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Adventures in Special Education

 
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 01:03 am
@Thomas,
My boss/friend was born in a Wyoming 'camp' in '44. A client of mine when I was on my own was in, in her early twenties, a camp in poland but she was a catholic - larger story which I'm just now exploring. Off the bat, my most interesting client. I've been looking her and husband up. Well, never mind.

Humanity roams in ugliness - took me a long time to see how much so since I had a somewhat buffered life, even when my life was in trouble.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 08:40 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:
littlek wrote:
Thomas, did you learn about our own interment camps for Japanese-descent Americans?


I did - a couple of years earlier than Thomas went to school.

But this was just and only because I did a presentation for our class myself [...]

Another piece of background for non-Germans, about those "couple of years" you alluded to: They profoundly changed education in Germany. You went to high school in the late fifties or early sixties. Although Germans did discuss the Holocaust then, their general tendency was to put it aside, and to focus instead on the pragmatics of rebuilding the country physically.

After you finished high school, the protest movement of the sixties brought major changes to Germany's general culture -- much as it did elsewhere in the world, including America. One part of that culture change concerned Germany's attitude to education (much more egalitarian and anti-authoritarian). Another major change was a new focus of public debate onto the Holocaust, and on old Nazis having regained influential positions since 1945. Many other changes occurred in Germany's culture, but they are irrelevant to this thread. The relevant parts are the transformed attitudes to the Holocaust and to education.

A few years later, when the "68ers" got into politics and education, they seized the opportunity to transform Germany's educational system. Consequently enough, their initiatives included a vigorous and successful push for Holocaust vigilance in Germany's schools. I went to high school in the 1980s, after they had finished most of their work.

That's why the age difference between you and me makes such a big difference to the education we got.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 09:36 am
@Thomas,
Interesting reading, thanks Thomas.

I can't really remember where/ when I learned about most of this stuff. I have the impression I'd learned most of it by the end of elementary school, because I remember a friend and I protesting the textbook account of something (treatment of American Indians? Vietnam? something like that) in junior high school.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 10:23 am
@sozobe,
Thomas - I didn't intend to imply that Germany in WWII should be compared to the US in WWII. The Japanese internment here was shameful, but what happened in Germany goes far beyond what happened here. I was mostly just curious about whether you learned about it.

Dlowan - what Japanese atrocities do you speak of?

Back to SpEd: I was shifted to grade 8 to accommodate changing schedules. I am being shifted back to grade 7 for similar reasons. I am covering someone who will be away for a week. The stresses they are having have to do with one set of parents and one student (unrelated). I won't get into a whole lot of details here. But, I started having anxiety dreams about them again. I hadn't really realized how stressed out I was for the first half of the year until I was out of that room and especially now that I will be back in that room.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 10:31 am
@Thomas,
That might be true, in general, Thomas. (I was just one single year in high school in the fifties!!!)
We discussed the Nazi period quite a lot, especially our history and German teachers.
It was a topic what interested us ... we were kind of 68'-pupils ... since all of us had actually seen (sic!) POW's returning from Russia, and even in our small town you still could see damages from the bombings up to 1960+.

I might add that we had a concentration camp nearby, the Möhne dam is in our county, we (my home town) were the Eastern end of the battle of the Ruhr, Niemöller was born here, a father of a classmate was in a concentration camp ... our school, our class might have been an exception.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 11:23 am
@littlek,
littlek wrote:
Thomas - I didn't intend to imply that Germany in WWII should be compared to the US in WWII. The Japanese internment here was shameful, but what happened in Germany goes far beyond what happened here. I was mostly just curious about whether you learned about it.

No problem, that's how I took your post in the first place. I just wanted to explain why not, rather than answering your question with a mere "no". And then the "why not" turned out to be more complicated than I had thought when I started writing my answer. Hence the novel.

littlek wrote:
I hadn't really realized how stressed out I was for the first half of the year until I was out of that room and especially now that I will be back in that room.

That sucks. I'd feel the same way if I had to go back to my own old job.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Mar, 2009 11:51 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Did you learn about Japanese atrocities?

I assume you mean the various war crimes in the territories Japan had conquered -- the rape of Shanghai, the mass-abduction of Korean women into forced prostitution for the military, and similar things. I couldn't swear there hasn't been a side remark or two. But basically the answer is no. We didn't learn about those, either. The curriculum in my schools was very focused on what the Germans did, for the reasons I described earlier.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 03:37 pm
Today was the type of day that makes me giddy - the kind of day that makes me remember why I am doing this for work. Scheduling mostly made this day good. I am down to one student (one who needs assistance badly) in one period and have fewer distractions with him. And, the last period of the day, the one when I wanetd to pull out my hair - only two today. A timeline....

