In addition to enjoying Williams at his best, this unit has a new feature that places it at the top of my all-time favorite units; this year, we are adding THE CARPE DIEM PROJECT!
One of the central themes of Dead Poets Society is the concept of carpe diem; in the movie, this is translated as "seize the day", but a more accurate translation is "pluck the day". Our classes discussed how plucking the day means taking advantage of every ripe opportunity that presents itself, because none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, and there's no guarantee that the opportunity will be there tomorrow, either. At its heart, carpe diem is a call to not pass up important opportunities and grow as an individual. It's actually and very nice yin to the yang we had last semester when we completed a community-service based project when we finished Tuesdays With Morrie.
Each student is signing up for a planned action carpe diem project. This is something they plan to do at some point this semester that fits the theme of plucking the day. I'm going to do my own planned carpe diem project this semester inspired by the One Word-One Year project. (My word for the year is PREPARE.) Whatever planned carpe diem project a student has, they will document it however they see fit. I'll be posting updates every few weeks to this blog as well as my Twitter account.
Students are also required to complete an impromptu carpe diem project. This is something they can't plan for; it just has to present itself, and students have to be looking for an opportunity to pluck the day!
I'm excited to see how students respond to this project; for those who choose to put forth some thought and effort, this could be a very pivotal moment in their lives. I'm also excited to complete this project right alongside them. It is a shared experience that can help build stronger relationships.
Until next time, carpe diem!