Red Lines, Brass lands, and Coincidence in between.

Strolling through the Wheaton Library basement book store (amazing if you have never been there, books for $1.00 and TONS of books, new, classics, records, Cd’s, and more, one of Maryland’s gem of a place) and there it was – the CD of Brasslands.  Only the night before had we seen on television, the commercial for the show Raw Travel, that mentioned Serbia and how it is mostly known in error for war, while it has so much more to offer.  I learned this first hand at the Mexico 9th annual Documentary Film Festival watching Syria’s story in  Red Lines and then also Brasslands about Serbia.  There, lying on the top of all the cd’s, in Wheaton, Maryland, was the cd Brasslands from the VERY film I first witnessed in Mexico!  I had to grab it for 25 cents, but there is a connection I think lying on the surface I will expound upon before leaving this post.  Let me dip into the history of the two amazing films I did take to heart at November 2014’s Documentary Film Festival in Mexico City.

Red Lines was enough to cut to your heart.  Seeing the activist’s energy against a outnumbered stack of odds, from Senator McCain, to trailing to the U.K., to the U.S., and behind the scenes, and over and over, the activity behind the scenes in Syria, you realize the media, the political, and the terror that reigns on both sides of the fence of the world.

The same occurs with the documentary titled Brasslands, and also the amazing culture, and not war, that occurs in Serbia through music.  Seeing the producers of the is film after this film was amazing as well, and what hit him is how much is so unknown excepts through news casts, which often twists the truth about areas to such a degree.

Even with this ironic chance of seeing the Brasslands cd lying right on top worlds away, in Maryland, one thing is so strong and important.  I personally would not have known anything about the cd Brasslands had I not discovered the documentary about Serbia, changing my mind about what Serbia really is like, triggering the interest in what it is like half way around the world.

With the conversation on Common Core, the not thing Common Core as well as educators need to do, is have those connections as well in and out of the classroom.  By bringing in non-fiction and videos, cultural speakers, and making connections on our own as educators, alongside the students, the Common Core ideals of making connections, here, there, around the world and back, can happen.  It just needs to be fun rather than formulaic.  Being able to have a lightbulb turn on later on down the road, based on something that was viewed, discussed, or brought up is the true meaning of Common Core, taking common knowledge needed to be learned and having the freedom, creativity, and ability to connect ideas together and see the similarities, discrepancies in media, as well as the differences is truly what learning is about.

No doubt the chance encounter of a cd found in Maryland that mirrored my recollection of a documentary I saw in Mexico, is a statement that no matter what country we are in, be it Mexico, the United States, or in the Eastern Asian Continent, a true common core and learning experience is finding creative and interesting connections in the world around us and bringing them to the class for discussion, and challenging students to test the boundaries of the world with these lessons to see how they can be fulfilled.

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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