Kakos' 4th Hour

Reactions and comments from my fourth hour Honors American Literature class.

Name:

My favorite place in the world to be is underwater. My second favorite place is the front of a classroom.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Teaching Douglass/Letting Douglass Teach Us

Please design an opening activity for your assigned chapters. You can post discussion questions, provide links to relevant articles, paintings, or song lyrics, or design any other insightful activity that will get your classmates involved in discussing the text. Think about characters, symbols, themes, historical background, connections to contemoporary issues, or any other methods of analysis that engage you. Show off your creative side!

Remember that your post is due by 9 pm on the night before we discuss your assigned chapters.

26 Comments:

Blogger Raychel H said...

Wow I'm the first one...

Anyways, I was listening to music on my computer while i read this and the song "Stockholm Syndrome" by Blink-182 came on and I made a ton of connections so I thought I would post that for my discussion starter thing. So here are the lyrics:

This is the first (thing I remember)
Now it's the last (thing left on my mind)
Afraid of the dark (do you hear me whisper)
An empty heart (replaced with paranoia)
Where do we go (life's temporary)
After we're gone (like new years resolutions)
Why is this hard (do you recognize me)
I know I'm wrong (but I can't help believin')
I'm so lost
I'm barely here
I wish I could explain myself
But words escape me
It's too late
To save me
You're too late
You're too late

You're cold with disappointment
While I'm drowning in the next room
The last contagious victim of this plague between us
I'm sick with apprehension
I'm crippled from exhaustion
And I dread the moment when you finally come to kill me

This is the first (thing I remember)
Now it's the last (thing left on my mind)
Afraid of the dark (do you hear me whisper)
An empty heart (replaced with paranoia)
Where do we go (life's temporary)
After we're gone (like new years resolutions)
Why is this hard (do you recognize me)
I know I'm wrong (but I can't help believin')


I'll burn this song to a CD so we can listen to it in class if you chose my starter.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Ms. Kakos said...

While rereading the first chapter,
I thought back to essays I read in a psychology class in college on the negative consequences of separating children from their mothers at early ages. I've attached a link to website that summarizes some of these studies.
http://childhood.families.com/bowlby-john-1907-1990-64-65-chdv

Perhaps separating slave children from their mothers was even more devastating than the slaveholders could have imagined...

9:09 PM  
Blogger DanielC said...

My dad once taught me a lesson about being able to make our own decisions. He used to teach a small Sunday School class of six boys of which I was one.

When we walked in the room, he told us to keep standing as part of an activity. He then told us that we would stand up tall, look straight ahead, and make no noise at all. He then gave us small weights and told us to raise our arms shoulder high in front of us and hold them there. This lasted until you could hear heavy breathing then he told us to bring the weights back up, no noise or eye contact with our friends, just bring them up. Then he issued a new task.

There were about 4 different things that he had us do. He paid close attention to how we did things and then told us how he wanted them to be done. His commands were not gentle, and they surprised many of us. The idea was for him to find as many things wrong with what we were doing as possible and then strongly reprimand us for them. For example, he reprimanded me for chewing gum.

The activity is best experienced when it is given unexpectedly and by someone that normally is kind or unheard. If done properly, it can be a small insight into how it feels to be completely under someone else's control.

5:35 AM  
Blogger JacobW said...

On Page 19 in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Mr. Douglass speaks of the garden saying, “Colonel Lloyd kept a large and finely cultivated garden, which afforded almost constant employment for four men, besides the chief gardener (Mr. M. Durmond.) This garden was probably the greatest attraction of the place. During the summer months, people would from far and near from Baltimore, Eastern and Annapolis to see it. It abounded in fruits of the north to the hardy apple to the delicate orange of the south. This garden was not the least source of trouble on the plantation. Its excellent fruit was quite a temptation to the hungry swarms of boys, as well as the older slaves, belonging to the colonel, few of whom had the virtue or the vice to resist it.”

