February 2015

The Imitation Game and Reflection on Teaching…

Yesterday I had an opportunity to watch a movie “The Imitation Game”. On first glance, the movie is about Alan Turing and how he and a team of brilliant young people were able to crack the Enigma code during WWII. However, it is only an overall impression. While it is obviously a Hollywood movie and one can argue about its flaws and idealization, it touched me. It touched me for a few reasons. First of all, it reminded me how fast our views change and what was accepted as normal only 60 years ago is considered to be inhumane today. The fact that Alan Turing committed suicide because he was a homosexual and it was then considered to be a crime was just hard to see with our 21st century Canadian eyes. The harassment of homosexuals is still going on around the world, including the country where I was borne. In many countries around the world it is still a crime! However, what really touched me in the movie is the end. At the very end we see the last screen shot that the Queen pardoned him. This is truly hard for me to understand. Why does she need to pardon him? Should she apologized for what they had done? What a hypocrisy. While thinking about it, I also thought of all other people who were treated as badly as Turing but who were not geniuses – were they PARDONED? Or was he pardoned because even though he was gay and obviously different from what a proper Englishman was supposed to be, he was instrumental in winning the war?

As a teacher, I kept thinking about all the kids in our classrooms who are different. You might be different because of your sexual orientation or for any other reasons, and it is always hard to be different. The people who are different often do not fit (think of S. Jobs, B. Gates or many others). You might be different and not to be so extremely talented so should we allow the society to mistreat you? I keep thinking of all the societies where people who are different are not allowed to show it or they will be killed. And what is the role of the teacher in helping the students who are different to find who they are and blossom into amazing human beings? This is why I loved the movie so much as despite being so sad, it made me think of what I can do to support ALL students. The move was very inspirational. During the movie one phrase kept popping up: “Sometimes it’s the people no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine”. I loved it. Let us, as teachers not allow ourselves to be the people who cannot image anything of our students. I hope teachers, students, parents, and everybody else will go to watch this movie.

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