Freshman Humanities

January Newsletter

Hope

The theme this unit was for all students on the team to be encouraged to help others. In spirit, the students all made holiday cards for less fortunate families in Bow as shown to the right. We also made hope cards for the families of the victims of the Newport CT school shooting. It was our way of trying to make them feel less alone and to try helping them to find some sort of peace.

Another way we tried to help people and give hope was to sort through clothes to give to Bow families who needed them as shown below. Students worked with Pauline Laliberte, a social worker.

Pay It Forward

"Pay It Forward" was and idea that starts with one person doing something nice to help three other people. Then each of those three people does something to help three other people. All of those people pass it on. Eventually it could go nationwide if everyone keeps it up. As students, however, we were only required to help one person and we didn't necessarily have to tell them to pass it on, though it was encouraged. You can pay it forward to family, friends, or complete strangers. The idea is just to help others and not expect anything back, but hope that you can make a difference just the same.

This Unit's Reading

For this unit, students read the play The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. The play outlines how interesting a character Henry David Thoreau must've been. He was really shown to be a backwards man who truly believed that it was better to be than to simply live and stuck to his own morals despite what society thought of him.

In the play, Thoreau is sent to jail for straight-up refusing to pay his taxes to protest the war in Mexico as he is strongly anti-violence. It - the play - takes the reader through some of the highlights of Thoreau's adult life: His relationship with Ralph Waldo Emerson, his teaching career, etc.

Liberty vs. Security

This unit's Socratic Seminar - informed discussion - was about liberty vs. security. To elaborate: Which freedoms we, as American citizens, would or should be willing to give up to promote security. This has really been an issue since the security camera was invented, but it became more controversial and therefore more commonly discusses after 9/11. These days the issues include wire-tapping and not being able to go anywhere outside of home without being basically watched. This issue is, of course, so controversial mostly for the reason that people feel that the government should be able to keep us safe without constantly monitoring us.