Hey guys! Rachel is joining me today! And we're gonna talk about some tips for travelling in Japan Because Spring and Summer are coming up USCasinosGuide.
And I know lots of you guys are gonna come visit here So we thought we would think of some helpful things to tell you to hopefully improve your trip So the first one that we both thought was really important was Get a train card Let me show you mine so you know what I'm talking about I have a sticker over top of mine So you can't really see it But it's a little card like this It's an IC card And you can fill this up with money.
And just tap it on the gates at the train station and you can go through and it'll automatically take off how much money you need to pay for that trip off of your balance So instead of looking up...
Oh I'm in Tokyo and I need to go to Shibuya Ok that's like 170 yen... so I have to buy a 170 yen ticket You don't have to do that You can just keep a balance on your card and just use it without thinking And when it runs out you can fill it up again at the machines It saves so much time and stress It just makes travelling so much easier There are a lot of different brands for them Some of them don't work on every train line Right So if you get yours in Tokyo, it might not work on every train line in every other city And same for train cards from other cities as well And then there are also benefits for some of them Some of them will let you accumulate points.
So you can save money That's so cool! The ones in Tokyo don't All around it's just very useful and awesome.
You should get one You can get these at the train machines where you buy tickets There'll be an English button so just push that It's pretty straightforward There are a lot of helpful apps you can get if you're gonna be in Japan One of them would be a train app It's kind of like a life saver Very recommended!
When you're travelling from one place to another The app will automatically calculate the quickest route, the cheapest route So you don't have to go look at maps yourself Maps suck, the train maps suck here.
They're really confusing If you get this app you can be like "I'm in Tokyo right now, and I wanna go here!" And then you can choose what you want If you want the cheapest route or the fastest route There's English ones, and there's Japanese ones I use the Japanese version So I say Tokyo at the top, Shibuya at the bottom So the station in the middle here is the station you need to transfer at So it tells you you have 4 minutes to get to your transfer spot Just very helpful!
Something that may not be common sense in a lot of countries these days Japan is a cash society So you kinda need to have cash here when you go around A lot of stores don't take credit cards Especially if they're smaller or not in a big city.
The fourth thing to know if you're coming to Melbourne is about driving. So I know I just said you didn't need a car, but if you wanna go outside of the city center, you wanna go at the Great Ocean Road, you wanna visit the Twelve Apostles you wanna go see kangaroos and koalas in the wild, then you're gonna need a car. So if you're driving in Melbourne, there's a few things you're going to need to know.
One, they drive on the left. Most of the world drives on the right, they drive on the left here, so just be aware of that. Also they have a lot of traffic cameras. Melbourne in the state of Victoria is kind of a nanny state.
They have five different types of traffic cameras, including traffic cameras that average your speed over long distances and will issue you a ticket if you're going too fast over a long distance, so don't drive too fast, drive the limit, and if you're in the city center, you should also know they have this thing called a hook turn, so if you're at an intersection that has a tram, if you want to turn, I believe it's right, you actually have to turn right from the left. You go all the way over to the left, you wait in this little spot, you wait for the tram to go by, and then you make a hook turn. Actually they show how to do it on the state of Victoria website, so if you're coming here, make sure you understand what a hook turn is.
The fifth thing you need to know before coming to Melbourne is about the language. Chris, what do you mean the language? Don't they speak English in Australia? Well, they do speak English in Australia, but it's English with certainly a little bit of an accent. I haven't has a hard time understanding most people around here, but there was a waiter in a restaurant that I went to, and I couldn't understand a word that he said. So there's some slang words you should know. Slang? I don't know, maybe slang's not even the right word.
They're just Australian English. So I call the things I eat with French fries that's red and made of tomatoes, I call that ketchup, they call it tomato sauce. When they use the word "thongs," that means flip flops or slippers, as you might call them in Hawaii, the sandals you wear on your feet with the little thong that goes between your toes. That's probably why they're called thongs.
