This blog is a result of my two tenth grade honors English classes studying in our American Literature course the Transcendentalist writers of New England during the 1850's, when it was the beginning stages - the first thirty years - of the Industrial Revolution.

My students and I are over here in Taiwan at The International Bilingual School at Hsinchu, grades 1-12.

To read the overview that explains the seeds that sprouted into this blog, please see May 4th's blog post, The process of a modern day transcendentalist: http://transparenteyeballers.blogspot.com/2009/05/process-of-modern-day-transcendentalist.html

Monday, 4 May 2009

The process of a modern day Transcendentalist

The above answers on the chalkboard were written in response to the question, "What is it that you're seeing now, at this end point of all that we've discussed in this Transcendentalism unit? Please synthesize it in a ten minute freewrite now, and highlight the most valuable idea from this freewrite, then write this gem on the board."

I first seeded the idea for this unit three years ago when I attended an EARCOS Teachers' conference in Bangkok, Thailand, where Ian Jukes was the keynote speaker, working with concepts that he formed from reading Thomas L. Friedman's NY Times' Bestseller The World is Flat. To view a brief summary just in case you need it, as well as information on his latest book Hot, Flat and Crowded, which deals with the same issues my students and I have within this unit: http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/bookshelf/the-world-is-flat

Mr. Ian Jukes proposed this thought at his keynote address: "Our children are not the students our schools were designed for: understanding digital kids." In addition, I attended further sessions with Ian Jukes, entitled: "Beyond TTWWADI (That's the Way We've Always Done It)", as well as "From Gutenberg to Gates to Google and Beyond: .EDU meets .COM," "Windows on the Future Revisited: New Schools for the New World," and "Getting it Right: Aligning Technology Initiatives for Measurable Student Results." I also attended many other workshops during this three day conference, which lead me to a new view, seeding a new understanding within me of what is happening to our students, ourselves, and us as a collective global community at a certain level of consciousness.

What my students and have done specifically in this unit is to first view Annie Leonard's and Free Range Studio's online video, The Story of Stuff; the 20 minute online video takes the viewer on a provocative tour of our consumer-driven culture - from resource extraction to iPod incineration. It is a fast-paced look at the underside of production, consumption, and waste; you can view it either on http://www.youtube.com/, or at http://www.storyofstuff.com/. To view a students' summary of the story of stuff: http://transparenteyeballers.blogspot.com/2009/05/story-of-stuff.html.
The students, next had to do web based research, ultimately printing up the three most relevant resources and then producing a summary of what their resources had to say about the impacts from excessive consumption on environmental degradation, both globally and in Taiwan. The second night the students did the same process, but this time with the essential question: "What is excessive consumerism's impact on both individuals' personal levels of happiness, and societal levels of happiness?" as this was spoken to in Annie Leonard's video, alongside the environmental impact. Another consideration that made exploring this second question relevant is my awareness of depression being the third biggest disease planet wide, after cancer and heart problems. Additionally, in working with bicultural Taiwanese and American teens, this question seemed even more relevant in some ways. One of the students, Fiona, found this very telling piece of research, "The Consumer Paradox: Scientists Find that Low Self-Esteem and Materialism Goes Hand in Hand" at http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2007/11/the-consumer-pa.html.

Their research led them to varying degrees of disgust and anger, frustration and feelings of "what can I do? What can one little un-empowered person do to fight this level of conditioning that mass society endorses? And quite frankly, I voluntarily particpate in?" I actually had one student come to me privately, and confess, "Ms. Kay, I'd talk to my other classmates about this, the ones who haven't taken your class, but they'd think I'm crazy if I started questioning shopping downtown, and started to talk about waste reduction or recyling. I'd be ostracized."

This one, rather desperate confession is both very telling of the consumer culture we're embedded in over here in Taiwan as well, and is quite central to the establishment of this blog. The intention with this blog is to reach out to others who are concerned and doing their part in bettering our current state of living on this planet, and to allow the expansion my students felt during this unit to grow, not be contained. As you'll see community, being a central concept in Emerson's "Self-Reliance" essay, as well as one of the underlying, common solutions to our current global situation, functioning as a collective of healthy individuals each sharing their own unique being and potential contributing to the larger collective, was one of the most profound realizations my students had.
As a side note here, one of my students, after reading the chapters from Quantum Shift in the Global Brain: How the New Scientific Reality Can Change us and Our World, he admitted shock at the idea that simply helping others around them is in fact, a solution with much bigger implications than he had ever stopped to think about and realize.

So, back to their trail they blazed during this unit - After they conducted their research, we had round table discussions, during which they presented their findings, and I guided them to a pointed focus on the core problems.

The fourth night, after these round table discussions, and a documenting on poster board paper of the problems, they researched solutions to both the issue of environmental degredation and the fact that depression is the third biggest disease planet wide, following cancer and heart disease.

We went back into round table discussions, focusing on what others are doing out there. I then gave them the first three chapters to Ervin Laszlo's Quantum Shift in the Global Brain: How the New Scientific Reality Can Change Us and Our World. Laszlo is a Norway based, Peace Prize Nominee, and author of a plethora of books studying the marriage of science and the evolution of humans in our current global environment. To view a brief synopsis of his books, and to view other titles by him within the same subject: http://www.powells.com/biblio?isbn=9781594772337

The three chapters began with Laszlo's multidimensional, multisystem worldview of the current problems we are facing as a global community, including ten outdated myths prevalent in our global thinking, and then went into presenting a multidimensional, multisystem worldview in harmony with the world's greatest spritual traditions. So I started them on the path of clues towards the possible solutions, with this first packet. To view a students' summary of the book: http://transparenteyeballers.blogspot.com/2009/05/quantum-shift.html.

It would help here upon this path of discovery for you to know that approximately a month before, at the beginning of the Romanticism unit, as we shifted out of the classical era with the Age of Reason, I gave them a rather challenging reading by the often radical, outspoken Osho, from his book Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously. The chapter that I gave them is entitled, "When the New Knocks on Your Door, Open it." To view a synopsis of this powerful work - it feels like he's both screaming at you and lecturing you (I also use Osho and this chapter to also teach the students about the literary techniques of tone and diction and mood) - please go to: http://tribes.tribe.net/8644c865-e362-4b4d-917e-a8ca42c4fd9d/thread/dc9a866a-ff46-4d7e-bf5c-e8fa0f09fa3d

The second packet came from Thomas L. Friedman's The World is Flat. There is that link above to Powell's book store for the book's review and synopsis.

The next reading, which was over a weekend so that they would have some quiet to take in this new level of more metaphysical, and challenging, ideas - ideally to launch them into the type of framework that Emerson wrote from - was from Deepak Chopra's Book of Secrets. The students read about how at the most fundamental, biological basis our bodies' cellular activity is communal, and working for the overall well-being of the body. To view a further summary of what they took in for ideas in this packet, please go to: http://transparenteyeballers.blogspot.com/2009/05/book-of-secrets-html.

