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Classroom Activities, by discipline, for Lucky

If you were Alice , would you have returned to the same university after the rape?

Administration of Justice:
Discuss how modern technology has made it possible for a rapist to be identified. Using the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, find an article on a rape case from 1960 or earlier and compare it to theaccount of Alice 's rape.

Discuss the policeman who (pp. 108-109) chased three black students despite Alice 's saying that none of them was her attacker. How widespread is this kind of behavior? What, if anything, can be done to “weed out” candidates for the police force who are like this?

Research procedures for a line-up in California.

Define date rape , acquaintance rape , statutory rape

Discuss racial profiling.

Find a case of a white athlete who has beenaccused and tried for rape. What are the similarities and differences betweenthat case and Kobe Bryant's case

Alice 's African-American friend, Victor, hugsher after he finds out her assailant was black (page 24). Discuss his decisionto do this, as well as her reaction to it, in the context of race.

Using descriptions from Lucky, make two drawings of thetunnel where Alice was raped, one in daytime and the other at night.

In pairs,describe a face to your partner and have him/her sketch it. Reverse roles. Whatkinds of challenges are there in illustrating a verbal description?

Alice isasked to identify her attacker's face using a book with pages of noses, eyes,etc. Draw five distinct noses (or eyes, etc.) including one which you would identifyas your own. See if your partner can guess which one. Reverse roles.

Using the Encyclopedia of World Cultures , Encyclopediaof Religion , or Encyclopedia Judaica , compare two or more cultures on theirattitudes toward virginity and rape.

Asian-American Studies:
Investigate the “comfort women” fromWorld War II. Using the Library's databases or the online catalog, find an interviewwith one of these women.

Explain how DNA is used to identify a criminal.

Pick one of the health care plans available on campusor in the community. Find out whether the plan pays for psychological counseling,how many sessions are authorized (plus cost per session) and who makes that decision.

Find the chemical formula for heroin.

Child Development:
How would you explain to a child that thereare people who might want to harm him/her? What would you advise the child todo? Role play being in a child care setting and having to teach this to the childrenin your care.

How would you deal with a parent who objects to your “scaring” herchild in the scenario above?

See activities listed under Spanish.

Pretend you are Alice and you are giving a speechabout rape awareness to a church group, a group at freshman (college) orientation,or another group of your choice.

Pretend you are Alice and you have an opportunityto make a victim impact statement at Gregory Madison's parole hearing. What wouldyou say?

Imagine that a friend has been raped and is now considering suicidebecause remembering is so painful for her. What would you say to try to changeher mind?

Computer Information Systems:
Discuss how computers have changedpolice work.

Discuss the problem of sexual predators finding their victims overthe Internet. What can, or should, parents do to be aware of what their childrenare doing? Is there software that would eliminate access to chat rooms? If so,what does it cost?

Research CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act) and explainwhy it is controversial.

Choreograph a dance showing Alice 's many moods fromthe book. Alternatively, choose one scene and show her emotions through dance.

Discuss how dental records are used to identify murder victims.Try to find out when this started.

Calculate the cost of keeping Gregory Madison inprison in New York State for 25 years and for 8.33 years. If you cannot findfigures for the nineteen eighties, use contemporary figures.

How might respect for others be taught in elementaryschool? In high school?

If you were a high school teacher, would you initiatea discussion of rape if some of the students found it uncomfortable or offensive?How would you deal with a parent who objected to such a class discussion?

Whatwould you do if you, as a female high school teacher, felt threatened by oneof your male students who was much taller and bigger than you? What if it werejust a “gut feeling”, if he had never actually said anything threatening to you?

Should self-defense be part of the high school curriculum? Why or whynot?

Imagine that you are called to the scene of a rape. Whatwould you do first for the victim? subsequently ?

Research the different kinds of rape.

Do you think that Lila has readLucky ? Do you think she will contact Alice ?

Was Alice Sebold truly “lucky”?Why or why not?

If you were raped and became pregnant, would you have an abortion?( for male students, would you advocate abortion for your sister if she wereraped?)

Do you think that Lucky is an uncomfortable choice for the College Book?Does it make you “squeamish”? If so, is that good or bad?

Is it more difficultfor the victim when the accused rapist is a celebrity or financially able tohire a high-profile attorney?

Have two students role play a situation in whicha female student is suspicious of a male student and he is insulted by this.Write a short essay giving your point of view.

Should Alice 's virginity havemade a difference in her rape trial? Explain.

What if the races of Alice andthe rapist were reversed? What kind of effect, if any, do you think that wouldhave had on the investigation and the trial?

Does the victim bear any responsibilityin acts of sexual violence? To what degree? For example, if she walks alone inan unsafe location, if she wears provocative clothing (does that need to be defined?),if she has been promiscuous.

How would you characterize Alice 's relationshipwith her sister before and then after the rape?

Why did Lila's rape destroy theirfriendship?

Discuss the different clothing Alice wears at various points in herstory. For example, why does it matter that she was wearing a cardigan and oxford-cloth shirt when she was attacked? Nude stockings (borrowed) at the grand jury hearing? Red, white, and blue at the trial? Does it seem reasonable that a jury would judge a rape victim by her attire ? Note that one of the first things Scott Peterson's attorney did was to request (granted) that his client come into court in a suit, not the prison jumpsuit.

On page 25, Sebold tells about doing research for the book many years after the rape. A woman, without recognizing her, says that she was the victim's best friend. Of course, Sebold didn't know her at all. Discuss why people do things like this and find examples in everyday life (slowing down in traffic to get a glimpse of an accident victim, etc.).