You're probably gonna need it. It's situated on the bay, and the icy winds that come from Antarctica, or off the bay, they're just really cold here, so be prepared for cold weather any time you come. And it can rain quite a bit, and the rain's pretty unpredictable. The few days I've been here, it has rained some portion of each of the days I've been here, so bring an umbrella, you will want it. And oh, by the way, if you live in the northern hemisphere, the seasons here are flipped from the northern hemisphere, so if it's summer in Europe, it is winter here in Australia. June, July, August, that's winter here. Their summer, December, January, so make sure you're thinking about that.
The third thing to know before you come to Melbourne is about public transportation. Melbourne, of a city, has the world's largest streetcar network. I don't know if you can see any behind me where I'm standing. They're running just over that way, but the streetcars, they call them trams, it's an extensive network that runs all over the city. They're pretty cool. There's some old ones, there's some new ones. I really enjoy traveling on them. You really don't need a car as a tourist in Melbourne, but when you're riding the trams, you need to get this little IC card if you're gonna ride them far away. If you're just riding them in the city center, they are free within the city center.
Also there's this tram, tram number 35, it's like a loop that goes around the city center. It's the "tourist tram," and it even gives you kind of like an audio guide and tells you what you're looking at as you go around the city, so check that one out when you visit. In addition to trams, there are also trains. The trains use that same myki IC card. You can buy those IC cards at either the train stations, some of the tram stations, and you can also buy them from 7-Eleven. You can buy them in increments of a certain dollar amount, you can also buy a week pass, so that's what I did. It was like 40 Australian dollars for a week's worth of unlimited travel, so think about are you gonna travel a lot? If so, it might be worthwhile just to get the week travel pass.
The public transportation network is extensive, but it can be slow, particularly the streetcars. The streetcars run on the streets, and because they run on the streets, they're subject to traffic and stoplights, this and that, so it's not super quick to go across the city. There are plenty of taxis and plenty of Uber. They're plentiful. The taxis take credit cards, they're polite, so that's another great option as well, and the final great option in the city is feet. Melbourne is a very walkable city, and there's a train going behind me right now. There's a few major train stations in the city. I've taken the train a little bit. Pretty good.
We’re visiting Monaco. We will take you on some city bus rides, we will walk around show you the palace, the Casino, the Marina and the beautiful sights of this amazing little country, starting out from our home base in the city of Nice in the south of France. It's a very convenient city to explore the nearby areas of Provence as well as Monaco. We’re staying in Nice for 3 days and having all sorts of fun excursions. So from our hotel in the old town we simply walk about 15 minutes through the old town.
That’s a terrific place, the old town of Nice, with shops and cafés everywhere, and that brings is right over to the bus stop. And this bus is an amazing bargain, it's only 2 euro and it will bring you from one country to the next. The bus is heading for Menton, which is the end of the line. We’re only going part of the way, about a half-hour bus ride to Monaco. Stopping for a view of the old port of Nice and passing several other little harbors along the way. and it will bring you from one country to the next visit this website.
The bus is heading for Menton, which is the end of the line. We’re only going part of the way, about a half-hour bus ride to Monaco. Today's adventure winds along the eastern shores of the Côte d'Azur where you'll discover several small seaside towns and a tiny country with the world's richest inhabitants. We are riding on the city bus. It's a handy way to get around, and to drive along the coastline.
You can take the train if you wish, or you can take the bus. We are riding on the city bus. It's a handy way to get around, and to drive along the coastline. You can take the train if you wish, or you can take the bus. So the brief bus rides linking each place are easy to handle and will give you excellent access to some of the sites. This little green traffic circle marks the boundary of Monaco.
We've entered the country now -- there's no passport control of course, there's no sign of a border. We’re just driving along on the road in now we’re in Monaco, through the tunnel and driving alongside the marina, it's a beautiful site. Very easy to get from central Nice to central Monaco by bus -- easier than by train actually. This program will focus on the two main areas for the visitor: The old town and Monte Carlo with the casino and elegant shopping area. They even have ducks swimming around in their pond with little ducklings. Some beautiful gardens out in front of the casino You will inevitably be drawn straight to the Casino, so when we get there let me tell you a little about it.
The Casino played a very integral part in the recent history of Monaco. That was put up in about 1850, 1860. The country was really bankrupt at that time. That's when they came up with the bright idea of building a casino, and by 1860 it was in operation, and the train came by 1860, that's when it opened. So that all worked in its favor.
