Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dark Side of the Rainbow

Without question, my favorite band is Pink Floyd. Yesterday at school we had a power outage in more than half the building. If the entire building had gone out, the generators would have kicked on and we would have at least had some light but since there was power in parts of the building, the generators wouldn't kick on so we were in complete darkness. This change in routine and given the fact that my World Class Paraprofessional (we always called them teacher assistants back home) was out and had a substitute (as if anyone could replace her) did not bode well for my students. In order to gain control we started talking about music. I had several students with me that period who take a Music Appreciation class and it just so happens that they are currently talking about Pink Floyd and also Black Sabbath. I had some battery life on my iPod so I cued it up to perhaps the greatest album of all time, Dark Side of the Moon which just happened to be released the year that I was brought into this world. Coincidence? I think not.

It's hard to talk about that album without hitting on the magnitude of the coincidences that occur between it and The Wizard of Oz. It didn't surprise me that they didn't know what I was talking about and, once again, I had to marvel them with my intellect and shear genius. Needless to say they were impressed and had lot's of questions. Maybe 40 minutes later, the power kicked back on and I decided to seize the opportunity and quickly came up with a little lesson to learn these impressionable minds that sat before me like unmolested clay. I provided them with a list of resources (which happened to be in my favorites on my computer) where they could find some of the similarities between the two and had them decide on 10 things that they wanted to see for themselves from Dark Side of the Rainbow (a combination of both pieces). Having marveled at this many times myself, I did provide some guidance as to what things they should pay particular attention and, to make things easier, we just focused on the first 15 minutes or so of the movie. Then...we watched and paused before each of their similarities presented themselves.

Two words can describe the scene: captive audience.

One of the coolest parts of my job is that my administration team allows me huge amounts of freedom and they understand that sometimes I have to go outside the box for what can be difficult students so they buy into the bigger picture. My building Principal's are the biggest reason why I work in the school that I do.

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