Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Freedom and Conformity

            On this Thursday coming up I will start my first day as a volunteer at Tunbridge public charter school. I will be assisting Mr. Graeff who teaches sixth grade and I am very excited to start.  The three readings focus on a lot about freedom and I believe that at Tunbridge they also teach the importance of being free. In the poem “Liberty” by Thomas Lynch, he discusses how we are free to do what we want in this big world that we live in. Then in “Suburban” by John Ciardi, he discusses how we are free to make our own choices in life and we can benefit or suffer from those decisions. Lastly, in the short story “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, he talks about how one goes through many things in order to be free.

            In the poem “Liberty”, the speaker defines his definition of freedom and even explains how sometimes he goes outside on his front lawn and takes a piss in order to show his freedom. He says that his ex-wife used to tell him ask him why he couldn’t just pee inside like the rest of the rest the humans in the world. He then says that people only did it only to decorum and that she was perhaps jealous of his freedom. The speaker is pointing out how he will not conform to the views of society which say that it is bad to pee where ever you want or feel like doing it at. Tunbridge is a public charter school which is different than public schools because it still receives public funding but it operates privately. That means that a charter school has the freedom to hire and fire whatever teachers they see best fit for the job and the teachers are allowed to teach using their own methods that they feel will help the students out the most. In the poem “Suburban”, Ciardi explains how one day he received a phone call from his neighbor and she was complaining that his dog “deposited a large repulsive object” in her petunias. He then explains how it couldn’t have been his dog because the dog was with his son in Vermont, but he only thought this to himself and did not tell Mrs. Friar. He also thought about making the wise ass remark of “Have you checked the rectal grooving for a positive I.D.?”, but he did not because he knew that would only make the situation worse. He then went over to her house and picked up the poop and put them by his petunias. Most people would have told the lady the truth and wouldn’t even think about cleaning up something that wasn’t their fault. Ciardi goes against the status quo because this person is his neighbor so why make a big deal out of it and even see this as a positive. He says “But why lose out on organic gold for a wise crack?” meaning that he will use the poop as fertilizer. Tunbridge chose not to conform to the style of the other education systems that are around the area. If they were a public school, then they would have to follow every single instruction that the government might impose on them even if they don’t agree with it.

            Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Cask of Amontillado”, is about a man named Montresor who has been hurt and insulted by another named Fortunato and is set on getting revenge on him. Montresor believes that the only way he can be free is to get rid of Fortunato so that he can live in peace. Montresor plans to lead Fortunato into his vaults and then trap him there. He leads Fortunato deeper and deeper into his vault but Montresor gives him some chances to go back by saying that he is a busy man and that the dampness will give him a severe cold, but he refuses and insists on going toward the Amontillado which leads to his death. At Tunbridge I will need to free myself from my fears and inhibitions in order to perform at optimal level. If not my chances to thrive at Tunbridge will diminish with each moment that I don’t.

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