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Cluster Two: What was the War Experience?
Thinking Skill: Annalyzing

  • I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag (Joe McDonald)
  • Hippies (Alex Forman)
  • Village (Estela Portillo Trambley)
  • Farmer Nguyen (W. D. Ehrhart)
  • The Massacre at My Lai (Hugh Thompson)
  • A Nun in Ninh Hoa (Jan Barry)
  • A Piece of My Heart (Anne Simon Auger)


I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag (Song Lyrics)

Prediction: From the following picture, what can you guess the story will be about?
I_Feel_Like_Im_Fixin_To_Die.jpg

Joe McDonald grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles. After high school he attended college at Berkeley, where he became an activist agains the Vietnam War. In the 1960s his band, Country Joe and the Fish, played at Woodstock. He continued to oppose war and worked with anti-war Veterans groups, even touring to oppose the Iraq War.

http://youtu.be/LBdeCxJmcAo

  1. Who does the author blame for the Vietnam War?
  2. This poem is an example of satire, or dark humor. Death in battle is usually considered a serious topic.
  3. Do you think the use of dark humor is appropriate for such a topic?


Hippies (Memoir)

Prediction: From the following picture, what can you guess the story will be about?
Hippies.jpg


Alex Forman has written extensively about the 1967 Summer of Love in San Francisco as well as the counterculture group, the Diggers, who lived in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. The Diggers organized food giveaways, and free clinics throughout the 60's and 70s.
  1. Describe the author's first reaction to Haight-Ashbury.
  2. Contrast the hippie's values with those of mainstream society.
  3. Why does the author call the counterculture an "illusion"?
  4. What are some of the legacies of the hippie era in modern society?



Village (Short Story)

Prediction: From the following picture, what can you guess the story will be about?
Village.jpg


Estela Portillo Trambley was a famous Chicana playwright and author before the Chicana Movement found an audience. She died in 1999.
  1. What conflict does Rico experience at the beginning of the story?
  2. Why does Rico think that following orders would be "the easy thing to do"?
  3. Do you think Rico did the right thing?
  4. How do you think Rico will explain his actions at his court-martial?
  5. Write a brief explanation of how you would either defend or prosecute Rico court-martial.


Farmer Nguyen (Poem)

Prediction: From the following picture, what can you guess the story will be about?
Farmer_Nguyen.jpg

W.D. Ehrhart began writing when he was 15 years old. After graduating from high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps, serving part of his tour of duty in Vietnam. He is primarily known for the poetry he wrote about the Vietnam era.

  1. What happens to Farmer Nguyen when the soldiers come?
  2. How much choice did the farmer have about giving rice to the Vietcong?
  3. Why do you think the poet focused on one simple farmer?
  4. Rewrite the poem from the farmer's perspective.


The Massacre at My Lai (Essay)

Prediction: From the following picture, what can you guess the story will be about?
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Hugh Thompson: After Hugh Thompson, Lawrence Colburn, and Glenn Andreotta stumbled upon the My Lai Massacre, the general public accused them of making a scapegoat of commanding officer Lt. William Calley. Many people believed, against evidence the contrary, that Calley's troops had inflicted civilian casualties accidentally. Thompson and his colleagues held their ground and the uproar around them eventually subsided. Not until 1998 were the men honored with medals for their courage in protecting civilian lives in Vietnam.

  1. How does Thompson save the people hiding in the bunker?
  2. What evidence does the author give to support his claim that "My Lai...was pure, premeditated murder?
  3. Thompson's actions at My Lai are now being used to teach battlefield ethics. Why do you think so?
  4. How do you think news of the My Lai massacre affected American public opinion?
  5. Draft a newspaper article commending the bravery of Hugh Thompson and his crew.


A Nun in Ninh Hoa (Poem)

Prediction: From the following picture, what can you guess the story will be about?
Nun_in_Ninh_Hoa.jpg



During the 1960s more than 100 monks and nuns burned themselves alive as a nonviolent protest against religious persecution and the war.

Jan Barry: Reports of his premature death in Vietnam are widely exaggerated according to poet himself. As a teenager he dreamed of becoming a general, so he enlisted in the Army and was shipped to Vietnam. Returning home, he worked various odd jobs to support his poetry habit. Along the way, his high school classmates and credit companies came to believe he had died in Vietnam, something he is still trying to set straight. His collection of poems, Earth Songs, is a tribute to his experiences in Vietnam beyond the battlefield.

  1. What was Jimmy doing when he saw this shocking sight?
  2. What was the nun's demeanor as she died?
  3. Describe Jimmy Sharpe's reaction to seeing a nun burn herself to death.
  4. Why do you think Jimmy Sharpe reacts as he does to the nun's death?
  5. Do you think the nun's protest produced the desired result? Why or why not?
  6. What were some other ways of protesting the war?


A Piece of My Heart (Oral History)

Prediction: From the following picture, what can you guess the story will be about?
A_Piece_of_My_Heart.jpg

Anne Simon Auger, one of 15,000 American women who served in Vietnam, grew up in Michigan before enlisting in the army as a nurse. She worked as an emergency room nurse in Cu Chi and Da Nang.

  1. What attitude does the author have toward going to Vietnam?
  2. Describe a lesson that the author learns during her service in Vietnam.
  3. Why does the author feel disoriented when she returns home?
  4. Explain whether you feel the expectations for women in the armed forces were appropriate.


Responding to Cluster 2