After Apple Picking, Robert Frost
This poem has been on my mind recently. Maybe its my misinterpretation and newfound optimism, but I believe that Robert Frost is not critical or pessimistic about the chore of apple picking. When I first read this poem the name of a former teacher popped into my mind. This teacher is amazing and one day I hope to be half as decent at the profession as them.
The speaker in Frost’s poem cherishes the apples and recognizes their beauty, but the season of apple picking was long and hard. He is ready for rest. For me this poem is amazing because its shows how frustration and tiredness from work is not always a bad thing. Its natural and the speaker in frost’s poem lets the reader know they are not alone.
The past couple weeks have filled my head with doubts about continuing to pursue a English education major to teach in Ky. Not that those doubts matter very much; I have been very honest with everyone, myself included, about selling my soul to the public education system in hopes that I can make it though college without acquiring mass amounts of debt.
The other day, a former teacher of mine brought it to my attention that unless I plan to marry for money instead of love, teaching is not going to be a career in ky that I can have a family and live off of. I cant imagine living anywhere else or wanting to do anything else with my life so this is rather heartbreaking.
I have put a lot of thought into if being poor is a sacrifice I want to make. Of course I cant say for sure until I am living and actually teaching, but I believe it is. Nobody wants to teach in Kentucky anymore and the poor qualities of people wanting to be educators has left the education system in a bind. Ky needs good teachers. There are students in this state that need to be loved and believed in. Without good teachers to help them find the joys of learning—- some joys in their life will be sacrificed.
This is a blog post to say that yes, I do want to pursue teaching in Ky even if it leaves me poor. I grew up poor and probably will die poor anyways. At the very least continuing to pursue this career will allow me to change the lives of at least one student. To me that is more important then anything else I could do with my life.
Today marks the day my aunt asked me about Christ for the first time. I don’t know how to respond and I turn to former teachers and influencers for advice.
Slipping into Clothes & Beds like a Second Skin
“The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell is a short story about the pleasure of the hunt and how consuming it can become. Rainsford quickly finds himself playing the role of a hunted animal after falling off a yacht and being tossed around by the sea overnight until swimming ashore a private island assumed by many to be the home of cannibals. He is no longer the world-renowned hunter with little remorse towards his game, but instead, Rainsford becomes prey himself after meeting General Zaroff, a man seeking a more satisfying opponent to hunt. Connell raises a question about humanity in “The Most Dangerous Game” through the intentional indeterminant ending causing readers to ponder the character progression of Rainsford. While readers do not know what happens to Rainsford, Connell implies that he has assumed the role of General Zaroff and now seeks a more pleasurable hunt as well. Rainsford’s values have become the same as General Zaroff’s.
Early in ‘ The Most Dangerous Game’ General Zaroff makes the passive comment and easy to overlook claim “You will find that my clothes will fit you, I think” (72). This sentence by Zaroff immediately keys the reader into knowing something more is going on than what is seen on the surface. Zaroff is right; his clothing does fit Rainsford correctly. It is highly unlikely that these two men are the same size and stature. Connell uses the fact that clothing is a personal item to reflect the similarities between the two men. Clothing typically reflects individuality, so when Rainsford and Zaroff can wear the same size, Connell is making the argument that they are the same kind of man. Both Rainsford and Zaroff enjoy the power and control that comes with hunting. Both men view hunting as a cure to boredom, and in varying degrees, both Rainsford and Zaroff hold little to no regard to the lives of their prey. Connell does not imply that General Zaroff has been waiting for Rainsford with clothes ready. Instead, Connell expresses the Rainsford can slip into the clothing provided by Zaroff as a second skin. It comes naturally and easy to him. These actions show that Rainsford’s character is already being manipulated to become more like General Zaroff.
