Course Assignment – Adolek Kohn dancing in Auschwitz

Adolek Kohn “I will survive”

 Introduction – Who is Adolek Kohn

 Part I

The original has been deleted due to copyright claims by Universal Music

Use this video, skip to 1:18

  • Where does Adolek Kohn and his grandchildren dance besides Auschwitz?
  • How does it make you feel?
  • Besides the title of the song, can you see connections between the lyrics and the film scenes?

Part II

  • What role does dancing play for the Kohn family and their friends?
  • Look for the lyrics of ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’ by Leonard Cohen. What connections do you see to the movie?

 Part III – The Kohn’s visit Auschwitz and Lodz

  • What’s the meaning of the Polish questions Adolek poses from the train car?
  • What is so amazing for Adolek being back in Poland?

Part IV – Interviews with Adolek Kohn

  • Why did Adolek Kohn return to Auschwitz to dance?

Part V – Media responses (from beginning to 1:17)

  • What are arguments for and against the dance?
  • Why do you think Universal Music had the original film deleted? Only for copyright reasons?

Part VI – Your Opinion

  • What do you think about Adolek Kohn’s dance in Auschwitz?
  • Is it appropriate?
  • Was the posting of the video on the Internet appropriate?

Social-political assignment

(The beginnings of) An Assignment for Social-Political Philosophy: Marijuana Legalization

One of the best ways of gaining a more thorough understanding of key competing social-political theories is to see how they would play out in relation to contemporary debates. With this in mind, each student must do the following, over the course of four weeks:

Project weeks 1-4

  1.  Find articles—both academic and popular media sources—that make the case either for and against the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. Post the three that you think best articulate arguments that can be indentified (even roughly) as utilitarian, libertarian, social conservative, and/or liberal (of a Rawlsian sort). As you post the articles for your classmates, highlight specific arguments and identify which theory is being used. Each article will probably make use of elements from more than one of the competing theories, so please be careful to identify and label specific arguments (e.g., one or a few paragraphs) in the articles.
  2. Review what your classmates have posted and pick two (each should be from a different student) and say whether and why you agree that the arguments highlighted are labeled correctly.
  3. Develop and post your own analysis of the facts and arguments given in one of the articles. In short, should marijuana be legalized or not? In doing this, base your position as clearly as you can on analyses of the above listed social-political theories. Draw on your class readings and the postings from all students. Limit your posts to the equivalent of two single-spaced, typed pages.
  4. Respond to at least one of your classmates positions, identifying its strengths and weakness. Limit your posts to the equivalence of two single-spaced, typed pages.

Resource Project- Elementary Social Studies Methods

Resource Project- Submitted through Google Forms

Part 1 -Annotated Literary Reference list

Select, read and write summaries for 5 (five) children’s literature titles (K-6) and evaluate each title for its NCSS & VA-SOL thematic relationship to Social Studies content and disciplines.  Key elements of the annotation must include: (1) SS VA-SOL content standard and NCSS themes, (2) the readability level of the text and a brief summary statement of the plot, and (3) at least one literary (story) theme. The annotation should then describe (4) a lesson activity that integrates the book’s social studies theme with another content area and (5) list a sample lesson activity. Activities from published sources may be modified, with proper APA citation.

Part 2 – Social Studies Class Database

In addition to the above described reference list, identify 5 (five) other sources (e.g. web sites, periodicals, texts) that support the integration of literature and Social Studies. Complete an annotation for each source (i.e. title, description, web address etc) with a suggestion for its use to support a Social Studies-related lesson/SOL.

Course Assignment

I have a very rough idea for a course assignment (for Greek and Latin Roots of English) that is designed to pull together students’ lexical and database research and close readings of ancient and modern texts in translation into a creative presentation that organizes what they’ve learned into a disciplinary perspective.  I’m still a bit unclear as to how best to stage the individual steps of the process and what technologies would best achieve the learning goals, but the idea is that each student would produce a documentary-styled, individual research project involving the researched etymological history of a word, its variant appearances/contexts in ancient texts and disciplines and its range of usage in a modern discipline—all of this story-boarded, coherently “imaged” and made into digital film with voice-over technology (using something like I-Movie, I-Thoughts HD, and a digital dropbox).  This project will be peer evaluated both in and out of class and edited over time.  As a final project, the students will provide a meta-analysis of the project and how their cognitive process shifted at various stages of the process.

A Mystery. A Serious Stress-Inducer. A Cool Thing in Theory. An Experiment. An Exasperation. A Potential Disaster..

Shall I go on?  These are all names for My Obscure Online Class (or MOOC, to coin a term).  

I feel ill prepared to write the second assigned blog post, which asks us to “map out an assignment for the course you will be teaching that considers the role of the web in framing your course.”  So far this semester I believe I have thought a lot about liberal arts, about online learning in theory, and about my own pedagogy.  I have been reassured that tools do exist and that someone can show them to me sometime.  But my own course remains very slippery, to put it mildly, and this post will not complete the assignment very well.

So.  Instead of adapting an existing course to an online course, I applied for the OLI by proposing a brand new course.  This seemed easier to me than adapting one (which would also mean replanning for a summer timelime rather than a full semester), and I had an idea that seemed made for an online experience.  In retrospect, it may not have been smart because now everything about this course needs to be, well, made, and Tim’s screechy good-for-nothing printers don’t seem to be spitting out my syllabus.

My course will fundamentally engage the web because our primary text is on it: The Modernist Journals Project, or MJP, which is an in-progress digitized archive of periodicals from the early twentieth century, reproduced cover to cover.  We will likely focus mostly or solely on the magazine Poetry, which has complete digitization for the years spanned by the archive and which was a major journal in the making of modernist aesthetics. 

Another reason that Poetry will be a rich place to focus is that the magazine includes not only poetry but also reviews, letters, and short essays, which can allow us to consider modernist literature not as a finalized THING but as a work in progress, tracing the debates and definitions.  One assignment that I can imagine is having students organize into partners or groups of three, and having each group use a wiki to report on the evolution of a concept or question–for instance, what the proper audience is for poetry, whether or not free verse actually exists, what the school of Imagism stands for, whether or not America is a literary wasteland…  This assignment would require an immersion in the magazine’s prose items to track the major voices on a topic, the major strands of argument or definition, and the changes over time– and then the intellectual work of distilling, organizing, and presenting that material for us in a way that honored its fluidity but made it comprehensible.  When I use digital technologies in my typical courses, I like to take advantage of the multimedia capabilities that they offer, and I would want that for this assignment also.  The reports could link to specific pages of the MJP and to external resources on modern poetry (like that of the Academy of American Poets) for definitions, biographies, examples; they could incorporate images of poems as they were published, of major figures, and so on.  The students might even be able to include audio for some of the reports, since a small collection of early lectures on modern poetry have been made available through Poetry‘s contemporary site and elsewhere. 

And I’m out.