Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Teaching History.

Understand that all battles are waged on an unconscious level before they are begun on the conscious one. Teresa Stover

Ditz requested to do a study on WWII. That is this term's history assignment; a big topic. When asked she was rather vague about what she wanted to know, which is a basic & fatal mistake in this house because if you don't know mummy will make some executive decisions!

One of those executive decisions was reading material to go with the movies that Ditz had in mind. Now there are some brilliant movies around, everything from the Great Escape to Sophie's Choice but one of the quirks of my nature is that I am very rarely interested in facts, in absolutes, or in politics. What I am interested in is people & why they do what they do so the most important book I have on Ditz's reading list is not the Diary of Anne Frank [though she is reading that at present] but Morton Rhu's The Wave.

I did this with Liddy a few years ago & it is one of the scariest reads I've ever undertaken. Thanks, America, for yet another unforgettable moment! This book is based on an American history teacher's experiment in Fascism in his classroom as he attempted to show his class how it was possible to control an entire population. It is possibly the most important lesson anyone can ever learn. I think I should recommend Sonlight include it in their reading lists.

Anyhow, I ordered it from the library yesterday & it will be here next week. Ditz is rolling her eyes already but I just keep telling her the old adage; Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”George Santayana. She thinks she doesn't care but unfortunately that would not be true in reality. What's more she is tackling Anne's diary with a minimum of fuss & I think she will enjoy the Wave even more. There is a reason I encouraged my children to be very individual & the Wave demonstrates why beautifully ~ & highlights the consequences when a population stops thinking for itself. Like I said, a very scary read.

The Holocaust looks like being our primary focus so among our movie & book choices are Schindler's List, The Day Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, & the Sound of Music. I'd like Ditz to try the Von Trapp story but from memory it was a really big book & I'm not sure it would hold her attention. It's always hard to tell with Ditz. Nothing like the Julie Andrew's version! Perhaps I should just give her Winston Churchill's history of Britain. If nothing else Ditz has the ego to match: History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. Churchill. Cracks me up.

Anyway I got Ditz to brainstorm some questions she would like answers to & will will go with those to start with & if we are very lucky we will never get to which battles were fought on which bit of soil because by then it was far too late & the battle for men's souls was already lost.


The HoJo's said...

I think I shall have to find The Wave, just to see how awful it is.
I'm odd like that


Constance said...

I've been seeing previews for a new movie with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman called "Australia". It appears to be set in WW2 and it is supposed to be a huge epic. I haven't heard much about it over here so I was wondering if you have over there-down under, (wink, wink). I am wondering about the story line and if it's based on facts or from a novel. WW2 is a real topic of interest for me, I have a vested interest due to my family history. Has she ever read the "Summer of My German Soldier?" It's supposed to be about an American girl who forms a friendship with a German POW who is encamped here in the states. It sounds really familiar but I can't remember if I read it or if maybe it was a made for TV movie.