"Good morning class" the 5th-grade teacher announced.
"Today, we will be presenting our projects on current events that have happened in the last year today. Does everyone have their posters?"
"Yes," the students said together.
"Ok great. Who would like to go first?"
She called Abigail, Jake Roberto, and Mike to present their projects first.
"Hi everyone, so as you all know, one of the most historical and treasured buildings in the world, the Notre Dame, caught on fire recently. And while the roof was damaged, the building itself is ok" she said. As Abigail continued to explain what had happened regarding the fire of the Notre Dame, most people in the class began to become very sad, many began to cry.
After she had finished her presentation, everyone stood and clapped loudly, even the teacher was in tears.
"Jake, please come up to present your project"
Jake, the only kid raised by two moms in the elementary school presented on Brunei's Anti-LGBT laws and gave his passionate opinion on the policies. (Lamb) "With Brunei passing these laws, they are homophobic and need to learn to be accepting of other people that are different from them". Everyone clapped for Jake's presentation, but unlike Abigail's, no tears were shed.
"Roberto, you may come up to present your project"
"Hi everyone, my name is Roberto, and I will be talking about the burning of the Museu Nacional, the National Museum in Brazil that held over 200 years of Brazilian history until it caught on fire last September" Roberto explained. "Unlike the Notre Dame, the National museum's artifacts were close to completely destroyed; we Brazilians have lost 200 out of our 500 years of history we have as a country". He continued to state that his parents told him that it was due to the lack of government funding that contributed to the fire. (Phillips)
Everyone in the class was shocked about this; they hadn't known about what had happened, nor did they know what to do. They were deeply troubled by the issue, but unlike the Notre Dame, did not cry.
"Mike, you may come up and present your project"
"Hi everyone, so recently, there was a boat that had sunk in Lake Kivu, a lake in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. So far, 33 people have been rescued, but over 150 people are still missing" (Wembi).
Everyone in the class began to lose attention to Mike's presentation and started to talk to among themselves. The teacher began to yawn but continued to listen to Mike while the other children continued to talk about other topics.
The words "Notre Dame" was mentioned again and again in the students' conversations. In fact, the talk became so loud that it drowned out Mike's voice when talking about his current event about the ship sinking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
When Mike finished his presentation, the teacher said: "Thank you for the presentation, and for telling us about life in the Congo".
Mike was shocked she said this, and replied, "No ma'am, this is not life in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This was a terrible event that happened, hundreds might have potentially died; this is not normal".
"Well, then why don't other news places like CNN or NBC cover these stories? Trust me, they're normal" the teacher responded.
Mike, who spoke French only with his Congolese parents, had no words for this. He sat back down in his seat.
No one clapped, and the teacher called up other people.
They spoke about US Politics mainly, and the recent situation at the border; all of their presentations received applause.
Bibliography and Further Readings
Fernandez, Belen. "Notre Dame and the Case of Misplaced Empathy." Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, 16 Apr. 2019, www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/notre-dame-case-misplaced-empathy-190416175229594.html?fbclid=IwAR2zPk1QLvPkG6uJOWbUxwzR8wkQ1ItDG8UYhoEAq1l7WZRfuCPgT3gRr68.
Lamb, Kate. "'It's Dangerous to Go out Now': Young, Gay and Scared in Brunei." The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 6 Apr. 2019, www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/apr/06/brunei-lgbt-people-law-scared-dangerous.
Phillips, Dom. "Brazil Museum Fire: 'Incalculable' Loss as 200-Year-Old Rio Institution Gutted." The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 3 Sept. 2018, www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/03/fire-engulfs-brazil-national-museum-rio.
Wembi, Steve. "150 People Missing After Boat Sinks in Congo, President Says." The New York Times, The New York Times Company, 17 Apr. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/04/16/world/africa/congo-lake-boat.html.