The next reading, interspersed with class discussion of his ideas, both in smaller cooperative learning groups while I circulated and reviewed their summaries written after reading the packet to check for understanding, and then later in whole class discussion, as well as freewriting to give the students time to integrate these new ideas, was also from Deepak Chopra. This time it was from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire. The chapter they read is entitled, "Matter, Mind and Spirit." Within this chapter, Chopra takes quantum physics and explains it in laypersons' terms, where he goes into an explanation of the three domains: the physical, the quantum, and the virtual. Through the denseness of the physical that is slow enough for our five sensory organs to perceive, to the wave and particle activity of the quantum domain, to the pure potential of the virtual domain, Chopra makes these scientific discoveries understandable. To view an extended summary of the ideas the students took in within this chapter, please go to: http://transparenteyeballers.com/2009/05/key-concept-of-matter-mind-and-spirit.html.

We then had to stay with these ideas for a few classtimes, due to their complexity, continuing in freewriting sessions both in class and at home, cooperative learning groups, and whole class discussion, where I worked to guide their thinking to seeing with clarity these complex ideas. My students well let me let them speak for themselves. They are amazing. They took to these ideas like peanut butter soaks up strawberry jam. Naturals.

After this intense visit into the dense groundwork lain so that they can eventually successfully wrestle with Emerson, with modern day relevance and interest now raised, I gave them "How To Read Philosophy", a chapter from How To Read a Book. This was a bit more tangible for them in their literary interpretation work coming up with Emerson.

Finally, in working towards answering the question of what is the solution to our modern day globalized issues, I gave them an article from the What is Enlightenment magazine, renamed EnligthenNext magazine, http://www.englightennext.org/magazine/mag/transform.asp?ppc-google-mag, founded by Andrew Cohen, from the Fall/Winter issue 0f 2005, entitled Are You Ready to Change Now? Exploring the dynamics of human transformation. The article they read is entitled "The Never-Ending Upwared Quest: A WIE Editor Encounters the Practical and Spiritual Wisdom of Spiral Dynamics; an interview with Dr. Don Beck." To read a brief summary of this profound article's - this spiral dynamics system was used during the turnover from the apartheid system in South Africa - core concepts, please go to:

The pictures above with the writing on the chalkboard reflect their thoughts at this point of the unit, as we met in cooperative learning groups after individual freewriting, and then whole class discussions. One more supplemental article to read and this was Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech. To view the text of this down to earth, powerful speech (I teared up at this point when I reviewed it, just before giving it to my students this year): http://nobelprize.org/cgi-bin?from=

This lead to the students then synthesizing all of these ideas together in one final essay, after freewriting for two more sessions post class discussion, as their final assessment at the end of this unit. These essays appear on our forum, which is linked to our site, on the list of links to the right; or you can click here to get to our forum: www.transparency.phpbb9.com/.

There are also responses to this initial blog post below that reflect what the students learned from this unit, personally; meaning what held value for them, above and beyond working with the concepts themselves and applying them to our world. For me, it served as a bit of a pat on the back, as well as a clear message that rather than shut down this learning and expansion process, let's see where it wants to go, by reaching out and putting it on the web and see what kind of community might evolve out of it.

Working with the unlimited potential and the natural tendancy for expansion...

One final article was given to the students from the same What is Enlightenment magazine edition to prepare them for the unlimited potential that they were going to begin the next day in class with Emerson's "Nature" essay: "I am not the body, I am the soul. Breaking Limits with Sri Chinmoy and Ashrita Furman." This article's review can be viewed: http://transparenteyeballers.blogspot.com/2009/05/I-am-not-the-body-i-am-the-soul.html.


  1. This unit was, honestly, one of the most relevant and engaging units I’ve ever had in any of my English classes. To be frank, I couldn’t have cared less about the scarlet letter and the colonial period…the crucible was intriguing and emotion-appealing, but the witch trials seemed distant & my attitude was, to say the least, indifferent and detached. However…this unit was wow, not only did it enrich and cultivate my personal life, it also intensely stimulated my mind to think up of solutions about the climate catastrophe. On the surface, it may seem like we were given earth-saving directions, it may seem like we were walking a previously laid-out path to follow. But no, we were actually given the raw facts (the packets. Quantum shift. Book of secrets. Annie Leonard. The Secret. Al Gore….etc, oh and EMERSON) to digest…so that we could synthesize solution… completely thought of by ourselves! This is, in a sense, teaching us the independence that we would vitally need to survive in the society. We cannot afford to depend on others to think of answers, to save us, to guide us through murky waters. It is time for us to rely on ourselves, because one person CAN make a difference, we cannot live life with the attitude “what can I do in a world of six billion people?” this brings us to SELF-RELIANCE by Emerson. Dang. Amazing unit, Ms. Kay, brilliantly thought up. First you expose us to the myriads of problems infesting the world. Then you provide us with the rudiments, the basics, of problem-solving. You guide us, telling us to build on those skills, to synthesize those, should I say, suggestions by other great minds. Then you introduce Emerson to us, so that we learn that it is up to OURSELVES to change the world – this provides us the motivation and encouragement we need to implement the problem-solving skills we’ve developed into real-life situations. These little steps will ultimately add up to create the mindset we need to create monumental changes that, perhaps, may change the course of humankind. excitinggg :] This unit is basically helping us to build skills for the future. I know that sounds prosaic and clichéd, but come to think of it, will we ever need chemistry or math to solve world crises regarding global warming? Perhaps chemistry, but that will only bring us so far. What the world needs are people who understand the complexities of humans, the deep side of us that created the problem. We will need critical thinkers, problem-solvers, solution-makers. Chemists won’t be able to deal with the social side of existence, but we can. Imagine what the world would be if, say, half of all high-schoolers took this course? There would be radical changes indeed. But first there would be resistance from the ego-mind, but with good instructors, this could be overcome. With a new generation armed with this kind of passion to problem-solve, knowledge about world conditions, curiosity to search for more solutions, and ultimately self-reliance, the world could be saved.

  2. We are all connected. There is no limit to the potential of a human being. These two ideas really opened up my understanding of the world I live in. Sometimes during a sleepless night, I lie on the bed wondering: what exactly is the purpose of my life; what makes me who I am and not someone else; what happens when I die? I couldn’t find a satisfactory to any of these questions, and that scared me. Now, I have learned that my purpose in life is whatever I want it to be. At the essence level, we are basically the same, and even though circumstances and experiences made me into who I am today, everything is interconnected. And what happens after I die? I still don’t know the answer to that question, but no I am not afraid of that uncertain future; the research on near death experiences somewhat pacified me, and Osho has taught me to not fear the unknown (future) but to live in the now and not worry about the past or the future. I also learned that being optimistic will help me enjoy life and constant worrying won’t do anything but twist my life into something that it isn’t.

