Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danziger

Marcy Lewis absolutely dreads going to school. Her father critisizes everything she and her mother do along with her younger brother Stuart. She freaks about being fat, she's sure she'll never get a date and that a horrible case of acne will break out at any minute. Then, one day, her class gets a new english teacher named Ms. Finney. She dresses different, tries anything in the classroom, doesn't believe in raising your hand because that would help students respect others, and starts a club after school called Smedley where students come and talk about themselves and how to relate with other people. Suddenly, Marcy sees a point in life and going to school, that is until Ms. Finney gets suspended because of how she teaches and her refusal to pledge allegiance to the flag. The whole school is in an uproar and Marcy organizes a protest and gets suspended, too. Her mother is on her side, but unfortunately her father violently opposes her decisions and calls her a failure as a daughter and a disgrace to him because she's such a klutz. Marcy must decide if what she stands for is worth the price she must pay at home and at school.

1. At home, Marcy's father complains about his life, his children, and how much of a failure Marcy is at being his daughter. Her mother does absolutly nothing besides take a tranquilizer and tell Marcy everything will be alright when nothing ever is. Basically, her mother takes drugs and her father wishes she never existed. What would you do if you and a younger sibling lived in the type of environment Marcy lived in?

2. Ms. Finney completely changed Marcy. Marcy used to be shy and quiet but then she began to stand of for herself, be more outgoing, and even runs a protest for Ms. Finney. If a teacher your class absolutely loved and changed them just like Ms. Finney did, would you and others protest to get that teacher back? What do you think, by Ms. Finney being suspended because of her teaching methods, says about teacher independence and student protest?

10 comments:

Eric M. 11-12 said...

To answer the first questio, I'd seek help. No child should have to live in that family environment. She should definitely seek the aid of another family member or trusted adult so that she doesn't have to live in that kind of uncaring atmosphere at home.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

1. I would definatly try to get out of that environment. I would either try to live with a trusted friend or start my own life independently without my parents. However, knowing how difficult the second option would be, I would hope a good friend would take me in.

Kaitlyn H 11-12 said...

2). I think that if there was something or someone I really believed in and had a lot of respect for, I would stand up for them in protest. It's important to take a stand for things that are of meaning in your life.

MaryL11-12 said...

If my younger sibiling lived in the type of environment that Marcy lived in, I would probably be really nice to her and help her with homework and stuff. Sounds like her life kind of sucks. Also, yeah I would protest if I really liked a teacher. I think teaching is getting to the point where its so controlled by the government and things we are and aren't allowed to learn about that its just more of a mandate than actual learning.

Jacob B 11-12 said...

If i were in that situation, i would probably seek help from some friends or other adults. I believe that no child should be put into an environment such as this

Kristen R. 11-12 said...

To answer the first question, if I or a younger sibling of mine lived in this type of environment or even knew about this type of an environment going on, I would seek help. I would first try to talk to them about the problem and see if there was anything I could do to help without immediately running to a higher authority depending on the severity of the particular situation. Then, if I knew that the only way it could be resolved is by having the police, a trusted adult, etc. intervene, I would seek out the appropriate help. A young child especially is not going to know how to handle this type of a situation, and it is not fair for someone so young to have to deal with it alone. To answer the second question, if I absolutely loved a certain teacher and he or she had changed me for the better and I truly respected him or her, then I would definitely protest to try to get that teacher back. I think that it is not suprising that she was suspended for her teaching styles, but I do feel that everyone, including teachers, have the right to independence. Just because Ms. Finney was refusing to pledge did not mean that she was persuading her students to not pledge as well; that was simply her belief. Also, Marcy should not have been suspended over her choosing to act in a protest as long as she was doing it peacefully because that is her right as a citizen.

Dana G. 13-14 said...

1. At home, Marcy's father complains about his life, his children, and how much of a failure Marcy is at being his daughter. Her mother does absolutly nothing besides take a tranquilizer and tell Marcy everything will be alright when nothing ever is. Basically, her mother takes drugs and her father wishes she never existed. What would you do if you and a younger sibling lived in the type of environment Marcy lived in?

I would not know what to do. I would seek out help, and ask others of their opinions. Also, I would see if I can talk to a respected adult figure to try to figure out what to do

Jacci L. 11-12 said...

Eric, Bojana, Jacob, and Dana-

I completely agree. If I was in the type of environment with my younger sibling, I would seek family help first off and if that didn't work, I'd try my best to make sure my younger sibling was taken care of before I took care of myself.

Jacci L. 11-12 said...

Mary, Kaitlyn, and Kristen-

For Mary and Kristen's first answer, I agree with both of your actions. To comfort your sibling and making sure he/she knows she's at least protected in some way can help your sibling at times like these. And I also agree that immediatly seeking help from someone else instead of talking to your parents about it could really help the relationship between you and your parents and could save a lot of trouble than going to the police or anyone else. For the second answer, teachers all have different methods of teaching and I agree I would protest as well to make sure that the board and school knew what an impact the teacher made on my life as well as others.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Thread graded, closed