This morning at Project Citizen, we began to talk about problems occurring locally, nationally, and globally. As we jotted down problems that occurred in each area, we got to learn a lot about the hidden messages and meanings of these words. Interestingly enough, it was easier for most students to talk about problems occurring nationally, whereas it was hard to figure out what was occurring in the rest of the world and (especially) locally. Many students blamed media for never narrowing down incidents happening in their hometowns and media’s focus on national (and sometimes global) events.
Later on in the day, Project Citizen was joined by a group of teachers as well as Dr. Crandall, head of the CWP program, for an informative lesson about the value of using different forms of writing as tools for the expression of ideas. By taking a single event, of Organization Officer, Abu, smashing an egg on the floor, and then challenging participants to write from assigned, unique perspectives with various formats (ranging from haiku, to news report, and even obituary), students learned how writing is a vessel for sharing ideas and understanding others. Dr. Crandall also spoke about the Allegory of the Cave, describing how exposing ourselves to new truths can be difficult to understand and express. Communication across cultures and peoples isn’t always easy, but through writing we can become more informed and compassionate global citizens.
It helped that the pieces were also funny, especially one poem written by a teacher in the perspective of a child. This poem was all about hating Abu. In fact, Abu eventually walked into the room at the end of the activity and listened to the poem about him. Jokingly, Abu offered his box of popsicles to the teacher to apologize.
Altogether, the class really enjoyed having the opportunity to use their creativity to make something both silly yet important in garnering understanding of perspective.
Students have expressed feeling happy to be able to share with individuals who aren’t much different than themselves.
Written by Xavien, Sean and Amelia
Edits by Kira