October 22, 2008
Honors English
Interview

His eyes closed gently his mind searching for the answer, "I was 26. Wait, possibly 25, oh damn, I'm lying right off the bat." Andrew Meade isn't the type of man who censors his language or keeps his humor 'G-Rated'. He mixes his salad with Caesar dressing, not low fat - though he is slim - with a healthy energetic look on his face even though he isn't 25/26 anymore. "The Challenger was that long ago..." he says, "Wow, that makes me feel old." Yet, Andrew doesn't realize he hasn't experienced much of what his generation has. He missed Vietnam, "I was five... what I do know, I learned from books". He had never being drafted, never near a deathly experience; yet his lack of his involvement doesn't mean a lack of awareness.
The Challenger lifting off.
The Challenger lifting off.

The Chal
Astronauts on the Challenger
Astronauts on the Challenger
lenger explosion was when a space shuttle on January 28, 1986 disintegrated and killed the seven inhabitants. A teacher, Christa McAuliffe, was voted to ride on the Challenger as a civilian’s view on outer space. While the six other members were killed, she has always been the person associated with the Challenger.

Andrew Meade isn't the type of man who limits himself to society's approved ratings yet he isn't a man without emotion, a man without feelings. "Do I think about the Challenger? ... It is the 4th cut on One World, I relive it once a month, minimum." One World is an album by John Denver. He is my father's idol, though, he says "He isn't my idol, I just find his music and his message inspiring." His message was inspiring. It inspired millions to say that John Denver should be on the Challenger. His fans wanted him to go the same reason people wanted the teacher, Christa McAuliffe, to go. John Denver "could express to all the world through his music what it would be like to be in space." As an idol, a off-Broadway play details the life of John Denver and a portion focuses on the emotions he felt during the Challenger explosion. The name of the play is Almost Heaven. The teacher would have done the same through her students. Essentially, John Denver's involvement in the Challenger reminds Chernin daily of the tragedy.

Why was this certain disaster stagnant in people's minds? "The whole world was watching this," Meade said sorrowful, "Every television, in every classroom... It was traumatic for the children. It was a disaster that everyone saw live." He goes on, "I was with Christina Meade, my wife, and another couple. We were in shock staring at the TV." It was obvious to the many watching that there were no survivors, "I saw only pieces." Andrew said. The goverment gave only basic details: faulty O rings, the fuel holding area leaked to the fire and ... an explosion.

Andrew Meade thinks about the Challenger explosion every time he hears They Were Flying for Me by John Denver. The words "They were flying for me, they were flying for everyone, they were trying to see a brighter day for each and everyone" stick with him. Even though John Denver died in 1997 in a plane crash, if he had died in the Challenger Meade would of been overrun with sadness but yet he said, "It wasn't even a though in my mind. I was too upset with the current situation."

Where would we be now without the Challenger? Would people be living on the moon? The Challenger stays in the mind of all who watched it as a reminder that we are in fact humans and we can't achieve everything in a day. Andrew Meade closes his eyes, chews his salad slowly. Andrew Meade isn't a man that goes along with the common feeling in the United States (politics) yet with the Challenger, Meade was just another one of the millions astounded by what he was watching on TV.

To hear an interview with Ed McCarthy 20 years after he eye-witnessed the explosion of the Challenger click here.
To see controversy with the Challenger explosion click here.
To read other people's memories and feeling with the Challenger click here.

A video starting with John Denver talking about his opportunity to fly on the Challenger and then a video tribute to the Challenger with the song "They were Flying for Me."



Haiku: (This is combined effort between Rachel Rosenthal and Cassie Chernin)

the first semester
of the last year of high school
cant wait to get out


Mr Saxon is
an interesting teacher
he picks the best books

Summer reading sucks
except the Fountainhead rocked
Rand has length issues

The Things They Carried
put me to sleep really quickly
was it real or fake?

