Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Uninvited Images

I began student teaching about a month ago and I’m observing an 11th grade Honors American History class. Today, the teacher shared with students the most horrific pictures of people injured during WWI. There were pictures of men with half their bodies and faces blown away, African-American soldiers being hung and burned and photos of the plastic surgery. While I understand the point of showing students the atrocities of war, it seems almost too much at times. They’re sitting here with these stunned looks on their faces, and it seems as though they’ve lost a bit of their childhood. War is hell, no doubt, and we need to instill in them a sense of horror at these things so that they will never want to participate in such atrocities, but there is no warning, no limit to what we share. Since when is it ok to show a picture of a man with half his face blown away and his brain showing. I know that we need to share such things with students, but I feel as though I’m going to have nightmares because of these pictures. If I, who is already desensitized because of the onslaught of such things in college, am horrified then these students must be past feeling. It feels as though all we’re doing is barraging the students with these things, without fully preparing them and without showing them the opposite, what could have happened had we not fought. WWI was one of the bloodiest most atrocious wars in history, but if we hadn’t gone over there and fought and, at least temporarily, defeated the Central Powers we would have been subject to more mayhem and destruction. “Then fight when we must, when the cause it is just, and let this be our cry, in God is our trust!” (Taken from the third verse of the National Anthem, as best I can remember it). We couldn’t just sit back and watch our families (remember this is 1914, there were millions of first generation immigrants who still had extended families in Europe) be destroyed by people who had no regard for human life. I know this is kind of a downer, I’m sorry, but it really troubled me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


This is the afore-mentioned post about my house remodeling, it's taken a while because I've gotten a new computer and I'm having issues connecting my camera to it (my old computer had a slot for the memory card, no such luck with the Mac, although I'll take it over the PC any day of the week) and I'm still having issues, so I'm going to post this sans photos. Hopefully one of these days I'll get around to make this a better photo blog.
Anyway, I live in the house my Dad grew up, that was partially built by his Dad (The added on about half of the house and remodeled all of it at some point or another). Since it's a pretty old house, we've slowly but surely been remodeling it, starting when we initially moved in almost 18 years ago. Since then we've done the attic (thanks in part to my Brother who started a fire there and initiated the need for a remodel), my Grandma (who lives in the basement) has remodeled the downstairs, we've redone our family room and mine and my younger Brother's bedroom and bathroom, and now we've moved on to the all important Front room that includes our dining room and kitchen, and my parents bedroom. It's a rather large job that, of course, is taking longer than expected. And it's not that it didn't need to be done (our roof was literally be dragged down by a sagging beam), but it's hard to have everything you've grown up with torn apart. This house is the house I've know my whole life and, I know this sounds silly, but it breaks a part of my heart when I see it torn up. When it's done it's going to look awesome and it will be safer to live in, but it won't be the same. It will take some time to get used to the new house and to make it our home once more.


So, every blog I've read seems to have the same theme going for the new year. I figured I'd better jump on the wagon, particularly because I haven't been so good about the blogging. This year, I'm turning 25, I've never really though about aging before, but then I realized I'm almost a quarter of a century old and it really threw me through a loop. I look around at all the people I've met over my life and sometimes it makes me feel bad that I haven't done more things with my life. Not that I haven't done great and fun things and all that, but that it's taken me so long to get to do the things that I feel like should already be done. For example, I'm getting my Bachelors degree this year and it annoys me that it took me 7 years to get it when most people it only took 4. I recently moved back home and it annoys me that I had to do that, even though I generally love it here (generally because we're remodeling, there's an upcoming post about that, when I can get my pictures to upload, still the issues with the new Mac).
But then it occurred to me; Who am I measuring my life against? My life, my goals and aspirations, everything that I am, is totally and completely different from everyone else in the world, so of course I'm going to do things differently, but that doesn't make it any less right for me. Maybe getting done with school now is perfect, because I've gained experiences in those seven years that will help me be a better teacher, and maybe living at home isn't ideal, but it gives me the opportunity to save money for the future. Perhaps this life wouldn't work for someone else, but for me, it works perfectly.