Monday, June 28, 2010

A Relaxing Weekend (June 26-27)

This was one of those much needed weekends of being lazy. Saturday I spent the day watching movies, reviewing Romanian and doing laundry. It felt good to spend some time just sitting back and having some "me time". I also began to plan what I would be doing the next week for classes and I have a pretty good sense of what I hope to teach.

Sunday was more of the same. Watched a few episodes of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and worked on my self-evaluation portfolio for training. After reviewing a little more Romanian, I decided to watch the England/Germany game only to become enraged at now I have absolutely no team I really want to win in the World Cup. It should still be fun either way, but seriously.

After that I decided to watch National Geographic since they had a program on the Holocaust and the Einsatzsgruppen killings before the creation of death camps. Having studied the Holocaust for so long, this was one of the few things which really affected me in terms of what happened. It was more shocking being in a country so close to where these massacres took place just over the border in Ukraine. I know now that I will definitely be using some of my personal leave time to not only visit major sites, but also some of these smaller places which have gone unnoticed for so long.

It also re-affirmed my desire to teach the Holocaust while I am here. In 2003, Romania admitted to having a role in the Holocaust and stated that they needed to make progress in terms of teaching it in history classes. While I was optimistic to those ends, this last week when teaching, when I brought up the word ghetto to my students I asked them if they had ever heard this word when talking about World War II and specifically the Holocaust. They knew what I meant when I said World War II, but the word Holocaust was completely foreign to them. And it wasn't something that was lost in translation, since their word for holocaust IS holocaust, and for the specific event it is holocaustul which literally translates to "the" Holocaust. I'm worried it may only be a very quick skim in terms of what the students are taught when it comes to this. I'm going to teach a lesson this week on the Holocaust to my 11th graders so hopefully they know what the heck I'm talking about. If not, that's why I teach.

1 comment:

  1. Chris, I am finally catching up on your blogs (my life has been almost as crazy as yours lately) and this is brilliant -- teaching them the holocaust from our point of view. Education is the only thing that can possibly keep it from happening again. How did the lesson go? My dad was in Europe two years ago and took trains and whatnot all over germany and visited a lot of those old camps, the pictures were chilling. definitely something you have to do while you're over there. hope teaching is going well - thinking of you :)