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February 12, 2014
David Bowie & Iman for Tommy Hilfiger. Photos by Ellen von Unwerth. October 2003.

David Bowie & Iman for Tommy Hilfiger. Photos by Ellen von Unwerth. October 2003.

I gave my students a real education today in New Orleans.

We went from how much a Yemeni rial is worth in US dollars ( 215 rials to $1) to what a labyrinth is (ooh, you never gonna get that! I quit!) to what the movie “Labyrinth” is about, to why David Bowie and Iman are fashion gods (who they is?) to Arnold Schwarzenegger (who is Harnol Swashawezzer?) to why he can’t be president (because actors can’t be president?) to Ronald Reagan (is he the president who did the thing?) to Iran Contra to my world map to draw a triangle of doom. This whole conversation took less than 1 minute.

We went back to close reading our non-fiction book about child brides and human trafficking, but I promised if they were awesome and we had time at the end of class I would educate them on the fashion of Bowie and Iman by pulling up some images on my fancy smart board. Also, I know we NEVER HAVE TIME.

But building relationships with tough kids is of utmost importance, and sometimes iconic superstars is it. With 3 minutes left, not missing an opportunity to add to her mental look-book, my future runway model student who offered to trade me an 80s silk blazer covered in fake-nailed hands if I let her borrow my vintage Wrangler jean jacket over the weekend (and I’m taking her up on it, duh) finished her chapter and closed her book. And she says to me, Ms. Summers, can we please now look at the pictures of the black goddess lady and Harold Swatzababber?

And that’s a presidential education people, full tilt.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 13, 2014 8:50 am

    I love that you’re swapping clothes for the weekend – silver lining to teaching older kids 😉
    You’re absolutely right about building these relationships.
    Also, “…the black goddess lady and Harold Swatzababber.” That’s amazababber!

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