Monday 21 February 2011

The Water is Wide

Finished February 21
The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy
I became interested in reading this book after reading Pat Conroy's recent memoir of his life. The book talks about the months in 1969 and 1970 that Conroy taught at a small black school on Yamacraw Island, South Carolina.
Conroy was appalled at the lack of knowledge of the students (grade 5 to grade 8) that he was responsible for. Many could not read, or do simple math. They lacked knowledge of geography, history, and science. Conroy had taught high school before and so was not prepared with all the tools to teach younger children. He relied on his instincts and used ingenuity to find ways to engage the children, enrich their learning experience and fight for their right to a decent education. He encountered racism, apathy, and indifferent. He was not always wise or prudent in his fight and it ended with him being fired and never teaching again. But it taught him a great deal.
I found it a very interesting memoir of a specific period with a specific situation and hope that it boded a new beginning to educational change in that county.

1 comment:

  1. This book goes toward the North American component for the Global Reading Challenge. I read this book for the United States.