Pertaining to the movie

Enriching Global Citizens.

It’s part of the ISK motto and my 7th grade homeroom class gets a dose of “How can YOU be a global citizen?” questions from me every week. We’ve discussed it from a lot of different angles. For a while now we’ve been watching Fiddler on the Roof (in 10 minute increments) to gain an appreciation for other citizens of the world. We discuss the historical events happening in Russia toward the beginning of the week and watch the movie toward the end.

It’s been surprising to me just how much the students have attached themselves to the characters. At the beginning they made fun of Tevye and the way he danced and talked to God. Now they share his pain as each daughter delivers an increasingly difficult marriage request. I can’t tell how they feel about Golde, but they are keenly interested in the fate of the Jews in Anatevka. The “mischief” that was stirred up at Tzeitel’s wedding really got to them.

Today we discussed the death of the Romanoff family. The kids were sad until someone asked, “Wait, was Tzar Nicholas in charge during the time period of Fiddler on the Roof?” I confirmed. “Well then, he deserved to die. He didn’t treat the Jews well.” Someone else chimed in, “But his daughters didn’t deserve to die. They didn’t do anything wrong.” A third, “Yes, but if their father was killed then they would live with sorrow for the rest of their lives. And no one knows what a child who has lived with sorrow will do.”

I’ve been mulling over that last phrase all day. It doesn’t really seem to have anything to do with being a Global Citizen and yet having empathy for someone who has “lived with sorrow” would be an admirable goal for these kids. Fiddler on the Roof is definitely teaching them about living with sorrow. Rwanda is also a good place to learn about that. Some of these very students might look back upon their childhood and see sorrow.

So where do we begin?

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2 Responses to “Pertaining to the movie”

  1. As far as where we are to begin with this monumental task of being a global citizen, I think the only first step we can possibly take is to love the people next to us as best as we can, and encourage them to do the same, setting off a chain reaction that will reach around the globe. Being a socially conscious member of the economy is also good. Fair trade and all that.

    As far as what a “child who has lived with sorrow will do,” well, we know EXACTLY how that turns out…

    Batman.

  2. Rushton, I’m just waiting to get a classroom of Batmans (Batmen? Batchildren?). Bring it on.

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