"God showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand… and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: 'What can this be?' And it was generally answered thus: 'It is all that was made.' It was so small I thought it might disappear, but I was answered... everything has being through the love of God." --Julian of Norwich

Friday, March 14, 2008

Irish dancing in the Bronx, and other tales

I saw this story at the bottom of the New York Times Page and I thought of the other day when I was explaining the cultural background of a new song to my sixth grade class. The words of the song say "El patio de mi casa es muy particular/cuando llueve no se moja como los demas." (The patio/porch of my house is very unique, when it rains it doesn't get wet like all the others.) So I was trying to explain to them how houses in Spain often have a courtyard in the center, a paved private patio where the family can hang out, and when you walk down the street on a summer day you can often see through the gates of the houses into the beautiful courtyards. The conversation at that point sounded like this:
"Can we go to Spain?"
"Yeah, let's go."
"Oh, guys I would love to take you to Spain, but we can't go, it would cost thousands of dollars."
"We could have a bake sale."
"Or a car wash."
"Please, Ms. Werezak."
"I promise I'll try to take you on a field trip here in New York before the end of the year."
I have to say I was reminded of the scene in the move Freedom Writers when the inner city students who are reading The Diary of Anne Frank decide that they want to meet Miep Gies. Their teacher is a little overwhelmed, but they are determined, so they do have fund raisers and they pay for her to come and visit their class. It would be easier if it were just a person to fly in so that my students can meet them. But this... What Spanish teacher wouldn't love to take their class on a trip to Spain. It's one of those moments when my students' hearts just blow me away. I've only had a couple moments like this in my three years of teaching, but I wouldn't trade them for anything. :)

Any ideas what kind of special thing I could do for my class to "take them to Spain"?

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