  3. After learning about the transcendentalist era, my horizons in life have truly broadened. It feels as if I have opened up a window into reality. I realized that I am not alone on life’s mysterious path, but rather that I have the whole universe by my side. Understanding the universal connection and synthesizing the whole picture; feeling the essence of the Supreme Being. I feel like I have opened up into my own soul, into my Being and I am now able to see reality through my Being rather than through my ego mind. Unlimited possibilities have unfolded before my eyes, and the passion and curiosity to explore the unknown have truly inspired me.

    Another fundamental element that inspired me was self-reliance. Every being possesses a unique soul, filled with unlimited potential and everlasting growth. I learned that I, too, can bring out a change and feel at one with the Universe. Ever since I started looking deeper into myself, functioning without my ego mind limiting my way, I have slowly realized a shift in my perspective on life. I am now aware that a higher Being exists within me—past, present and future. My life now blossoms with insights! The physical world is simply a manifestation of my thoughts. Therefore, I have learned that I hold the power to control whatever happens in my life. The soul is omnipotent and allows each and every individual to rejoice in the spirit of the Universal being. This transcendentalism unit has definitely enriched my life and rejuvenated my inner being!

  4. I think Transcendentalism is something that has the ability to change lives.
    At least, that’s what I felt when I was first introduced to this topic: a quarter of disbelief mixed with three-quarters of awe. It’s something that I’ve never seen before; something that I didn’t believe could ever be possible.
    This unit has changed my way of seeing life; I didn’t believe, at first, that I, one single tiny human being in six billion others, could change a situation with a snap. As a teenager, we’re taught reality, or the “real world”: we’ve been told over and over again that some things just aren’t possible, that sometimes, things just don’t go the way we want it to. But yet Harriet Beecher Stowe showed me the power of one woman that changed the course of history with one little book; and as so many others have before and after her show us that anything, indeed, is possible if we put our heart to it. In a age where grades and careers are the focuses of our student lives, this unit is a breath of fresh air – to remind us that we all have our own reasons of living, and that we are in control of our lives. We have a choice in everything we do – we’re no longer the puppets of circumstances beyond our control once we realize that we can be in charge of ourselves, if only we had the courage to do so. We’re the artists of our lives! It’s really astounding to realize that we’ve had all we wanted – to find happiness – all along; it was only that we couldn’t see it!

  5. Victoria Wang7 May 2009 at 05:51

    After I started to venture into the transcendental ideas present by The Secret, Emerson’s essays, and several other packets that we’ve received, I feel like my perspective on life has changed a great deal. Perhaps one of the most dramatic shifts that I have experienced is the realization that thoughts create reality – what we think or feel is what manifests in the physical world, and that I, myself, am capable of shaping my life. Emerson once said, “To different minds, the same world is a hell and a heaven.” Everything that becomes part of my life was attracted to me by me. My interpretation of the events that happen in my life can lead to totally different outcomes! If I choose to complain, be cynical, and gloomy, then aren’t I shooting off waves of stress, negativity, and dreariness into the universe? Then what I receive in return are more things that will make my life unhappy. After all, like attracts like! If, however, I choose to remain optimistic, then I would serve as a magnet for all things out there that will continue to sustain my happiness. I have realized that in the age of constant technological improvement, the only thing that will allow me to succeed is optimism and passion – both of which can only be attained by feeling joy! Therefore, the Transcendentalism unit wasn’t just some futile unit in which we had to painfully investigate in the profound knowledge presented by Emerson. It is a unit of life. It has provided me with numerous insights into how my unlimited potential gives me the power to take charge of my life. It has also given me hope in resolving dire problems such as excessive consumerism, and passion for working towards this cause in order to contribute to the advancement of the Universal Body as a whole. All in all, I do not and will not ever regret spending time in this unit. I can understand now why Ms. Kay said that we will not be the same people who walked into the classroom at the beginning of the year after being part of her class. I have definitely changed for the better.

  6. Vincent Luoh
    Allowing you to believe
    Through our teachings this semester, I have learned many new concepts. The concept that will probably stick with me the longest, probably my entire life, is that whatever we do is what we think we can do. We learned through THE SECRET about the law of attraction. I learned that whatever we want, we must believe that we can get. I learned that to do anything, you must think about it, tell the universe that this is what you want, and the universe will make it happen. English class has taught me that belief is a very important part of wanting to do anything, and that passion is the other most important thing. To have passion about something, and then to have the belief in yourself that you can do it, is something that I learned will make anything possible.

  7. This unit has answered many questions that I have had over the years. I used to be strictly introverted (and not too long ago, maybe just two years ago), and had quite a few problems getting along with others. After I started becoming more open, my life has been–if not a lot, then a bit–better. Though I noticed that as an introvert, I realized many things others did not at the time (or at the moment, even). So then, if I learn more as an introvert, or a social outcast as was the case many times, was it a good thing or a bad thing? The answer was neither, as this unit has told me. The key is to be an individual, while maintaining the ability to cooperate with others.
    On accounts of consumerism, I personally have never been much of an over consumer (rarely buying clothes, electronics, etc). Though nevertheless, “The Story of Stuff” has shown to me the damaging process of the manufacturing/production of all the goods that are being consumed, and has alerted me to the magnitude of the global environmental crisis. In addition to my AP this year, I have become a lot more aware of the environment as well as the methods to preserving it.
    With regards to the Secret, what I learned wasn’t to use the law of attraction to get whatever it was I wanted. In my experience, the law of attraction rarely applies to me. It has as much influence as me as does karma: nil. I can have a good day while maintaining the attitude that good things will come, when before midnight it all goes to hell. I can do acts of charity without being noticed, or even repaid. But that’s not what I do them for in the first place anyway. I do them to make the world more bearable in my eyes. Getting back to the point, if the Secret has taught me anything, it is the importance of taking action and maintaining a positive outlook (emit positive frequencies) for things to be better for the most part. When there is an opportunity, take it. I used to be passive, letting everything slide. Now I realize the importance of taking a risk.
    My outlook on many others may have changed for the worse. As mentioned before in class by JT, many people just learn things and live their normal lives outside of class. I’m not too sure if that’s the way it is even now, but I don’t see a whole lot of change as of yet. Instead, I’m a lot more aware of the over-consumeristic lifestyles of those who are taking English Regulars. Knowing them, there isn’t much I can do about it. In a sense, this unit has the most relation to my everyday life than any other class ever has in my 10 years of education thus far. Despite this, it hasn’t changed things as much as it should have.

