Sam Yellis has been teaching a class that has caught the attention of many of our students. This class, Anti War Literature, has been an interesting experience for its students. I decided to find out a little bit more about this class, so I sat down with the man himself to ask him a few questions.

Sam Yellis, instructor of "Anti-War Literature".
Sam Yellis, instructor of “Anti-War Literature”.

James: What is this class all about?

Sam: It’s using books and poems and other forms of literature that have a distinctly anti-war theme that point out the folly of war.

James: What literature have you been examining?

Sam: So far we have been reading “Johnny Got His Gun” by Dalton Trombo and we have used that to Segway into the song “Marching to Waltzing Matilda”

James: Is any of the literature examined fiction?

Sam: Yes, Johnny Got His Gun is a novel.

James: Are there any particular wars you focus on?

Sam: So far World War I, it was a particularly noxious event that has been focused on by a lot of writers. But we will move forward not just into World War II, but Vietnam and our forays into Iraq.

James: What does a typical class look like?

Sam: There are times when we read from books aloud in class and discuss, as well as times where we just discuss various themes.

James: Does it ever get intense?

Sam: It’s always kind of intense… When you hear people singing about getting their legs blown off, it tends to leave an impression. I want it to be intense because I want to impart the idea that war is so intense that it needs to be avoided at all costs.

Sam’s students enjoy the class and actively participate in discussion. Many have strong opinions about the topic, and it becomes an interactive learning experience for everybody. Through this class, Village School students have been enriching their knowledge and understanding of the nature of war.

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