Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The importance of Christian allegory


I have a group of Yr 10 students who are hard work but, although I don't tell them, I am very fond of them. We were doing some work recently on suffering and evil and were considering the holocaust as a primary example.

"SIR!!! CAN WE WATCH THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS? CAN WE? CAN WE? I'LL BRING IT IN." (Georgina only does loud.)

I fended this off for a while and then felt that for our last two lessons of the school year this wouldn't be a bad idea. Yesterday I collared Georgina in the dining area and asked her to bring her DVD in today. She forgot.

"YEAH, BUT, RIGHT. HE ONLY TOLD ME, LIKE, YESTERDAY."

The others are unmoved by this blatant attempt to shift the blame.

"I generally find that 24 hours is long enough to put a DVD in my school bag."

"NO, RIGHT, BUT I WENT OUT STRAIGHT FROM SCHOOL - YOU CAN SHUT YOUR GOB ZOE, NO ONE LIKES YOU ANYWAY - AND MY DAD WASN'T IN RIGHT, SO MY MUM, RIGHT, SHE HAD TO SEE MY GRAN BUT SHE'D GONE TO HAVE HER PALM READ AND..."

"Can we have the short version do you think?"

"I FORGOT IT."

"There we go then. Got there in the end."

"So we aren't watching a film then?"

"Ah, now then, about that...Fortunately I had a plan B....which is to do lots of written work...no...only joking."

"Are we watching Transformers 2?"

"Oh, now let me think for a second..NO! It has to be R.S. related."

"Boring!"

"If you could just get the exercise books then."

"NATHAN, I'M GONNA KILL YOU."

"I didn't forget the DVD dog-breath."

"Anyway... ANYWAY... thank you. These are the options: What Dreams May Come with Robin Williams, which looks at alternative views on life after death or The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, which is an allegory of key parts of the Christian story."

My loud, streetwise, gobby, attitude-filled class sat in rapt silence for an hour - a world record - while Narnia unfolded before their eyes. Georgina sucked her thumb.