The quote that stood out the most in chapter three came from a paragraph in which Pat Conroy is discussing how a white preacher from a church on the mainland that had donated books to the school would come to the island to give a sermon on Sundays. Ironically, if a black person were to step foot in his church, it would be closed down automatically. At the end of the paragraph Conroy writes, “Christ must do a lot of puking when he reflects upon the good works done in his name.” I found this sentence insightful because many people during that time and even before that time used religion as a platform to make themselves feel justified that what they were doing was right by manipulating what the Bible says. This sentence calls out those people out on their false beliefs.
The difference in the amount the students have learned in the amount of time they have learned the material is astonishing to me. I do believe their lack of knowledge was based on prior teacher’s lack of faith and belief that they were capable of learning and growth. It could also be the teacher’s teaching style. Either way, it seems to be prior teacher’s own laziness and lack of faith in their students. Mrs. Brown for example, believes in a strict classroom setting complete with whips and requiring children to sit in their seats and be quiet, but students that have risen from her class to Mr. Conroy’s class know practically nothing. She often says it is because they are lazy or just “retarded”. Mr. Conroy does not take these as excuses and does not use the same methods of teaching that are obviously not working in Mrs. Brown’s classroom. One of the forefront problems with the students at the Yamacraw Island schools is the common belief that they are dumb and lazy by everyone. It appears that no one has ever really put forth a real effort and treated them like real children that have ability to learn. I feel like everyone treats them as if they are wild animals that are incapable and that were made to go to school. The growth that has already occurred among the students is astounding to me because they had that potential all along and could have progressed so much further if just one teacher that had come through had tried harder to teach them in a way they could learn and grow.