Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A Likely Story


Eighth grade English. At this time of year they have their Anne Frank unit which includes studying the Holocaust.

I try to avoid these classes at this time of year for this very reason. I do consider the Holocaust to be a very important topic, and I'm glad that it's part of the curriculum. However, I have a very low threshold for other people's pain. Being exposed to the horrors makes me physically ill. Usually it's just a migraine, but that migraine will be with me all day. 

This is why I will never again watch another Holocaust movie (if I can help it). I don't read the books. Whenever the topic comes up, I exit the situation. If you've ever wondered why trigger warnings exist, this is why. 

I may try to avoid, but I can't always do it. This day was one of those situations. Luckily, I was able to avoid the worst of it and I came out of this day unscathed.

For their final project they're researching one topic related to the Holocaust (they got to choose from a list), and the following week (as you're reading this) they'll be doing a two minute presentation.

They got to use the computers (you can see them on the desks in the picture). So, my main job was to police computer use. (Fortnite is the game of choice at the moment.) Surprisingly, I had very few issues with the kiddos doing things they weren't supposed to be doing. Most were diligently researching their assigned topic.

Gavin asked to use the restroom. This is not an unusual occurrence, nor is my permission. While he was gone, however, Connor, the boy seated behind him, got out of his desk and sat at Gavin's. Then he started doing something with the keyboard...

Um, no.

I made my way over there very quickly. What was Conner doing on Gavin's computer?

Conner claimed innocence. "I was just making sure his name was on it."

Sure he was.

The Google document appeared unmolested. I shooed Conner back to his seat.

When Gavin returned, I waited. Was something amiss with his document? No, it appeared that he didn't notice anything wrong.

Whew. That means I caught Conner in time.

But, still. What was Conner doing? What did he hope to accomplish? It's not like they had the same topic (the teacher had specified that each student had a different topic), so there was nothing to copy. The only thing he could have been doing was sabotage.

I guess it'll remain a mystery to me. Whatever it was, I hope I did catch him in time.

41 comments:

  1. If he was messing with it, that was really dirty.

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  2. The Holocaust is such a great reminder of man's power gone terribly wrong. Good to learn of the atrocities, but I agree. Too much of the violence and real-life stories make me feel queasy. Awesome heroic people from that time though!

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  3. Glad you were observant to catch him on time before he did any or at least minimal damage.

    betty

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    1. Me too. I feel terrible when I hear that kiddos did something to other kiddos on my watch.

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  4. I hope you caught him in time too! Sabotage would suck.

    I can't handle the depressing times very well either. My family didn't go through the Holocaust, but my grandparents were some of the US-born Japanese citizens uprooted and moved to internment camps during WWII.

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    1. Terrible times. I'm so glad that that is in the curriculum now, though. When I was in school, it wasn't. (We studied the Holocaust, but not the Japanese internment, and that was local to us.)

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  5. Maybe he was trying to pull something up on his computer and get him in trouble.

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  6. Hi Liz - I hope nothing appeared later to be amiss ... well done on checking it out. Cheers Hilary

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    1. The boy didn't notice anything, so hopefully...

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  7. I remember once in school the kid next to me made it so the word "Name" autocorrected to something obscene (can't remember what exactly). I'd just assume it was something along those lines :)

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  8. Your comment about the computers being on their desks in the picture made me look at the photo closely (which I haven't done before). I showed my Barbarians (yrs 7 and 9). Two things stood out to us as being different to our schools...the chairs are fixed to the desks and they have a bag holder(?) under the chairs.

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    1. It's more of a book holder underneath. Although, most students use it as a foot rest.

      Desks are different in the middle and high schools versus the elementary schools. Most elementary schools (ages 5-11) have chairs that pull out from tables.

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  9. I believe we have certain things that bothers us. I met a few people who don't believe that Holocaust every happan. But these people are "nuts" anyhow.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Yeah, those people worry me. Alas, they are around.

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  10. I remember seeing actual holocaust footage in my high school classes, usually English, when the teachers decided to show us films. In hindsight I wonder if any of the guys at our school who served in Vietnam ever flashed back on those films. Shudder.

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  11. Holocaust was such a tragic phase in our history. Even for me, I can't read or see anything about it, beyond a point.
    Regarding the students, it's quite a challenge keeping these children in place. Glad that you notice in time.

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  12. My son took an entire semester of Holocaust studies in high school, plus two years of German. I never pushed the topic with him but I was very proud - this needs to be a necessary part of all history studies (along with other instances of genocide in history). We forget history at our own risk. I actually met a man years ago who was one of the American soldiers who liberated a concentration camp. I can not begin to imagine how it impacted his life.

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    1. In 11th grade history they actually have a genocide project. So, it's studied.

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  13. Now I'm intrigued. Do you know if these boys are friends or foes? Was he attempting sabotage or a prank? Did he just want Gavin to get into trouble, or would the whole class have laughed?

    I always want to know the rest of the story.

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    1. That's one of the pitfalls of being a sub. I don't get the full story. I have no idea what the answer is to any of your questions.

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    2. I figured. I do this to my husband all the time. He neither knows the details nor cares. After the funny bit, that's all!

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  14. GREAT catch teach on the sabotage! Wow...what still amazes me is that they really think they are getting by with something! Too funny, but I guess we were the same way at our age. Come by my blog and leave me a random comment about what made you decide to go into teaching? As for the Holocaust, I am sorry it affects you that way. I hate that the world was like that then and so many suffered. I love however that Anne Frank story is out there. That she made it through so much of that time enough to leave us that story of their life. It is sad but with that it has aloud the world to know what it was like first hand at that time. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Yeah, her story is so important. I'm glad they teach it.

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  15. You have to have eagle eyes to catch all the deviousness.

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  16. I am fascinated with the Holocaust. I like to read about it. But I can understand a low tolerance for other people's pain. I can usually pull myself outside of it and just observe.

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    1. Lots of people are fascinated with the Holocaust. That's why there are so many books, movies, and documentaries about it. And I can understand why. I just can't share the enthusiasm.

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  17. Never forget. Always remember. Germany wants to make certain that following generations can see the past. Just the word "Holocaust" makes me shudder and want to weep. The project is most likely put into the schools to open up that part of history for students who never met a survivor.

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    1. And most of the survivors are now dying off (as are many of those who fought in WWII), so it's more important than ever to make sure that these memories are preserved.

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  18. That is a mystery of what he was doing. I'm curious now.

    I'm the opposite than you when it comes to Holocaust stuff. I like to read it about it because I want to understand how we could allow it to happen.

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    1. Good for you. We do need to understand how that stuff happens, especially now.

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