Archive for June, 2011
Back in May (2011), my Gr. 7/8 class and I went to a farm located near the Wawanosh Nature Trail place. We went to educate ourselves in the new ways people were protecting watersheds and ponds, farmland and even the little animals. After we learned about all of this we got to plant trees in an effort to save a newly formed pond. The next day we got all of our newly learned knowledge and wrote a poem. That poem went through changes and, now, is what you see below. Enjoy!
A barren land, in the dead of night. Slowly, soldiers crawl out of their trenches, ready to… nah, that’s not exactly what we did. Yesterday (June 16, 2011), our wonderful teacher, Mrs. D, took us out to a farm in Tillsonburg where we got to reenact a famous trench battle from WW1, which took place in 1914. No, we weren’t in the pitch black, ready to actually fight, but anyways. We went to further develop our knowledge about this famous and terrible war, including new understanding of some of the horrific weapons that were used. And it couldn’t have happened without the man who taught us and let us reenact it, Robin Barker-James.
“I’m waiting. Watching. My heart is pounding. The air around me. It’s so boring, but is filled thick with the horrible tension. It’s nerve racking. Fear. It’s absolutely silent, even though I know I’ve got buddies a couple metres from me. Even though I’ve gotten used to the darkness, it’s still horrible. Fear. I could be killed anytime now, the heat. It’s actually cold out tonight, but the fear of this is killing me. I’m sweating profoundly now, it’s hard to hold on to my gun. I’m waiting now, in fear….”
The experience of that day will never leave me. It was a day of practising, of seeing and even some fun, but the main thing was to learn. Not just purely about facts and weapons and time-lines, but also about the horrific truth about war. It’s not a game, not a joke and certainly not fun. It is brutal combat that no one should ever have to face. Like Mr. Barker-James said,
“If you are asked to send yourself or you kids into warfare, you better have a pretty darn good reason to.” I don’t think it could have been said better.