Monday, February 15, 2016

Flight of the Persecuted Honor Roll Party

The staff decided to do something a little different for the honor roll party this time. A WWII theme was chosen, which suited well as they are studying 20th century world history this year.  The students each received a German passport with their picture on it and were instructed to arrive at the school with a flashlight, running shoes, and their passports.  
The faculty and a few of their friends dressed up in forties-type attire.  And since the students were to be the fleeing Jews, we had to have someone chasing them.  We don't take this lightly at all; in fact, this is one of the reasons we do this-- so that the students can experience for just a while, what it must have been like to be a fleeing, persecuted person.  It worked; some of them said they really were a bit scared.  

I was the French farmhouse cook.  And I can explain the doll.  You see, one of the students has a hurt knee and we decided that she could be the grandma, so we got a wheelchair and pushed her around in it.  Then another teacher had the idea that we should have a baby to take care of as well.  Not only would this be more practical as they really did have to take care of grandmas and babies on their flights, but it would also help them to be more aware of and think of others (Phillipians 2).

We hung authentic reproductions of war-time posters in the hallways for the students to see as they entered and ran to hide in the library.  Throughout the evening they ran and hid from one safe place to another-- from a classroom, to inside a shed, to a utility closet, up a basement fire escape window, and around the building next door, with their pursuers never too far behind them.  In the end they actually caught one of the young men, but by the time they arrived at a French farmhouse for their meal he had converted all of them.  They ripped off their armbands, begged forgiveness, and together we enjoyed a meal of potato sausage soup, rolls, meat, cheese, and strudel.   After the meal some of the former pursuers were playing indoor soccer with the freed students.   The evening seemed to be a success; lots of excitement, a bit of pageantry, a little survival in the snow, helping care for "the elderly and the weak", and practicing non-resistance.