War’s Fury

I got out books last night to prepare the Sunday School lesson for today. But I felt so totally uninspired. Why should I prepare if the main teacher is showing up? I have not been released since I need to be in there with “Kitty” anyway, but she doesn’t really want me in there. I am supposed to sit there quiet in her opinion. But how can I when she doesn’t teach on their level? When she doesn’t notice that she has lost them? And when she misses the main points? And after all, I am still their teacher according to the board that states what calling each and everyone has . And many Sundays, she doesn’t show up so then it IS up to me to teach the entire lesson and I rather do it prepared than ad lib. According to the Primary President, I am on equal standing as the other teacher and that I have all the right in the world to interfere. And she likes me to always be prepared, to step in. But last night it felt so heavy. It was a very long lesson, many chapters of scriptures, and I needed to get together a rope, torch, matches, cut outs and pictures to illustrate. But did I feel for running around gathering them together? No! And to find colouring pages for “Kitty” on the internet? I felt too tired. But finally at 20:55 I made myself bring out all the books to start the inevitable and then this program starts: “War’s Fury” about WWI. I shouted for Daniel to come join me since he is off to Belgium in little over a month, with his class, to see the trenches and museums. He asked me how long it would be on and I pretended to not hear since I had discovered that it was on till 22:40 (without commercials). Very long in other words.

“Cookie” joined me, laying down on one sofa and Daniel on the other one. I thought, hmmm, will we have another little historian here? You never know? We snickered when we looked over at Daniel at “1915” and saw him deeply unconscious. Right ho! I guess some other time? But she, my little, eleven year old, sweet fairy, sat and watched the gruesome documentary on all the horrors of that war with her mother’s comments to not make her confused about what she saw. When it was awful footage, she put a book up in front of her face, but she was a real trooper. She stayed awake for the whole thing. Daniel woke up in 1918 when the US came in to the war and marched on to the TV screen. He looked like a question mark and I said “I thought you wanted to see this?”. “I have watched it!”. “You’ve been gone for three years!!!”. “Cookie” thought it all sounded so funny. It was not funny to sit at 22:40 and look at the books for Church and know that I was not at all prepared.

The program was a very good one. Most of the footage was from the actual war and some even in colour, well sort of colour. I was impressed that so much was filmed since filming after all was in it’s infancy. The whole documentary was telling the story of one soldier’s view of the war, because he was in all the battles with his friend Léon. But Léon went awol in 1917 after displaying sure signs of battle fatigue. The friend always wondered where he was, till he at the end, tells the viewers that he received Léon’s tags, books and papers. I can only conclude that he was found and shot as a deserter. How terrible! What good use was a man with war fatigue? If you can’t function, you become a danger to the others. But all these generals were so far from the battles, sitting in castles planning and not realizing what they were doing to the poor men, that had to carry out their insane plans. Two things shocked me more than anything. The fact that the Germans invading Belgium and Northern France, arrested the women, and sent them to, believe it or not, concentration camps in Germany! Already in 1914 they were at it! How horrifying is that! And secondly, when they let go of the gas, they had no control of it. When the wind changed it could blow back in their own faces, which I call poetic justice, but most of the time it seemed like it would just spread to nearby villages and kill off animals, but worse of all, the women and children. The documentary showed all little children being marched in to a school or something, all of them wearing a very primitive kind of gas mask. I’m surprised they were willing to put it on and wear it for the camera. But did it really, really protect them?

This morning I got up at 7:00 to prepare for the lesson, laying in bed thinking about the program and whether my preparing would be a waste of time. Turned out, it was indeed 8:00, because unbeknownst to me, we had gone over to summer time during the night (I have made my own diary so I miss some of these major events) . Talk about panic! I asked T. if I should bother preparing the lesson and he told me to do it since what where chances that she would be there? So I sat and prepared while he angrily got the children breakfast (He doesn’t like to get up on Sundays, but the boys think we should be up as usual, and it really is no day to sleep in with such a large family to get ready!). I am glad that I did. It was a complicated one and when we got to Church, believe it or not, only five minutes late, the other teacher was not there and I was asked if I could teach it. What a nightmare, if I had not read through everything and planned everything to the most minute detail. I actually even managed to print out four different colouring pages that I copied off for ALL the children in the class, so they could listen and colour. I’ve noticed they learn better then, and they DO listen! Mission accomplished! 🙂

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