Time is ticking. There is so much going on and I am trying really hard to stay focused on capstone amidst it all. The snow days were pretty productive, and I rewrote the objectives into a more in depth lesson plan that Mr. Mikalaitis provided for me. I have started making the slideshows for the lessons as well. It is much harder than I thought it would be, especially since I'm not sure how much information to include. On one hand my capstone mind is telling me just to put pictures and no words, but then it also has to have some words because that's what classroom slides look like. So I am trying to find a balance. Also I have been putting off creating the slideshow for lesson 3. It is about contextualizing U.S. intervention in Latin America and discusses the background of various leftist movements across Latin America. But it is so broad and I still have pretty limited knowledge on that topic, especially since much of my previous research has been regarding U.S. intervention in those countries, rather than the context. I have started doing that slideshow, but then I moved on and will come back to it after I have researched it more. I am a little over half way through creating content for the curriculum, and so far it's going pretty well. I will meet with Mr. Gavin at some point in order to go over and edit the materials. I also have to finish the worksheet templates for the lessons. I have that and the website to finish, but the website is mostly just putting the work I've done on it. I can't believe we are already this close to the end!!
This is the template/example that Mr. Mikalaitis shared with me
It's crazy that my project i due so soon. I have been working pretty hard on the curriculum, and am really excited for the final product. I have been modeling it sort of off of Ms. Webb's class where it is not all like slide shows and information but also interactive activities and discussions, as well as some VTS and worksheets, because I really want the class to be engaging because I feel like this is a really important topic and want students to feel passionately about it as well.
I've been meeting a lot with Mr. Gavin which has been incredibly helpful because a lot of the time I feel pretty stuck and overwhelmed with information but he makes everything seem a lot simpler and puts things into perspective, which really helps me narrow things down, especially regarding everything to involve in my curriculum.
One thing I want to add in but am not sure how is the corporation intervention and involvement in various countries. For example Chiquita banana in Colombia funding many right wing death squads. I want to include this but am not sure exactly what lesson to include it in because it is not necessarily government intervention, but it does have a little to do with the cold war because the reason the civil war started was because of CIA suggestion of a paramilitary group, that was further perpetuated by Chiquita banana funding them. I think I might include it in the section about later intervention during the Cold War, seeing as it would be a good bridge into the changing nature of intervention.
This is the video that I am planning on using to talk about it:
The only problem is it comes off as quite bias, so it might not be the best one to inform students regarding the event right off the bat.
Ahhhhh midproject deliverable coming up Monday. I think I'm in pretty good shape, just have to finalize a couple of things, like the survey and the lesson for Cuba.
I had a really productive and informative interview with Ms. Perry de la Rosa last week. She lived in Argentina at one point and told me a lot about the culture and popular knowledge there about intervention which was super interesting. Now I need to get in touch with other people coming from countries of intervention. My only problem is I wouldn't know how to go about interviewing people without feeling like I was prying, especially if they experienced anything bad because of the violence in their countries.
Additionally I am starting to doubt the layout of my curriculum. As I was talking to Ms. Perry de la Rosa, I remembered that last year the class was structured so that each person would have a country to research, then she would lecture about broader themes and we would research and present about that country regarding a topic. I think a structure like that would be more interactive, but on the other hand, the topic of my lessons is already so specific that if I end up trying to format it that way, with students doing their own research, I don't know what to put in the in class lessons. For my mid project deliverable I'm just going to keep what I worked on and then change it after, depending on what I discuss with Mr. Gavin.
(Also I would upload the interview to the website for the "proof" but Ms. Perry de la Rosa requested that it not be, so I will send it to one of you guys)
If I don't actually watch the video, I sound pretty confident about what I'm talking about. But when I watch myself, I seem anxious, I keep swaying back and forth and looking at the screen for some reason. I didn't feel nervous at all about presenting, which was a little strange. I was actually super excited to share everything I have learned so far. But for some reason I am still swaying back and forth like that. That is one thing I have to work on. I talked pretty fast, even though it didn't feel like it while I was presenting. So I should also make a mental note right before to slow down and breathe.
I only looked at the card when I was reading a direct quote from someone. But I did quote a lot of people, especially for my second bucket. Maybe I should cite them but not use as many direct quotes? Also, I want to find more quotes and examples of the anti immigration movement in America, I feel like I didn't expand on that enough and I still had some time.
As far as content goes, I think I might have to explain a little more about the history of U.S. intervention in specific countries, and how the degree of intervention varied according to country. And I definitely need to mention either Chile or Argentina. On the feedback cards, nobody seemed confused about my topic, but that was 3 people. I want to make sure that everyone really understands what I'm talking about, especially so that they can tell people about it if they were really interested about U.S. intervention connecting to migration.
Additionally, I want to bring Francisco's story into this, because it's so personal to me, and it could be to the people of Boston. I have been talking to Mr. Gavin, and he said that Francisco's story would be a good thread to follow throughout my presentation, because it really does stem from everything I talk about. So I want to try and work it in somehow.
Overall I am pretty happy with how my presentation went. It was a little hard to tell because the audience was pretty small, which meant that I wasn't as nervous, and also it was hard for me to gauge their response to my presentation. But as far as content and overall presentation, I think I did a pretty good job including reliable sources, projecting and using vocal inflection, and explaining my project and the research I have been conducting in a clear manner. I still have to work out some stuff as far as content, and stop swaying!!
