Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chapters 11 & 12 The turning point I did not see coming.

The word "politicians" can be sweet or sour sounding. In this book for Mr. Conroy I was disgusted at how the things that he did got twisted and turned around in order to make him look like a thief. The boat and the gas, now we know that he was told that it was taking care of and he would not have stolen anything. Even the people of the Island wanted to help Conroy by having a strike and not sending the children to school. We know that this did not last very long, because the parent's would be sent to jail for refusing to sent them to school. They did mean well, and I'm sure Conroy was touched. The boycott had to end. After two months the case would start with some that should have been a friend and not against him and for the record I just did not care for  Ted Stone or Piedmont's character's. Mrs. Brown I now understood that she just wanted to be accepted by others and did not know she was a pawn against Conroy. The case appeared that they had won, but the Judge gave a different verdict. He lost his job and unable to teach again in South Carolina. Conroy has no hatred for any involved and believes that he did not change anything in the Yamacraw kids, but I want to believe that he offered them so much more than just living on the Island and not knowing what was on the other side.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chapter 9 & 10-Learning off the Island

What is making me think with these chapters are two things and that is wow! The Globetrotters which I can remember when I was  much younger how I loved watching them on TV.  I do wonder what went through little Saul's mind when he received that pat on the behind. I've heard of kids never washing their clothes that were touched by someone famous. Curly Neal was a great performer and always gave the crowd a great memory. At least Conroy did not have to seek Mrs. Brown's approval since it was not a school function. The Valentine's Day party for the girl's given by Conroy's wife was a treat for the four girls, excluding the haunted house. My next thought was about the Washington DC trip. The homes that the kids stayed in how the people gave them a place to rest while they were on a trip of a life time. The way Conroy explains the children's reaction is written in a way that I can really see their little faces light up. Today it would be unheard of of a teacher allowing student's to ride on trips in their own car. I'm happy that this trip took place for the kids and that Mr. Conroy was able to give them this educational experience.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Chapter 7 & 8 Fear,Straps & Rats

In my last post I talked about Mrs. Brown and how I just cannot understand why she feels that she must put fear in these little children. She is constantly staring them down, making a remark about the student’s intelligence and forever carrying around that large, thick, ugly strap. Do the parents not know what goes on in the school? Well, I believe by Mr. Conroy’s words on paper gives us a vision of how life was lived on the Island. This must be their way of life and that’s all they know how to handle situations. Beating these children is so wrong. I believe that there is a right way to correcting behavior and beating is not a way that I can imagine. I’m right behind the baby boomers generation and I must say that I’ve only received one whipping in my childhood life and I turned out ok. I thought it was hilarious that she accused Conroy of allowing the student’s to look at naked women. Conroy did laugh until he found out the strap went a swinging on the student’s in his absents. He felt awful.  This goes back to Mrs. Brown stressing how important it is to teach from the textbook, but why? Did she not use the textbook herself before Mr. Conroy came and what did the student’s learn? When Mr. Conroy attempted to get the student’s to use the books they could not. Furthermore, most could not even write their name much less add numbers. So, if the textbook did not work for her, why was she pushing Conroy to use it? Maybe it was to see him fail!!!!!!  In October Mr. Conroy gives up his house for three reasons one being the rats, yikes!! I thought the part of him waking to something in his bed was too funny.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chapter Five Blog

The reading of chapter five has been thus far the best reading of the assigned book. Mr. Conroy has stepped up his teaching skills for the students by thinking outside the box for ideas. As any good teacher would do for the benefit of their students to learn and gain knowledge is too go beyond the text book. Although, Mrs. Brown is still not happy and stresses that he is wasting valuable time with nonsense of films and tapes. I believe that Mr. Conroy has built a rapport with the students and has formed a bond that Mrs. Brown has never had and is probably jealous of how the students respond toward Mr. Conroy. It was in October that two California boys, Jim and Joe, from the University of California chosen for a quarter project for a sociology class. They would live on the Island and assist the teacher with the students. The students would learn how to play certain outdoor recess activities. Of course, Mrs. Brown was not pleased with the idea of wasting learning time. She was even against the two boys working in the classroom with Mr. Conroy, but she claimed that they did not have any credentials and could not go against the rules of the state. I know in today’s classroom teachers enjoy having volunteers to come in and help with the students. I find it hard to believe that she would not allow them to come and work with the students in the classroom and help Mr. Conroy. Just like the books and films that Mr. Conroy brought into the classroom that exposed the students to the outside world way beyond the Yamacraw Island those two men could have helped the students’ tremendously with reading, writing and math skills. We will never know what kind of an impact there would have been if the two men had been allowed to go into the classroom and assist with the students on their academic learning.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chapter 4 Bring on the Music

