Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Mystery History Box

Since I am teaching the history of terrorism along with its current implications in the modern world, I thought a counter-terrorism simulation would be beneficial to the students. We'd played out the Cuban Missile Crisis in a simulation that turned out engaging and memorable.

I searched the internet--surely someone had been successful and had generously posted it for the rest of us who were eager to bring life into the classroom.

I found an intense simulation practiced by law students at the SJ Quinney College of Law. After speaking to the astute professor in charge, I learned the simulation takes four hours and the law students take one year to create the simulation.  Hmmm...our needs were much less sophisticated than the future lawyers-counter-terrorist-negotiate-ers of the world.

Somehow, amongst all the other dead ends, I found mention of a simulation created by an American who endured the Iranian hostage crisis, as a hostage (1979).  He and his girlfriend created the simulation they so generously shared with students around the nation. This man had a story to tell. 

My search for a copy or a script, almost came up empty until I serendipitously found the Myrin Institute and a kind lady named Karen.

When I inquired as to making a possible purchase of the simulation, Karen responded: We don't have the kit available for sale.  I am not even sure if we still even have one, if we do I could photocopy the material and email it  to you. I will take a look in the barn the next couple of  days and let you know next week.

The valuable simulation might be out in the barn! I pictured this piece of history, discarded on a back shelf covered in cobwebs and dust, tucked under the eave with a hole in the roof-rain splattered and ruined. I chucked this into the dead-end pile of almost fulfilled hopes and dreams. 


A month later, I hear from Karen: I have finally located the last known box.  It has many components and would take a lot of time to copy.
I would love to send it to you to review and see if it will serve your purpose.  If it does please feel free to use and copy if you wish for future use.  Than when you are done return back to us so that it is available for anyone else to use. 

The Last Known Box! 

When I taught my students about the Iranian hostage crisis, it was completely new history to them, yet it is another puzzle piece to Jimmy Carter's presidency, an historic rescue mission failure, the emergence of radical Islam, the oil crisis, and the evolution of America. Now my students may participate in a simulation created by a man who lived this American hostage tragedy! 

I eagerly wait for the mystery history box, once relegated to a dark corner in a Massachusetts barn, about to come to life. 

Postscript: I scratch my head wondering how I found the simulation, the institute, and Karen. This will be easy, I'll just start the search over and I'll be led to the website like I was before. But it doesn't happen.