This past week I have been feeling really overwhelmed with my project. I am very interested in U.S. intervention in Latin America but I feel like there is so much to learn about it, especially considering how little I knew going in to this project. So far all I have been doing is research but I feel like that is not getting me anywhere because the more I read, the more I realize I don't know about this topic. So I have decided to take a new approach to my project. Instead of researching for research sake, I will focus on producing something, and hopefully when I find the information I need for that part of the project, I will also learn something about intervention and immigration as a whole. I am going to start really focusing on my curriculum and interviews, and the research I have to do for each individual lesson, will also serve as research, but it will be more focused and with a purpose, instead of just reading article after article without looking for anything in particular. Mr. Gavin shared some lesson plan outlines with me, so after my 3x7 next week I am going to get serious about planning my curriculum.
This is an outline for a lesson plan that Mr. Gavin sent to me
So much snow!! I've been watching lectures on YouTube from professors discussing U.S. intervention in Latin America during the Cold War. In one of the talks, a lecture from professor Stephen Rabe, he discusses how Latin American countries are currently treating the history of dictatorships during the Cold War and all the atrocities that were committed under each dictator, versus how the U.S. is treating its involvement. It was interesting to see how the U.S. has done very little to speak about these issues, while there have been extensive measures taken in Latin America to seek justice for the victims.
I think that I have found a good "take away" for my project and presentation. I was concerned that my topic might be too specific. In that, there is so much that history textbooks don't cover, so why focus on my specific topic? So I think my new will be something along the lines of "history classes/curriculum must remain flexible to accommodate learning related to the world we live in today, and current events". When I interviewed AP teachers, they said that because of the deadline and the material on the test, it is difficult to have any sort of in depth discussion. But when looking at the reasons for studying history, they agree that it is important because it allows us to understand the present. So in that case my project is just an example of looking at a modern day phenomenon (immigration) in historical context (the context of U.S. intervention in Latin America).
I’ve started planning my website and making all the different tabs for it. I’ve been writing paragraphs for each tab and decided to have a slideshow for each different phase of intervention to talk about important events that are in my timeline. I have a lot of tabs to write stuff for and should probably get them edited. I’ve watched a lot of crash course videos to learn about interventions and stuff. I have a lot more tabs to write about, each for which I have to do a lot more research. But since Laramie will be over I will have time to work on that before Thursday.
Last weekend I went to New York to watch Latin History for Morons by John Leguizamo with my cousin. It was absolutely phenomenal. I am very glad I went with my cousin and not my mother because it was kind of inappropriate but it was soooooo funny. It also kind of reminded me of Molly’s video of the Eastern Europe trip because he managed to find a good balance between humor and also serious topics such as the genocide of Native Americans, without detracting from the seriousness. There were a lot of times a hush went over the crowd when he talked about the sheer number of people wiped out, and other subjects like that. I wish he talked more about modern day, because for the most part he did not really go further than the civil war, as far as in depth explanation is concerned. Also it was focused on Latino aid in U.S. conflicts, so like Latino generals and stuff, which is not really my cup of tea. But it was still very entertaining. I also gained some ideas for my project. I want to also have at least one lesson about the anti immigration movement in this country, because that was something he talked about a lot. And as far as the whole show goes, I think he eloquently relayed the problem of mis and under representation in history textbooks, which is one of the central focuses of my project.
This week I started interviewing history teachers. My first subject was Mr. Gavin. Since he’s my mentor it was kind of like a rough draft but it went well! I also have to write some more interview questions, specifically the interview questions I plan to ask immigrants who have come here. It’s hard because I don’t want to come off as insensitive or prying or anything, and some people don’t really want to talk about stuff.
My illegal photo of the set at Latin History for Morons
My cousin and I visiting an art gallery in Soho (the art was weird)
Watching this talk, the first thing that hit me was how annoying my voice is. But once I got over that, I noticed that it was not as bad as I thought it would be. I talked at a good pace, and did not rush, which I usually tend to do. When I am nervous I sway back and forth when I speak and before I went up there I told myself I would plant my feet. But I must have been so nervous that I forgot, so I still have to work on that. In addition, I kept looking down at my card. My goal by the end is probably to not have to have a card at all, especially because if I don have one I am always tempted to just stare down and read off of it. But then again, I really don't want to get nervous and completely blank out.
Content wise, I think I explained my topic. The only words I used that people might not understand would be "push" and "pull" factors, which I defined in the beginning. I tried to include statistics, and the statistics I did include, I cited. I plan on including a lot more specific instances of U.S. intervention in my presentation though. Additionally I also think I want to broaden the historical range of intervention, to not focus on exclusively military intervention during the Cold War, but also previous military intervention, as well as more recent military intervention. I also think I might broaden the focus of the types of intervention to also include economic intervention. The last thing for the content that I have to make sure to include as well, is when talking about my final project, I have to define a desired outcome for the curriculum. This desired outcome has to be more than just to try and shift people's opinion of immigration, because that might be too bias for a classroom setting. However, even if it is not to change people's minds about immigrants, I think the curriculum would be important for having a more realistic and a deeper understanding about the U.S. and the U.S.'s role on a global spectrum.