in history. I’m left with the idea of showing movies all term.

Be well, all.

Oh, yeah. I am apparently not the chaplain of my school any more. The suffragan bishop of Connecticut paid a visit to the school yesterday, in order to see how the chaplaincy of the school was being run. She arrived a little late, but the school managed bravely to squeeze in a tour and a visit with five or six people one-on-one before she met with the Head of School for a half hour. The only person cut from her schedule was me. I showed up for my appointment, I was told she was running a little late, and “why don’t you come back to take her to second lunch?” So I showed up to take her to second lunch, and she’d already gone to first lunch, and had been whisked off to her meeting with the head of school. So, since I’m not listed on the school website as chaplain, or on the duty roster as chaplain, and since I don’t meet with the bishop, I must not be chaplain.

I’ve never gotten rid of a responsibility that easily. There must be something I’ve overlooked.

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8 comments

  1. Re: A Thought

    I’ve tried exactly that approach, and it just makes them angrier, like they’re expected to care about politics and economics and so on. Mostly, this crew wants to play lacrosse, hockey and football, and they resent the idea that they might need some information to get beyond that.

    James Burke is wonderful. Rent his series; I’m sure Zarah will love it.

  2. A Thought

    Zarah basically doesn’t like her social studies class. So I’ve done everything I can think of to interest her. Videos & documentaries had no impact at all. Put science program in front of her and she eats it up, but not history.

    On the other hand, she has a keen interest in current politics, economics and so on. She seems to have a sense that she has to live in this world and therefore has to understand what is going on and how it works.

    I know you can’t really understand now without knowing history. But the kids don’t realize that.

    When I started ranting about how modern America is really just Rome being replayed and how we’d fall just like they did… guess what little girl starting asking a thousand questions about Rome.

    Maybe if you can relate now and then, compare, contrast, show relationship & cause and effect it might interest at least some of them.

    There was this great program on T.V. (like 10 years ago) that documented a chain of events / knowledge acquisition / invention between two things that seemed totally unrelated otherwise. The historian presenting it was British I think, funny and smart. I LOVED the program. I’m going to try and find that one again for Zarah now that I’ve thought of it. Might give you some inspiration too. I’ll let you know if I do find it.

  3. A Thought

    Zarah basically doesn’t like her social studies class. So I’ve done everything I can think of to interest her. Videos & documentaries had no impact at all. Put science program in front of her and she eats it up, but not history.

    On the other hand, she has a keen interest in current politics, economics and so on. She seems to have a sense that she has to live in this world and therefore has to understand what is going on and how it works.

    I know you can’t really understand now without knowing history. But the kids don’t realize that.

    When I started ranting about how modern America is really just Rome being replayed and how we’d fall just like they did… guess what little girl starting asking a thousand questions about Rome.

    Maybe if you can relate now and then, compare, contrast, show relationship & cause and effect it might interest at least some of them.

    There was this great program on T.V. (like 10 years ago) that documented a chain of events / knowledge acquisition / invention between two things that seemed totally unrelated otherwise. The historian presenting it was British I think, funny and smart. I LOVED the program. I’m going to try and find that one again for Zarah now that I’ve thought of it. Might give you some inspiration too. I’ll let you know if I do find it.

    • Re: A Thought

      I’ve tried exactly that approach, and it just makes them angrier, like they’re expected to care about politics and economics and so on. Mostly, this crew wants to play lacrosse, hockey and football, and they resent the idea that they might need some information to get beyond that.

      James Burke is wonderful. Rent his series; I’m sure Zarah will love it.

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