Tuesday, 21 May 2013

World Religions Finale

This was my last semester teaching World Religions.  Next fall I'll happily pass it off to our new philosophy professor.  But I was very lucky in that my last semester of teaching World Religions was also my best.  I had fantastic students -- all theology majors, all willing to engage the material fairly but critically, and, best of all, all ready to have fun!

One Friday afternoon as I passed out our weekly quiz, this week's on primal religions, one student said, "Can I just sing 'All the Colors of the Wind' instead of taking the quiz?"  Once I'd established that "All the Colors of the Wind" is the song from Pocahontas I said, "Absolutely you can!"  So she and another student did.  Totally worth 10 points!

This led to the idea of having the final be a musical production, matching each religion to a song that demonstrated some of its key ideas.  What fun!  Unfortunately, I only had our dinky little camera, which ran out of memory before the show was over, but at least I'll have a little something to remember it by.  As I told my students when it was over, I think it was the highlight of my teaching career.

The musical was set in my very own World Religions class.  While the teacher drones on, and on, and on, . . . all the students fall asleep!  A dream sequence begins, in which the entire class is studying for the final.  As they discuss each religion, they are reminded of songs to match, and jump up to both sing AND dance!  The talking in between the songs was just as good as the songs themselves.  The roster of songs was as follows:

1.  Primal Religions -- All the Colors of the Wind
2.  Hinduism -- Circle of Life
3.  Buddhism -- original rap
4.  Confucianism -- You Bring Honor To Us All
5.  Taoism -- Let It Be
6.  Islam -- Where I Come From
7.  Judaism -- Tradition
8.  Christianity -- Jesus Loves Me and Joyful Noise

The camera is a little shaky at times -- I was just laughing so much!

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The camera ran out of memory just as I started recording "Tradition" which is so sad, since the guys did a fantastic job.  I wish you could have seen them all lifting Nate (in his Micky Mouse hat) up to the ceiling on a chair while singing at the top of their voices.  In the midst of it all I heard one of them grunt out, "Feel the burn!"  Too funny.

Thanks so much to my wonderful students in World Religions, Spring 2013!  I couldn't have hoped for a better end to my tenure with that class!

4 comments:

Son of the Most High said...

It was the best final I ever took... Thanks for allowing us!!!

Kathy Stegall said...

Amazing! That is absolutely the best final exam I've ever seen! I want to see it all, beginning to end. Congratulations on being a great teacher!

MOM said...

So sorry...this is going on FB!

MOM said...

I love your giggling in the background.