Chapter 4 was very humbling to me simple because we can hear about how materials are needed in certain areas and we just assume that they have them or we just ignore the request. Conroy has really stepped up what it means to be a teacher, and how we should look for outside ways to teach our students.  Conroy stepped outside the norm and brought the outside world to the students. I love to read and the library should be filled with great resources to expand the mind. Their library was ancient and had nothing that could spark a child’s mind or even want to pick up the book because it was way above their ability to read. I admire Conroy for utilizing music and geography to get the students imagination rolling. Bringing the world to them so that they can know that yes, there is much more than the Island.  He had the students to use their listening skills to recognize a melody of a song and the composer who created the piece of music with playing a little at the beginning or even trying to trick them by starting in the middle. The students listened to these now out dated records on a record player, I had a stereo that has one build inside. This is old I tell you. I thought it was a great idea to have his friends to use a tape recorder and give a brief history of themselves and the state they lived in. The state of New York was a hit with the students and they wanted to know all that they could learn about this great place. Mrs. Brown was not impressed with his new ways to teach the students, she assumed they were messing around and not sticking to the guide of learning. She always time after time want to enforce the need to teach from the outdated text books. Boring!!!!! Where would the fun of learning come from if Conroy chose not to use films, records, or even tape recordings?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In chapters 2 & 3 the read was much better than the 1st chapter. I knew that as a future teacher that Mr. Conroy would elaborate on areas that would benefit and open my mind to a higher level of teaching children. The characters were coming to life as he describes and how the people viewed them. Mr. & Mrs. Stone for instance, I pictured them as being peoples the watched over any type of activities on the Island. It was like they had the last say so to people coming or changes that might come up. Mr. Stone was sort of like someone that compresses their real feelings about situations and then is compelled to explode how they really feel. I really didn’t like some of the tactics that Mr. Stone did and at the same time he would come through for help when Conroy needed him. I believe his viewpoint of Conroy changed when he moved off the Island and he went to investigate the house Conroy left. The poster of McQueen and the motorcycle was a nail in their relationship after Conroy moved out and began commuting. Mr. Stone had gone to investigate the house and saw some of his belongings left behind. Mr. Stone’s personality changed to the darker side.  I also thought of the “Little House on the Prairie”; when he described the school house and having one teacher teach the ranges of school age students. When he met the Mrs. Brown and the students was very interesting to say the least. I do know that I have never met a Mrs. Brown described in the book and would not want too. After he assessed them and knew they could not write their name or form any kind of sentences he had to look for other means of teaching and giving them experiences off the Island. Teaching with music and other interactive learning games like the maps, gave Conroy a chance to assess them of what they were learning verbally. The students learned some of the most wonderful composers and could identify them. This was brilliant and creative. Reading how Conroy interacted with the students and sought any type of resources that could help them learn revealed that he was determined and believed that they all could learn.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chapter 1 Pat Conroy

I began reading Pat Conroy’s The Water is Wide this week and I must say, it is written with words of change. Although, there are times in the reading that I’m thinking what in the world is wrong with this guy. I know he was raised in a different time and society was not to keen on allowing for change. The mood of the chapter to me is of trying to get a grip on his guilty for even thinking the way he did and understanding why he did. Denial for people back then was we don’t talk and we don’t befriend anyone that is different. Change did happen or it started to take a change when the horrible murder of Dr. Martin King Jr. happened. All Dr. King wanted was for all to get along and be treated the same (Equal). Then, the episode at the High School happened with the students and that is where the truth of how he really felt surfaced, even for himself, because he was just in denial and not really paying attention to what was happening in the world. I’m not real clear yet as to why he wanted to go and teach African American children so bad was it because he knew that the years past he looked down on them and did not treat them as equal and the guilty was just more than he could bear or was it a way to let society see him doing something that would look good on his resume’. Whatever the reason, I’m sure that in the next chapter it will be clearer of what his actions and intent are for his request.