Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Connecting Old and New: Humanism

Old Themes, New Genres
My Handsome Grandpa
So this is my awesome grandpa back in the ...70's? He was a country grass rock star. No one could play the gee-tar like grandpa--or the mandolin, or the banjo, or whatever else had strings and would sit still long enough for him to play it.

Now grandpa's getting on in years, but he hasn't lost a lick of spunk. Last year he finished building his own motor home so he could take long weekends down to Las Vegas, and he just barely got a bicycle for Christmas so he can take long bike rides down to the drug store.

What has my grandpa got to do with our class? Well...
my own picture of my own grandpa
We have some cool old themes, some fun new genres and plenty of creative kids to work on a fusion between the two.

This is my brainstorm for how we can bring them together. Think of it as turning the hearts of the children to the Renaissance, if you will--we've got to find cool connections to today to catch people's interest (just like Jerrick was saying here--though adaptations can lose the specifics of the piece, it incites interest, which may be worth it!). 

First I'll try to synthesize the theme into a little bit more modern summary...

Humanism: This is the stuff of Les Mis's "Can you hear the people sing?" and Aragorn's "A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship... when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day!" Whenever you've been moved by a speech or a movie scene or even song lyrics, humanism was probably at work. As we've reviewed before, humanist principles quietly put into place such glorious stuff as "I have a Dream" and even "I'd like to buy the world a Coke." Whenever rhetoric championed intellect and reason, looked back to earlier masters of logic and debate or found mistakes in the original score (think "digitally remastered for better sound"), humanism reigned. We're talking  1776,William Wilberforce, evangelicals of 1830 and our own presidential debates. 

So how could be get this into a feasible video introduction? Remember our tweethis:
Humanism threw down established orders and doctrines in favor of the fresh, new worlds of individual imagination, claiming, “What a Piece of Work is Man.”
...and my grandpa.  Turns out you can teach an old theme new tricks, as he shows here.

receiving instruction from another granddaughter on how to work his very own cellular de-vice back in 2004

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