The students examined an unbelievably moving photographic essay today. Renee C. Byer documented the tragic final year of Derek Madsen, who contracted an incurable form of childhood cancer. The essay, entitled, “A mother’s Journey” is not an ordinary cancer saga, rather it defines what family, tragedy and unconditional love is all about. It won numerous awards (including the 2007 Pulitzer) and cannot be viewed with indifference. It forces all of us to evaluate our lives and cherish the moments we have while occupying this most temporal of all worlds.
A great discussion ensued with the students – they trying to find common ground with the subject of the essay, a boy just a few years younger than they are. Powerful stuff.
To view this essay go to http://www.poyi.org/64/WUA/first_01.php
SCIENCE: students are just completing a unit on Motion. Position-Time Graphs; study of slope; average velocity; scalar and vector qualities. Unit exam s set for Feb. 14.
MATH: Students are completing their “Solving Rational Expressions” unit. A comprehensive algebra unit, the students are required to utilize the year’s skills in order to solve the problems.
ENGLISH: The students thoroughly enjoyed The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. A unit exam and in-class essay were completed last week. The students are just completing a vigorous Parts of Speech unit. The goal of this unit is for the students to be able to successfully diagram any sentence placed before them. Our next novel will be Ken Kesey’s classic: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
SOCIALS: Current Events are the focus of this unit. The current pipeline debates; state of Canadian reservations; mental health issues; ecstasy related deaths; are just a few of the topics we have been examining in class.
Streetfront continues to work in partnership with The Environmental Youth Alliance and Britannia’s Urban Garden Project. Currently the students are constructing a number of new compost bins for our garden. Barry and Ian Marcuse (Project Leader for Britannia’s Sustainable Food Program) will help the students create the design and then lead the construction. Students have also started planning which plants will be part of the spring seeding. An emphasis will be placed on traditional medicinal herbs, which will start inside the portable under grow lights. This will be followed by a pollination and bee hive building workshop. It’s wonderful to see the students start to recognize the impact food security can have.