  8. "Transcendentalism is also a way of life," stated a classmate on the board during class - I agree completely with this brilliant insight. I now value individualism, the search for and keeping of independence, and have learned above all to love myself, as well as to love others around me. Independence has become a virtue, a moral that I have now come to live by. To have your own idea, your own conscience, your own attitude toward any subject - these are all derived from the workings of the essence, the true inner self of the being - is to act independently and courageously. This spurs confidence and a faith in yourself so strong that all the possibilities will emerge before your eyes and your life; you will be able to transcend and go beyond all that you know today, all that you have experienced within the realm of knowing and receiving, a place that is dominated by boundaries and limitations of the individual potential. This independence of the soul brings about enlightenment, an enlightenment that is both abstract and powerfully magnificent.

  9. Stepping into the Transcendentalism unit, I feel empowered by the concepts and ideas of Emerson and his contemporaries. In trying to connect with the common essence, I realize that in the past, I have been too trapped in my own little bubble, too concerned about my seemingly significant problems that I have forsaken the wellbeing of the greater good for my own personal gain. Not only have I progressed in separating my true being from the ego-mind, I have felt essence in our class’s meditation sessions and have truly tasted a tinge of all the infinite possibilities out there for me. Transcendentalism is a concept founded on hope, and in learning about it, I do feel hopeful, hopeful about my own future as well as that of our planet. Once we work together as we should since we are each a particle of the Supreme Being, we will each individually and collectively have the ability to change the world for the better and make it a better place filled with opportunities and possibilities for all who believe in themselves. Therefore, the fundamental teaching that I have learned from the Transcendentalists is that believing is creating, and that through my purest thoughts, I can create my own reality and destiny.

  10. In this unit, I learned that there are many problems that we have tried to avoid, thus the problems accumulates, creating an unrepairable fracture in our world. If we try to manifest a passion to solve the problem, we are able to stop the division in the essence and re-link our essences together into the wholeness.
    Our essences are interrelated, because the individuality is a part of the community. All may seem to be an individual, but deep down, the ones gather to form the oneness. The community is forming the oneness, because we can create our identity through our individuality, but the as we gather the uniqueness, our community forms. The community forms, because we are able to cooperate through our collective unconscious.
    According to our rate of consumption, we may not seem to be consuming much as an individual, but truth is, these are accumulated. When we are destroying the community, we also destroy a part of the essence. The question is not asking if we are definite individuals or not, but it is asking how can we repair the harmed essence.

  11. In this unit I probably learned more about myself and the world around me than ever before. After reading Emerson’s essays and the additional packets, plus viewing The Secret and learning about its contents, I feel that my perspective on life as a whole has shifted wholly. I learned that whatever I do I can rely on myself and that if I just go on with the flow (even though it provides ‘stability’), I will never better myself and will remain in the same station in life forever. We must believe we can do something before we can do it, because well… if we don’t believe we can do it, how are we ever going to find the motivation to get what we want? Thoughts create reality—that was a major part of the lesson that I learned; no wonder every time I think of negative things my day just keeps getting worse! As The Secret said, we should be grateful for what we have in order to have more, not just throw everything away and look at them as if they were ‘supposed’ to be there for us.
    Emerson once said ‘What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not been discovered.’ This statement concerning unlimited potential was the quote that struck me deepest out of his essays. I used to go around in life thinking that I’ll never amount to much more than what I am now, and the people around me aren’t really going to change much at all. After reading and realizing what this quote means, I’ve come to the conclusion that yes, people DO change and there is unlimited potential inside of everyone. Someone who might have problems concerning one area of his or her life might have success elsewhere, they just don’t know it yet. We all boil at different degrees, don’t we? If we choose to complain about what we don’t have, why not get up and actively do something to change that situation? So in a way, I guess, this unit has made me less lazy in some ways, and serves as a kind of personal motivator for me.

  12. Whoever never had Ms. Kay as a teacher before, or who had never handled the material that we’ve covered in class, could never imagine or begin to understand when I say this entire year of English honors class has changed me as a whole. It’s more than just walking away with brand new knowledge. After one class, you walk away with a feeling that sticks with you for the next class, and it’s the last feeling or thought you have before you fall asleep. I think I have that feeling or thought linger on to me so tightly is that everything we learn is incredibly relevant to all the questions and conflicts I’ve had about life. On a more personal basis, this class was so helpful on every level. This class was absolutely eye-opening for me. I feel like I really understand my life now and I am ready to evolve into something greater, I am ready to attain greatness, I am ready to move on. I’m less afraid now. I am much more confident than I used to be. I’ve learned that we’re all susceptible to our ego mind. The mind is an artificial tool that gets altered and conditioned by society and it can create a lot of emotions to control our physical bodies. With our physical bodies under the control of our ego mind, our Being and our essence is simply there. Actually, it is always there, however, at times it isn’t quite as noticeable or evident as you’d like it to be. The fear, the anxiety, the paranoia, the anger, and all other radical emotions are usually predominant in you. You always here this voice ( which you think it’s you but it’s not) say that “I can’t do this” “what if…”“oh my gosh this is impossible…”. These are all common phrases that your Mind is saying to you to prevent one thing: its death. The ego mind certainly doesn’t want to die—it wants to control You—your being. Your ego mind doesn’t want to be quiet. It wants to prevent you from having satisfaction or any sort of long-term happiness because if you do, your essence will be much more alive and apparent, which then leaves the mind to be less powerful. This is why we are afraid of the unknown or we’re always afraid of taking risks. Taking risks and going into something unfamiliar (the unknown) can change you completely. Once you overcome that fear, you will become more courageous and bold and powerful—you’ll have more control of yourself than the mind does. That gets the mind very worried and scared so it generates all sorts of emotions such as fear and anxiety to prevent this sort of things from happening. Once I’ve realized this, I’ve realized that I am so much more capable than I think I am. I realized that I do have this unlimited potential in me—my intuition, my perception. I realized that if I rely on my senses, my intuition, my heart, then I can move beyond so many barriers and obstacles. Prior to English Honors class, I cared about: Grades, (all the numbers out there), other people’s outlook on me, finding a hot boyfriend, prom dress, my weight, my appearance, being on the same level as my peers (popularity). WOW. This is me now: finding people that are like me (genuine friends) people who think like me, loving everyone, caring more, helping people to better understand themselves (because I know how frustrating it is to feel empty and useless), and to help human beings as a whole family to live better and peacefully together—mutually with the natural environment. After this course, I’m much more in touch with my Being and essence. I’m more confident and proud to be who I am. This is because I’ve come to realize everyone is incomparable. Everyone is just a part, a person. We are, yes, all human beings—but on the inside—we are like aliens. We’re so different from each other. We’re all different. I used to think, secretly of course, that some people were really “weird” and others weren’t “normal”. Now I actually respect—not faking and trying to act like a nice person—but genuinely respect the “weirdest” or “oddest” people I’ve ever met. I love this class. It tells you the key to happiness, contentment, and satisfaction. It tells you how to be you. It was my job to accept it and use it and understand it. Seriously, as cliché and odd as this may sound, it’s the basics and essentials to living a life as a human being in this contemporary world. This unit meant so much to me. It changed my whole perception and outlook on the world.