So now the rich folks started flocking to Monaco by the 1890s. Of course Nice was a big magnet with the hotels and everything, and they would come over here to gamble, and they've done very well ever since. So now Monaco is the most densely populated country in the world. It's not the most densely populated city in the world.
There's many, there's 20 other cities in India, China that are more densely populated, but it's got 28,000 people packed into 500 acres, half the size of Central Park. It's pretty small, just over a mile from one end to the other, and yet packed in. You can see all these condominiums. So 28,000 residents, but only 7000 of them are citizens. The others are just living here.
It's the richest country in the world per capita. The highest per-capita wealth and highest per-capita income in the world. They've got a number of hotels. Some of them are two-star. They even have a one-star hotel. They do, they have a one star hotel.
Five stars of course. The Hotel de Paris is very exclusive. They don't even like you going inside unless you are a guest. Three Michelin stars. Of course that's the top rating. And so dinner for two with a nice bottle of wine is $1000 easily in there.
From the casino we are walking over to the bus stop a couple of blocks on this beautiful Avenue des Beaux-Arts, a wonderful shopping street. And there we will catch the city bus that will bring us up the hill to the Old Town. Driving through the modern town.
Notice how beautiful it is. The buildings are in great shape, the stores are elegant, you don't find any vacant shops here or potholes in the road. We are riding the city bus right through the town up to the hill instead of walking up - you could walk it if you want, but it's pretty steep, so you might as well get on a city bus - it costs two euro for a ride, and it's good for 30 minutes, you could actually ride up to have a quick peek and ride back down, enjoying this view. Of course you will want to stay up on top as we're going to do and walk around the Old Town.
Practically everybody rides the bus. There are 146 bus stops, so it's very convenient. A couple of euro for a ride like this is no big deal when you're visiting Monaco, after all this is an expensive place so you should be expecting to spend some money here.
But if you don't want to pay the bus fare and you don't want to walk up the hill there is another possible route for you to get up there, and that's an elevator but it's inside the public parking garage, so you'd have to find your way into the garage and find your way to the elevator and then just ride it up a level and right up to the old town. But that's kind of a hassle so just go ahead and pay the fee and ride the bus and enjoy the ride up to the Old Town. You can always walk down the hill later coming back if you want to economize. And in a few minutes you arrive at the Old Town, hop off the bus, and there are some local kids being escorted from the pre-school. The sights are happening already. Get to walk through these cobbled lanes of the Old Town.
This is where Monaco first began, that was way back in the 1300s and 1400s up on this little hilltop. And it brings you to this lookout point - wow, what a view. This has to be one of the great views of the world. Perfect place for a group photograph. This lookout is right next to the Prince’s Palace which is the official royal residence of Monaco.
Albert the 2nd is the reigning monarch of Monaco having succeeded his father Prince Renier in 2005. Albert is one of the richest monarchs in Europe, estimated worth at about $1 billion, and he's married to Charlene, the Princess of Monaco. She was a South African commoner but an Olympic swimmer, and married since 2011 to Prince Albert. You’ll find that this terrace, the Place du Palais, is a fun place to hang out.
And so is the best view from right in front of the palace, sweeping, amazing collection of beautiful condominiums. You’ll notice how densely packed this city is. There are three main pedestrian streets that run in parallel out from the Place du Palais, and they are crisscrossed by some narrow alleys that tie it all together, all around the Cathedral. The old town is just as attractive in its walls and buildings as any of the other rock villages of the Riviera. This is a residential neighborhood as well, not just for the tourists, but very much for the locals. Notice the winding streets, and the odd moped and scooter that comes down here, so you can keep your ears open.
Place de la Marie is where the three pedestrian lanes of the Old Town come together. And just a few blocks away is the Cathedral of Monaco. The Cathedral of St. Nicholas is a grand Romanesque and Byzantine style edifice that was designed and completed in 1897.
The burial chapel of the royalty here includes the tomb of Princess Grace. Grace Kelly, the beautiful American actress, married Prince Renier in 1956, then retired from acting and became Princess of Monaco until her death in 1982. She suffered a stroke while she was driving her car and lost control and crashed.
