We are one full week into isolation. In recognition of the exponential increase of Covid-19 cases in the US, my kids and I watched an episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood about dominoes (season 6, episode 2 if you’ve got Prime!). Then of course we set up our own displays of dominoes – smaller, due to shorter attention spans and a hundred-year-old crooked house.
Spartacus really likes the slow motion feature on my ipad, so enjoy his videos:
Both my kids’ teachers have put a ton of resources on Bloomz, the app they use to connect with parents. I hope to be able to go through the messages and catch up and play with my kids more, but it’s been tricky as Hubster and I also try to figure out our own classes with our students.
AP: Letter from Birmingham Jail
My AP English kids this week read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” You can listen to Dr. King reading his letter here. He wrote it in response to eight clergymen who were upset about his demonstrations, and it is rather lengthy because, in his words,
“Never before have I written so long a letter…I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
Some students mused that this excerpt sounded snarky or sarcastic in reading, while others felt that he spent the whole letter trying to respectfully respond to his critics (the reason we read this in AP English).
Deep thoughts in isolation
In our small-group breakout sessions, my students resonated with the idea of thinking deep thoughts while in isolation, as well as using some of King’s framework to evaluate the numerous government mandates coming down during this quarantine period.
Earlier in his letter, Dr. King defines just and unjust laws:
An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law.Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
By the governor’s order we are doing remote school at least until April 30. The health commissioner effectively closed churches this past weekend (to much community frustration requiring clarification). We’re only one week in with a stay-at-home order enacted tomorrow, and I fear for my students’ mental health and their faith. And my own. I had several girls that stayed online with me for almost half an our after class ended just to talk, because they are lonely (especially those who are only children).
Also it snowed yesterday, so that definitely did little to lighten the mood.