I woke up this morning without something to write about. I didn’t panic because I knew that I had treasure trove of Slicers to ignite me.
Thank you Margaret Simon for THIS one. Her powerful slice actually brought me to tears.
Movies often bring me to tears- those moments of honest emotion, couples, parents and kids etc. Tuvia is always poised with his handkerchief as I tear, often sob but my most meaningful movie tearing came from my continued viewing of award-winning Schindler’s List, created by Steven Spielberg, my hero.
My first time was on its opening day at the Spring Valley Marketplace, Christmas Day. I waited on a long time on a long line on a cold winter day and didn’t get in for that performance but I bought a ticket for the second showing hung out at Dunkin’ Donuts, drinking lots of coffee and reading and read and drank a lot of for the next three and 1/2 hours.
Once I was finally inside, sitting in a standing-room-only audience, the couple next to me began chatting. Holocaust survivors. From the opening theme song, the first frame of the film when the candle is blown out, we three began to sob.
I didn’t move for the next 3 1/2 hours. No one did.
I was sure I could never go through that experience again, but I have, many times.
Once this movie was out I couldn’t teach the Holocaust without it. Sure, it took time, close to a week of precious class time, given that I had a open policy that I would pause the film for any question or comment and my kids took that seriously.
There was a point in the movie though when my tears would start to flow and I never hid them from my 8th graders. Sometimes I had to walk out of the room and they understood.
Soon I realized that it was important for them to see me sob and understand my personal connection to this dark moment in history.
Once, on the last day of a viewing, my principal came looking for me on a prep period.
” I think you need to get down to the nurse’s office and check in with some of your students. You are needed.”
I raced down the staircase, taking the side door into Pat’s office. a circle of my students were sharing a hug with Pat. They opened a space for me.
We cried together. Good tears, in a circle of tears.
Thanks again Margaret.