I found a very famous painting by Rene Magritte called “The Son of a Man” which I thought of immediately when I read the situation above. Look at the picture at:

http://www.art.com/asp/sp-asp/_/pd--10090968/The_Son_of_Man.htm

and tell how you think it relates to slavery and Frederick Douglass’ quote.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Robn said...

Throughout chapter 4, Frederick Douglas extensively discusses the management styles of 3 different overseers. I mentioned in class on Tuesday how the sentiments of the two slaveowners sometimes reflected management styles used in the workplace today. I think that Ms. Kakos should divide the room into three groups: one the victim of a drunken (not really), apathetic and violent (again only figuratively) overseer; another of a kinder one, and Ms. Kakos should treat the third group with brutality, scorn, indifference, and self-righteousness. See which part of the class gets the most work done during our 10 minute warm-up.
P.S. Row 2 should have the kind overseer.

7:29 PM  
Blogger Cayleigh B said...

Okay, well i tried to post this last night but my internet was not working.

On page 23, the Douglass states "Slaves, when inquired of as to their condition and character of their masters, almost universally say they are contented, and that their masters are kind. The Slave holders have been known to send in spies among their slaves to ascertain their views and feelings in regard to their condition."
While reading this, it occured to me that we all do this same thing. For instance, if asked by another teacher about a certain teacher that you abhor or hate immensely, you would not tell that teacher your true thoughts. You would kindly state that you love that teacher and have no problem with them at all. However, this would be completely different if you were talking to another sudent who had that same unkind teacher.
How many of you would do this same thing? Would some of you keep your mouth shut for fear that your feelings would be shared with a teacher? Would you fear that the student you were talking to was a "spy"?
Furthermore, because the slaves never said anything that would suggest their master was cruel and cold-hearted, then would the masters then assume that the way they are treating their slaves is okay? Did they truly not think that they were being cruel because their slaves never complained?

3:46 PM  
Blogger JeffN said...

I am a big fan of listening to music and analyzing the lyrics to better further my knowlege of a concept. So I was looking through my music library and I found a song, "Hole in the World" that I thought represented the concept of slavery well. The song by The Eagles, was actually written after September 11, 2001 however the lyrics do a very good job in explaining this concept.

Hole In The World


[Chorus:]
There's a hole in the world tonight.
There's a Cloud of fear and sorrow.
There's a hole in the world tonight.
Don't let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.

They say that anger is just love disappointed.
They say that love is just a state of mind,
but all this fighting over who will be anointed.
Oh how can people be so blind

[Chorus:]
There's a hole in the world tonight.
There's a Cloud of fear and sorrow.
There's a hole in the world tonight.
Don't let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.

Oh they tell me there's a place over yonder,
cool water running through the burning sand,
until we we learn to love one
another we never reach the promise land.

[Chorus:]
There's a hole in the world tonight.
There's a Cloud of fear and sorrow.
There's a hole in the world tonight.
Don't let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.

5:57 PM  
Blogger lindzd said...

I'm blogging yeah! Anywhos...
My idea is cool and to relate back to the chapters I read for my blog (5,6,7) I thought that with my artistic side, colors and pictures help me and for most people remember certain detials, memories, feelings, etc. So creating a callouge (I think that's spelled right)is a perfect way to gather what you've read, seen, or heard into a warping play of color, pictures, and doodles, etc. Plus, something to ponder, Why does Douglas feel tortmented by his own gains of knowledge about slavery and how he feels pity for his own brothers that cannot learn to read or write? Personally, you ever get that feeling you know something but your friend doesn't get it? No matter how many times you explain it? Well, it's just like the slaves, they couldn't read or write thus all they know is hard work and rough teachings but Douglas found out and began a passion to pursue his freedom so he could help them, but he finds it difficult they can't stand up for themselves or realize they are stronger than they believe. But here I am typing an enormous blog and rambling on... well later days. :)

6:33 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth B. said...

