16 February 2009

When in the Course of Human Events...

I made my kids read the Declaration of Independence. Actually I read the Declaration of Independence to them. Despite what my students think, I did not come up with this assignment because I hate them or because I am trying to ruin their lives. Mostly I want them to be culturally literate and have some exposure to historically significant founding documents. I was curious about how much they could actually understand of the very archaic and somewhat loquacious language. So I told them to translate the Declaration into modern-everyday- teenage-ghetto-inner city-high school language. They rose to the challenge magnificently. Here is my very favorite translation.

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

“Hey Great Britain…We need to talk”

No comments: