15 Sep 2014
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Ramsey Students React to Sandy

High School teacher asked students to write what they were feeling after the storm

Ramsey Students React to Sandy

After a week off from school, Ramsey High School students in Richard Cantisano's history class returned from Hurricane Sandy still shaken from the disaster’s effects.

“The kids were still shell shocked,” Cantisano said of his class the first day back to school. “I knew I couldn’t just go back to [my lesson on] colonial history.”

So, he displayed a photo from the destruction at the Jersey Shore on his classroom’s Smart Board, and asked the students to write about their feelings.

“I went home and I read all of the 130 responses I got from my students,” he said. “I was completely mesmerized.”

Below are some of the students quotes:

  • “My Neighbor was rushed to the hospital due to a nervous breakdown and I felt selfish for worrying about my phone being at 7%” 
  • “Ramsey….looked as if it was a 3rd world country… the lights were out, there were sticks and stones on the roads and no one was in sight” 
  • “At first I didn’t think it was real, it was just like a bad dream…I felt coming back to school would be a good thing so everyone could be together”
  • “I have feelings of frustration and desperation… I have moved to different relatives searching for heat from the kind hearts of my aunts, uncles, and grandparents” 
  • “It’s weird to think that we are currently living through history”                       
  • “The sky was changing colors constantly …flickering white, purple pink, then turquoise”                                                                               

Cantisano took quotes from the responses, matched them with post-Hurricane Sandy photos, and created a Power Point movie presentation, set to music.

After he classes viewed the video, he said all of his students gave very positive reviews of it. The video is now on display in the Ramsey Public Library.

“It was a good way to get all of their feelings out,” Cantisano said. “I am very proud of it.”

View the entire slideshow here.

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