I listen to a great varied of music and I found this great song by Celine Dion. I thought that the song connected to the mixed feelings of Fredick, other slaves and people like Mistress Hugh(before she turned hard from slavery) about choices and human cruelty and love.

Where is the Love

If ever a boy stood on the moon
All the heavens would call their
angels 'round
Stop the tears from troubled skies from falling
If ever the river could whisper your name
Would the choices you make still be the same
Like a flower that dies from angry rain
Why do we hurt ourselves?

Where is the love
That lets the sunlight in to start again
A love
That sees no color lines
Life that begins with love
So spread your wings and fly
Guide your spirit safe and sheltered
A thousand dreams that we can still believe

If ever a boy stood on the moon
Carrying all of his treasures from the stars
To a rainbow which leads to where we are
Together we chase the sun

Where is the love
That lifts my brother's voice to the skies
A love
That answers a mother's cry
Life begins with love
So spread your wings and fly
Guide your spirit safe and sheltered
A thousand dreams that we can still belive

A boy stood on the moon
The ancient souls can still discover
A thousand dreams that we can still belive
We can still believe...

9:18 PM  
Blogger KaiaN said...

Is knowledge a blessing or a curse? In Chapters 8 and 9, Frederick realizes that learning to read opened his eyes to the true mistreatment of slaves and prompted him to consider the morality of it. How can knowledge be a blessing and a curse? If for instance, you knew that your best friend would die in the next week, would you tell them? Would you rather know or not know? How would knowing this and not knowing this be good and bad?

Also, when Frederick was talking about is grandmother being left alone to die in her quaint little hut (haha.. quaint...), it reminded my of a poem I read in my 2nd ALIS book, Selected Poems by W.H. Auden called Ms. Gee. Here 'tis:
http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/1298.html

I'm SO sorry this is late Ms. Kakos!!! It was just hard with swimming and I feel HORRIBLE so I'm REALLY sorry!

9:36 PM  
Blogger KaiaN said...

By the way Elizabeth I LOVE that song and I tried out for Ladies Select with it haha it was probably all little girl sounding or something because I was like 11 haha.

9:38 PM  
Blogger amandag said...

Okay... I'm really mad because I just tried to post this really long thing... and it didn't work... so this time it'd better work. I'm going to test it before I do that WHOLE thing AGAIN. k?

1:47 PM  
Blogger BrittanyL said...

Amanda the exact thing just happend to me, too.

1:47 PM  
Blogger amandag said...

ARG!!! I can't believe it! k... here goes, again!

Look at these passages describing Captain Auld in Chapter 10:
"He was not even a good imitator. He possessed all the disposition to deceive, but wanted the power. Having no resources within himself, he was compelled to be the copyist of many, and being such, he was forever the victim of inconsistency; and of consequence he was an object of contempt, and was held as such even by his slaves." and "In August, in 1832, my master attended a Methodist camp-meeting held in the Bay-side, Talbot county, and there he experienced religion. I indulged in a faint hope that his conversion would lead him to emancipate his slaves, and that, if he did not do this, it would, at any rate, make him more kind and humane. I was disappointed in both these respects....if it had any effect on his character, it made him more cruel and hateful in all his ways."

I made many connections to "The Crucible" in these passages. I would be interested in what connections all of you can make between Captain Auld and Abigail. Where do their mean-spirited attitudes come from? What drives them to corruptness? Are they similar? Different? How?

1:55 PM  
Blogger amandag said...

Brittany... I think it's cuz you have to "preview" it first or something. At least that worked for me the next two times. Isn't that terrible!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?

1:57 PM  
Blogger BrittanyL said...

While reading this narritive, I was reminded of a song from my favorite musical of all time, Wicked. The song is called "Defy Gravity" and it is sung mainly by two girls, Glinda and Elphaba (ignore weird names, they are in Oz)Although the plots of these two works are totally different, there are many connections that can be made between this and Douglass's character. Words in all caps are sung, words that are not are spoken.

