Corona Virus Quarantine Day #189: History Repeats Itself: September 25, 2020:
Today in my history class we were discussing the Treaty of Versailles, which was the treaty that ended WWI. For us historians, we know that this treaty was an enormous failure on many levels and that it created more problems than it solved.
We were reading documents that were discussing the treaty and when we read the following document it led the best discussion. Below is the document….
|Today’s artist lives in an era of dissolution, without guidance. He stands alone. The old forms are in ruins, the benumbed world is shaken up, the old human spirit is invalidated and in flux toward a new form. We float in space and cannot yet perceive the new order. Recollections from an architect on the postwar scene, mid-1920s|
After reading it and trying to figure out what it meant in regards to the shortcomings of this treaty, I asked them if they felt people living today could relate to anything this author was saying.
To this, a 15-year old boy replied, “if you didn’t know it was written in 1920 it sounds like the author is talking about today’s world.”
Wow. Insightful, I thought. So I asked a follow up question, why does it sound like the author is talking about today’s world?
A few more hands went up.
Things were said like:
“2020 seems like it’s own version of war, there is so much going on.”
“The author says things are in ruin and the benumbed world is shaken up…that sounds a lot like right now. Things are really shaken up.”
Ok, those are great points.
So another question, why does the world seem so shaken up?
“Corona virus” one student replied.
“Race relations,” another student said.
“The economy is a mess because so many people have lost their jobs because of corona virus,” said another student.
“The election has everyone fighting, when the author says the thing about floating in space, that’s what 2020 feels like. Everything is unknown.” WOW! I couldn’t agree more with this one.
We went on to talk about how, in the kids’ words, “the world seems to have lost its way.” Kids pointed out how people are only seem to be looking out for themselves, instead of others.” This one got me. This is a pet peeve of mine. I think this can also be tied to the never ending mask debate (which we won’t get into here).
I was so excited to be able to have a conversation of this nature with my class and in person. These conversations are simply not a thing online. I was so excited to know that these kids are thinking about what’s going on in the world around them. While only a few young people were brave enough to share these thoughts, I could tell by the mood and pulse of the room, so many others felt or thought the same things.
I am tired. This school year has been hard. On everyone. I am feeling it personally, professionally and with my own children. We are all trying to do the best we can. I am hopeful that we will get in a rhythm and things will get easier.
But these kids are right…things do seem shaken up…people do seem numb…the world seems to have lost its way and things do really seem to be floating in space.
I pray that things will improve and that our nation can find some peace.
I pray that people will stop accepting violence, rage and destruction as a form of expression. This isn’t helping anyone find their way.
I pray that the corona virus goes away or we find a safe vaccination soon. The virus really has changed all that we find “normal” and it’s taking its toll on everyone.
I pray that this election doesn’t tear our nation apart even more.
I pray our world and the people in it will find their way.
I will always believe there is more good than bad in this world. Sometimes, we just have to dig a little deeper to find it, because let’s be honest, good doesn’t seem to sell, so we don’t see it out there as much as we should.
I left my classroom today feeling so energized, feeling like maybe, I got their wheels turning a little bit. At the very least they know a little more about what’s going on in the world around them and they saw, even if for that brief discussion, the value in learning and studying history. It. Felt. So. Good.