  13. This unit, just like Transcendentalism, has helped me “transcend” to a higher level. As a student, I feel this unit has really furthered our previous units. For me, this unit is like a wake up call that splashes me with cold water and slaps me on the face. Yes, the cruel reality of excessive consumerism may hurt, but it makes me realize how ignorant and oblivious I was. I am now aware of the conditioning that society has brainwashed me with all along my life. Now each time I come across an advertisement, I catch myself analyzing the persuasive techniques it uses. No longer just a passive receiver, this unit has encouraged me to step out and take action. I am thankful to have been able to be exposed to the packets such as “Book of Secrets” and “Spiral Dynamics;” since their ideas are not what one would typically encounter in a classroom. I am especially intrigued by the various colored memes, understanding how each one is within us; they are just brought out with different situations. This unit has opened my eyes – it provides me with the dose of optimism that makes me realize the unlimited potential within me.

  14. This unit is actually pretty life-changing for me. Or at least perspective-changing. I’m discovering the immense power I have over my life and over the world. Everyone has this power, but few choose to recognize it. Why? Because with great power comes great responsibility, and nobody wants that responsibility; it’s burdensome. Sure, there are some that might be completely unaware of what’s going on, of this immense power they possess, the power that everyone has to change the world. But ignorance is no excuse; knowledge is widely accessible right now. To me, those people are lazy. They think other people will do it for them, they don’t care. They just want to get on with their lives and live in their little bubble of bliss, oblivious to everything else out there, oblivious to the dangers of indifference. And to be honest, up till recently, I used to be one of them. I used to be one of the ignorant people; I used to think that I can’t change anything alone, and that others would take the responsibility for me, but now I’m realizing just how cruel that attitude is – to the world today, to the generation tomorrow that would have to live with the deteriorating world. Is this fair to them? One might ask, but is it fair for us that we have to deal with what was left behind by the previous generation? But the point now isn’t to keep shirking off the responsibility and blaming scapegoats – there isn’t time for that immaturity. Each one of us is equally important and equally responsible. Stop blaming and start changing. Stop dwelling in the past and start focusing on the present.
    I was awoken greatly by this transcendentalist unit, and I hope to help raise awareness about these issues. If everyone had this unit sometime in their lives and actually opened themselves up to the information presented to them, gave this unit a chance, and shut that cynical little voice in their heads up for a few moments, the world would be a much better place today. I’d also like to introduce to each and every human being the 20-minute “Story of Stuff” video by Annie Leonard. I think it’s quite enlightening; every word of that video stuck to me. I’m no longer contributing so much to the big golden arrow of consumerism because of it. Be someone you yourself can be proud of.
    This unit also provides us with solutions. First, we must become aware of the problem and its consequences. We are all connected; every individual is affected by this and has the power to change it. I love Emerson’s essays, because even though it’s written centuries ago it speaks of a simple truth. Fate is present up to an extent, but if we choose to think, we may transcend fate. Power and fate can be balanced in this dual world. Change your attitudes and perspective. We have this immense power inside of us to manifest whatever we want into reality. We have the power to make the world a better place, corny as it may sound. And it’s probably corny because it’s true. Everything breaks down into atoms, to subatomic particles, to pure potential. You are NOT an island. You are connected with everything else at a deeper level. Everything you do affects everything else, because everything is connected to you and you to them. By simply observing something or simply thinking, you are changing reality. With everything you come in contact with, you are exchanging a tiny bit of yourself with that thing. You are constantly morphing, and so is everything around you. Why not direct that change into something that would be better for the future? And because we’re all connected with each other; because we’re all one with each other, there should be no reason for us to hate each other because then that’s basically hating ourselves. Jealousy and competition against other people is pointless; it’s ignorance. It’s dangerous; we start to want to destroy each other, when the essence of competition should’ve been to improve ourselves. And if we all lose sight of that essence and start seeing the destruction of our competitors as our goal, then the human race would soon die out. Start realizing your own worth and stop envying others’. There’s a reason they are that and you are this; you have a place in the world just as they do. Live to fulfill your role, not to try and take over someone else’s. Your part is just as important as theirs; do your part well, there is no reason why you would be any less than other people.

  15. Osho changed my perspectives on life greatly. Osho said that there are 2 paths one can choose from, approaching and letting the new come within you, or just plainly reject the new. Look at it this way. If one takes in the new, there are another 2 paths, failure and success, If one succeeds, wow good for you. You really learned something new and kicked some ass. If you screw up and fail, which means the new you took in hasn’t adapted to your being yet, you failed, yet you still succeeded. No pain no gain. Someone once said,” The measure of a person is not how successful he is, but how high he bounces after a hard it” Thus, both ways lead to succcess in contrast to not letting the new in at all. This path is an automatic failure.
    Osho left me in awe and realizations that truly humans do not want to endure the new because we are afraid of the unknown. After reading the packet, I found out the benefits of letting new things coming into my life. I let my being open up to the world.
    Matter mind and spirit focus on the 3 domaims of life. The physical the quantum and the spiritual. The physical is the boundary god has put on people to incapsulate the soul. MY fingers typing the keys in, my head, my ass, my djafjdafalf, all part of the physical domain. But, infact its because our senses slow energy down into the physical. In fact everything is going light speed which makes matter energy. The quantum domain. But YET, the physical and the quantum leads up to the spiritual. The energy in quantum forms life, the physical incapsulates life, the spirit is life. Tying it in with the prior, the physical are boundaries set to keep one to his or her limitations, but frankly the SPIRIT does not have limitations, Its potential is infinite but yet limited by the physical. The quantum is the boundless, light speed, state of matter, where everything is a large energy pool. Accpeting the new is the energy in you, the spirit, accepting new vibrations the physical recives.
    In general, I have learned this section that the spirit is within me. IT is the orgin of life, the orgin of the universe. I live on the earth, the earth is my orgin, the earth is within me. And that is my being, the being that recives the new, the being that copes with changes, the being that provides life. The world is interconnected. Everyone has a part of earth inside of them. Everything is interconnected. In order to cope with change, these pieces of earth have to combine into one to cop with change, excessive consumerism, global warming. It relates to the theme of the lord of the rings: commradship, fellowship. Everything is One.

