On Tuesday James’ speech therapist showed him a video of Martin Luther King giving his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. She did not tell him who it was or what it was about. This is the conversation they had after he viewed the video.
James and his teachers talked more about Confucius this week. Here is their discussion:
When Confucius was about 15 years old, he became quite interested in learning. In those days, only the nobility and royals were allowed education. All the teachers were government officials. It was hard for Confucius to find a way to learn, so he went to work for a nobleman. This gave him the opportunity to learn and to travel to the imperial capital.
What made it difficult for Confucius to pursue an education? ONLY ROYALTY WERE EDUCATED
What was his solution? WORKED FOR NOBLEMAN
Confucius studied and learned until he probably was the most learned man of his day. People heard of his knowledge and sent their sons to study with him. He was the first private teacher in China. Confucius taught anyone who was eager to learn. His ideas, called Confucianism, stress the need to develop responsibility and moral character through rigid rules of behavior.
How was Confucius different as an educator? EDUCATED ANYONE WHO WOULD WANT TO LEARN
What were the principles of Confucianism? RESPONSIBILITY AND MORAL CHARACTER
Confucianism is not, properly speaking, a religion; it’s a way of behaving, so you’ll do the right things.
How does philosophy differ from religion? RELIGION FOCUSES ON GOD, PHILOSOPHY FOCUSES ON LIFE AND KNOWLEDGE
The most important things to Confucius were peace and order. He felt that everyone had a proper role in society, and that if people were willing to accept their role and fulfill it, that peace and harmony would abound.
Why do you think peace and order are important for a society? KEEPS SOCIETY RUNNING
What is your role in society? MY ROLE IS TO BE A LEADER FOR PEOPLE WITH AUTISM TO GIVE THEM HOPE THAT THEY MAY FIND THEIR VOICE LIKE ME.
In order to help people accept their roles in society and establish order, Confucius laid out what he called ethics. These ethics outlined how individuals should treat one another. The most important of these ethics outlined the responsibilities of children to respect and listen to their parents and other elders. He also laid out ethics for how subjects should follow rulers, for how rulers should treat subjects, how husbands and wives should treat one another, and how friends should treat each other.
Give me one example of Confucius’ ethics. LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS!
What ethical principles guide your life? BE KIND TO OTHERS
During his own lifetime, Confucius’ teachings were not widely accepted. However, within a hundred years they were being used by the emperor to help him rule, and eventually became a widely followed religion. Confucianism would remain a powerful force in Chinese history.
In the last two weeks James has gone from writing from the perspective of a poor Egyptian boy, an Egyptian Pharoah, a policy wonk in Washington (immigration paper) to this week’s writing on Ancient China. His assignment was to imagine he was about to become the newest emperor of his dynasty and what his feelings and concerns would be as he prepared to be emperor. Things to consider, what is your dynasty? How old are you? What is happening in your dynastic era and how will it affect your position as emperor. Here is his essay:
AS THE NEXT HAN EMPEROR, I HOPE TO EXTEND OUR LEGACY. AS I AM ONLY 18, I PRAY THAT THE COUNTRY CAN DEPLOY ITS STRENGTHS. MY FEAR IS GETTING INVADED. WE ALSO NEED GREATER ALLIANCES. EVEN NEW TRADE WILL NOT PREVENT INVASION. LET US CONTINUE CONFUSCIONISM INTO STRENGTH.
Well even before we knew about this week’s predicted snowstorm James’ speech therapist decided to do a lesson on winter in an effort to shake off the winter doldrums all of us have been feeling. Here is their conversation, with James’ thoughts in capital letters.
Last weekend James had the opportunity to work with Soma the inventor of Rapid Prompt Method (the method he uses to communicate). As is usual, it was enlightening and interesting. Soma has all sorts of ways to teach a lesson and she can elaborate on almost any topic. She likes to start with a short lesson and then take words from the lesson to get her students communicating. She asked James if he would like a business lesson and he said yes so she did a short lesson on the Gross Domestic Product. She explained that the GDP is made up of all the assets of a country, above ground and underground! All the goods, services, roads, freeways, farms, bridges, anything you can practically think of. James asked WHAT ABOUT HONDA CARS? He wanted to know if the cars were made in Japan but bought here do they make up the US GDP or the Japanese GDP? This led to a discussion of US companies that make their products in China and other places where the labor is less expensive. They discussed Apple in particular since most of their products are made overseas. They then started talking about illegal workers, particularly migrant farm workers who are cheaper for our farmers but actually hurt the GDP because they do not pay taxes and often send their earnings back to their country of origin. James said I AM LIKING THIS DISCUSSION so Soma said why don’t you wrap up by writing an immigration plan for President Obama? Here it is:
LIST OF THINGS TO CONSIDER WHILE PLANNING IMMIGRATION
- WHEN PARENTS ARE NOT US CITIZENS THE CHILDREN MUST GO THROUGH THE PROCESS (of applying for citizenship).
GUEST WORKERS MUST HAVE A THREE MONTH WORK LICENSE (renewed every three months).
IT MUST BE ILLEGAL TO BE HERE WITHOUT A VALID PERMIT. (Soma said this would be really hard to enforce!)
I THEREFORE ASK APPLE TO HIRE WORKERS IN THE US AND BE GOOD TO THE AMERICAN GDP. (good luck!)
James ended the session by saying I WANT TO JOIN POLITICS. I LIKE BLOOMBERG. (ok, this shocked us!)