Thursday, February 23, 2012

Conroy Chapters 5 and 6

          The sentence that I picked out from chapter five was "We must show love, compassion, and understanding for each other."  I like this sentence because this is the part in the story where Conroy tries to teach the children some responsibility and compassion for others.  He says this line after he and the children start talking about the condition of the dogs on the island.  During this conversation the children get mad, and they start calling each other names.  In order to try and get past this disrespect for one another he decides to teach them responsibility by giving them puppies to take care of.  The dogs appear later down the line to be as malnourished as the dogs already on the island, but they still have some of their old spark which gives Conroy some hope.  The sentence that I picked out from chapter six was "I admire you very much for having taught on this God-forsaken island, but I am going to give these kids the experience of spending Halloween the way the rest of the kids in America spend it."  In this chapter Conroy stands up to Mrs. Brown so that he can take the children to Beaufort on a field trip for Halloween.  He wants them to experience Halloween because they never have before.  Halloween is something that they do not seem to celebrate on Yamacraw Island.  Not only will the children get to experience Halloween, but they will get to hang out with white children the same age as them.  This is something that they have never done before.  The field trip to Beaufort was educational for the students; they got to learn about Halloween, but they also got to mix with children outside of their own culture.  Conroy fight for this field trip was educational for both him and his students.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Conroy Chapter 4

       The sentence that I picked out from chapter four was "They threw a thousand yasuhs in my direction, which made me uncomfortable, but I met some of the island's most colorful figures when I went down to talk with the fishermen."  This line in the chapter stood out to me because I believe that is the part of the story where Pat Conroy is truly trying to get to know the islanders on Yamacraw.  I believe that this is important because by getting to know the individual islanders he is learning about the community.  The island community in which his students live.  By going down and talking with the fishermen everyday he gained new insight about the island, and had new things that he could discuss with his students in order to get them active in class, as well as get to know them better.  Another reason why this particular sentence stuck out to me is because I think that not only is Conroy trying to better understand the community where his students live, but because he wants to get to know the islanders.  He's been on the island for a little while by this point in the story, and most of the people that he has actually talked to are his students.  He talks to Mrs. Brown in passing, but mostly about school.  He also spoke with Mr. and Mrs. Stone, but only because they controlled pretty much everything on the island.  But, Pat Conroy had been pretty much alone since he came to the island, and I believe that not only was he trying to get know the islanders, but that he was also trying to make friends.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Conroy Chapters 2 and 3

        My favorite line from chapter two is "I told them about myself, about my mother and father, about my four brothers and two sisters, about teaching in Beaufort, about going to Europe, and about my coming to Yamacraw."  I like this sentence because it describes how Conroy opened up to his students in order to get them interested in what was going on in the class.  Not only did he get them interested, he got them to talk to him.  They were excited when they learned that his father flew jet planes.  When he was done talking about himself, they proceeded to tell him about things they did on the island.  In this way Conroy got the children to open up to him.  My favorite line in chapter three is "My pre-Yamacraw theory of teaching held several sacred tenets, among these being that the teacher must always maintain an air of insanity, or of eccentricity out of control, if he is to catch and hold the attention of his students."  Early in the chapter Conroy has a conversation with the class about snakes.  The conversation started when Conroy introduced snakes as part of that days lesson.  The children stated that snakes were bad.  When he tried to explain that not all snakes are bad, the children began telling him about the different myths and stories that they had heard about snakes while growing up on the island.  It was after this interesting conversation that Conroy decided to "maintain an air of insanity."  He started bringing records for the students to listen to.  Once they had memorized most of the songs in order, he started mixing them up trying to fool them.  He also began making games to help the students learn, especially those who seemed to be having the most trouble in school.  When he asked the whole class questions out loud, sometimes to test them to see if they were paying attention he would tell them something like "Second President was D.P. Conroy."