  16. What did the excessive consumerism unit mean to me? Well quite a bit I suppose considering how frustrated it got me. Being informed of the levels of destruction that humanity has inflicted upon their home was saddening as well as sickening. That people can either remain ignorant on this pressing issue or choose not to change themselves is just as disappointing. Though I wasn’t obsessed with consumption before, the unit got me thinking of ways that I could consume less and conserve more. Kind of also wonder what can be done about everyone else but I don’t really have a solution because I only have so much power realistically as a kid my age, I can’t dictate the actions of those around me. How are you supposed to go about changing people who associate shopping with quality of life? Also as earlier stated I can’t guarantee that making a person aware of the consequences of excessive consumerism will really bring about change…and I highly doubt that getting the people who care to change will be enough.

  17. This unit has really brought about a huge change in my life not just in academics but also in my living attitude. Now I try to apply what I’ve learned as much as possible, and I’ve even come up with a few of my own simplified principles. Really, mostly what I try to do is to try and be self aware, try not to be greedy, help when I can, stay humble, and live knowing that I only have one shot at life. I’m not perfect though, so there are still a lot of times when I’ll slip and I might just let the shower water keep running, or I’ll say to myself, “someone else will help,” or I might tell myself that my friends can take another jibe, they’ll understand. I try to keep that part of me at a minimum, but yeah it does slip through sometimes. But hell, when I don’t slip and I do things right, my day turns out perfectly. I just think about what good I should be doing, and do it, and like karma, which I think is pretty much the Buddhist way of the secret, good comes back to meet me. Really, life seems a lot more fulfilling now. Although there is another factor in all this and this lies in the constant criticism of my friends. Er, unfortunately, lately, according to them sometime in the beginning of 10th grade I became the very thing I’d been fighting and rebelling against ever since 7th grade, and from then on, they’ve been constantly throwing rock hard criticism at me to try and get me back in shape, and a lot of times, my pride will become sore and I’ll lash back at them. Anyway, there’s this one memorable conversation I had with Lee and Hen once, where we got into an argument in which I was being a huge prat and telling them that they shouldn’t be so sensitive about me joking about other people’s problems. And somewhere along the line the conversation led to a point where Hen something that really woke me up to what I was doing: “Unlike you, I don’t do everything for personal gain,” It wasn’t entirely true, but then again, it was true to some extent. Then, I saw clearly how selfish and hypocritical I’d become, and from then on decided that I would try to change myself, if only to win back my friends. Eventually that motive turned into actually wanting to make this world a better place to live in. This was through this quarter’s unit, normally I’d be hard put to go searching out problems in the world and looking for solutions, but it was homework, so I had no choice, but the results I found really meant something. It forced me to take a long hard look at all I’d done in my life and what I could do to utilize what it had to offer to make this a better place. Now I continuously remind myself to keep to what’s right, and I might deviate sometimes, a lot of times, when I’m feeling uncomfortable or tired or annoyed, but I try to keep those emotions tuned out and pushed to the back of my head and constantly remind myself of how lucky I am to be in the position I’m in today, what a waste it’d be if I didn’t make something out of it.

  18. When I look back on what kinds of impacts all of the English units have had on me, I honestly think that this unit affected my life the most. The idea of unlimited potential. I've found myself in the past constantly trying to adjust myself to fit along with my parents' wants -- too often. Grades, dreams, manners...I felt stifled. Watching "The Secret" and participating in the class discussions, I felt the unit's content's connection to my own life experiences. There was this point of my life in the past when everything went...well, BLAH. That was the time when I was probably the most depressed, but participating in this unlimited potential unit made me think back and reflect upon myself. "What if I managed to find some light within that dark tunnel and brough myself out of that gloom?" By connecting my life experience to this newly-learned concept has left me quite baffled right now, yet still hopeful. You could say that this unit made me want to like myself more, like life itself more, and become more active in my life more. I no longer want to leave my life in the hands of the constantly blowing winds of the society -- I want to take control. Although I'm not entirely convinced of the unlimited potential idea fully, I am definitely persuaded that I have to be in charge of my own happiness. This new perspective towards life is something that I needed for a long time, and this unit has given me just that.

  19. This unit about transcendentalism, over-consumption, and The Secret has opened an entirely new world to me and broadened my perspective. This unit has developed me fully into a critical thinker and problem-solver by presenting me with an issue and allowing me to slowly work my way to the solution through my own research and creativity.
    This unit has also planted a new seed of confidence in me; revealing to me my individuality and importance in this world. I am a being of unlimited potential, drawing my strength from a source of infinite power. As Emerson said, "What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."
    I am no longer ignorant to my ego-mind and its intentions. Now, I have taken the power out of my ego-mind's hands - taken responsibility for my own life. Now, I know I have the power to be able to control my life - and because of that it will never be the same again.

  20. Andy-

    As an unsteady teenager, I have been led to perceive that reality over rules fantasy and that no one is ever in control of their lives. Luckily, I was proved wrong.
    After learning about Transcendentalism and the packets from class, I realize that life is full of possibilities and unlimited potential. There is in fact, no one stopping me to embrace my dreams, even if don’t have one. It is we, or should I say ego minds, that can sometimes limit our own potential to grow and expand. I have always doubted myself, as if my life was destined to be like this. But this is not true! What we need is to believe in ourselves, to have optimism and courage, passion and curiosity to live our lives to the fullest. We can take control of our lives and change, so when problems such as global warming come up, we would not cower in fear and await some smart-ass dude to solve the problem. We would instead, stand up and do what is in our power to help. The truth is that we are all connected, just as we stand upon the same earth and breathe the same air. It is the Supreme Essence and Being that binds us together.
    This is what I have learned, and it has brought change in me, even if only a bit. I must admit that I feel that there are some concepts that are questionable, but I never less try apply them to my own life. I haven’t felt a tremendous effect yet, but who knows? There are a lot of things in life that no one truly understands anyways! I mean, I may have not showed great achievement or performance in class, but I am sure that even by grasping only a bit of the basic concept, even I, a dried up plant can hope to sprout green leaves.

