Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Class About Life

I probably shouldn't have posted last night after I got home. I should have gone to bed, seeing as how exams start tomorrow.
Speaking of exams, the one I have tomorrow is in World History. This afternoon, we had a "review session," which was really just a massive competition of Bozo Buckets (a review game in which one member from each team tries to answer a question before the other, and the winner throws a ball into a trashcan to win extra points)- 1st period (us) vs. 2nd period (them). Oh, the adrenaline. Oh, the awesome. Have you ever seen 20 people chanting "Sexy bacon" at the same time? I didn't think so. That was our battle cry, for some reason.
We ended up winning, after an extremely tense tie and much hilarity (Chaney: What is the name of the code knights lived by? Cameron: NI! Competitor: Chivalry! Us: WHOOOOO!).
During this last quarter, we've been having "Storytime With Olivia" on Fridays, in which I read something to the class. It started out being for assignments, with other people presenting before and after me, but it developed into a regular occurence in which I read other things as well (such as "Paper Trenches").
After we won, most of my class ran out into the hall to do "victory cartwheels." Chaney called them back in for a few words, telling us that we were his two favorite WH classes ever. Before he dismissed us for the afternoon (this was after school), I jokingly asked Chaney, paper in hand, if I could have "one last moment in the spotlight". He said yes, and my class, eagerly cheering and telling the other class overly-inflated praise of my work. I try to tell them their opinions of me are enormously inaccurate and overestimated, but they refuse to listen. Here is the poem I read. I will explain the stuff you probably don't understand at the end.

A Class About Life
On the first day of school

We were told to memorize

The names of all these strangers

And build some friendly ties

Now we're a family of Spartans

We've been through thick and thin

Although divided down the center

We're united in the end

Taking notes and making jokes

Learning all the while

About to play Trench Warfare

Under guise of leaked ceiling tiles

Although Anna took forever

We finally got some fish

Toga day, movie day

Feast on many a dish

Growing stronger together

While learning about the past

Infalliable team of Bozo Buckets Power

Awesome until the last

Skit battles and projects

Test with no multiple guess

Turns out war is much more than

A tactical game of chess

Dancing outside in hopes of snow

Caroling from door to door

Thanks, Chaney, and class as well

I couldn't have asked for more.

Explanation: Part of our first test in the class was to fill out a seating chart with everyone's names. Chaney told us that we were going to be doing lots of group work, and we were really going to be more of a family than a class. We "didn't have to be best buds," but he hoped we would get to the point where we'd all say hi to each other in the hallway and such.
Our class, upon reaching the unit on Greece, immediately adopted the name of Spartans for our own (this was mostly a bunch of war-happy guys on the other side of the room). That's what we've been ever since.
"Divided down the center" is in reference to the aisle providing a walking space as well as dictating the teams when we play intramural Bozo Buckets and other games.
If you heard "Paper Trenches," you will know what Trench Warfare is in reference to, but since Cindy wasn't there, I will explain it. We were learning about WWI. One morning, there was a sign on the door saying "Sorry guys, room is flooded. Please go to room 2330. Love, Chaney." The room was flooded last year, and we had stains on the ceiling from something, so we believed him. It turned out that he had built trenches out of desks inside the room and we had a massive battle later in the period. I'll post the story to the Google Group.
Kenzie offered to bring in fish to be a class pet, and Anna volunteered her fish bowl, but she kept forgetting.
At the end of the Greece/Rome unit, we had Toga Day (wearing a toga over our clothes was a grade),watched clips from movies (Gladiator, 300, Troy), and had a potluck.
"Infalliable Bozo Buckets power" was heavily dependent on us winning, so I was glad for that.
We often had to do skits on various topics (since most of us loved acting, and Chaney loved watching what we would come up with), and certain groups of the die-hard Spartans always managed to work in our plastic sword and violent battles.
Chaney never gave us multiple choice tests or quizzes. He firmly believed that those were too easy and didn't require any thinking. I happen to agree with him on this.
Toward the end of the year, culminating when we watched the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan (TANGENT: It's rated R, permission slips hadn't been sent home, so we technically weren't supposed to be watching it. We all got out paper and set up the Powerpoint on the wall, and Chaney sat by the door with the remote. If anyone were to enter the room, we would pretend to be taking notes.), he began to focus on showing us how horrible war really is, with emphasis on all of the social, economic, and political consequences, instead of just "and then they fought a huge battle" "AWESOME".
The day before Holiday Break started, we went outside and did a Snow Dance (like a Rain Dance, but for snow), and then went caroling from classroom to classroom.
There. The explanation is done. This was a much longer post than I intended it to be. Sorry about that. :)

1 comment:

  1. You guys seem too have a lot of fun.

    The whole War-is-Horrible thing is the message I wish to convey in Dravolo's Reign.

    And if I ever go on the intercom again...THIS IS SPARTAAAAA!!!!


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