Friday, May 9, 2014

My students do things

I've never been one of those teachers who had students write songs about history as an assignment or make tv commercials about events from before TV was invented.  I really hate The Week in Rap, in part because it's condescending and in part because the raps are terrible.


Back before spring break, my students challenged me to a rap battle on the history of the Ottomans.  A student who I'd been calling "L.L." all year came up with the following.  It's really pretty good.  And yes, she's conscious of all the gender stuff running around in here. 

Her rap name: Echidna- mother of all monsters.  And she laid down some monster rhymes.


Okay lemme tell y'all something about chapter 8
I spent all night working cuz this can't be late
Or my teacher Soc Sal won't give me credit
Now take a seat, listen up and watch where I'm headed

I'm going way back when to some intense penetration-
By European imperialism all across the nation
The people of the Middle East were discontented
So they took a look at their govt and decided to mend it

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"
And once I've passed this class, this song just won't be needed

Now think of the young Turks as the voice of the people
From civil servants, exiles,
Students and military officials

Now more specifically
I'm talking the C U P
Cuz the whole idea of union and progress 

needs a specific committee

Their focus was reforms
And preservation
Tryin to make the empire stay just one nation

Once the sultan was gone
The young Turks they were powerful
Improving education
Attacking corruption
Everything was just wonderful

But what they didn't see coming was the break away
From the parts of the empire that weren't there to stay

Starting with
From Crete to Greece
The Italians taken Tripoli
And Rhodes went to Italy

Admittedly each country became smaller as they scattered
But you know what people always say:
It's not the size that matters

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" 

this rap is movin so fast, I haven't even breathed yet


Ottomanism's goal is a multi-cultural liberal state but it started getting harder what with all that European hate
Here's where the questions of race first got their start
When people identified as Turkish and took that idea to heart

Some other stuff went on that I probably missed
And WWI started at the end of all this

So that's basically an overview of the chapter that we coded
I didn't have a ton of time since my schedules pretty loaded
If the due date was later this might be more informative
But it's ballin as it is so there is no need for more than this!

 Of course, I had something up my sleeve for the win.  To Biz Markie's "You got what I Need"

Have you ever had a country in a bad situation
Trying to figure out how to build a nation
Should we be liberal or religious
The problem’s so tough that it’s egregious

We need to be like birds of a feather
People we gotta flock together
United by language, culture and thought
Turkish is pure, it’s not like you thought

There’s only one way you gotta be
You got get with the C-U-P

Oh baby you, it’s the C-U-P
Don’t wanna be a jerk
You just wanna be a Turk

Oh baby you it’s the CUP
Don’t wanna be a jerk
You just wanna be a Turk

But it was my Bust a Move rip-off FTW

My friend Emin
He’s been scheming
Thinkin’ bout a nation that he’s been dreamin
You join the movement if you can
Cause nobody wants to be Ottoman

We need culture
To stop western vultures
Carvin up our nation like robotic mulchers

Now you know what you gotta be
Gotta get with the CUP
(You want it, you got it) (You want it a nation you got it)

It was teacher ftw.  Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  (But somebody got extra credit).  

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