  21. I have liked how this unit shows so much hope for humans. It is certainly a nice shift from Hawthorne! Personally, it has been great to understand the real roots of our current problems. Who would have ever thought that our minds were the ones creating the whole global warming crisis? This unit has definitely opened my eyes to the gears that work our society. And aside from learning the problems, the discovery of solutions instilled hope in that we are capable of doing the unthinkable, because we have unlimited potential. Connecting the transcendentalist unit to our daily lives and the present also made the unit even more exciting. People always say making something meaningful to oneself is the best way to learn something and have it stick. This is how the introduction to this unit was crafted, something I certainly applaud. As a student, valuable pieces of advice have been handed to me not only from Emerson and you, Ms. Kay!, but also from our outside packets. This knowledge is sure to accompany me through the rest of my student life (I now know I can transcend my worries because it is all the mind making too much noise, or that thoughts create reality, which gives me more the reason to focus on the positive things that make me happy.) and even beyond that! :)

  22. Throughout this unit, I was able to find many connections to my own life, showing that what we learned is actually useful, unlike so many other subjects in school. Plus, it is directly applicable to life. We started out with the global problem of unsustainability on the surface, and then dug down deep to the roots of the problem, in order to fully understand the matter at hand. What we found seemed so simplistic that it couldn't be possible--but it was. It was like a great realization that the solutions to our problems are not as complicated as we think. Also, I love the optimism expressed in this unit. It's like everything is possible if you have a strong feeling for it. This is part that I connected to most, for it is basically how I lead my own life. The world has a plan for us. Sometimes I imagine it as an unending plain whiteboard, where a plethora of different colored markers are waiting for us to pick them up and draw our life onto the board. That is what I think the Supreme Being, or essence, planned out for our lives--that there is no plan. There is only that guiding force (Intuition) that helps our hands draw. But that's just me. I'm sure that there are a gazillion ways to interpret what life is, but it's just something that can't be put in words.

  23. Michael-
    There is a point in life where everything seems confusing, baffling, and frankly, hopeless. At this point, we realize how caged in we are and how bleak the future is and ,as a growing individual in a competitive society, I can't help but think about how life isn't going to change from where it already is. It is during a situation as stagnant and suppresing as this when some perspective realigning and broadening would be helpful and this is where this unit comes in. In this unit, we are removed from our own little world and put into contact with some of the greatest issues the human race face and some of the ideas and creations of some of the greatest thinkers. To see what really is out there is significant in that it would help me find my place in the world. But even more significant is seeing what is inside ourselves which this unit has allowed us to do. The self-reflection will drive us to be what we can be and make our mark in this world. This unit then has provided us with a great deal of knowledge that is applicable to our daily lives. We are now able to do our part in stopping global crises of any kind and we are now able to expand to our limits which, so far we are know, do not exist.

  24. How did this unit change me? Well, frankly, I don’t have the slightest clue of where to start. We could start with the numerous packets that have really opened my eyes (and mind) to the reality just as the red pill opened Neo's. We could start with the inspirational lessons that are given to me every single day that makes me feel rejuvenated afterwards. We could start with the awareness that the activities we did as a class that was expanded as we read through Emerson’s Nature and Self-reliance. This is the beauty I find in Ms. Kay’s English class.

    This unit, I have to say, not only broaden my awareness and sense of the world around me, but it has also allowed me to interact directly with the world that we have been so focused on about. The Story of Stuff not only captured my feelings for our planet, but it also made me (attempt to) think of solutions and what I could do to help. Since all the packets and readings are connected, I can’t help but think that this unit will have a connection with everything I’ll do in the future. I have learned that every knowledge is connected, no matter how ‘separate’ the fields are, just as how everything is interconnected as shown in Emerson’s Nature and Self-Reliance. This single fact revolutionized the way I think: instead of analyzing and separating facts, I find myself synthesizing and evaluating ideas and facts with my previous knowledge.

    Take, let’s say, a recent website I found: http://www.school-survival.net/ . It looks as separate as can be from our current studies, right? I mean, the website talks about students that hate school. Upon entering the site and reading its articles, I find that it is every bit as related as Emerson’s topic of growth. Emerson says that human growth happens in every direction. So, bringing the website in, I find myself synthesizing Emerson’s teaching to reinforce what School Survival is talking about. Students should not be only growing academically, but they should expand and fill in all aspects. Upon some more clicks within the site, I find myself stringing together Emerson’s talks of society (the society that limit the individual’s growth) with the Book of Secrets (cells being individual yet work together in a common goal) along with Osho's Courage (new requires courage, old is easy) and with the School Survival site itself (finally). It is an interesting experience to find a random site that connects so much to your English class teachings, especially a site that is biased against the current school system (and, spontaneously, a new synthesis appeared right now about how the system is like a foolish consistency, not designed for the now, the present....okay I’ll stop).

    This skill I just described of, this ability that was taught to us by Ms. Kay, this power to critically assess given information and stitching it to everything you know is a powerful tool in today’s world, as shown in The World is Flat packet (darn it, I said I’d stop). After all, the world of the future will be different from the world of the past. We need to have skills to quickly assimilate and absorb new information so that it can be freely used and rotated and molded into whatever it is we need in the present. That is the skill that will stick on to me until the day that I stop learning, that is, the day that I die.

    PS. Of course, there are other important skills that I have learned and applied in my life, but this skill I described in this essay, I feel that it is more life changing than the other ones.

    -Philly CheeseStake

  25. Transcendentalism offers life changing ideas. The fact that we are all interconnected with one another and the Universal Soul is an incredible idea that I had never thought of before. It has taken me to a new level of understanding not only within myself, but also of the exterior world in which our societies exist. I have come to understand and know myself better through the discovery of the workings of ego mind, the essence, and its connections with the supreme powers of the universe. And I have been able to apply this newly acquired understanding and realization into my perspective of the current situations of our modern world today. I had always thought that I was just this little Asian girl who is of basically no importance to the other 6 billion something people living across this planet. However, this unit and all that it has offered me has made me aware that I can actually bring changes to the world! That is an incredible idea, because not only can I satisfy myself and live my life to the fullest extent, but also bring meaning and significance to my existence. The fact that we are all correlated beings is not just another random idea, and either is Emerson’s ideas on self reliance. The study of Emerson’s essays has made me aware that each of us have individual fortes and strengths, whether they appear to be big or small, and this quality and characteristic is a gift to our beings. With the enhancement of these assets, we are then able to work together as a community, not society, and enforce changes onto the ever alarming circumstances of this modern era. The increased realization and awareness that we can come together, with each of our distinctive qualities, cooperate together, and come up with solutions to problems that cannot be solved alone is apparent progression of the entire human race towards new and more advanced memes. In this way, we are not only able to transcend and awaken the unlimited possibilities within ourselves, but can also add a sprinkle of optimism and hope to the discouraging circumstances of today.

  26. What was this unit’s impact on my life? Well it changed my outlook on life and also helped me restore the hope of the goodness in the world. Whenever I see the news, there is always death, destruction, and evil being done; is there any good news anymore? It made me skeptical of people I met. But this unit on transcending and becoming whatever one thinks one is, has restored has brightened my outlook on life. The Secret really taught me that one has to believe in oneself and have passion to achieve greatness. There is so much that we can do, but there are also so many factors building a wall on our thinking, making what we do limited. We have to transcend beyond that wall and believe in the unlimited potential that we all bear. The choices are simple, but difficult to make: one can either choose to live in the past with consistency and safety or one can live in the now with spontaneity and instinct, which leads to growth. This choice has become difficult for many of us to make because there are so many external influences that make us fear the unknown and the unexpected. The Secret is to believe in yourself, in what you do, and in others.

