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The Water is Wide

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 2 months ago

Block 1







1. How you grow up affects what opportunities you have.

 Pat finding out the kids don't know anything


Pat being shocked to find out that he can't participate in the Board meeting


The kids going on the Halloween field trip

Not know about roads and other things on the Washington, DC field trip

 Ms. Brown not training the kids effective (physical punishment)


Pat Conroy being an educated teacher

 Trick or treating across the riverr at Beufort


Yamacraw being cut off from the rest of the country


Boys from California learning how to make outhouses

"You have never [had Halloween]?" (123) 


"Have you ever heard of the U.S.A?" (33)


"...the river is good to them in the crossing" (292)


"...Betsy goin' to do all the talking...." (233)


"I ain't coming near that old pool"  (255)

2. You have to learn to adjust to the people around you

 Trying to convince the parents for the trip -- getting a sense of the island


Kids trying to adjust to the living on the Washington, DC trip


Pat trying to understand the island's accent

 Ms Brown never learning about the kids


Pat has to learn to adjust to people of the island and their ways (Edna)


California boys learning to adjust their teaching expectations

 The environment Pat grew up in vs. Yamacraw Island



 "My life was centered around sports and academics..." (71)


"What are you doing here white man?" (12)

3. It's important to learn how to fit in with the rest of society

 Class learning about the city during the Halloween trip


peeing in the parking lot at the Globetrotter's Game

 Peter Walters teaching kids how to play soccer


Pat Conroy teaching kids in general

 Yamacraw Island being separated from life in the city

 "Soccer is a game played with the feet" (235)


"Can you drive a boat?"(16)

4. You should treat marginalized people equally

 Being treated nicely on the Halloween trip


Shutting Pat out from the Board meeting


Beuford neighbors not liking Pat housing some of his students


Everybody waving and welcoming Pat when he gets to the island

 Pat Conroy marginalized on the island


Kids are marginalized from regular society


Ms Brown disciplining all kids

 The state of disrepair and ruin on the island  "...the river is good to them in the crossing" (292)
5. If you try hard enough, you can gain the loyalty and interest of people.

 Getting parent permissions for the field trip


All the people from Yamacraw standing up for Pat


Pat encouraging the kids to persevere in learning

 Pat constantly trying to get the kids to learn


Prophet trying to overcome his speech disability


Mary helping Pat understand the accent

 Visiting Beufort


Pat's classroom

 "And think about the twins go..."
Block 3






1. Being isolated makes you powerless

 Don't know about stop signs


Kids don't know about Halloween


Conroy isolated at the Board meeting

 Ms. Brown isolated from other blacks (esp. the kids)


Edna doesn't let her grandkids go on the trips


Kids isolated by Ms. Brown


Conroy having to sleep in the school building

 Kids can't compare themselves to other kids


Kids won't be able to adjust to regular society (in the city)


Yamacraw has no economy; is in poverty


Yamacraw has no roads -- missing culture

 "Who's this?...That's Babe Ruth" (46-47)

"None of my children going along with you" (135)

"No you can't go" (139)

2. To fit in you should exchange ways of life

 Kids teach him about wildlife and hunting


Pat watching people fish off the dock


Pat teaching kids to play basketball


Pat bringing in music and movies for kids

Pat Conroy teaching kids


Ted & Lou Stone moving into Yamacraw


Kids telling Pat about their culture

 Field trips to places outside of Yamacraw


School as a place for this cultural exchange

 "The basics -- that's all they'll need" (111)
3. To change things you need to build a bridge to new experiences

 Taking the kids on field trips


California boys coming to the island


Building relationships with parents

 People standing up for Pat at the strike


Power vs people after the strike

 Yamacraw's isolation makes it hard to build bridges but Pat uses his boat  "I thought of myself as a bridge between two worlds" ()
4. Treat the marginalized the way you would treat yourself

 Pat treating kids with respect (vs Mrs. Brown)


Pat being scared at the schoolhouse



 Mrs. Brown's Bullwhip and textbooks

 How the island was in shambles


Island was a prison before Pat came

 "Do I need to get you a bullwhip to help you discipline them" ()

5. Be open to other cultures

 Pat has to learn about island culture (boats, fishing, hunting)


Kids saying how they like Pat (for not beating them) but hate Ms. Brown


Kids going to Pat's house and learning how to swim

 Pat Conroy is willing to treat the kids as kids


Kids learning from Pat, and missing him when he had to leave

 Beaufort neighborhood accepting kids for Halloween


Later on, the neighborhoods being uncomfortable with kids living there


Pat being wet and cold and kids warm him up

 "The whites eat s-word" (14)


Block 4






1. It's important to be exposed to things outside your environment

 Pat meeting and needing Zeke and Ted Stone


 Field trips to Beufort, Washington DC


Pat finds out the kids don't know much about a lot of things

 Pat Conroy moving and teaching at Yamacraw learns a lot

Ms. Brown being closed-minded is stubborn and limited in her thinking

 Yamacraw island has a unique culture that taught Pat a lot


Beufort neighborhood taking kids in for Halloween

 "The river is good to them in the crossing" (292)



2. Stay true to yourself even as you try to fit in (we are yummy chocolate)

 Conroy did not follow Ted Stone's racism


Pat did not change his teaching methods to Ms Brown's



 Pat Conroy remaining stubborn to his views


Mrs. Brown remaining stubborn to her views

 Pat deciding to stay with his family in Beaufort


Pat accepting some of his students to stay over

 "I've seen the way you take care of dogs" (120)

"Whenever we learned something new it became a pep rally" (60)

3. The best way to change your environment is to change and be yourself and start at the heart.

 Pat wanting to come in and change Yamacraw by teaching the kids


Pat changing the way he teaches the alphabet



 Ms Brown not "starting at the heart" in teaching the kids


Ms Brown growing up being whipped


Conroy taking kids on trips to expose them to new things


 Edna's house as the "heart" of the island

 "The people of the island changed very little..." (


"I don't think I changed their lives significantly..." (


"The parents liquored up down there..."  (25)


"Look what we have done for the improvement of mankind" (148)

4. Treat the marginalized the way you would like to be treated

 Ms. Brown calling the children "retarded"




 Pat treating the children the way he was taught himself  Pat's visit to Yamacraw vs Bennington's

 "We're going to have fun and learn things and it's just going to be great" (142)

5. We should all help people feel at home with themselves and others

 Halloween field trip helps kids see Pat in his environment


Kids playing sports, Pat trying to teach them


Zeke and Ted receiving Pat on his boat rides and talking to him

 Zeke Skimberry being friendly and supportive of Pat


Kids being open to Pat's teaching style and his "craziness"

 Beaufort: Halloween trip vs kids living with Pat


Pat's classroom vs. Brown's classroom

 "My grandma shoot Brown dead but she no shoot you" (131)


"Son, you can do more good at Yamacraw..." (2)

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