Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chapter 5 & 6: The Water Is Wide

"After the Halloween trip, one began to form and crystallize without my knowledge, and when I finally acknowledged its presence, it was already a part of me: simply, that life was good, but it was hard; we would prepare to meet it head-on, but we would enjoy the preparation".
 I loved this quote from the book because even though Conroy realized that his new life on the Yamacraw Island was challenging he decided that he would make the best of it cause that’s all he could do. Rather than drilling the “required information” into the heads of the children on the island Conroy wanted them to enjoy school so he made it fun. This approach I believe was better for the students because they caught onto the concepts quicker. He introduced them to movies and gave them opportunities that they hadn’t been given before. He introduced them to The Salem Witch Trials which broke into a conversation about witches and they were able to relate it to The Wizard of Oz. Conroy also found a tape recorder and the students learned how it worked. Many of the students opened up and sang because they were mesmerized by this piece of equipment that played their voice back to them. The part of the reading that I liked the most from Chapter 5 and 6 was when Conroy took the children to Port Royal to experience Halloween because they knew nothing about this holiday. Although when he began planning this trip it looked like it wasn’t going to happen but in the end it was a success. He gave these students something that he could have never taught them in the classroom. For the first time they were off the island and surrounded by people, white people at that, who welcomed them as if they were royalty. Many people may not have understood his methods but I believe that Conroy has changed the lives of these children and they will never forget that.


  1. I also thought Conroy found a great way of teaching the students. Even though they were not doing what would typically be done at this point in school they were becoming interested in learning about things they didn’t know about and that exactly what learning is. I think a lot of teachers are much like Mrs. Brown and have tunnel vision to doing things the way they have always been done. I think it speaks volumes about a teacher who steps out of the norm, and do what ever they must do to help their students learn. In this chapter we defiantly got to know more about the students’ personalities.

  2. What a great quote! And yes - the trip is so important. I'm glad you have written about this part of the story as possibly changing something for them. I mean, Conroy is not sure that he did. But we can hope, right?