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Oprah’s 20th Anniversary Special DVD is a great resource for teaching psychology. Many of the clips can be used to illustrate some of the themes and topics in psychology. Most of the clips allow students to make personal connections to the topics.
Many of the clips are extremely emotional and cover topics that may be sensitive to some students in your class. I highly recommend previewing each segment before sharing with your class.
I have included links to the video clips that are available on YouTube, however, it is worth the investment to purchase a copy of the DVD to have access to all the video clips. Students have a worksheet to respond to clips. (If you are interested, please email mark [at] mytowntutors [dot] com. I will be glad to email you a copy of the worksheet.) For each clip I have included some notes that might be useful.
Kathy Bray (6:19) (emotion & memory) – Gun violence, mother having to hold her dead son in her arms, alcoholism, divorce, and recovery.
Personal loss – All of us have experienced personal loss on some level, be it a loved one (two-legged or four legged). Describe your emotions going through your experiences of personal loss. What were your thoughts and emotions? How does it impact you today?
Mrs. Duncan (4:24) (emotion, memory, education, write it forward) – Oprah’s favorite teacher – tears of happiness. An inspirational person who made a difference in her life – Mary was a “person” – a reality check / paradigm shift. People can inspire and motivate us.
Inspiration: There are individuals in our lives who, like Mrs Duncan, have created a spark in us. They have motivated us to be better people. It may be a simple act the person committed, a conversation, or an example of living. Describe the person and his or her impact on you.
Rudine (10:05) (addiction, body image, anorexia nervosa) – anorexia nervosa – is a terrible disease that is so challenging to overcome. Feels fat at 60 pounds. Following her as a “news story” instead of a person. Visits a Psychologist. “We are in control of our life and our destiny.” Tracy Gold. Paradigm shift – Central question is “HOW.”
Addiction: Anorexia nervosa is a disorder of the mind. A person cannot see that they are severely malnourished, and many eventually die. Describe your experience with others (or yourself) dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. How challenging of a process was it for the person to acknowledge the addiction? Also describe the process the person used to change the behavior. Explain the impact this person has had on the people in his / her immediate circle.
Trudy Chase (6:48) (memory, abuse, repression, therapy, recovery, multiple personalities) – Multiple personalities 92 distinct people living within one mind. Brutally raped from a young age by a step father. At age 2 being fondled. Underwent years of therapy. She “shattered” her personality. Sexual abuse.
Events that impact our lives: Sexual abuse is a traumatizing event, even if occurs only once. Unfortunately for many people in Trudy’s situation, it is not a one-time event. These series of abuses are the foundation of her multiple personalities.
Perhaps we can shift the focus to positive events that have shaped who we are. Describe an event or events that have helped shape your personality. Give a detailed account of the event and how it impacted you and still impacts you today.
Joni Jacques (2:38) (motivation, heroes, role models, inspiration, making a difference) – stand in a Oprah’s Shoes Success is taking what you have to offer and move some else to a next level. (not completely accurate)
Using your gifts to help others: What are the gifts you possess that can help improve the lives of others.
Mr. Dawson (motivation, dreams, passion, bucket list, education, learning) – age 100. Learned to read at the age of 98. Teacher “Watching him learn to read is one of the greatest experiences of my life.” Literacy is taken for granted! It is never too late. “Education, no matter how old you are, is still the open door to freedom.”
Your Education: Evaluate your thoughts on reading. Do you enjoy reading? Do you value reading? Do you read often? Why or why not? Do you agree with Oprah’s words – “Education, no matter how old you are, is still the open door to freedom.”? Explain.
Evaluate your attitude to your high school education. How hard do you work? Do you strive to do the best you can in all your classes? Do you consider yourself a “life-long” learner?
Here is another link related to Mr. Dawson: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/The-Greatest-Lessons-on-The-Oprah-Show_1/8
Erin Krupps (9:44) (motivation, dreams, love, write it forward, vision, playing the cards you are dealt, simple things, gratitude, circle of control, personal loss) – Video tapes and letters to her children. Nice guy with a Backbone. Living for the moment, Living in the moment. Coping better because of the videos. Buy presents each year and wrote letters.
Kate and Zach (4:15) (the “moment,” valuable memories, playing the cards you are dealt, simple things, gratitude, circle of control, personal loss) – Faced the trauma with Optimism and Hope. I can face death with a sense of peace”
What was the most memorable moment? bowl of Cherrios at 2:00 AM. Value the little things in life: a bowl of cereal. The simple intimate moments.
Jacqui Saburito (14:06) (trauma, adversity, paradigm shift, decisions, emotion, perseverance) – endured 50 surgeries and faces years of surgery ahead. A woman who defines “survival.” Killed by a high school student. Every day is a fight. Are you glad you lived? Yes! The mother of the driver speaks with her. “Life changes in an instant.” On fire for over a minute, skin melted away, parts of her still stuck to the seat. 3rd degree burns covering 60% of her body. “I went from a football hero on Friday night to a jail cell.” Unconscious for 10 months. I miss my body, independence, opportunities, my future. Sometimes I want to be in another body. She is forgiving of the driver.
Life can change in a second: This story illustrates how fragile life. One accident, ended 2 lives, sent a high school senior to prison, and drastically altered one survivor’s life, Jaqui. She still maintains a positive outlook on life. If you know of people who have had a “life changing second,” describe that person, event, and the impact on the loved ones.
Every day is a fight – Feel sorry for herself 5 minutes a day. Do not feel bad about a situation in your life for a long time. Deal with the cards you are dealt and make the most of it. “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
Tish Hooker (2004) (6:17) (pay it forward, random acts of kindness, self-esteem, ripple effect) – You never know how what you say can lift a person up. “You are as cute as a speckled pup.”
Mattie (2001) (10:51) (EMOTION, vision, dreams, goals, circle of influence, goals) – No words are necessary, it is perhaps one of the most moving stories you will ever see. There will be many watery eyes in your class.
Here is another linked related to this clip: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/In-Memory-of-Mattie-Stepanek
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