Tuesday, December 04, 2007
not sure about great, but most definitely misunderstood
The kids were pretty funny today, so if you don't mind too much I'm going to tell you all about it.

And that was a pretty ridiculous statement when you think about it, seeing as if you DID mind than you'd just click over to some other blog and read that one instead. But, seeing as you're still here I'll take it that you DON'T mind and just commence with it already.

And so if you recall, my sophomores have been learning (sort of) about Transcendentalism, and this week is the presentation of their final assessment: a project wherein they reveal their *deep* understanding of the movement by creating their very own Utopian society complete with systems in place for leadership, economy, industry, and plenty of other etcetera whatever, and all in harmony with Emerson and Thoreau's major tenets. 

Here's the highlights of what I got:

Heavenly Harbor
This society is located in the clouds and populated entirely by people who are troubled in some way and need to get their lives in order.  It was founded by the presenters, whose parents died, leaving them a casino which they then (magically, I guess) threw up into the clouds.  This casino is the basis of their economic system, a system which is also supplemented by the fact that the founders just happened to discover an anecdote to blindness, which they sell for a mint to a top-secret Caribbean island.  In order to reach Heavenly Harbor (since it's in the clouds, after all), one only need look to the heavens and with complete sincerity say "Lakhapish!", and then *poof!* - you're there! (When asked how people literally live in the clouds, students explained "It's like a cross between Hercules and Carebears. Duh.") At the center of Heavenly Harbor is a rehab center full of doctors who are "mad into saving people," and since the economy is based on gambling and all residents are troubled, the doctors expend a majority of their efforts counseling gambling addicts. Recalling that the society is in the clouds, residents can earn wings by doing something extraordinary, however they can also lose those wings by doing something horrible. If you lose your wings, you are doubly punished by being violently hurled back to Earth. 

Treesylvania was founded when Christopher Columbus' rarely discussed 4th ship was blown off course, landing on a tropical island floating somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. (I'll give you a minute to think about that one.  Consult a map if necessary.)  Treesylvanians worship - you guessed it - trees!  Trees are sacred, and are never ever cut down. All inhabitants live in treehouses (where they get the wood for these structures is a mystery), seeing how it's a more environmentally sound practice than building homes on the ground.  (Clearly.) The monetary system is based on currency called "Leafy Magics," which are largely worthless since Leafy Magics are leaves, and so money quite literary grows on trees. In addition to being currency, Leafy Magics are also Treesylvanians' sole source of sustenance, seeing how there's no other way to get food since no one is - under any circumstance - allowed to descend from their tree.  Occasionally, however, someone is able to grab a bird to eat, and these days are celebrated with great jubilation. The leader of Treesylvania is called The Tree, and his/her right-hand man/woman is called the Vice-Tree.  All Treesylvanians are nudists.

and finally, Subwaterca
Subwaterca is located underneath an island floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (not, however, the island of Treesylvania).  Subwaterca, being entirely underwater, is surrounded by a thick plastic bubble.  Inside the bubble is a city very much like that of New York.  Trees (somehow) grow in Subwaterca, providing necessary oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide.  But since the society is located ON THE OCEAN FLOOR, there is a complete lack of sunlight, so these trees have been genetically engineered to live without photosynthesis.  Residents live in apartment buildings that were constructed on the above island and then hurled off of the island where they then sank to the bottom.  A pneumatic tube links Subwaterca to the land above, and if ever a resident were to break the one and only law - don't murder - then he would be expelled from the society by being forced back up the tube to live on the island, toiling for all eternity under the hot sun.  Consequently, the above island teems with a roving band of sunburnt, twitchy-eyed maniacs.  There is no set leader and no currency. Like Treesylvania, all Subwatercans are nudists.

So, as you can see, Henry David Thoreau would be proud.  Coming up next is the unit on Realism, which should prove interesting.



Blogger Mary said...

Kids are so funny. Incidentally every time I go to the beach I turn into a sunburnt twitchy eyed maniac. ;)

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