It was a great tragedy, great loss of Grace Kelly, who was named as one of the top female stars of the American cinema by the American Film Institute, and certainly was one of the most glamorous ladies in our history. After appreciating that neo-Romanesque façade of the cathedral be sure to walk a few paces in front of it for the view looking down on the newest part of Monaco. This was all built on landfill – about 20% of Monaco is built on landfill like this. Here we have a mix of residential, sports complex and marina, it makes a beautiful view. The view terrace is slightly hidden but it's easy to find when you're looking for it and it's only a few steps down. Return past the Cathedral and the Palace of Justice and that lane in-between and it'll bring you back into the pedestrian network for some more final views of town.
Not very crowded in November. In the summer, these lanes get very packed with the tourist. There's no income tax on the citizens. There's also no income tax on foreigners who live here at least six months a year. It's an autonomous nation, it's a sovereign nation.
They have a seat in the United Nations. But their military defense is taken care of by France. And they really have diversified from tourism and gambling. They have a lot of conventions going on here.
There's actually some scientific research, there is an excellent hospital. The economy will surprise you. You might think that all of the revenues are gained from the gambling casino and related gambling ventures, but actually gambling represents only 3% of the nation's revenue for GDP. They have a very diverse economy based on trade and banking, finance, property, and tourism of course. You'll probably find you’re ready to pay for the bus ride back downhill as well because after walking around in the Old Town you’re little worn out. It's not a very big Old Town but there are a half-dozen streets, there is the palace, there's a cathedral, there are things to see and you want to explore the whole area while you're there.
Even the young rich schoolgirls ride the city bus here. And you get some lovely views from the bus. Here is the marina at twilight as we whiz by these wonderful yachts. We will be taking the 30 minute intercity bus ride back to Nice in a little while but first we’re going to have our final look around the town in the evening — a beautiful view of the casino at night. It's easy to walk from the casino across the park over to this lovely shopping mall.
It's part of the Metropole complex, one of several deluxe, very-modern shopping centers in the middle of Monaco. By the time we came out of the mall and went across the street to have another look at the casino it was dark already – lovely lighting at twilight and early sunset, a great time to be here.
Opportunities Unlimited Charter High School was developed by Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Inc. (YOU), a non-profit 501(c)(3) community based organization developed as part of a challenge grant awarded to the City of Los Angeles by the U.S. Department of Labor in 1990. YOU Clubhouse was located in the heart of South Central Los Angeles. According to the Zip Code Data Book for Service Planning Area (SPA) 6, (Zip-Code-Data-Book, 2003) the target area for YOU and Opportunities Unlimited has the highest levels of single moms, homicides, juvenile arrests and persons living below the poverty level in all of L.A. County.
Who is Opportunities Unlimited?
We are fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Our charter educates historically disadvantaged youths. These youths’ residence feeder high schools are largely Washington, Locke, and Fremont. Our charter specific goals are to produce graduates who are college-ready and prepared for the global economy. We accomplish these outcomes by achieving the following learning goals: (1) social change agency/social justice, (2) life-long learning, and (3) critical thinking with an emphasis in the analysis of historically disenfranchised populations.
We know of charter schools that apply stringent academic standards in considering children for admission. At Opportunities Unlimited, we believe that ALL children should receive a fair opportunity to obtain an education that will allow them to realize their God-given potentials. We therefore extend an unlimited opportunity to students that are challenged, as well as those that are gifted; to those that have been troubled, as well as those needing more individualized support. Many of our students are experiencing the sweet taste of success and are craving more!
Opportunities opening year was 2005-06. Our lease commenced in August 2005, at 88th Street Church of God and Christ located at Los Angeles, CA 90044 . The school remained at this location for the first year of our charter, 2005-06. Opportunities quickly outgrew this location. In August 2006, our school leased Opportunities Baptist Church, located at 10513 S. Vermont, Los Angeles, CA 90044. As our school continued to grow we began seeking other options in order to accommodate our increasing growth and we were fortunate enough to find Paradise Baptist Church located at 5100 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, Ca 90037. This new facility can house all of our students and staff and it allows opportunities for future growth.
