Wednesday, May 28, 2014

To be, or not to be...That is the question!

Photo: My son William, was William Shakespeare in their wax museum at school, and was awesome!
William Crosby

Projects in school can sometimes be overwhelming, and tedious, especially for us parents that have to do most of the work.
 But this is one project that I believe everyone involved had not only fun, but fun in educative learning!
My sons sixth grade class did a wax museum, that's right your saw correct, a wax museum. Each kid was given someone throughout history that they needed to depict.  Now you might think, oh I had to do that, but probably not this way.
It began with me frazzled and frantically searching for a feather to put in a hat.  You see, my son is smart, but he has procrastinitis.  Anytime a big project comes along, he waits until the night before to tell me that he needs something, whether it be a report to type up, or in this case, a costume to be William Shakespeare.
I love this child, but I think I can speak for all moms out there, and say this is one of those moments when you want to squeeze the dumbness out of our children. "Will, how long have you known about this project?"  his response was "two weeks, but I didn't know..."  you fill in the blank.  The excuse just comes out in static to me, because at this point I have already gone into panic mode to try and figure out where I am going to find a costume at the last minute!

  After two trips to the craft store and pulling old clothes out of the closet, and a dabble of makeup...we had created what was close enough!
I raced to the school to catch the 12:30 session of the wax museum.  And what I encountered was nothing short of amazing!  In organized chaos, these sixth graders were placed around the gym.  Each with a sign that gave their name.  The costumes I saw on other children, put me to shame.  I would have put a little more effort into Williams had I known what they were really doing. 
I approached him, "ok, give me your speech you wrote."  On top of the costume, we had spent a couple of hours putting together a little speech about who he was and facts about the life of William Shakespeare. (which of course needed to be memorized) 
His reply was, "I can't."  I was frustrated.  My back was killing me from carrying a twenty month old baby and my five year old kept running off with her friend in the gym full of kids.  "Will, I don't have time, I just want to record your speech, I need to go."  He simply pointed to the door indicating that I needed to talk to the lady with the plastic bag.
Annoyed I said to her, "my son won't talk to me, I just want to record his thing and leave."  she shook her head hoping I would understand.  "They are told not to say anything.  here."  she handed me several paper tickets.  I looked around the room and saw the other kids placing them on the "name plate" on the floor in front of the "wax figure." 
I dropped the paper on the floor and my son stood and proceeded to give me his speech from start to finish.  I puffed up proud to be his mother.  He had done amazing.  But I still had a handful of tickets, a sore back, a cranky baby, and two girls to still chase down to leave. 
I hugged my son, and decided to walk around to peek at the other names these sixth graders were bringing to this event.  I noticed one girl, was Jane Austen.  She is my favorite author.  So I placed a ticket in front of the girl, and she stood and recited facts about who she was.  I was blown away.  These children were learning about history, and having fun doing it!  They memorized dates, names, facts, all comprised into a one to two minute speech.  Presidents, kings, queens, authors, movie stars, and many other famous people through history.  Even Maya Angelou, may she rest in peace, was presented there.  Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Queen Elizabeth even serenaded me with her historical facts of life. 

I felt guilty for wanting to leave so fast, I could have walked to each child and listened to what they had to say about the person they were.  The creativity of this "wax museum"  was something as a parent I was deeply impressed and I can't wait until my other kids get to experience it.  These children are the future, but they won't be able to lead it, unless they know their past.  My hat off to you wonderful Sixth graders of West Jordan Elementary.  You have hit history out of the ball park, I think each person you depicted, would be proud.  And thank you for sharing a bit of history with all of us!
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