1:What did we learn about in this project? We have been learning about the Vietnam war and how horrifying war can be. We learned about the different ways people lived through the war and the little of the politics that went along. One of the ways we did this was reading a book called The Things They Carried. This book is from the perspective of soldiers in the war written by a veteran Tim O'Brien. O’Brien gives you insight into what was happening to these soldiers at the time and what happened to them after the war. Through this story, you are shown what happened to these young men. Another way we learned about the war was a documentary series by Ken Burns called The Vietnam War. This documentary tells you about the ways the Vietnamese lived before the war and what caused the war to ignite into what it became. Both Vietnamese and U.S veterans spoke on what happened while they were there. The documentary also talked about the different ways the U.S helped give their soldiers supplies without any of the citizens knowing about it. Through just these two sources we learned how horrendous this war was and how so many lives were forever impacted.
2: How did we exhibit our learning? To display our learning we made an immersive exhibition that was broken off into 6 different sections each section talked about the different themes we came up with about the Vietnam war. My group worked on Soldiers Emotions in our exhibit we showed the different emotions soldiers in Vietnam have described and might have had. We set up four parts for our exhibit first you were given a photo of your “family” to carry with you throughout our piece of the exhibit, there was a board with pictures from a veteran with captions he had written, a tent with actors acting bored and depressed playing cards and, a video from a veteran speaking on going to Vietnam. For the exhibit, I was an actor and we were playing cards and talking about family, what we were going to do when we got back home, or anything else we could try and make sound dreary and sad. For our “family” pictures we wanted to give the audience something emotional to hold on to and think they could go back to. With our video, we pulled what we thought were most emotional parts from the veteran so the audience could have a perspective from someone who was there and what they thought of what was happening.
3: How did you strengthen (or not strengthen) your skills during this project?How did you stretch yourself? Through the project, I think I stretched my empathy skills because in the Ken Burns documentary The Vietnam War and The Things They Carried there were times where I wanted to empathize with the soldiers on what they were doing but they would talk about gunning down innocent people or animals. It was very challenging to see where these people were coming from with this but I haven’t been to war so I can’t say I understand what was going through their minds as this happened but I can understand being angry about something that you can’t control and want to lash out on something. I also think trying to empathize with these men helped me work on my critical thinking skills and trying to go deeper to understand what they’d been through. I think this because after all of the stories from veterans you hear the different things they had to deal with after the war and I would start to wonder why they would just jump to this conclusion without any knowledge on what had happened. From this it made me think about the men who had PTSD on top of being called a baby killer and a murderer and how that probably made the situation worse
4: How did this project change your thinking? What enduring understandings will you take away, and why? This project changed my thinking on the truth of war because at first I would have said people are killed and war is bad that’s it. After this project, I learned so much more about what these soldiers go through both Vietnamese and United States. On the U.S’ side, soldiers were in constant worry about death around any corner because of the environment and would use drugs while in Vietnam. These men were treated like animals when they got home they didn’t get a thank you, instead they got spit in the face and were called baby killers that's the truth behind this they did there job and were hated for doing what was asked of them. Going into this I knew nothing about the Vietnam war but after this project, I feel as if this needs to be taught so much more because there are still a lot of people who didn’t know what happened. We need to hear from these veterans before they leave us. They know what happened but society wants to believe what it wants even if they don’t have the entire story. Soon these men won’t be here anymore and there is still a lot people don’t know about this war or the different truths of every other war.
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