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."


  1. I must say that the part about the snakes was hard to read for me. I am not a fan of them and yes, I do know that snakes have a purpose for the environment. The part the children were telling Conroy about the time a snake squeezed a man apparently, he did not believe them. I do! The Island was a growing habitat for these crawling animals. Conroy just kept asking did they see this happened with their own eyes and when they had not it was like he dismissed the idea all together. The book is getting interesting more as the chapters unfold.

  2. I hate snakes and have a huge fear of them. Fake snakes, real snakes, toy snakes, pictures of snakes, anything about snakes freaks me out. I can completely understand how the children were feeling about the whole snake subject. Even though Conroy said they have a purpose for the environment, I know I would still be on their side. These children have been on this island all their life, and there is no telling what all they have dealt with in their lifetime. If I was them I would believe all the stories I had heard, even if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.