Shakespeare was up next
Time Era Criticism
what a bad mistake

Looking foward to
a Godless individual
with a crazy mind



BOOK 1:
Title of Lesson: Children With Power

What the students understand when they finish your lesson with you:

a) The students will understand how children can be taught at a young age and the consequences of what one teaches them.
b) The students will also understand the role of children in 1984 and be thinking about the possibilities children have in affecting the plot.
c) The students will understand how to use Pages and/or Microsoft Word.

Main Standard you are achieving (the number and full description):
3. A. 1: Constructing Meaning from Media: Understand that messages are representations of social reality and vary by historic time periods and parts of the world.

Materials Needed and Technology Used:

a) Using Pages or Microsoft Work to create propaganda.
b) Google Docs Worksheet
c) Little White Sheets of Paper
d) Laptop

Opening Activity Description (What the students and you are doing):
I will hand out a fill in the blank informational worksheet with statistics relating to childhood education and see if the students can match the information with the statistics. After they complete the worksheet we as class will go over the right answers and discuss the influence children education has on the youth of America.

Middle/Main Activity Description (What the students and you are doing):
First discuss we will how the children act in the novel, 1984. We will discuss the quote above stated by Winston and talk about personal feelings and personal experiences with controlling kids. After we will talk about the definition of propaganda: the dissemination of information aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior and why children are so easily influenced. Then the students will make a poster that would illustrate the type of propaganda used to manipulate kids in supporting the Party. Also, make a propaganda poster pertaining to adults. After we can discuss the differences. We will share each poster and talk about the symbols used. I will be avaliable for help.

Closing Activity Description (What the students and you are doing):
First I will ask the class to write down a sentence or two on the white sheets of paper about children in history having power and control. Then we will discuss as a class. Finally, we will read the section in the book where Winston sees how the Parson kids act.

"Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it... All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children." - Winston, Book 1

BOOK 2:
Title of Lesson: Doublethink: Is it really that uncommon in today's society?

What the students understand when they finish your lesson with you:

a) The students will understand the concept of doublethink.
b) The students will discover doublethink in their daily lives and our own government.
c) The students will understand the different characters and whether they accept doublethink.

Main Standard you are achieving (the number and full description):
3.b.1: Listen to summarize, make judgments, and evaluate.

Materials Needed and Technology Used:

a) Venn Diagram Worksheet
b) 1984
c) Laptop

Opening Activity Description (What the students and you are doing):
We will discuss the various characters in 1984 and see if they accept doublethink. Also we will look at Winston and discuss the fact that he uses doublethink even though he is against the Party. We will talk about the issue of conformity.

Middle/Main Activity Description (What the students and you are doing):
We will read the paragraph about doublethink in Goldstein's book. Then we will look at our own government and see if they are trying to use the concept of doublethink. We will fill out the Venn Diagram which consists of: what they want you to think, the truth, and what you want to think.

Closing Activity Description (What the students and you are doing):
We will discuss as a class what each student wrote on their Venn Diagrams.

Mr Saxon, I couldn't figure out how to put the Venn Diagram online so I will hand it too you in class.

BOOK 2:
Title of Lesson: Will You Believe What People Tell You

What the students understand when they finish your lesson with you:

a) The students will understand how the Party can control the mind.
b) The students will discover how easily the mind can be manipulated.
c) The students will understand the text of 1984 in Book 3.

Main Standard you are achieving (the number and full description):
3.b.1: Listen to summarize, make judgments, and evaluate.

Materials Needed and Technology Used:

a) Wikispace
b) 1984
c) Laptop

Opening Activity Description (What the students and you are doing):
We will open and play a game. We will talk about the gossip going on around the school and I will insert random things that are completely false. I will wink at one of the players to have them go along with the false statements and see if the other student accepts the false statement as true.

Middle/Main Activity Description (What the students and you are doing):
There will be two questions about Winston in the Discussion part of my wikispace talking about his willingness to accept O'Brien as a party member and his giving in to the Party when threatened with rats. (Why do you think Winston always though about O'Brien and the darkness? How come he accepted O'Brien as a Party member easily? How come he gave in to the Party with the rats? Would this scare tactic work with you? Would you have given up?

Closing Activity Description (What the students and you are doing):
We will discuss as a class the answers to the wikispace questions.