Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dinner At Dave's and guests SKYPING into class.

In the Spring semester, I offer my Men & Masculinities class for 15 men and 15 women, all second semester seniors.  This is the only course at the College that specifically deals with men's issues and the only one with a balance of the sexes.  Part of class requires my students to read Linda/Max Ciampoli's book CHURCHILL'S SECRET AGENT - this is a novel based on the true life experiences of Max during World War II when he was a spy for Winston Churchill at the ages of 17,18 and 19.  Students read the book, write an essay entitled "could I do what Max did" and then I send these off to Max, now 91 years old, and Linda.  After they have a chance to read my students' essays, we SKYPE them into class and my students get to "meet" Max and Linda.  We did this on Monday night this week and it was an amazing educational opportunity and a very emotional one for Max.  When Max and Linda got married, she knew nothing of his experiences during WWII.  Over time and with her love and understanding, he revealed what he had done.  HIS goal in writing this book is so today's youth NEVER FORGET that what happened way back then can happen again IF we don't remember our history.  Given that the day before we SKYPED, three Jews were killed in Kansas simply because they WERE Jewish and that this happened the day before Passover, a Jewish Holiday, Max, a Catholic, but someone who believed so passionately in the worth of every human being, became very emotional as WE talked with him in class.  What a gift to my students to be able to read a book, write an essay about that book and then experience an opportunity to "meet and talk with" the authors. 
After class and SKYPING, I had the fourth of five "dinner at Dave's" at my home - students love coming to a professor's home and having a chance for a home cooked meal off campus - I usually have to throw them out around 11:15 as I have to get up for work the next day :)

Take care, be well and as we head towards Commencement, please keep all of our seniors in your thoughts and prayers as they leave this place they have called home for the past 4 years.  Also, please keep all of the members of our military, their families and all of our veterans in your thoughts and prayers too.....

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