History vs Hollywood Teacher, Mr. Wysocki, shows students Taylor Swift’s film, All Too Well, to teach them about sturdy relationships….sort of
It is the second week of the new semester. And that means a fresh start for hawklings of all grades to get back into the groove of working hard. History class is no exception. But for many taking Mr. Wysocki’s class, History vs Hollywood, they don’t spend their class time like regular social studies classes do: analyzing primary sources, historical events, and documents. They spend their 4th hour analyzing one thing: movies. History vs Hollywood students are given the task of reviewing pieces of cinema and comparing them to real-world concepts. They also determine the accuracy of a movie and its portrayal of an actual event or idea. It is a great way to engage the students of Forest Hills Eastern in a subject that they may find tricky to become interested in. This week, however, was a little out of the ordinary, as Mr. Wysocki had his class watch something just a bit unexpected….
Mr. Wysocki is famously known for his impressive teaching methods and the great connections he makes with students. Despite his outstanding performance as a teacher and the achievements he’s made, there is only one important thing that students and staff alike should truly know: Mr. Wysocki is a major Taylor Swift fan! Whether it be her music or in this case, her films, Taylor Swift has never failed to capture the heart of this well-rounded social studies teacher. So when the History vs Hollywood students realized the pop artists’ motion feature All Too Well shared a spot on Wysocki’s movie list, they couldn’t refuse to choose it as their next movie to review, ignoring the fact that it’s a 14-minute short film on Youtube. “We felt it to be more of a fascinating movie to look into rather than legitimate movies that we’ve done in the past,” Mr. Wysocki explained.
The film came out on November 12th, 2021, following the release of Swift’s album, Red: Taylor’s Version, which included a re-recording of her song of the same name. It’s a simple yet touching story that centers around heavy topics such as doomed relationships, manipulation, and how an autumn aesthetic makes music videos way more appealing. The viral short film took the internet by storm with great performances by Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien as they prove how downhill a relationship can surely go. “It just relates so well to this generation of kids who may see themselves in these characters. But it’s mostly because of Taylor Swift,” says Mr. Wysocki, “we definitely had fun going in-depth with things like dialog and the realness of the plot, not to mention Taylor’s amazing songwriting. She definitely gave Jake what he deserves.”
Overall, the students of History vs Hollywood gave All Too Well an enormously positive review, even more so than the other more time-consuming films they are used to watching. “It’s probably the best movie I’ve ever watched for this class,” explained an anonymous student. “I think everybody broke down at the end about the scarf; at least I did.” But that’s not the only thing Mr. Wysocki had his students endure as he ended the class on Friday by singing karaoke to the full 10-minute version of Taylor’s original song. This amazed the class as they had no idea their teacher could sing that high in range. After a delightful week of Taylor Swift mania, it is probably safe to say that this will be a viewing that History vs. Hollywood students, and Mr. Wysocki, will remember all too well.