Went to a lecture about bilingualism today. Didn't learn much that I didn't already know from experience (stereotyping is bad, summarizing stuff is exceptionally difficult to do in your second language, kids use heuristics to fulfill teacher expectations without learning, blah blah blah) but I did get the email address of an Oberlin sociology professor, Dr. Rafael Reyes-Ruiz, who has studied Latin American students learning Japanese in Japan. This warrants further inquiry--if there's anything I can bring back to NEHS, anything that can make NEHS students a better place, I will find it.
I'm thinking about getting a bunch of people together to write a graphic novel about international students, especially American students living abroad. It will be about the extraordinary lives of its very ordinary highschoolers and the ordinary circumstances that provoke them to do extraordinary things. It'll be a brutally honest account of bilingual education, its hypocrisies and its triumphs, its lies and its truths. One of the major settings will be the grand experiment known as the NEHS Bilingual Department, the experiment that has outlived its failure for over a decade, but since for many kids NEHS is just one stop on a road that never ends, it will not be so much about the school as it is about the students. We will pull no punches. The secret underworld of the BD, the world so secretive that some students are still unaware of its existence on their graduation day, will be described in full detail. Drugs. Alcohol. Violence. Crime. Juvenile delinquency, domestic abuse, divorce, incest. Education systems where no one learns. Socieites where no one belongs. These can no longer be ignored. The ever-continuing, ever-repeated tale of fear, isolation, love, spirituality, conspiracy, jealousy, and identity must be committed to paper, somehow, some way.
The working title is Almost America.
First I'll need to find an artist. ~_~