The highlight of my week was sharing an episode of, “This American Life” with the Advanced and 4B evening students.

The episode we watched followed the lives of seven different people, all named John Smith (the most common name in America). All of the John Smiths were at different ages, and the episode offers an opportunity to study life at unique stages and thus pose larger existential questions.

I asked the students, “Why do you think the team at “This American Life” decided to make an episode about seven different people named John Smith?”

The students emailed me their answers. Below I’ve posted some of my favorites:

“I think they made this movie because they wanted to show how the lives of these 7 men with the same name can turn out differently in many ways. And a name has no meaning in how our lives are going to be.” – Elias Lozada, Advanced

“In the movie we see different lives but they all have similar
qualities, like they all share the same name. Probably they (the
directors) want to show how people accept, without any complaint, how
people build their lives to be useful to society but not useful to
themselves.” – Paulo Esperon, Advanced

“I believe that they made a show telling  stories about 7 John Smiths because they want to show how different lives can be and at the same time the life of each person follows the same path. All of them were born, grew up, got married and in some moment died. Although there are 7 different people, the 7 lives can be very similar. ” – Fernanda Fortes, Advanced

“Because the film needs to show how the lifestyles of American people in different societies in America and let us know how American people spend their lives together. The film also let us know how people in one place can have very different lifestyles.” – Vienkham Khanasarath, 4B

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