29: Holocaust Education Program

I went to the AUM Holocaust Education Program this morning at the AUM Physical Education Complex, and not only was it wonderfully informative and very powerful and moving, but I got credit for three separate classes (out of the five I’m taking this semester). I’m not sure which one I’m more interested in… XD

Here are some pictures that I took at the Program. I apologise for the terrible quality of the photos: I was on the balcony, attempting to zoom in on the main floor with my rather terrible iPod Touch camera. I’ll give you a description of each picture, and hopefully you can figure out which part of the picture I’m talking about. ^_^

K iTouch Pics 04242013 042

This is a picture of the projector board at the Education Program: it says (or should say…) “Auburn University Montgomery Holocaust Education Program April 24, 2013” or something very similar to that… XDK iTouch Pics 04242013 043

This is a picture of some of the posterboards set up around the gym and also the candles that were lit for the Candle-Lighting Remembrance Ceremony (no really… XP).K iTouch Pics 04242013 044

Aaaaaand a random photographer guy taking pictures of the posterboards I was taking pictures of…K iTouch Pics 04242013 045

This is actually a rather good picture… Sorry random person whose head is in the frame. XD This is the candle-lighting ceremony that I mentioned in the previous picture: a reverend from Alabama State University and a rabbi from Montgomery are lighting the candles, while another rabbi from Montgomery is standing at the podium. (I know one of the rabbis is from Montgomery because I’ve sung at Temple Beth Or where he preaches [if that’s the word], but I don’t really know where the other one’s from.)K iTouch Pics 04242013 046

A close up of the same candle-lighting ceremony… K iTouch Pics 04242013 048

This is the director of the History Department at the podium, and a Holocaust survivor and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor sitting at the table. I’m fairly sure that their names are Max Helzer and Denise Roberts.K iTouch Pics 04242013 049

And a close-up…K iTouch Pics 04242013 050

Umm… I think this is someone else on the faculty of AUM at the podium and the two speakers still at the table, but I could be wrong. Sadly, I don’t remember what it actually is… XDK iTouch Pics 04242013 051

This is the dean of the School of Sciences at AUM at the podium, and again the two speakers at the table. This was very near the end of the program.

What I didn’t take pictures of was the part of the Frontline documentary, called “Memory of the Camps”, which is a documentary made out of film taken by film crews who travelled with the American & British liberation troops who went to the Nazi concentration camps. We only were shown the bits on Bergen-Belsen, which was probably sufficient, but very informative and fascinating, though probably because of the sheer number of images from the camp. I am very interested in seeing the rest of it, if I can find it, and I would very highly recommend at least the parts of it that I saw to anyone interested in the Holocaust. Of course, there is a warning for disturbing images, but as this is the Holocaust we’re talking about, it shouldn’t be really a surprise. (I’m sorry, that was rude. … But it is true. XD)

I am very glad that I was able to go to AUM’s Holocaust Education Program, and I’m very grateful that Dr. Woodworth allowed us to go to this Program if we wanted instead of class. (Of course, because she has bronchitis there wouldn’t have been class anyway, but she’d promised to let us go even before she came down with bronchitis. Get better soon Dr. Woodworth!!) I immensely enjoyed every minute of it, which is true, but also sounds like I’m a horrible person because the Holocaust isn’t really something you’d use the word “enjoy” to describe. But the words “interested”, “fascinated”, and “moved by” don’t quite seem like the words to describe my feelings properly. “Enjoyed” isn’t quite it either, but it’ll have to do for now. And with that, I leave you. I fully intend to learn as much about the Holocaust through future programs and memorials as I possibly can, and I hope you will too, as the Holocaust is an event that needs to be remembered.

Remember on.

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

This is a post about the six-book series “The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” by Michael Scott. The first thing I must say is: read it. I’ll try my absolutely hardest not to spoil anything about the books, especially as some of my friends who read this haven’t read the last book yet, but I recommend it to everyone young and old who enjoys fantasy stories. Or stories in general.

The second thing I must say is that this series made me cry. Multiple tears, that actually ran down my face. I make a distinction because the last episode of the BBC show “Sherlock” made me cry one tear that sort of stuck, and Les Miserables (the movie that just came out) made me tear up. Messenger, by Lois Lowry, makes me cry about one or two tears also, but The Enchantress, which is the sixth book in the “Nicholas Flamel” series, made me cry at least five tears, which is pretty much a record for me for any book, movie, or TV series.

Michael Scott, the author, is apparently an authority in Ireland on mythologies and folk tales, and it comes through in his writing. All of his characters (except the two main characters and the island of Danu Talis) are directly from different mythologies, from ancient American tales to Celtic myths to the gods of Ancient Egypt. It takes place in modern times, so the characters have cell phones and fly in airplanes, but nearly all the characters are historical in some way, which pleased me no end when I first read them.

I could probably talk for hours about the series and everything that happened in the books, and particularly the things that made me cry in the last book, such as-no: spoilers. But I shan’t, as that would make for an incredibly long post, and probably an incredibly boring one for those of you who either haven’t read the books or have read them and didn’t find them interesting (which to me is unimaginable, but I’m sure there are people who don’t like them). And so I leave you for now the way I greeted you: read the “Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” series by Michael Scott. I truly hope that you will enjoy them and feel them as much and as immensely as I did.

And til next time dears: Read on!

10-Minute Writing: Brene Brown

Brene Brown, in her TED Talk on vulnerability, comes up with four ways to be a “whole-hearted” person: to not be afraid of being seen as your whole self, to have courage in being yourself, to accept vulnerability, and to feel worthy. Very poignant stuff, no? These are great strategies to try and implement in everyday life.
But my English teacher is having us go deeper. After watching the talk and thinking about vulnerability, she asked us three questions to have us answer in our blog post: What is scary about college? Can education be whole-hearted, just like people? How can we be whole-hearted students?

What is scary about college? For me, as a former homeschooler whose first experience in any kind of school environment is college, nothing is really scary. Okay, yes, I’ve never had to study for a test, so that is a bit strange and a tiny bit worrisome occasionally, but really scary? No. Vampires are scary. Thinking about living on campus in a couple years in college is a bit more scary than tests, because I’m known for procrastination, so I’m afraid that when I live on my own, it will just get worse. But in the whole scheme of life, the universe, and everything, college is one of the least scary things out there. At least homework can’t kill you.

Is it possible to have a whole-hearted education? By all means, yes. Most definitely. My mom tried to teach me and my brother (I am quite astonished that she didn’t lock herself up in an insane asylum after a few years, but I also really appreciate that she didn’t do that), and she dedicated the last 11 years (if not more) almost exclusively to helping us learn. She’s still helping, because I ask her questions if I have trouble with homework. So yes, I believe whole-heartedly (pun intended) that it is possible to have a whole-hearted education. Is it prevalent? No, I think not. But is it possible? By all means.

How can we be whole-hearted students? Put the entirety of your being into learning as much as you can. Okay, no, not all of the entirety of your being. Have a social life, most definitely. But don’t spend so much time having fun that you don’t learn things that can touch you in a way you never would have known, or things that will help you in ways you never imagined. You can definitely learn from your peers, mostly about human behavior and the Internet these days, but don’t discount the experience and knowledge of your teachers.

So yes, all these things are possible. I believe everything, whether humans or education, can be whole-hearted if you try hard and want it enough. But don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, and love with all your heart.