Skip to main content

Creepy Poster


This morning's lecture might have been the best classroom session yet. Our presenter, Dr. Christopher Hamner, was guiding us through a presentation about motivations for soldiers. I liked his approach, and the kids did too. He didn't have a script necessarily, but had a lecture that sounded more like a conversation. His Powerpoint slideshow was almost entirely images, with the occasional slide offering questions for us to ponder or big points he was trying to summarize. He invited questions and comments.

When he got to the poster seen above, one of the students said that he found the poster creepy. The classroom erupted. And I can't help but agree with him. There's several suggestive elements to the figures in this poster, and as I shared with one instructor here, I'd blush if I tried to articulate what made it creepy. Therefore, the student's choice of the word "creepy" is good enough for me.

What that student's response did, though, was cue our lecturer to take the symbolism another level deeper. I could see Dr. Hamner immediately shift gears, and he engaged in talk with the class about the role sexuality and masculinity played in motivating men to enlist.

We've now been through six lecture sessions. Some lectures were more traditional, some more loose. Some were on pretty technical topics. Some abstract. But with each, the students were locked in. It's a powerful example of what motivation, culture-building, curiosity, and preparation can make possible in the classroom.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Second Trip

It's my privilege to travel for a second straight summer on a trip that involves research. In the winter I was accepted to a program underwritten by the National Cemeteries Association (which is part of the Veterans Affairs Administration) that involves research on the Korean War.

That it's the Korean War, not World War II, is one difference between this summer's work and last summers. Additionally . . .

I'm learning about two servicemen, not just one.

There are no students.

The no students thing is a bit disheartening. I came to adore the fifteen young men and young women on last year's trip. However, it's nice that I get to do the researching.

But I'll see many familiar faces on this trip: Paul, Amy, Lynne . . .

And I'll have the chance to eulogize a fallen hero, and to immerse myself in a period of history.

And I'll have the chance to bring something back to my classroom that is shaped by what I see and do.

- - -

The research began in February w…

Eulogizing Bruce

I leave for Hawaii Wednesday. On Sunday I will have the opportunity to eulogize one of my two Marines by his grave in Hawaii. The honor becomes clearer as I get closer to this date. 
You may remember from an earlier post that Bruce is one of only six Pennsylvania veterans of the Korean War buried in Hawaii's National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Six seems like an awfully small number for a conflict that claimed a total of 2,401 lives from my state. (You can see a listing of all casualties, by state, at this Archives website.) To understand why this is so, I draw on what I learned from Lauren's research and the Normandy Institute. 
In World Wars I and II the next of kin for deceased American soldiers were offered a choice for their loved one's remains: interment overseas in a U.S. cemetery or repatriation to the U.S. If brought back to the U.S., that serviceman may be buried by the family or a U.S. cemetery here. This policy was the result of a compromise, struck in W…

News from Korea and the Work of the DPAA

I just caught an interesting news story in the Washington Post. You can read here of how the U.S. has received the remains of Americans missing from the Korean War. Toward the middle of the article, it mentions a center in Hawaii that houses a forensics lab for the identification of remains. The facility is where the Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency does the important work of identifying the remains of America's servicemen lost overseas.

The New York Times also has coverage of this story. Here is their article.

On Monday the group of teachers on the Memorializing the Fallen trip had a chance to tour parts of this facility and learn of the work of this agency. They prize themselves on the important and challenging work that they do. Their work goes beyond forensics. Anthropology and archaeology are central to this work too. Military know how, also, as it's usually a small contingent of active duty armed forces that lead these missions.

Dignity and honor is also central to it.…