Beginning of year last period had 4 boys in it, 3 with ADHD and one with a very mild LD. The three ADHD boys were all distractable and two were highly impulsive (still are). One is my little 13 year old nemesis. He enjoys getting under my skin (not just me). They all push buttons, but the two impulsive boys don't know when to stop. The difference between the two is that one does so by accident (poor social reading), the other does so seemingly for fun (for attention). He made a game of interrupting me because I was marking a tally mark for each interruption. He had 20+ in less than 3 minutes. That's like 1 every 10 seconds.

Anyway, today the ADHD/impulsive/button-pusher-for-attention boy was out. The mild LD boy was out. I had my former 1:1 and another boy. We had a long and wonderfully productive discussion about why I left the 7th grade. Even though they had been told I had no choice, they thought I left them on purpose. They thought I was fed up, or that I gave up. Hopefully they have resolution now. I know I feel a lot better!
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 03:42 pm
@littlek,
Super cool!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 03:46 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

dlowan wrote:
Did you learn about Japanese atrocities?

I assume you mean the various war crimes in the territories Japan had conquered -- the rape of Shanghai, the mass-abduction of Korean women into forced prostitution for the military, and similar things. I couldn't swear there hasn't been a side remark or two. But basically the answer is no. We didn't learn about those, either. The curriculum in my schools was very focused on what the Germans did, for the reasons I described earlier.


Yeah...plus the terrible atrocities against POW's.

A number of the people that were in my family's friendship group when I was little had (barely) survived and were very scarred, so that has always been kind of present in my mind.

I had wondered if, the Japanese being German allies in WW II, they would come under the rubric of "us" for German history teachers.

Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 04:00 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

I had wondered if, the Japanese being German allies in WW II, they would come under the rubric of "us" for German history teachers.


No, not at all (same with the Axis forces) - at least not in the the 60's.

We (in those days) only spoke more about Japan's role in the war because some documentary films were on tv at that time. (Early 60's.)
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 09:52 pm
@littlek,
littlek wrote:
Even though they had been told I had no choice, they thought I left them on purpose. They thought I was fed up, or that I gave up. Hopefully they have resolution now. I know I feel a lot better!

I'm happy to hear about your much-deserved day of reconciliation and peace. It's nice to see they cared why you left them, and how you feel about them. They seem to like you. That leaves 13-year-old malicious Mr. Button-Pusher. Here's hoping that in due time, you'll figure out how to detach your emotions from the games he plays, without closing your heart to the good kids. It's tough, but I'm confident you'll do it eventually.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 07:15 am
Quote:
they thought I left them on purpose. They thought I was fed up, or that I gave up


This sounds so much like Mo.

I'm glad you had a giddy day. Giddy days are great!
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 03:52 pm
@boomerang,
Yeah, Boomer. I was worried about one of the two in my room feeling abandoned as his family life has been a mess over the last few years.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 03:59 pm
"Hopefully they have resolution now. I know I feel a lot better!"

great!
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 09:47 pm
@littlek,
Whoooo boy. There is so much I could say about this (especially after spending an hour plus, standing in a field, talking to my friendly neighborhood pediatric psychiatrist (who has a child that she doesn't undertand, at all) today....

Things like:

.... how some things can't be "cured" or "understood".

... how Mo's teacher forgot that he had "issues" and how pissed I was but how I totally understood the forgetting.

... how I cut Mo off from his friend, his friend whose circumstances I worry about daily, because he wasn't good for Mo.

... how a million other things.

But I'm trying to get ready to leave town for the weekend so I'll just say that what you're doing is important but there is no way that you can resolve all the problems that these kids are facing.

You can't fix the families of these kids.

The fact that you even care most likely means the world to them because it tells them that they are worthy of someone caring.

I know it must be really hard to leave this stuff at work but for your own sanity you really have to do that.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Apr, 2009 09:21 pm
I don't stress at home, Boomer, I process.

Today one of my students asked if I shopped at Territory Ahead. I said no, and asked why she aksed. She said it looked like I did. Now I wonder why again. I browsed through the online catalogue - it's travel friendly, earthy colors, low-wrinkle clothing. Now I am wondering, would it be a good or bad thing if I did shop there? I told them I shop at TJMaxx, which is true.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 07:49 pm
Sooo .... Is your first school year finished yet? How did the rest of it go?

Just curious.
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