Ever heard of the film Norm of the North? No? Well, it’s about an anthropomorphic polar bear that decides to travel to New York City in a bid to stop global warming. Did the 30 students who choose to pick that film as their field trip incentive know that? No. Did they know that Star Wars was playing in the same movie theatre at the same time? Yes. Did they care? No. Should they have? Yes. A thousand times yes.

You see, at Mott Hall III we hold our students to high moral and academic standards, though of course, our students efforts do not go unnoticed nor does it go unrewarded. As often as time permits, Mott Hall III teachers and administrators meet to discuss possible rewards for our hard-working students. The rewards range from pizza parties to full on field trips, to say a bowling alley, a museum or the movies.

That faithful day, Mott Hall III teachers allowed for the 7th grade to head to the movies. They worked hard, and for the most part were on their best behavior for that week. the movie choices were as mentioned prior, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Norm of the North. Having seen Star Wars two and half times (the half comes from having seen it back to back on the same day and passing out), I eagerly tried to persuade all the students I could to go see the movie. After all, it’s Star Wars! Who wouldn’t want to see an epic space opera? Plus it was an all around really good film! Turns out quite a few students did not, and instead of chaperoning a group of students for an excellent movie, I looked over a group of students who opted for a movie that made me wonder if what I saw was even legal to be shown to the public. Simply put, it was a very bad movie.

You must be wondering, “Mr. Izzo, why would you do this to yourself? You clearly seem shaken up by what you seen.” My students wanted to see it, and what made it all worth it in the end was that effectively each and every single student who saw Norm of the North became very critical film critics. They were analyzing why the film was so bad and doing so done to the minute detail. To me, if my students can take a negative, the film, and do something productive in spite of it, in this case analyze the film itself, that’s huge! Now in class, when my students are working on a paper or reading a document, I tend to remind them of how they analyzed Norm of the North. For the most part it gets them going, for some it triggers some bad memories, but the thing is even from a supposedly fun event (though a bad movie) Mott Hall III students are actively engaged in learning and being true scholars outside of the classroom whether they realize it or not.

By: Mr. Izzo