Friday, October 11, 2013

Ms. Couch's English Class: Perspectives by Kelsey

Innocence to Experience 
by Kelsey Woody 

As I walked into the Library this morning for my latest Library Brigade session of shelving our latest books, or even just to practice the perpetual the perpetual Speed Graph Quizzes of Precalculus, the accosting tones and occasional bursts of laughter from a Sophomore English class discussion caught me by surprise. Of course, my first thought was: "This seems like it would be a great Library Article!" 

So now, of course, I am somewhat suspiciously typing on my iPad and taking part in one of the routine yet involved conversations of Ms. Couch's latest endeavor. All of the rolling chairs have been gathered into a large circle with the teacher among the students while gummy bear bags rustle and opinions clash. The subject- go figure- is "Innocence to Experience," and the book is Power, by Linda Hogan. Being a Junior at Chatham Hall, I remember reading the book at the cusp of my Sophomore year, glaring at the Power and Control Wheel that was to lord over my English class for the coming months. 

Intrigued by a compelling nostalgia for the discoveries and challenges that I faced with Hogan's poetic language and descriptions about nature and religion, I am now sitting in one of those comfortable rolling chairs of the circle, writing this article and recognizing where I was emotionally and spiritually last year, and noting how the environment, and I, have changed. 

Surrounding the debate about whether Omishto is active; passive; naive; or experienced, an Alumnae Council meeting is discussing some grave and mysterious subject in the Mezzanine. Ms. Stenzel is preparing her next book presentation, Ms. Gammon and Mr. Lyle are puzzling over technology, and the Kuerig Coffee makers are buzzing full force. The Lee Library is evidently not the secluded Round Table classroom in Willis Hall of my Sophomore year: this area is bright, refurbished, and electric with activity during most hours of the day. The class's in depth discussion, however, is just as intense. The symbolism of muddy boots and panthers, Janie Soto and white horses is being attacked with abandon as I swiftly take notes of the musings of these brilliant girls who, frankly, I am in awe of for their ability to analyze with very few interjections from their teacher. 

Even now, the Music Maven for the day is playing a song (by Dustin O'Halooran) that alludes to her interpretation of the previous night's reading. As the class ends, yet another day carries on here in the Lee Library. Now, coming out of my reverie, it is time for me to return to the present and my Junior English class, hopefully a little bit more appreciative of how far I've come than I was 50 minutes ago.

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