A catastrophe of proportions that almost beggar belief. My thoughts have been with the people of Japan this weekend, as I'm sure yours have as well. And to the Japanese students I taught last year, some of whom have become close friends with my wife here in Australia, we hope your families and loved ones back home are safe.
And to all the great ELTers I've met based in Japan, I hope you are safe as well.
"Ripples" is the only word I can think of to describe this sort of event. And not the ripples we saw on the television, which from the helicopters made the event look like an amazing lego display being washed away. I found myself wanting to grab the helicopter pilot by the scruff and tell him to stop concentrating on the dramatic footage and get over to the roads where cars were still driving about, seemingly oblivious to the wall of water about to surge up and wash them away. Warn them. Get them to turn around and head the other way. I don't need to see the waves as much as those people need to realise they are coming.
Easy enough to make such judgments from afar.
Most of the people reading this blog are ELTers, and no doubt the topic of earthquake and tsunami is going to be on the tips of students' tongues this week. How do you handle such a sensitive topic?
I like what Anna has done over at Magpie Moments.
She let her students decide on the content, plugging in to the pulse of the unplugged classroom, and came up with some excellent student-generated content followed up with some insightful project ideas.
There are other ripples there, given Anna has drawn on several of my activity suggestions and adaptable templates. I'm flattered to see them tried out in another context, and wildly impressed with the results.
Mind, I'll feel a darn side more cheerful when I see them applied around happier tidings in the world (as I'm sure Anna will, too).