Glinda: Elphaba, why couldn't you stay calm for once, instead of flying off the handle!
I hope your happy!
I HOPE YOUR HAPPY NOW
I HOPE YOUR HAPPY HOW
YOU'VE HURT YOUR CAUSE FOREVER!
I HOPE YOU THINK YOUR CLEVER!

Elphaba: I hope your happy!
I HOPE YOUR HAPPY TOO
I HOPE YOUR PROUD HOW YOU
WOULD GROVEL IN SUBMISSION
TO FEED YOUR OWN AMBITION!

Both: SO THOUGH I CAN'T IMAGINE HOW
I HOPE YOUR HAPPY, RIGHT NOW!

Glinda: Elphie, listen to me, just say your sorry.
YOU CAN STILL BE WITH THE WIZARD
WHAT YOU'VE WORKED, AND WAITED FOR
YOU CAN HAVE ALL YOU'VE EVER WANTED...

Elphaba: I know, BUT I DON'T WANT IT, no, I CAN'T WANT IT
ANYMORE

SOMETHING HAS CHANGED WITHIN ME
SOMETHING IS NOT THE SAME
I'M THROUGH WITH PLAYING BY
THE RULES OF SOMEONE ELSE'S GAME
TOO LATE FOR SECOND GUESSES
TOO LATE TO GO BACK TO SLEEP
IT'S TIME TO TRUST MY INSTINCTS
CLOSE MY EYES AND LEAP

IT'S TIME TO TRY DEFYING GRAVITY
I THINK I'LL TRY DEFYING GRAVITY
AND YOU CAN'T PULL ME DOWN!

Glinda: CAN'T I MAKE YOU UNDERSTAND
YOUR HAVING DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR..

Elphaba: I'M THROUGH ACCEPTING LIMITS
'CAUSE SOMEONE SAYS THEY'RE SO
SOME THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE,
BUT 'TIL I TRY I'LL NEVER KNOW
TOO LONG I'VE BEEN AFRAID OF
LOSING LOVE I GUESS I'VE LOST
WELL, IF THAT'S LOVE
IT COMES AT MUCH TOO HIGH A COST!

I'D SOONER BUY DEFYING GRAVITY
KISS ME GOODBYE, I'M DEFYING GRAVITY
AND YOU CAN'T BRING ME DOWN

Glinda, come with me, think of what we can do, together
UNLIMITED
TOGETHER WE'RE UNLIMITED
TOGETHER WE'LL BE THE GREATEST TEAM THERE'S EVER BEEN, GLINDA
DREAMS THE WAY WE PLANNED 'EM

Glinda: IF WE WORK IN TANDEM

Both: THERE'S NO FIGHT WE CANNOT WIN!

JUST YOU AND I DEFYING GRAVITY!
WITH YOU AND I DEFYING GRAVITY!

Elphaba: THEY'LL NEVER BRING US DOWN. Well, are you coming?

Glinda: I HOPE YOUR HAPPY
NOW THAT YOUR CHOOSING THIS

Elphaba: You, too. I HOPE IT BRINGS YOU BLISS.

Both: I REALLY HOPE YOU GET IT
AND YOU DON'T LIVE TO REGRET IT

I HOPE YOUR HAPPY IN THE END
I HOPE YOUR HAPPY, MY FRIEND

Elphaba: SO IF YOU CARE TO FIND ME
LOOK TO THE WESTERN SKIES
AS SOMEONE TOLD ME LATELY
EVERYONE DESERVES THE CHANCE TO FLY
AND IF I'M FLYING SOLO
AT LEAST I'M FLYING FREE
TO THOSE WHO'D GROUND ME
TAKE A MESSAGE BACK FROM ME

TELL THEM HOW I AM DEFYING GRAVITY
I'M FLYING HIGH, DEFYING GRAVITY
AND SOON I'LL MATCH THEM IN RENOWN.

