Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chapter 11 & 12: The Water Is Wide

“…I tried to teach them to embrace life openly, to reflect upon its mysteries, rejoice in its surprises, and to reject its cruelties. Like other teachers I failed. Teaching is a record of failures. But the glory of teaching is in the attempt”. 
 What Pat Conroy did that no other teacher on the island ever cared to do was attempt to teach the children. He wanted to provide them with the same opportunities that other children had. These last two chapters were the most interesting to me because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with Conroy. I didn’t know if he was going to get fired or if he was going to get to stay on the island. While on the island Conroy done so much for the kids at the Yamacraw School and nobody seemed to care what an impact he had been. He was able to convince some of the students to go to a camp that they have never been too and if it had not been for him probably would never go. He done so much for this group of students yet those over him didn’t want him to teach anymore on the island. They took away the one person that believed in the students and wanted better for them all because he didn’t do what they wanted him to do. I think that they were afraid that the children would actually believe that they could be something greater than the island offered them and they didn’t want that happening simply because they were colored. Conroy sacrificed a lot of things to be able to teach on the island and Bennington and Piedmont just used that against him when they fired him. They knew that they wouldn’t find another teacher that would undergo the conditions that he endured to teach the children on the island. Rather than firing him they should have been offering him a raise to keep him on the island so that he could continue changing the lives of these children.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this quote, but I think Conroy is not completely right about his failing to teach the students. He gave them hope by showing them what was around them and possibly broke the barriers he had to break before the students could be taught. I hate that he felt he was a failure. However, his failure to stay at Yamacraw and teach these children led to him writing. His writing quite possible changed more Yamacraw students life’s the he will ever know. Though he couldn’t teach them to read or write he did teach them that learning didn’t have to stay in the confinement of a classroom, but it went much farther then that. By publishing this book I am sure he opened the doors for so many children born on Yamacraw Island to be taught. I would have loved to have seen the faces of the ones who fired Pat Conroy when he published this book.