Monday, April 27, 2009

SHS:Dan Geraghty Creates an Amazing Author Visit with Craig Mullaney

Craig Mullaney

Last Wednesday afternoon, March 22nd, Dan Geraghty, English teacher at SHS, interviewed author, Craig Mullaney, via a live Skype connection. Students from Dan Geraghty’s sophomore English 2A, B and contemporary American literature classes, with Christina Richardson’s speech class made up the audience. Craig Mullaney is the author of The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier’s Education (Penguin Press) and a U.S. Army veteran.

Dan Geraghty originally read the book because of personal interest, specifically related to his connection to Craig's background: Craig and Dan served in the same military unit on active duty in the 10th Mountain Division. Both are Army Rangers and Infantry Captains. They both left the military after a period of service in order to pursue other interests. Dan was using the book The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien as a class text and he realized how relevant Craig's story would be as a non-fiction supplement to the text. Dan was able to connect with Craig Mullaney through Facebook, and Craig was enthusiastically willing to "visit" Dan's classes via Skype!During the 45 minute interview Dan Geraghty had prepared his own questions and selected some questions from his students. (The full video interview will be available soon and added to this blog post.) Craig Mullaney reflected on his life experiences at West Point, Oxford University and as the leader of his army platoon in Afghanistan. The interview was riveting and poignant. Craig's story is archetypal and his focus on growing up and taking responsibility for something greater than himself was inspiring.

I do not think that this interview would have been any more powerful if Craig Mullaney was actually at the school. For all intents and purposes he WAS fully present, which speaks to the power of video conferencing and Skype.

Inklings, Staples school newspaper, published an article today with more information on this amazing event.

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