AND NOBODY, IN ALL OF OZ
NO WIZARD THAT THERE IS OR WAS
IS EVER GONNA BRING ME DOWN!

Glinda: I HOPE YOUR HAPPY!

Townspeople: THERE SHE IS! SHE'S WICKED! Get her!

Elphaba: BRING ME DOWN!

Townspeople: NO ONE MOURNS THE WICKED! SO WE'VE GOT TO BRING HER DOWN!

2:10 PM  
Blogger BrittanyL said...

Sorry that was so long. Also, I am going to bring in some food for my birthday tomorrow, okay?

2:12 PM  
Blogger meganJ said...

Aren't we all sick of Alis yet? I know i am, but ridiculously enough I found it easy to connect Chapters 8 and 9 with a section of the Alis book I read, The Poisonwood Bible. It is said that "Hunger of the body is altogether different from the shallow, daily hunger of the belly. Those who have known ths kind of hunger cannot entirey love, ever again, whose who have not" (kingsolver 345). Fredrick, when placed in a different masters hands suffered severely from lack of food - a terrible thing to do to a slave. Yet he also suffered many other deprevations, as all slaves do: sleep, warmth, love from a family, hunger, proper discipline (not in the form of abuse) and so much more. I believe it would be intriguing to recieve the class perspective upon this matter.Therefore i would present this quote to them and ask the class how they believe the lack of these things truly affect a person.

8:45 PM  
Blogger AleF said...

Chapter Ten tells of Douglass' awakening, when he finally takes matters into his own hands--literally as well as figuratively. He is not concerned purely with himself, however. When Douglass is looking out to sea, watching the ships, he cries, "This very bay shall yet bear me into freedom....Meanwhile, I will try to bear up under the yoke. I am not the only slave in the world....There is a better day coming" (pg. 84). This song refers fairly often to 'you' as a close friend or perhaps a lover. The 'you' in this song can be construed as referring to the fellow slaves that Douglass taught to read. This song sings less purely of his escape and more of the freedom and happiness of all slaves, supporting each other and succeeding where one would fail.

-----------------------------------

Owari nai Yume (Neverending Dream)
by Aikawa Nanase

the city in the georama of the heart
is sparkling with the light of hope
the dream that flew up with the wings of an ephemera
is something that we search for
the truth is always
hiding in the eyes bluely

where shall we go up to
our future roams around now
and we continue with our journey
the place of eternity, and endless dream
I want to chase after it without letting go of this hand
forever

in the ocean in the turquoise-colored heart
the signals of the ship of light can be heard
I need to go faster, for this impatient feeling
no words are needed
a lie is always
hiding in the words sweetly

let the two of us become one
holding on to the coward waves
we continue with our journey
the space between our hug
an endless dream
cutting through the rainbow
heading for the promised light

where shall we go up to
our future roams around now
and we continue with our journey
the place of eternity, and endless dream
I want to chase after it without letting go of this hand
forever

2:34 PM  
Blogger Katy L said...

After reading chapter 10 I began to see Frederick's self-confidence grow stronger. Throughout the chapter he explains how this confidence was a turning point in his slave career. It also inspired him to gain determination to become free. I was able to find a few quotes that relate to this idea.

"Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs. The gain in self-confidence and of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense"(Thomas Arnold Bennet).

"A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him"(David Brinkley).

Also what is the meaning of this quote?:
"You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man"(Douglass 84).

8:56 PM  
Blogger KaiaN said...

I was wondering how Douglas escaped so I searched it on google and here's what I found: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/aa/activists/douglass/escape_1

4:23 PM  
Blogger KerryL2 said...

