Learning about D-Day — The members of UNC Charlotte’s marching band are about to head off to Normandy, France, in order to participate in the ceremonies commemorating the 74th anniversary of D-Day. This past weekend, The Charlotte Observer published an excellent article by Lawrence Toppman about the band’s upcoming trip. Titled “Memories and Honor Go with Marching Band on Its Way to Normandy,” the article goes into detail about how this trip came about and what it means to the students who are going. Here is the link to the article: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article211772719.html
I felt a surge of pride when I read this article. I am, of course, proud that our marching band was selected as the only band from the United States to be participating in this event. I am even more proud, however, that UNC Charlotte is providing these students with such a special opportunity to learn about one of the most important events in the history of the 20th century. For the students in our marching band, performing at this event will be an experiential form of learning. It’s one thing to read about D-Day in a history textbook. It’s quite another thing to learn about D-Day in Normandy, the very place where this momentous event occurred on June 6, 1944.
As Toppman points out, the students in our marching band are excited about their upcoming trip to Normandy. Once they arrive, they will play their instruments and participate in ceremonial activities. However, they will also learn about the history of D-Day and gain insights into the causes and casualties of war. For these students, going to Normandy is not just a trip–it is part of their college education.
Summer Book Club for Kids — As part of the North Carolina Humanities Council funded project titled The Child in Southern Literature and Film, the English Department is sponsoring a book club for middle-school kids. Sarah Minslow and Consuelo Salas will lead three book club meetings designed to explore the the diversity of Southern childhood. These meetings will take place at ImaginOn from noon to 2 pm on June 16, July 21, and August 18. For more information, please click on the following link: https://thechildinsouthernlitandfilm.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/125/#more-125
Memorial Day — Today is Memorial Day. Originally called Decoration Day, this holiday can be traced back to the years right after the Civil War when the families of fallen soldiers decorated the graves of their relatives who died during the war.
For most Americans, Memorial Day is a paid holiday, but not for the staff at UNC Charlotte. If staff members want to stay home and observe Memorial Day, they need to deduct the hours from their vacation time. I objected to this practice in the Monday Missive that I wrote two years ago at this time, and I still object to it. For many staff members, Memorial Day has a deep, personal meaning. UNC Charlotte should recognize the significance of this special day by making it a paid holiday for the staff.
Kudos — As you know, I like to use my Monday Missives to share news about recent accomplishments by members of the English Department. Here is the latest news:
Becky Roeder recently published a co-authored article titled “Joining the Western Region: Sociophonetic Shift in Victoria” in the Journal of English Linguistics.
Daniel Shealy is quoted in an article recently published in the The Christian Science Monitor. Here is the link: https://www.csmonitor.com/Books/2018/0510/TV-s-Little-Women-A-very-current-story-about-things-that-haven-t-changed
Upcoming Events and Deadlines — Here is information about an upcoming event:
Quirky Quiz Question — For people who want to learn more about D-Day, I recommend two excellent films: The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan. Does anybody know the name of the person who directed Saving Private Ryan?Last week’s answer: John Brooke
The marriage of Meg March is a key moment in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Does anybody know the name of Meg’s groom?