Thursday, March 26, 2009

Week One Summary

Well we had a fantastic first day. All of the classes had great energy and amazing ideas for their Operas. Dean and I were both thrilled with how well everyone participated in all aspects of the session. What a great start to the project!

The following is a brief summary of each of the classes Operas.

Ms. Moore's class
Theme/Working Title: School of Freaks

This story takes place in a school. One day the school is hit by a meteor which results in the girls becoming Vampires and the boys turning into Zombies and the school going into lock down. There is a great deal of conflict between both of the creature groups. Eventually, one of the Zombies and one of the Vampires re-kindle their best friend relationship that they had prior to turning into the creatures. This change in relationship acts as the catalyst for bringing the rest of the creatures together and becoming friends once again.

Mr. Scicluna's class
Theme: Social Justice

The story opens with a class sitting and watching a video illustrating the plight of many people in Africa. While watching the video the students express their disinterest, lack of connection, as well as a lack of understanding with those that are seen suffering, by complaining and expressing how useless they think the video is. The school day ends and the students leave for the day.

We then see three different scenarios in which the students are transported from their conventional, privileged lives into those of the children from the video. The three scenarios are:
  1. Kids playing hockey transformed into Child Soldiers
  2. Kids playing video games transformed into Child Labourers
  3. Kids on an outdoor adventure transformed into Children suffering from illness due to lack of Health Care

The final scene of the Opera illustrates the students coming back together with a new understanding of the plight of others and a determination to do something to help out.

Mr. Kennedy's class
Theme: Romantic Tragedy (almost)

This story takes place in a High School which is rife with cliques. The four cliques which play a roll in the Opera are the Nerds, Artsy Kids, Popular Kids, Jock/Cheerleaders. All of the groups only socialize with "their own kind". One day, however, a Nerdy boy and a Popular girl are made to work together on a school project. The boy and girl eventually find that even though they are from opposing cliques, they actually like each other. The rest of the members of the groups are surprised and angry and become set on finding ways in which to break up this relationship.

As the tension between the groups escalate, the Popular Kids and the Jock/Cheerleaders form an alliance as a way of pooling their strength. As well, the Nerds and the Artsy Kids form their own alliance. While the anger amongst the two bigger groups build, the Nerdy boy and Popular girl begin to question whether they should maintain their relationship. Eventually the anger reaches a breaking point in which there is a "face off" between the groups. The result is the injuring of both the Nerdy boy and a Popular girl.

All of the students are put into detention. While there, they have a chance to reflect on the damage that their actions caused. As they sit in despair the Nerdy boy and a Popular girl return. It is at this point that the cliques realize they must set aside their differences and learn to get along.

Ms. Sappong's class
Theme/Working Title:

This story begins in the present day at a funeral of a public bus driver; Mr. Louis. The funeral attendees are a very strange mix of people. Each of the people in turn places what appear to be very strange items upon Mr. Louis's grave. As the story unfolds we are taken into the past and the connection between these people and Mr. Louis is revealed. We are taken aboard Mr. Louis's bus route and discover how he came to know each of these people and how each of these people had been misunderstood in some manner.

The Loner - This is a guy who spent time in prison, he is currently homeless and he can't get a job because no one is willing to give him a second chance. When he enters the bus the other passengers respond with whispers, finger pointing, and moving as far away from him as possible. Mr. Louis is the only one to show any compassion to him. He does so by talking to The Loner and giving The Loner his own coat.

The Skateboarders - As soon as this group of skateboarders enter the bus the passengers respond to them very aggressively. They shout out things like "Get a proper pair of pants" and wrongly accuse The Skateboarders of misdeeds like graffiti. Mr. Louis intervenes by asking The Skateboarders what they were doing and discovers that The Skateboarders had been putting up posters to help raise money for cancer. Mr. Louis then gives them a donation/donation box.

The Immigrant Family - This is a family that is newly arrived from the Middle East. They enter the bus carrying luggage. The immediate response of the passengers is to call them Terrorists and accuse them of having a bomb in their cases. Once again, Mr. Louis begins to speak with the family and learns that they share a common language. As a way of helping out the family Mr. Louis gives them an English dictionary.

The story ends back at the funeral with each of the people expressing their gratitude to Mr. Louis and remarking on how it just takes one person to strongly impact your life.

No comments:

Post a Comment