As I was reading chapter 11, and in the back of my mind organizing all of the other preparations I had to do for finals, I came across this quote, from page 131, "It was a step towards freedom to be allowed to bear the responsiblities of a free man, and I was determined to hold upon it. I bent myself to the work of making money. I was ready to work at night as well as day, and by the most untiring part of my expenses, and lay up little money every week." Douglass was talking about how he was ready to be a free man, and to not have anything holding him back anymore. He was ready to make the commitment to work hard for his money and be successful. Even though this had little relativity to the quote, I was thinking, Am I ready to leave my house and be independant? Am I ready to take on all of the responsibilities of college life? What am i going to do when i graduate from high school? Where do I want to go to college? How am I going to be able to support myself? Am I ready to be a "free man", with no parents or responsibilites except for those that I will make for myself? I wondered if the class has thought of college and what their plans are after leaving Arapahoe. Their Major, their schools of choice, etc. Some, like Rob, may have their applications already filled out!

7:13 PM  
Blogger JocelynH said...

After reading chapter 11, I thought it was kind of interesting how Frederick Douglass chose his name(p 141). I don't know if this would be an interesting topic to talk about in class, but I've always been interested in where things come from or why we do them a certain way. Picking out a name is a big decision in a person's life and I always found interesting stories on how they received their names.
Example: My dad chose my name and he said he wanted to name me Jocelyn, because he knew a girl back in engineering school who was the smartest person he ever knew. She skipped 2 or 3 grades and didn't want to skip anymore because then she would have been really young. Or in the classroom, when asked a problem, she was the first to answer or the only one to get the right answer.
I think it would be interesting stories in hearing how some people got their names like Jeff, Kerry, or Ale. Why'd your parents give you the name you have today?
--> Ms. Kakos

8:21 PM  
Blogger kerstinm3 said...

In chapter eleven Douglas describes how he believes the underground railroad was a positive evil. In the fact that it help led many slaves to freedom, but, the evil is that many slaves were left caught in the horrible claws of slavery and died without ever being free.

http://www3.your-net.com/~hinesj/ugrrpostcard.gif

At this site there is a piece of art that I think is very interesting.It depicts the many slaves who traveled the underground railroad.

Why is the woman smiling to the right?
Does the man in the left bottom corner resemble one of the men in chains from the piece of art we looked at in class?
Why did the artist choose the colors he did?
How is this picture different/same from the picture of the underground railroad that you imagine in your head?

9:13 PM  
Blogger kerstinm3 said...

Also I just found this piece of art the contains knowledge and slavery. It shows how the two are seperated and how knowledge makes life different.

http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/hist100.06/slave.jpg

9:22 PM  
Blogger KatieC said...

(So sorry this is late Ms. Kakos! Had a band concert so I didn't get home till like 10 pm.)

I think that a few lines in this song may relate to several points made in Frederick Douglass and also The Crucible! yeah!

Who Will Save Your Soul
People living their lives for you on TV,
They say they're better than you and you agree.
She says, "Hold my calls," from behind those cold, brick walls.
She says, "Come here, boy, there ain't nothin' for free."
Anther doctor's bill, a lawyer's bill, another cute cheap thrill.
You know you love him if you put him in your will. But

(Chorus)
Who will save your soul, when it comes to the flowers, now?
Oh, who will save your soul after all those lies that you told, boy?
And who will save your soulds if you won't save your own?
La da da da di da da la da da ya die.

We try to hustel them, try to bustle them, try to cuss them.
The cops want someone to bust down on Orleans Avenue.
Another day, another dollar, another war,
Another tower went up where the homeless had thier homes.
So we pray to as many diff'rent gods as there are flowers,
But we call religion our friend.
We're so worried about saving our souls, Afraid that God will take his toll that we forget to begin. But

(Chorus)

Some are walking, some are talking, some are stalking their kill.
Got social security, but that don't pay your bills.
There are addictions to feed and there are mouhts to pay,
So you bargain with the devil, but you're OK for today.
Say that you love them, take their money and run.
Say, "It's been swell, sweetheart, but it was just one of those things,
Those flings, those strings you got to cut,
So get out on the streets, girls, and bust your butts."

(Chorus)

11:15 PM  

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