Connell furthers the point that Zaroff and Rainsford are the same type of man through the line “I am still a beast at bay… Get ready General Zaroff “,(85). If Rainsford had not made this statement, the reader could create a happy ending instead of the disturbing thought provoking one that implies Rainsford being the predecessor to General Zaroff. This dangerous game cannot end happily for anyone involved. Though the author does not directly state it, the conclusion readers come to is that Rainsford did not plan to leave the island. He wants revenge, but more importantly, Rainsford wants to have had a successful hunt. Either the hunter or the prey must die. It is impossible for the two to both walk away unscathed. Through this Connell shows that society is rapid to condemn others for their actions, but in times of stress, it is easy to morph one’s action into that of the condemned man. Rainsford calls General Zaroff a murderer, but later becomes one himself.
Connell creates an indeterminant ending by having Rainsford say,” He had never slept in a better bed ” (85). The reader does not know for certain if Rainsford ever made it off of the island or if he went on to continue the hunt of man as Zaroff did before him. It is implied that Rainsford has become like Zaroff. There are other beds in the house, but Rainsford decides to sleep in Zaroff’s. Zaroff is dead, so someone must assume his position. This shift in Rainsford’s character is shown as a tangible change through this line. Rainsford started in his own bed as man with questionable morals, but ended in the bed of the corrupt murderer General Zaroff. It is important to consider that Rainsford got a good night’s rest after killing General Zaroff, while for any other man that peaceful sleep would be impossible. Rainsford believes that he has never slept in a better bed, through this Connell clearly expresses that Rainsford now understands why Zaroff hunted man. He does not feel remorse or question his humanity. Rainsford no longer sees Zaroff as a monster, because he himself has lost his humanity.
Even the title “The Most Dangerous Game”, hints that Rainsford and Zaroff are the same. Zaroff was playing a physically dangerous game with the stake of death on the line, but more important the game is dangerous because it creates a cycle. It is dangerous to hunt animals as Rainsford did, but hunting man created a toxic cycle. Being able to strike fear into the heart of any living thing on earth is powerful, being able to outsmart something as cunning as man is even more so. The title “The Most Dangerous Game”, causes readers to ponder what their own game is and whether one is more like General Zaroff or Rainsford. Society defines itself in many different ways without taking the time to wander what complex identity people are stepping into. While this may not be the type of animal or choice of hunting weapon, the “game” can present itself clearly in our technological age anything from rapidly spreading hate propaganda to making death threats online. Because of the indeterminant ending, Connell urges readers to think more about their humanity and at what point they become just as evil as the one they condemned.
Today as I was going about my day, I realized that I have never asked some of the teachers that have changed my life forever why they choose to teach. I know a bit about most of my teachers on a personal level, but this topic never really came up. Even as I applied to college with the intention to study secondary English ed the topic was never brought up. Nobody asked me why I would want to study education and I never inquired about how my teachers came to be who they are.
Its something I regret not asking while in high school and I have the plans to reach out to former teachers about this question soon. Who knows maybe I will do a blog post discussing some reasons people decide to go into education.
As someone with hearing loss I relate to this struggle very much. I used to be so scared to tell others about my hearing loss and now I believe its the most important thing I can tell a person up front about myself.
Now I feel so unrestrained in conversation. It is easier to be honest with others and I no longer have to put up a façade in order to please others.
I am a big believer in letting people know about my hearing loss right up front. I try to announce my loss at the start of group meetings, inform tour guides and instructors before a talk, and mention it to doctors at the start of an appointment. But the right words to use to communicate […]
via Then I Said, “I’m A Little Bit Deaf” — Living With Hearing Loss
Yesterday my university had a woman come and speak in chapel. She has made a career of writing poetry about issues that pertain to the African American community and Christianity. In my lifetime I have never been more in love with a poet and I have heard plenty of good ones.
However my class seemed to disagree with her poems. This troubles me. Poetry can be beautiful and pleasing to the soul, but it can also speak some really harsh truths about the world that we live in. Is a poem no longer beautiful because its leaves the audience angry? I wish that my classmates were able to understand that there is a beauty that comes with strong emotions like anger.