Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mona Lisa's Smile

Julia Roberts fits the title perfectly.

If my memory did not fail me, this movie hit the big screens many years ago. I don’t know about the boys who have seen this but for girls, I believe this movie speaks a lot. Unlike those days, girls today are more liberated from the stereotypical role of being a housemaker and other domesticated tasks while men are the breadwinners. Yet, this movie reminds us again of all the dreams we want to chase. It gives light to those who would like to break free of chains that are tying them down.

As Miss Watson, Julia Roberts played the character of a young teacher called to teach art at a prestigious all girls’ school. Upon first impression, an all girls’ school seemed rather easy to teach. They’re generally disciplined, gentle and smart. Well, they really are. In fact, a bit too much of the last part. That’s when Miss Watson faced trouble. During her first class, every single one of her student has already completed their independent reading on the text they were given for her art subject, leaving her with nothing more to teach. For this part, I particularly like what she did in her following class. She gave them something new. She elicited debates. She brought them to art galleries. She planted seeds of interest and the love for knowledge out of text book amongst her students. Gradually, they bonded with her.

She continued to encourage the girls to chase after their dreams; to break the norm of getting married, settling down and leading a life society has carved out for them. These girls are intelligent and she believes they could make it big in life. Thus, she gives her utmost effort in coaching the girls through the different perspectives in art.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lean On Me

Mr. Joe Clark freaks me out.

East Side High gives me the creeps.

The students scare the nuts out of me.

Honestly, I don’t quite like the movie. It left me feeling very disturbed. There was so much screaming and shouting I had trouble watching it with a peace of mind. I’ve always thought of Morgan Freeman as a wonderful actor. I still do. But with this movie, I found it especially hard to like the character he played. He was a generally nice person on a personal level as Joe Clark. However, he was a really rude and demanding principal. I can’t help but to think of quitting myself if I’d ever come across a principal like him. Once in my primary school, I had a teacher whose character was similar to his; only she was more violent. I remember the days where she would pinch students in their stomach is they never complete their work and slaps their face with their workbook. It’s funny how complaining about her never too place.

That aside, there are still a few things that hit me hard as a future teacher. First, the determination and courage to take on the law and the community who stands against the school and the principal. I admire Joe Clark’s will power to resurrect East Side High despite all attacks. However, I disagree with his way of running the school. I personally feel that all students deserve second chances, even if he or she is a bad egg. I also don’t see a need to be so uptight with the teachers. They are after all working their butts off for the job already. I believe however, that teachers and the principal should have better rapport to cooperate more efficiently. But for a domineering man like Joe Clark, that proved rather hard in the beginning.

Although this movie is based on a true story, it seemed to be more unrealistic than any other movies of the same genre. It is hard to believe that one man can make such a big difference. It is even harder to believe it was done all within a year. Nevertheless, it sure gave me a glimpse of hope that comes with the comfort knowing that as teachers, we are surely capable of impacting lives and turning them around.

Every teacher can make a difference. You just got to believe it..hard enough.