Do We Really Have Choice (mid-school-year reflection)

Coming back from Winter Break I gave the following assignment to my four middle school robotics classes and two media classes:

Introduction:

Congrats, we’ve made it through one-half of this school year, and you just spent two-weeks away from this place. So things should be okay. Are they? The question remains, how are we going to get through the next 19-weeks and can we make it better?

Video Lesson:

I love the idea that we have a choice in this matter, that the choices we make can make the experience going forward better. It’s all around us…

It seems pretty obvious, but somehow almost everyone seems to settle for the blue pill… but why? Some think that “choice” is an illusion. Honestly, unless you are living on your own, as I have for the past 40-years, it’s not really fair to ask that question.

In another movie from this past year, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, two-thirds of the way through the movie one of the big bad guys asks the young girl if she’s ready to meet her demise and she quips, “How should I know, I’m only twelve.” It’s such a perfect, honest line. You’re not supposed to have to make life and death decisions at the age of twelve. But everything is always put in these huge life and death levels. It can really wear you out, especially when there really are scary things happening around us.

So, this class, for the next 19-weeks, what are we going to do? Honestly, you don’t have a lot of choice as far as being here, in this room, for the next 19-weeks. But does that have to be a bad thing? We are here to study and do robotics. It’s not life and death, and except for showing up and being here for 50-minutes a day for the next 19-weeks, it doesn’t cost you anything. So why not make it something that works, that isn’t a pain in the butt.

Most kids understand that and are just looking for guidance to do whatever the class is about and then get out of there. That works, but it could be better. But how can it be better?

Activity:

In today’s warm-up I asked you to write a fun response and a serious response to the question: why are you in this class. In this assignment I want you to repeat what you wrote in the warm-up. I also want you to write two things that you are going to do to make things better for you, your classmates and your teacher. Be very specific and honest.

Click the START ASSIGNMENT button and write your response in the text box.

So, dear readers, if you’d like to participate please feel free to add your thoughts about his assignment in the comment area. Thanks for reading.

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