Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why Stick to the Classics

                After reading this title, you may be asking yourself, “is he insane?”  To answer that, no.  But why do we need to teach people about different literary elements through the use of classic literature.  Let’s be honest, a lot of high school students would rather have to read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or Divergent by Victoria Roth than 1984 by George Orwell.  Using these methods would be better than implementing the forced reading of a book that some people like while others can’t stand.
                Why is The Hunger Games not used in classrooms?  The answer is simple, it is not accredited.  However if we look at the definition of a dystopia, the Capital fits the definition perfectly.  A dystopia is a society characterized by human misery such as squalor, oppression, and disease.  The squalor is apparent as the members of the Capital are all rich while the twelve districts are all poor.  The oppression is the fact that the one small portion of society that rules can send twenty-three kids to their death annually with no question.  And the disease portion is less apparent but the entirety of District 13 is underground because of chemical warfare that decimated the land and rendered the people infertile. 
                That was for the high school level, but what about elementary school level students.  One great example is at the holiday season.  We should be teaching kids about each holiday and how they coexist.  Rugrats on Nickelodeon attempted to do this with the fact that Tommy was half Jewish and half Christian while Suzie celebrated Kwanza but there was never the convergence that all of them should work together for the common good.  There is one example that I can think of that would work.  The episode “A Season to Remember” from Power Rangers Zeo would fulfill this well.  This episode is best known for sending the entire fan community (both at the time and in the present) into a mad bout of simultaneous orgasmic pleasure that Tommy (the Mighty Morphin’ Green Ranger, White Tiger Ranger, Zeo Ranger V Red, the first Red Turbo Ranger, and Dino Thunder Black Ranger) and Kat (the Mighty Morphin’ Pink Ranger, Zeo Ranger I Pink, and the first Pink Turbo Ranger) get married and have kids and rage over the fact that the events from Power Rangers Dino Thunder tend to override these events (it’s a Disney-gen so it doesn’t matter).  That aside, the actual premise of the episode is simple, at Ernie’s, there is going to be a multicultural holiday celebration.  Each of the five rangers is showing some representation of a holiday.  Kat is Christmas south of the equator, Tommy and Rocky are Christmas north of the equator, Tanya is Kwanza, Adam is from Korea and celebrates nothing and one of their friends is Jewish.   So the story is that the Machine Empire steals their stuff and makes them turn against eachother (something that has never been tried before and never will be tried again).  It fails and it ends with the Jewish kid getting the Christmas tree.  This is what we should use to teach kids about equality, something that they would actually watch on their own and not stock videos.  One slight inaccuracy, Tanya is from Africa and as such would either be Christian or Muslim but she would not celebrate Kwanza. 
Both of these things are available at Wal-mart.  The Hunger Games can be found in books directly above Fifty Shades of Gray and the episode of Power Rangers Zeo is available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus or if you prefer DVD, you can get it on the DVD Power Rangers Samurai: Christmas Together, Friends Forever on October 16th

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