Within this SPA of more than one million people, 14% are children age 10-17, and the median age of persons in the community is 26 years old. Forty percent (40%) of children live with a single mother, and 10% with a grandparent. There were 308 homicides in the area in 2001, and 3,600 juvenile arrests. Thirty-three percent (33%) of all persons living in the SPA live below the poverty level. As proven by the successes of YOU, Opportunities Unlimited is strategically positioned to improve the community through education.
Our student population has a large number of students who qualify for the free lunch program due to low family income. The community also reflects a large population of recent immigrants to the United States, especially from Mexico. Because of this, many students have Spanish as their first language, and are classified as English language learners. Through its curricular programming and Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs), Opportunities Unlimited students will have exposure to an ethnically diverse network of high school students which will allow students to have conversations/ awareness of students from other districts and other countries around the world, so that ethnicity becomes an asset, not a barrier, in their learning community.
Opportunities Unlimited Charter High School, in partnership with the Los Angeles Community, local colleges, universities, and corporate partners create an environment where students, grades 9-12, excel in academics with technical integration, and then utilize their abilities and expertise to propel themselves to a college education and expanded employment opportunities. This collaborative relationship created from the shared philosophy of our urban community, which is to educate the whole child, acknowledging the socio-welfare needs of students and their families by recognizing and addressing the individual needs of the child within a multicultural environment and in the belief that each child will become a competent, self-motivated, life-long learner who is prepared to compete in a global society.
Expected School-wide Learning Results (ESLRS)
Expected School-wide Learning Results are the outcomes we expect our students to learn during their matriculation with us. Opportunities’ multi-talented teachers work in interdisciplinary teams. Their skills and efforts developed the following ESLRS :
● Active Learners - A person who is interested in positively impacting social change, participating in intellectual debate, listening respectfully, asking questions, and maintaining the highest respect for the learning environment.
● Take a futuristic approach to creating a goal-oriented road map to success
● Critical Readers actively seek to advance their thinking along the higher levels of Bloom’s continuum
● Critical Thinkers consistently challenge the status quo and are mindful of various perspectives, and abstractly process information in order to compete in the global economy.
● Learn to use their intuitive skills to anticipate/promote future change
Life Long Learners:
● Reciprocal Motivation- acknowledges the power of words; stay motivated, and motivate others to learn.
● Commitment to cultural sensitivity, cultural awareness, and an eagerness to learn from diverse populations.
● Acknowledge that dialogue is essential for effective communication and maintain an environment where diverse ideas are promoted.
Social Change Agency/Social Justice:
● Empower self and community so that there is no partaking in self-defeating behaviors/practices/mindsets.
● Understand that “School [is] the agency for helping young people to deal effectively with the critical problems of contemporary life"
● Promote Positive Citizenry-Develop social climate in which drug use, gang related activities/affiliation, violence, stealing, vandalizing are eradicated.
● Serve as mentor/role models for community advancement.
● Participate in community organizations/events to create positive change in community
● Understand that the best defense of democracy is the protection and promotion of all viewpoints.
We appreciate your interest in our organization and look forward to entertaining any questions you may have. As you peruse our website please read about our educational philosophies by selecting “Staff Directory”.
Opportunities Unlimited Charter High School was developed by Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Inc. (YOU), a non-profit 501(c)(3) community based organization developed as part of a challenge grant awarded to the City of Los Angeles by the U.S. Department of Labor in 1990. YOU Clubhouse was located in the heart of South Central Los Angeles. According to the Zip Code Data Book for Service Planning Area (SPA) 6, (Zip-Code-Data-Book, 2003) the target area for YOU and Opportunities Unlimited has the highest levels of single moms, homicides, juvenile arrests and persons living below the poverty level in
I have met so many more people as a direct result of my drinking
And I would guess that many of you can say the same.
It is a scientific fact that alcohol allows you to release your inhibitions and strike up a conversation with just about anyone.
Some people choose to drink and party simply because it's the only time they are able to be as social as they often wish they could be.
Alcohol gets people talking and laughing. It enhances the mood in every way. It creates friendships that otherwise could not have existed. It allows old friends to re-live the good ol days. But it certainly doesn’t mean that you should get super drunk, know your measure!
