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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Anne Frank

I just finished watching ANNE FRANK the movie. (Better late than never, do you agree?)
Some sentences and scenes of the movie were adapted from Anne Frank’s Diary. Some others, I think, were based on what happened in the reality of the second world war as well as the crazy troops of Nazi’s way to treat the Jewish. Some others, perhaps, were based on the imagination of the scriptwriter. You know, even though there is writing ‘based on the true story’ at the beginning of a movie, it cannot be avoided to include some imaginary parts.
People all know that Anne Frank died in one concentration camp due to typhus. This diseases attacked many ‘prisoners’ in the camp due to very limited food and drink as well as unhygienic condition and clothing.
Still my heart was broken when watching the parts when Margot, Anne’s sister, looked so terribly ill; when Anne’s food was stolen by another prisoner; when Anne was unhappy thinking that she would live all alone if Margot died. Before that, she heard that her dad died in the ‘gas room’, and her mom died too because of something else.
I even still expected that in the movie, Anne would survive.
Or at least, the movie would not have scenes where Anne died. I did not want to come to that part.
And the movie really did not show the part when Anne died. I felt a bit relieved. I did not need to be mourning uselessly.

However, I still felt blue after that. When reading Anne Frank’s diary I knew that her dad survived. He himself had his daughter’s diary published, to tell the world the cruelty as well as the inhumanity of Nazi. When I watched the scene of Otto Frank collapsed due to very deep sadness knowing his daughters died in the camp, I almost could feel the similar sadness.
If only Anne had known that her beloved Pim still survived, perhaps she would have tried hard to struggle to survive too.

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In one class

Last Thursday, my Intermediate 1 class discussed “Reaching for the Stars”. To lead the students to the main topic, the book provided a picture: a quite fat female teenager who has short straight hair is imagining to have a tall slim body and long wavy hair (typical ‘beautiful girl’ according to many advertisements on printed as well as electronic media.)

Here is the way I lead the discussion:
Teacher (T): “What do you see in this picture?”
Students (Ss): “A girl…”
T: “Can you describe what this girl looks like?”
Ss: “She is fat, plain, and she has short straight hair.”
T: “What is she doing in this picture?”
Ss: “She is dreaming of having a perfect body, just like the girl in the bubble…”
T: “Describe the girl in the bubble, please…”
Ss: “She is tall, slim, pretty, and she has long wavy hair.”
T: “Why is she dreaming like that?”
Ss: “Because she thinks that she is ugly.”
T: “Why do you think that way?”
Ss: “Because she doesn’t have a boyfriend, perhaps?”
T: “Why do you think perhaps she doesn’t have a boyfriend?”
Ss: “Because no boy is attracted to her.”
T: ”So, what kind of girl is attractive?”
Ss: “Just like the girl in the bubble…”
T: “Why do you think this girl is pretty?”
Ss: “Because she is pretty…”
T: “You don’t answer my question well. What made you think she is pretty?”
Ss: “?!@#$%^&*???~!@#$%^??…….”

And this made me ‘preach’ about the ugly impacts of watching television.
 Advertisements on television with their so-called beautiful women (‘beautiful’ according to the producers) have magically shaped people—mostly teenagers about what ‘beautiful’ is.
 Advertisements have created mass culture about many aspects in our life (including to be “true women” so that they will be wanted and needed by men or parents-in-laws to be)

Due to this, many people—mostly women and teenagers lose their being critical.
My suggestion to my students, “Don’t watch television!”
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