Last summer as my wife and I were waiting for a train to arrive in a NYC subway station...a street performer (actually a virtuoso violinist) began to play Meditation from Jules Massenet's French opera Thais (you may have to do a Wikipedia search to research the basic plot/ meaning behind this story). Basically, in this part of the opera Thais (a beautiful prostitute) is pondering her past life and the struggles/ choices between good and evil she faces in her future life.
As I "meditate" on our year together in US History, I often wonder if this learning has made a difference...
Has it just been a bunch of stories while students daydream, text, sleep, etc. and take a few multiple choice tests?
Do they understand what I'm really trying to teach them? Do they care?
Have I helped them to see the forces behind what drives history?
Can they recognize ISMS in "The Matrix" of past/ current events and fight against them?
Have they strengthened their power of agency and voice?
Are they willing to "use their feet" to be a socially conscious/ active person with deep empathy and passion for equity, justice, etc.?
Close your eyes and listen...
to (Austrian violinist) Fritz Kreisler's rendition of Meditation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6un_YIawX-E (4 minutes)
The juxtaposition of Meditation being played with nearby trains rumbling past/ drowning out pieces of the song deeply moved us both...the beauty of the song at that moment brought us to tears.
I hope the beauty of learning (while hearing the clashing noises of history, current politics/ racism/ injustices, etc.) will cause you to meditate deeply and stir you to know the universe of your dreams!
Thank you for a great year...