I received this email from a student last night:
Hi Mrs H, hope your weekend has been well! I was hoping to ask you for a favor. If you do not know, tomorrow, August 21, there will be a total solar eclipse over much of the United States. The approximate time where there will be maximum solar coverage over Fort Wayne is around 2:25pm. I was wondering if you would be very kind and let us have seventh hour sociology outside so we can all see the eclipse. Thank you so much and hope your night is well.
He strove to be polite, but I loved that he thought I had somehow missed the biggest astrological event in recent memory. Students were OBSESSED with the eclipse today. I overheard these conversations today in the hallway and in my classroom:
Freshman: Don’t look right at the sun. It really hurts.
[Obviously this kid already did this]
Boy: Did you see the eclipse?
Girl: When is it?
Boy: Right now!
Girl: [Looks wildly around like she must leave RIGHT NOW]
Me: Calm down – it lasts a while. You won’t miss it.
Student: Can I take a picture with my camera on my phone?
Me: You can – but it probably won’t be very good, and you can damage your camera.
Student: Then could I take a video? Wait, does that use the same parts as the camera?
Student: Did you know that a video is just, like, a bunch of pictures taken really close together? That’s so cool!
Me: [Still speechless]
[After I explained why your retinas dilate during an eclipse, so sun damage can actually be worse]
Student: So like, if I shine a flashlight in my eyes to make them dilate then look at the sun, am I okay?
Me: JUST DON’T LOOK RIGHT AT THE SUN.
We did go outside for about 20 minutes during my sociology class; about half the school was there, with lots of glasses being swapped back and forth so everyone could see. One teacher punched pencil-sized holes in boxes so we could see the crescents in the shadows on the ground. It was very cool.
Still, the best conversation of the day award goes to my first period AP English class, where we analyzed the “Raising the Flag at Ground Zero” photograph as an intro to visual rhetorical analysis. One student brought up that it mimicked the Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima photograph from WWII.
Me: And quick review, of which country is Iwo Jima a part?
Other boy: No, Vietnam, stupid.
And it’s only Monday, y’all! Thankfully a darling junior brought me flowers today, so it will be a good week.
|My podium view – all prepared!|