A bit of time has passed since the last post. Here's a quick overview of what took place in the interim. We had one week straight of conversations and collaboration that reached beyond the classroom. This heady mixture of outside counsel, internal reflection, and the continued work of telling these stories left us little time to share all that we documented and more documentation than we can sort through and share here. Find below a quick summary of these powerful connections, some mentioned in previous blogs, others that emerged unbidden. We hope to enjoy more of the same in the time we have left in this school year.
1.Jon Deiss of www.soldierSource.com. Wednesday 17 May 2017.
Jon took time out of his busy schedule, doing just the kind work we're trying to accomplish on this project, to give ASP students general tips on research, answer specific questions they had about their unit, and emphasize the importance of researching and gathering context. In the week following Jon compiled and shared a slew of files with us about the soldiers our students are researching.
2. Descendants of Suresnes Soldier, Louis Thor: Lois Herbst and her father, Stan Thor. Thursday 18 May 2017. Lois wrote a blog for us just a few days before.
The blog Lois wrote for us offers more than I can here. However, having students connect with Stan and Lois made our interaction with their family's story more personal and more visceral. They shared perspectives of Louis Thor, talked about his place in their family story, and shared research tips and encouragement for our students as they proceeded in their own work.
3. ASP Music teacher & WWI Researcher, Matthew Hall. Friday 19 May 2017.
Matthew is not only a great music teacher but he is also a savvy, relentless researcher of WWI history and collector of artifacts as well. He is the descendant of two soldiers from the British army whose heartbreaking stories he shared with our students. He conveyed a palpable personal connection to the time period and gave students some very practical advice about research methodology and mindset. He also offered to spend time in class, helping students along in their work as he is able.
4. Founder of American War Memorials overseas, Lil PFluke. Monday 22 May 2017.
Lil's work dovetails perfectly with the work our students have been doing with ABMC. So far we've seen the impressive managed results of the American governments official military memorials overseas. The many photos on this site of Suresnes are a perfect example. These locations do not account for all such memorials and soldiers abroad. There are many others that lack such attention and, in consequence, desire research and attention. Lil's non-profit documents, promotes, and preserves those monuments and soldiers for which the American government does not have the resources or responsibility. Lil talked about and modeled her motivations, methods, and mindset as a researcher of these neglected monuments and stories. She has a way of making the toughest tasks seem possible without diminishing the degree of challenge involved.
5. Students from Stuyvesant High School in New york join the Effort!