This improvement to your social life and relationships is too great to miss out on.
Break the Rules
Our society is governed by rules. And lots of them.
I decided a long time ago that many of these rules were way too silly.
Mohandas Gandhi said, Be the change you want to see in the world.
I think that life is a party, so I try to live the celebration. I refuse to allow laws beyond my control to prevent me from living my life to the fullest.
When you realize that you have the power to ignore rules and act according to your own beliefs, it is such a great feeling.
Give it a try. I bet you’ll feel empowered.
Remember that stereotype about college kids partying?
That stereotype is prevalent for a reason. College kids have been partying since day one. It is simply considered part of the college experience.
Having been through two years of college, I have seen countless parties. I can honestly say that my college experience would not have been a fraction as amazing and unpredictable had I chosen to live on the straight and narrow.
It has been one hell of a ride, and I don't regret one second of it.
To everyone who's with me, rock on. Party because you know you're having a better time than everyone else.
To all the prudes out there, my advice is to live a little. Just try to go once and see for yourself. I think you'll be glad you did.
What about using this ghost as a teaching tool? Does talking about the apparition of the murdered King draw this public alternative high school into the occult,
Into religion, talk of death?
Yes. However, within the realm of this classic text lies educational freedom. I advocate using the ghost as a teaching tool, as a way into the text and as a stimulus for writing and conversation. I believe all of us have been frightened by what may be under the bed, in the closet, the basement, the attic.
In what setting may an encounter with a ghost occur?
"…in an island that has never been see before on a map and the island is made up of rocks around dirt…"(Reinaldo B.)
"The room was dark, chilly, and quiet So whatever noise was to , happen she would hear it." (Kenia H.)
"It was a nice and calm night, the time was around 2 a.m. there wasn't hardly no one up it's a work day." (Camilo T.)
"It takes place hours after the funeral, during the middle of the night in the dark bedroom." (Timothy H.)
The ghost, former King and father of Prince Hamlet, makes demands of his son: "Mark me", "revenge my most foul and unnatural murder"; leave your mother alone, but do not let the royal bed of Denmark be a nest for incest.
Many of my students have ambivalent or negative feelings about their fathers, but also maintain a romantic attachment to the idea of Father. As a drama therapist and former SPARK (substance abuse prevention) counselor, I am aware of the concept of teacher as therapist in the classroom. My training informs my work and grants me insight into the writings and comments of my students. The student who wrote about meeting a ghost after the funeral lost his mother to death, and his father has always been lost to him. Teachers, especially but not exclusively, in alternative settings need to make an extra effort to know the stories of their students. What better place to do this than in English class? I overheard one staff member question a student, "What about your mother?" She did not know that student's mother had died a year before. These mistakes are inevitable, but careful communication between student and teacher delicately paves the way for authentic writing. What are we asking the students to do in response writing? Respond in their own voice and experience to what they read, to try to identify with what they read, to find a way into the text, and in their writing to carry on a conversation with the narrator of the text they are studying. In this dialogue their realities are both clearly and obliquely stated and the teacher needs to be alert to signs of profound loss, sadness, or distress. Sometimes the students have no other person watching out for their well-being.
Using a ghost as a writing trigger frees the students to imagine,
To enter a world that is real on a level beyond their ordinary experience:
"Oh ghost, you make me wanna wonder why are you here. Are you warning me of something that's on the way." (Kenia H.)
"Oh snap, a real ghost. How's the afterlife, did you use to live in this house? Did you die in this house? Did you accomplish everything you wanted to do in life? Did you have a family? Am, I seeing you for a purpose? Is this some kind of message. Do you have something to tell me. Is it my time now." (Camilo T.)
"what kind of joke is this so, to stand here before me and act as if you're my dead husband, have you no shame…" (Kenia H.)
"My love for you would never change, it never did since the first time I'll eyes meet. Never did I leave you alone regardless of how deep my body was. My spirit stayed within you. No matter how hard you chose to block. My darlin sweet darlin please go on with your life but please do not forget me my sweet Anabell. (Kenia H.)
"What's good, why you looking at me like you never seen a ghost?"
"Yo, I gotta stop smoking this shit, I be wilding out" (Camilo T.)
