Monday, July 9, 2012

4th of July - Uni-Style

the 4th of july is my favorite holiday. 
i like the parades and picnics and fireworks and general overall feeling of the day. and i'm from philly, the birthplace of liberty. who doesn't love the philadelphia celebrations?

one of my best memories was waiting on the jam-packed independence mall to catch a glimpse of nelson mandela when he received the philadelphia freedom award. we strained our ears and our eyes. i'm sure i didn't really know who he was, but the fact that all of those people were there and that we were too was amazing. now, i cherish that memory of a brief glimpse and forgotten words more than any other "political" memory i've got.

it's been awhile since i was state-side for independence day, and so i always try to celebrate here. we've done barbecues and beach trips, but it's not really the same. 
last summer, i wanted to prepare something with my students - but it was my first semester and i was more than overwhelmed.

forget about it. this semester my students went all out.
 they researched different foods that we eat in the summer - the origen, famous restaurants (Nathans Hotdogs) and even made hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad and iced-tea for everyone to share
 they learned about some of the founding fathers, some of the history of independence and the different freedoms that americans enjoy today.
 we invited another, lower level class to join our celebrations. their teacher, nubia, was not to be left out. 
 the students even dressed in red, white and blue - down to the details - american flag earrings
 and of course, we had lady liberty present (with american flag toms on her feet)

this was my favorite. projected on the screen a giant picture of woody guthrie and his "fascist killing" guitar. i was most impressed that they bothered to learn the history of "this land is your land"  and actually understand a little more the power of music... and the power of freedom of speech.

it wasn't fireworks and church picnics, but it was nice. it was educational and fit right in.
these are the days i love being a teacher.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Isn't it fun to share bits of your culture with people who don't know it? I loved that about working with my ESL students!