Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pouring my Heart out Through a Project

So I was sitting and listening to some songs that had a deeper meaning to me and my life and happened to remember one of the projects I had in Sociology in high school.  I honestly cannot place where it fit into the curriculum, but I think it had to do with musical revolutions, effects on the mass media and public, as well as "soul-searching" tunes that spurred movements like Woodstock and whatnot.

Anyhow, back to the point.  The project was to assemble a plethora of song lyrics into a conglomeration that would reflect your life, that meant a lot to you, that literally represented pieces of your life, etc as you get the picture.  For each section of song lyrics or at least relatively frequently/sporadically you would have a separate document that would say what the name of the song and band was for it, then why you chose it, what it represented, etc in whatever fashion you so desired.

At the time, the teacher was one of the few who knew how much I had going on in my life that was weighing me down, and so I felt enough of a connection to be able to pour out quite literally my entirety of emotion into this project. I believe I had assembled roughly five pages of purely song lyrics, and then a corresponding ten pages of written explanation.  It was perhaps one of the most liberating exercises I had ever done. Ever. That's saying something for being a simple project that the teacher probably expected a few pages, maybe not even that much.

I know it had a huge impact on his life as well, knowing how much I connected and looked up to him as a mentor and role model, and he asked me specifically after class one day if he would mind if he kept the copy of the project and did the whole name-white-out thing for privacy but to use it as a an example for students like myself in the future.  It was a great honor, despite it being so small.

I don't really know how much practical application it has in terms of learning the curriculum of whatever state standards the government wants to shove down the throats of teachers.  However, if I can find a way to make it applicable then I would probably try to make a variation of the project.  I think it was an option between that or a short essay test or an independent project, which makes more sense.  However, if I can reach out and help a student the way that he did for me, then I think it makes years of studying education and heavy workloads worth it.  Just changing one student's life and keeping him alive would effectively allow me to have repaid everything.

1 comment:

  1. That is truly an awesome story. I think I would have connected similarly to an assignment like that. It is definitely one of those things you should implement in your class some day. It's a great idea, something that you know works, and something that all students could do.
    I agree with you, too.