  27. Revelatory and life-changing would be good descriptors of this unit. Although I'm not completely incapable of generating optimistic thought, I can't say I've always felt that I'm Transcendentalist material. I believe in and endorse individualism, and up to some degree, have experienced a connection to a higher being via interaction with nature, and understand that our full potential has yet to be reached and that we might not even have limits to our ability. It is a difficult mindset to maintain in the adversity of our modern day conditions however. In the scope of my own life, my own little bubble, I would have to say I don't have too much reason to feel depressed or angry. When looking at the state of the entire world though, it feels like there is little reason to feel optimistic. Upon glimpsing the "outer world", I can see some of the roots of its problems within my own little universe. And now that gives me a reason to be angry.

    The research on excessive consumerism served as good fuel for my fire. My attitude towards global concerns such as global warming, environmental destruction used to be something like "Why bother not littering? Taiwan's already polluted beyond repair. We'll be cooking in Hell once all life ends anyways, so why bother with anything?" It has rubbed off though, with a little bit more awareness and understanding. It isn't completely accurate to say my anger has completely disappeared. Now it is just pointed in a different direction.

    It isn't an uncommon phenomenon, people seeking self-worth by buying the latest Nike products or whatnot. I don't think that consumerism mentality is as strong here as might be in another places, although it is very much existent. It's a bit pitiful to see, quite honestly, and is very annoying when people go loony over the fact that unpopular kid wears Nike Dunks or whatever. Although I'd be a downright liar to admit I reject materialistic goods (everybody likes to wear what they think they look good in), I don't chase trends. Screw that. My stance on the consumer mentality, herd mentality has always been that way. The research on consumerism simply served to strengthen my beliefs and give me a stronger understanding of my enemy, basically.

    Going back to environmental issues, I can say I'm a lot less quick to throw a random piece of trash on the floor once the opportunity rises. In fact, I've stopped littering at all. It's not really that big of a phenomenon in itself, although I have to say it counts for something. There was this one instance where I was taking another one of my nightly strolls in a nearby park where upon seeing a lot of stray pieces of trash, I began picking them up and disposing of them in the trash can. I felt rather proud of myself, although the fact that I only did such a thing in the dark and felt hesitant in typing this out puzzles me. Perhaps because I doubt anyone here would really believe that, but oh well. I know what I did. I've always made sure to turn off the bathroom lights after I finished doing my business, turn off the lights when I leave any other room, keep the door closed when the air conditioner is on, etc. so there is not much to comment on there. The self-defeating thought of "What difference can I make alone?" doesn't pop up much anymore. In retrospect, I think I always asked that question as an excuse to be lazy and apathetic, as opposed to asking it because I genuinely felt powerless. Maybe I did, but it was more of the former than the latter.

    As much as I would like to say I have experienced a massive spiritual transformation, I still believe that people have the potential to severely screw things up, whether it be on a personal level or a global level. And while I don't believe people are by nature, ugly vicious creatures, I certainly don't doubt our capacity to be just that. Despite that though, I can say I feel more confident about my own chances in not screwing up my own life. I'm not sure how many people here genuinely meant the things they said. I know some people do. At the end of the day though, the person I need to answer to, first and foremost, is myself. Knowing that I have the capacity, that we as a people, have the capacity and potential to accomplish so much great deeds, I feel it would be a waste to not tap into our potential and just go for it.

    My mind's a bit unhinged right now (currently in freewrite mode) so I'm going to go back to what I said on Transcendentalism and add a bit more. As we may know, every destruction is invariably a creation simultaneously and vice-versa. I've always felt that was particularly true of the process of self-improvement. I learned a lot of new things this year. A lot of new doors were opened. I feel like I've been taking myself apart and reassembling myself up to some degree. And well, it's been quite an interesting ride. 10th grade is coming to a close. If there's one thing I hope to get out of this English semester, it's not an A+ (though that would be great), it's that these teachings stay with me throughout the rest of my high school years, to college, and beyond. Honestly, I don't think I've learned anything nearly as useful as all this.

    I hope, Ms. Kay, that all the effort you put into teaching us all of this, the confidence and faith you have in all of us, bears fruit. It'd be a shame if it didn't. Although I can't speak for everyone else, I'm confident I will take this knowledge beyond the confines of the classroom where it was taught and out into the real world, where it is supposed to be used.

  28. -Bradley
    This unit has enhanced me by not only taking in every perspective with a more acute and aesthetic view, but I have also learned to control the beast that cages my mind. What was classified as impossible in the past, is now nothing more than energy that has risen from the sea of possibilies. Through the unit we have been exposed to varoius packets that allow us to procure various ways of life, or truth, which allowed me to see the different meanings of life and to utilize these theories in the future. Althrough we have not spilled into the area of mechanics/grammar often, and I feel my already weak grammar falter, but I was able ot change my once anatognistic/recalcitrant behavior to what I am now. We are now able to see how our incessant minds are direct allegories to the present day situaton, thus our disidentifying as also gradually allowed us to steal into the realm of supreme being.

  29. -Bradley
    2nd last line, not gradually allowed, its "has* also "permitted"

  30. What has this unit in the English Literature change me? This unit has been exceptionally profound and deep. It made me realise and understood many of the problems that we as a human race has to deal with everyday. These problems include the global climate change and how the majority of the people on the planet is without consciously harming our earth and losing balance with the earth.

    Emerson, one of the people thought to have discovered the secret, tapped into this unfolding problematic lifestyle when he published his essays on the nature and how people should live their life. Yes, this is the realisation and the understanding that we, the humans, are not alone on the planet and are not the dominant, instead, all things are interconnected at a higher level.

    THis intelligence or idea is only just starting to reveal in the sciencefield under the quantum physics area. Along with this discoervy of the non-local connection of all things, scientists are finding connections between the human minds when they are meditating. Scientifically, we are starting to differenciate the different selfs of individuals.

    THis understanding made me realise that humans have to work together in all different levels: in families, in school, in the community and on the planet. We are interdependent upon each other in the universe, and as a whole, humans have alot of problems to solve. Each individual has responsibility to improve the situation that we face, and everyone has power to cause changes.

  31. Absolutely beautiful feedback. Hope that at least one of these lessons does indeed stick with each of you. Make it happen! It isn't gonna just occur magically. Or is it...

    And Bradley, you mean to tell me all this writing hasn't helped your grammar? Seriously, dude.

    We don't have to be world leaders to effect change. In fact, isn't it more inhibiting to change as a world leader? Aren't we more able to change as an individual, so that as each of us add our vibration, our unique being and our own potential to the greater whole, well yeah...