Remember Elizabeth Smart, the Salt Lake City 14-year old who was kidnapped by a homeless couple and kept for nine months as a second wife? Her parents allowed television interviews and a TV film, and they wrote a book about their experience. At no time did they allow specifics about what Elizabeth suffered (i.e. rape). The parents were criticized for “exploiting” their daughter. Using the Library's databases, search for articles about the publicity and the criticism. Do you think the parents were right or wrong in their decision? Why or why not?

Fire Science:
In some small communities, the volunteer fire department would transport a crime victim to the hospital. Imagine that you are in such a situation, and the victim has been raped and beaten. Role play how you would act.

See activities listed under Spanish .

Find maps of Syracuse and Syracuse University and locate places mentioned in the book.

Do you think Alice Sebold down-played her addiction to heroin and made it seem easy to kick the habit? Do you think that celebrities who go public with their addiction and rehabilitation help or hurt young people?

Research prima nocte .

See activities listed under Spanish .

See activities listed under Spanish .

Debate the right of the public to know about a rape as opposed to the right of the victim for anonymity. If you were the editor-in-chief of the Syracuse University newspaper, would you publish Alice 's name? Would you make a different choice if you were editor-in-chief of a big city newspaper? How about the National Enquirer, assuming that either the victim or the accused was famous?

Read accounts of the Kobe Bryant trial in various newspapers and try to discover a bias, if any.

Legal Office Professional:
Using Lexis Nexis (database), find a rape case.

Research rape statistics in the United States . Compare those statistics with another country. In which country is the likelihood of rape higher? Do you think the statistics are accurate? Why or why not?

Find pieces of music that exemplify Alice 's emotions at various times in the book.

Read the section of the book where Alice has been brought to the hospital following the rape. Have procedures for dealing with a rape victim changed since 1981, when the story takes place?

What is included in a “rape kit”? For how long is the kit kept (in San Diego , for example)?

Personal development:
Imagine that you are interested in a career as a rape counselor or crisis counselor. Find information about it and tell whether you would like that kind of work, including your reasons.

(For student athletes): Give some examples of famous athletes who have been accused of rape. How has their celebrity contributed to the problem?

See activities listed under Spanish .

Political science:
If you were a lawyer, would you be able to defend a man whom you believed to be guilty of rape? If you turned down the case, what reasons would you give?

Discuss Alice 's failure to identify Gregory Madison in the police lineup. Does it seem fair to you that he was able to enlist a look-like friend to intimidate and frighten Alice ? From the point of view of a defendant , does it seem fair?

If Kobe Bryant is found guilty, he could go to prisonfor the rest of his life. Discuss whether this is an appropriate punishment ortoo harsh. In your class discussion, you may want to see if gender makes a differencein responses. ( Instructors: you may want to have anonymous balloting forthis.)

Is Alice a classic example of Adult Childrenof Alcoholics? Why or why not?

Discuss Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome. Does Alicefit the definition?

Research the psychological aspects, behavior, and potentialtreatments for the three types of rapists discussed in the book.

Discuss thereactions of Alice's friends and classmates to her rape. In general, were themen or the women more compassionate and understanding?

Discuss hatred and thedesire for revenge and how it affects a person physically and emotionally.

Imagine that you are an agent and anxious to sell a property in an isolated area. You are asked to show it to a single man who, frankly,makes you feel uncomfortable, although you don't know why. What would you do?Go with your instincts? Push them aside? Bring someone else along?

Using the Encyclopedia of Religion , compare two or more religions on their attitudes toward rape and/or virginity.

Find statistics and/or profiles of rapists, of rape victims. What sociological factors can be attributed to each?

Alice mentions at one point that she and her sister were “raised in a housewhere my mother's problems were the glue of family”. Discuss the Sebold household and the effect of Alice 's rape on each of its members. In what ways did the family provide the support she needed in the aftermath of the rape? Were you disturbed by any of their responses and behaviors?

How would you characterizeAlice 's relationship with her sister before and then after the rape?

Role play for four students: A young woman (Student#1) who speaks no English is brought into the emergency room. Her injuries indicaterape. A hospital employee (Student #2) is brought in to translate for the maledoctor (Student #3), but the victim becomes hysterical and wants a female doctor(Student #4).

Have one student interview (another student) author Alice Seboldabout her book Lucky on a Spanish-language radio station.

You have been asked to find twoadditional films for the College Book film series. What films would you choose,and why? Note: the films already chosenare “Town without Pity”, “The Accused”, “A Time to Kill ”, and “Prince of Tides”.

Using the dialogue given in the book, act out Alice 's appearanceon the witness stand.

If a play or film were to be made of Lucky , which well-knownactors would you cast in all the parts?

Travel and Tourism:
What precautions should a single woman takewhen traveling alone?

What should a person do if she is raped or sexually assaultedin another country?

Women's Studies:
Research at least one culture, past or present,where women have little or no rights.

Alice is asked by jury members why shewas walking alone through the park at night. To what degree, if any, is a victimresponsible for sexual violence?

Discuss Alice 's poem and its description ofviolent hatred toward her rapist. Why do you think her friend , Maria, is uncomfortablewith her aggression and dismisses it as untrue?

During the rape, Alice eventuallygives up the physical struggle, believing she will be killed. She also intuitivelydetermines she must convince him that he has complete power over her. Do youthink these personality traits helped save her life or did they just make heran easier victim?

Other Resources
“A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety” publishedby the FBI and downloadable in English or Spanish.

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network

Center for Community Solutions, the City of San Diego 's only rape crisiscenter
24-hour toll-free number:1-888-272-1767

Men Can Stop Rape

The Rape Crisis Center

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape

Islamic Women under Shari'alaw

“Traditional” Rapein Aboriginal Australia

Burmaand the SLORC Militants

Rape in Ancient Greece
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