I’ve been using the word globalization and doing international kid projects for a long time. It was just recently that the “realness” of the so called flat world struck me — and my students. Benazir Bhutto was killed in Pakistan - and the significance was enhanced because my students and I had been engaged with a class from Karachi for the past six months, Ms. Elahi’s grade 5. As we had shared details about culture, videos, poetry, and worked together in the Monster project, we had become quite close. At the same time, my students took an active interest when Ms. Bhutto came back to Pakistan in October. They were frightened by the violence, more so than with other new events, more so than details from Iraq. Now they could imagine what it might be like to have cars burning in the streets outside of your elementary school. The children who had sent us videos (Hamd was one poetic boy) - we could only wonder — what might be happening in his neighborhood? Hannibal neighborhoods were quiet and safe. What was happening in Karachi neighborhoods? Then… the assassination of Ms. Bhutto. Real. Not a movie or video game. A lady, a woman, a human being we had discussed in class, one who had escaped a terrible bombing, was now gone, dead. The impact of the global classroom has struck my kids.

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