A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Roller Coasters, Civil Rights and an afternoon at the Roundhouse

Friday we spent the day at WSU. We toured the Enginering Department, visited The Ulrich Museum and spent the afternoon at Koch Arena where we watched the Lady Shockers beat the Colorado State University Bears by more than a dozen points.
First of all, the ladies at the Engineering department did an amazing job. They completely got that it was a field trip and these were 13-14 year olds. They had them design rollercoasters. The young lady who was in charge explained that engineering is about designing...that it is often done in teams and that there is usually something tangible which comes as a result of this design. Our kids ate it up. Their designer were impressive given they only had 30 minutes to design and create. Most of them worked flawlessly.

Our second stop was the Ulrich Art Museum on the campus of the Wichita State. The outdoor sculptures of the museum were named one of the top ten collections on any college campus in 2006. Its inside collection is as impressive. We viewed a civil rights exhbit titled, "The Hard Kind of Courage: Gordon Parks and the Photographers of the Civil Rights Era". Parks is a nationally celebrated photgrapher, film maker and writer who is also a native Kansan. His work is shown beside other photogrpahers of the era. I was in hog heaven since three of the protos displayed were ones I use in my civil rights module. For the kids to see the works beyond my SMARTboard was exciting. The other portion of our tour was an exhibit tied to the civil rights exhibit on identity. The piece which caught my eye was the one below. I use the 1968 placard from the Memphis strike in my class and to see the Thomas painting was phenomenal for both my students and me! The Thomas painting are takes on the placards you see in the photograph below. Its important to note that it is the sanitation strike which brings Martin Luther King, Jr. to Memphis in April 1968 and it in Mepmphis where he will be assassinated.

I Am a Man, Hank Willis Thomas, 2009
Sanitation Workers Assembling for a Solidarity March, Memphis, March 28, 1968
I Am A Man, Sanitation workers assemble outside Clayborn Temple, Memphis, TN, 1968. (© Ernest C. Withers. Courtesy Panopticon Gallery, Boston, MA)

The last stop was Koch arena to watch the Lady Shockers against Northern Colorado. The Lady Shox had a slow start but ultimately doominated the last half and won by more than a dozen. There is something surreal about several thousand middle school students in one place. There is nothing more fearsome as hundreds of kids want to get on the Dance Cam. It was a little disturbing to be completely honest.

A great day off campus. It is one of those days where I can say... I love my job.

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