Intrepid Girl Reporter

Monday, 4/7: two songs about Anne Frank
April 7, 2008, 9:05 am
Filed under: ACT, IGR Recommends, music, skool, students

I love my second graders more. I’m not even going to front here. Maybe it’s because I know some of their names now, but I look forward – I even get excited about – seeing them. The first graders are fine and cute and all, but with the exception of 1K, whom I see every week, I don’t know them all that well, and I find myself caring less.

My affinity for these classes is only strengthened after days like today, in which I taught 4 classes of first graders, only one of which could be said to be listening. And I am prouder still of them when I think of last Wednesday, when a small cadre of drama-loving girls staged a minor revolt against Co-Teacher F.

I like Co-Teacher F, personally, but apparently he hits too much for some students’ tastes. As a result, he made two of my better-behaved students cry quietly all through class Wednesday, which dampened the mood, as you might imagine. On the opposite side of the room, girls kept trying to call my attention to the situation by writing me notes that said things like “Teacher hit.” We were still studying the subjunctive, so I got sample sentences like “I wish teacher is fired.” When I told them that that wouldn’t fly, they changed it to “I wish she or he is fired” and pointing, rather unsubtly, to the hitter in question. As a result, I had to drag two of the crying girls and one of the protesters to the gyomushil and foist them off on ACT, who discussed the issue with them and promised to intervene so that Co-Teacher F does not hit them anymore.

My pride is mitigated a little bit by my shame in not having intervened, but, of course, here’s the thing: I don’t think any students should be hit, but I see corporal punishment being inflicted literally every day. While I may privately judge this, I still feel that this is a different culture and educational system, one of which I’m not part, and one I don’t always understand, so I’m not really qualified to or justified in stepping in. But I guess girl students aren’t hit that often – there are all these nuances to the punishment system that I don’t get – so when one is hit, it’s a big deal. But I’ve become so used to turning away that it didn’t occur to me that something might be wrong with what was going on. So I suppose I’m proud of my girls, even though I know part of their motivation was attention, simply because they gave me something of a wake-up call. In addition to stepping in for their friend.

And for the record, Co-Teacher F came to me later, apologized, assured me that if I ever had a problem I should talk to him directly, and informed me that he used to hit a lot more, but had become much better about it. Well, good for him.

Soccer and I were discussing Neutral Milk Hotel the other day, and Jeff Mangum’s obsession with Anne Frank came up. I told her that he wasn’t the only one obsessed with Anne. Here’s a Ryan Adams bootleg and perhaps one of NMH’s best-known songs, “Holland, 1945.” They both take very different approaches to the subject.

Ryan Adams – Dear Anne

Neutral Milk Hotel – Holland, 1945


1 Comment so far
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the only thing i don’t like about the ryan adam’s song is that he says she was 16; however, she didn’t make it to her birthday. she died in march, which means she still would have been 15.

Comment by My name is James

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