a step into my textbook

this is a blog that i started some time ago…. some info is a little out dated… like I went to houston in April. Sorry for any confusion!…..

There are moments in my life when I wonder if I am really reaching out to others. 

As apart of this journey, we have been inspired [and I guess semi-required] to make presentations.  I flew home to Houston this past weekend to do just that.  I spoke with a 5th grade class of about 70-80 students Thursday morning, to a group of 10 family and friends Thursday night, and a range of students during 5 class periods at my high school Friday.  And it wasnt until I recieved the bag a thank you letters from the 5th graders that I really felt that I had reached out to these children.  I was excited to hear that the students had so many questions for me.  A few of the students wrote apologies in their thank yous for asking so many questions.  I thought the questions were great, especially coming from 5th graders.  They were really able to relate what had gone on to what they see within their school.  That gossip and bullying and people thinking they were better than others- was really what the root of it all was.   

 A thought that I have had while making presentations here in the Amarillo area…. When we show the picture of the gate to the entrance to Auschwitz… “work makes free,” i have commented a few times [while trying to explain what it felt like] that it was like I had stepping into my textbook.  so many times we read our educational material, and just kind of place it outside of our world.  But we WERE THERE!  We did walk under that gate and into the camp.  We lived a chapter of a textbook.  Everything we learned that day could be found in a textbook- but we weren’t sitting in a classroom, being lectured to.  We were walking the barbed wire side walks- we were touching the glass which housed the hair and the shoes.  We were in the barracks.  We were walking the ground- so holy.

Little did we know- we were being changed.  We were becoming the people we are today- and I think that we are still changing- from this experiene. 

This is what we have experienced.  Lets look ahead into the future: every year, the readership program will advance [become better than it was the year before- getting kinks out and all that].  So- we have filled this blog with our words this year…. just think what will come of this program… in 10 years!  This university has the best yet to come.  Its going to be gorious, and I hope to be apart of it!
~Mandi

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Published in: on May 20, 2008 at 1:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

On Propaganda

Today my grandma told me about an email she had sent me. My grandmother is one of those grandmothers that have to send every chain letter they recieve for fear of [insert something terrible here] happening. She said I would really like it because it was about the holocaust.

I would like it?

She said that I would like it because it contains pictures from the holocaust featuring piles of dead bodies.

I like these things?!

So tonight I checked my email, and yes, I read my grandmother’s email, and yes, the pictures were horrendous. But this is not why I am so overwhelmingly pissed! The reason I am so vivid is because of the message the email was trying to convey. The email had the very true message of how we should not forget, but then it goes on to say that “the UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it ‘offended’ the Muslim population which claim it never happened…Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.”

Since when does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak for all Muslims!!! Do the crusaders of old or the Spanish conquistadors or the early colonizers of America or pedophilic priests speak for all Christians?! Does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak for all Iranians? Does President George W. Bush speak for all Americans?! Just because one Muslim extremist says the Holocaust didn’t happen doesn’t mean all Muslims believe that! One of my best friends is Muslim, and not an “Americanized” Muslim either (she lives in Turkey, a Middle Eastern country with the national religion being Islam), and she KNOWS the holocaust is not “a myth.”

Don’t people realize that this very kind of propaganda is what started the holocaust! Hitler turned everyone against the Jews and now people are trying to do the same thing to the Muslims. What I hate is this isn’t the first email I’ve read with this theme of “us versus them.” My aunt sent me an email a while back explaining just how Muslims are terrorists and that we should not complain about the high airport security. Don’t people know that like Judaism and Christianity, Islam is a religion based on the foundation of Love? Just like there are extremists for Islam there are extremists for Christianity (or any religion for that matter).

It saddens me that these students in the UK have fallen for the propagana of Mahmoud Ahmadinehad and that the UK is taking out The Holocaust from the curriculum, but we must not fall for the propaganda our own government and media is feeding us. We need to be intellectual activists and speak truth to power.

-Brant

Published in: on May 5, 2008 at 11:31 pm  Comments (1)