The first happened at the Oscars last Sunday during Graham Moore's acceptance speech. During his speech for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, Moore eloquently articulated the importance of embracing our differences, particularly since we never know where they might take us, what accomplishments might await us.
We began a new trimester on Monday, so I waited until Tuesday to show my students Moore's speech and the meme Upworthy posted:
After listening to the speech and viewing the meme, I asked students to quick write for ten minutes about a time they felt as though they didn't fit in or felt weird.
After the free write I asked students to share. This normally isn't a problem, but this time my students didn't want to share. Maybe this is because they didn't feel comfortable sharing something so personal at the beginning of the trimester. Maybe it's because they were grouped with new students.
One student did read his response. He shared that being different is part of his life daily, that he embraces his differences because we're all unique, that it's biologically impossible for us to be the same. It's a good reminder and one that gave us all an aha moment.
The second internet explosion happened on Thursday with what's now known as "the dress."
At first I ignored the plethora of posts about the iconic question, "Is the dress white and gold or black and blue?" Yet as I thought about the question and the debate, that to my mind is rather trivial, the dress images took on metaphorical meaning for me as I began seeing it as symbolic to our nation's discussions about race.
We make too much of a big deal about color, whether it's the color of a dress or the color of skin. Instead of fixating on the differences, maybe we should embrace our uniqueness. That's the message in Graham Moore's speech and a far more interesting discussion than this: