Ways of thinking…: Modeling the boat of life

Ways of thinking...: Modeling the boat of life
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This simulation takes us on a cruise around the world! How fun, right?

That is, until the ship hits a mine left over from World War II and the cruise ship sinks real quick.

Fortunately, you survive! One life raft was saved.

Here are the people on board:

1. Sailor Jones: It is somewhat doubtful how Jones was able to get from his assigned position below deck to the lifeboat when no other sailor assigned to the lower decks was able to escape the ship. Sailor Jones is in excellent health. Unmarried, no close relatives.

2. Ship’s Officer O’Maley: O’Malley was the only senior officer on board who managed to get into a lifeboat. This is the boat he was assigned to in all emergency drills. He is an able officer, skilled in navigation and was well liked by the ship’s passengers and crew. Excellent health.

3. Quartermaster MacDonald: Little is known about Quarter Master MacDonald. He served in the Regular Navy. Quartermaster MacDonald suffered injuries to both hands in the ship’s explosion. Quarter Master MacDonald is currently unable to use either arm. He is married and has four children in the US

4. Self-Made Millionaire Douglas: Mr. and Mrs. Douglas own and operate one of the largest garment manufacturing complexes in the United States, employing hundreds of factory workers. Health: Good to excellent, but overweight due to lack of exercise.

5. College Student Mr./Ms. Parsons: A college student on a budget vacation in Europe. Mr/Mrs Parsons has major epilepsy. Unfortunately, all the medicines were left behind when leaving the ship. Single – 22 years old.

6. Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, Dr. Lightfoot Student: Dr. Lightfoot is black, which raises questions about whether the Nobel Prize was awarded to him because of his race or ability. Dr. Lightfoot is 39 years old and in good health. Married, has two daughters who have families of their own.

7. Nobel laureate in physics, Dr. Singleton, student: It was said that Dr. Singleton was about to release information to the world that would essentially bring solution to the global ecological problem. Dr. Singleton is 62 years old and in excellent health. Dr. Singleton is born and grew up in a small town in Arkansas. She comes from a very rich family. Lonely.

8. Football player, Mr. Small and

9. Cheerleader, Ms. Little: Mr. and Mrs. Small are in their late twenties. Mr. Small was a football star at Ohio State. Mrs. Small, who also attended Ohio State, was homecoming queen. Mr. Small is now a quarterback for a semi-pro football team in New York. Mrs. Small is eight and a half months pregnant. Mr. Little is black and Mrs. Little is white.

10. Army Captain Thomas Student: Captain Thomas was recently decorated for his bravery and gallantry above and beyond the call of duty. He/she is going to the US to receive the Presidential Medal of Honor in person. Captain Thomas is married with two children and is in his mid-thirties. In the action for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor, Captain Thomas lost his right leg. Other than this rather serious condition, he is in good health.

11. Draft Evader Samuels Student: Samuels left the United States two years ago to avoid conscription. He then spent two years in Sweden, from which he was recently deported for drug trafficking. Samuels is in his twenties and in good health. Lonely.

12. Peace Corps Volunteer Mr./Ms. Davidson student: Peace Corps Volunteer who recently completed a 2 year stint in India. Mr. Davidson has a master’s degree in chemical engineering and is returning to Boston, where he is to be married in two months. She/he is 27 years old and in excellent health.

13. With the student Mr./Mrs. Ryan the student: Last year’s medical student who was on vacation in France. She/he is 26 years old, single and in excellent health.

14. An elderly man, Mr. Eldridge and

15. The Elderly Woman, Mrs. Eldridge: An elderly couple in their late 60s returning to their hometown of New Jersey after a month-long trip to Spain. Mr. Eldridge has severe arthritis and cannot walk without the aid of a cane. The couple will celebrate their 50th anniversary wedding anniversary next week. They have 8 children and 29 grandchildren and all live in New Jersey.

16. The Itinerant Poet Mr. Carpenter: 30-year-old traveling poet, in excellent health. Carpenter has never had a permanent home since running away from a New York orphanage 15 years ago. He/she spent 4 years in the Navy where he acquired a taste for sailing. Since then, he/she has completed several self-guided tours of the Caribbean. Mr./Mrs. Carpenter has been divorced three times and is currently separated from his 4th wife/husband living in Paris.

The ship is full:

That should be enough until the storm hits. Uh Oh! Guess what? [THUNDER!  LIGHTNING!] Yes – a storm.

This overcrowded lifeboat will not survive unless 7 people receive lifesaving equipment and are removed from the lifeboat. Your job is to choose who stays and who goes. You have to choose 7 people to push and save the other 9 people. Mark your choices on the package, then enter them into this Google form when you’ve decided.

The true story of what happened was based on the movie Abandon Ship, also known as Seven Waves. Here is the full movie on youtube.

In a real event aEveryone on board turned to the person of highest rank (ship’s officer) to take command. It had a sidearm on it. When the sea got too rough, he got everyone’s attention and chose who would go/stay. He kept only the strong, able-bodied who were strong enough to survive the long line. On the last day they were rescued and the captain was tried for murder. He was found guilty but received a minimum sentence of only 6 months in prison due to unique circumstances.

Individual reflection:

I’ve been doing this activity since 1999, which means students have done it over 70 times.

1. Who do you think has never been thrown from a boat? Why?

2. Who do you think got knocked out of the boat the most? Why?

3. Did your individual choices differ from what you answered in questions 1 and 2? If so, how and why? What criteria did you use to choose the different ones?

When you are done, click here to analyze the data for this lesson.

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