Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Matter Of Focus

Is it just me, or are kids today not as observant as past generations?

Maybe it's the constant texting and music-listening. Perhaps they don't see a need to focus attention on one issue at a time. The reason that I ask is due to some startling questions I received during a showing of The Day After Tomorrow. It's a weather-related movie, and we have a couple of days left until Christmas break. As one who gives an assignment every day throughout the quarter, this is my little gift to my students.

There were some good questions. About how such a mega-storm could form. But then there were the questionable questions.

"Is that the dead guy?"
No. He is walking along, tethered to Dennis Quaid. The dead guy is dead. At the bottom of the mall, broken on the escalator, after slicing his own rope to send himself to his death when the skylight started to crack. A walking-along guy is not dead.

"What have the wolves been eating all this time?"
The wolves escaped from the zoo. Perhaps other animals escaped. Or the wolves got into their cages. But most likely, the wolves have been eating PEOPLE. There's no shortage of people. They're laying dead in the streets, or trying to walk to Mexico in the super-blizzard. And all this time is just a couple of days. The title of the movie is The Day After Tomorrow. Get it?

"Is the President dead?"
Yes. That's normally what is meant by, "The President's motorcade didn't make it," when his staff explains that the President will never be arriving in Mexico, after last being seen leaving Washington D.C. by automobile during a mega-blizzard.

"Is that a pregnant woman?"
Well, since he has a distinct beard, an orange safety vest, and no poochy belly, and we have not seen a pregnant woman in this movie, I think I can safely say, "No, that is the police officer/security guard who led people from the library across the frozen bay on a quest for Mexico."

"Sam? Who's Sam?"
That would be Jake Gyllenhaal, the star of the movie, the main character, the identity of whom you have been happily oblivious to for 90 minutes of this 112 minute film.

Seriously. And I expect them to remember concepts that I teach. Me. Not Jake Gyllenhaal. Without special effects.

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