Once I stayed on the short story "Rashomon" for six weeks. Students were complaining to other teachers. Rondi wouldn't budge. I was waiting for them to complete the assignment. I was waiting. I feel that students crave entertainment from the teacher. Their own success or failure is irrelevant compared to the feeling of moving on, keeping the pace, missing an assignment but thinking the next one will be sufficient. We probably all to some degree pick and choose how we spend our time and as we work our way up the academic ladder we are often afforded more not less choice. In this class, I have ignored some assignments, perhaps doing only those I thought the professors thought were truly essential. But I am not taking the class for credit, so I feel as though I may have some choices, and truly, when I took the class, I knew that I would be pushing it in terms of demands on my time, but I felt that I would do my best to show up and learn, and that would have to be enough.
Why do I think the students feel any differently? They are not leaning forward with anticipation to my next assignment. They frequently forget the assignments I give, remind them off, print up, and consistently write on the board. "You didn't tell us."
Well, "Rashomon" , to me, is an important story. The skills I was teaching were also essential to doing college work. Moving onto another story would not have changed the assignment. So I did not move on. I am not sure if the result of this was just the students thinking I am stubborn or some realizing that I was not going to forget so they may as well do the assigned work.
This semester I assigned a required project for the first marking period. The majority of the students did not do it. Rather than giving up on the assignment, I altered it to be a requirement for the semester. I let the students know I still expected them to do the research and present their work to the class.
Working in the New York City public school system,
I have consistently had to advocate for the rights of no-shows, latecomers, and homework abstainers to an education. When I was a counselor and called a developmental group around a particular topic, I was reminded of the poster of the Vietnam era, "What if they give a war and nobody comes?" I translated it to "What if I give a group and no one comes?" or later as a teacher, "What if I give an assignment and no one does it?"
If one person showed up for the group it became an individual session, and in that strange wisdom of what we cannot plan for that privacy seemed to be what that student needed. To be an effective educator, I consistently need to let go of the needs of others to show and produce numbers and results. So much of what we do cannot be measured. One poet at the Geraldine Dodge festival asked how we can determine the value of a new poem in a student's mind. I need to accept and assess each situation, each student, each class, and do my best to educate who is there, not lament for those who stayed home. I also need to provide work for the students based on what they have been able to accomplish. I do not advocate behavior modification. There is a sufficient amount of reward and punishment in the grading system, the report card. Throughout the semester my job is to instill a love of learning, to teach that education has inherent value. It is neither about the credit nor the grade. Can we find together the timeless beauty of the poetry of Hamlet?
"What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals; and yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust?" (II:ii)
The how and why of teaching is as important as the how and why of writing and thinking. I need to see what has been accomplished by the student and move to perfect that work. Last week the students were not ready for their performance exam. I could have ranted and raved and thrown zeros at all. I instead let them rehearse and saw pairs of students concentrating, rehearsing, thinking. The grades were due the next day; I gave them the opportunity to present that next day. The grade deadline was not decided by me.
But I did determine the bottom line for passing, which was a notebook and a performance.
My first experience teaching Hamlet took the whole semester instead of the first marking period. It went on and on and on. My beloved chairperson Robert Johnson assented when I confessed it was taking me and the class time to get through Hamlet. (But I do remember an entire semester of college work on James Joyce's Ulysses) The class culminated in a performance of selected scenes. Some costumes were created. We left the high school building and had use of a small theatre space at the nearby community college. Parents came and cheered.
How to teach Hamlet is a challenge. The language is difficult, yet within the text are passages of profound and poetic significance. The landmark plot points easily stimulate discussion and empathy: Is it acceptable to marry a former spouse's sibling? How does one make sense of an encounter with a ghost? What type of grief is acceptable? Can mourning go on too long? Is revenge on a time-table? What advice can a parent give an adult child? What is the potential damage of rage? What is insanity? What is tragedy? What is Hamlet's quandary? Hamlet is an essential text; it is worth my time as a teacher to attempt to teach this magnificent work. The ghost has made us all swear: "Adieu, adieu, remember me." (I:v) Would you remember an encounter with a ghost, your murdered father?
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