Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Overwhelmed: People and Time

I've written about this before, and it's worth checking out.

I was driving home on Sunday and my wife asked me if everything was okay.  I had been staring out the window of the van.  My kids were in the back.

I was really trying to see Goshen in a way I hadn't before.  Notice all the businesses.  All the houses beyond houses on the streets I've never driven down, because... why would I?

So many people I've never met, and probably never will.  Houses beyond houses beyond houses.

I asked my students to think about what they did yesterday.  Then think about what they did Sunday.  Then Saturday.  Friday. Thursday.  Wednesday.  Just one week - but they had to really think about it.  Could they remember what they did every day?  It was taxing for them, as it would be for many of us.

Imagine if we could think about the days before that.  If we could remember the days of our 6th grade year.  And 3rd.  Preschool.

How many days before we were born?

And to think, that looking around the room, there were 30 different Wednesdays of last week.  Different students with different individual lives.  Different individual concerns and different individual victories.

Social studies is all about people.  We have government to try to create order.  The economy deals with people making things.  Our culture is who we are.

There are a lot of us: more than 7 billion.

There have been a lot of us for a long time.  It's a bit overwhelming to go back a week with 30 people.  We're tasked with making sense of a world that has more than 30 people, and has been around for more than a week.

We watched a couple videos.

If students want extra credit, they should watch one of these with an adult.  Discuss it.  Write a 3 sentence response to the video, and have the adult sign it.  Turn it in tomorrow.

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