Juniors perform a one week analysis on transcendentalism Social experiments conducted in English 11

After analyzing literature by Henry David Thoreau, juniors in Mrs. Samantha Yoder’s English class related the themes to real life situations.

“By having students read the writings of Thoreau, I hope that they will learn something [of] past literature,” Yoder said. “I hope that students will learn to live deliberately and won’t waste their lives doing something other than making themselves happy.”

In addition to reading the writings of Thoreau, students were required to take part of a social experiment through the week.

“For one week we had to complete a social experiment and have records of the daily updates,” junior Ryanne Heffernan said. “There was one social experiment where we had to pick seven items of clothing and we were only allowed to wear those specific items for a week. Another social experiment required us to box all our materials in our room except our furniture. Then when we needed a certain item, we would just unbox it.”

Students were required to document their daily statuses within their social experiment and turn them in throughout the week.

“I think that the social experiment was really unique and interesting,” junior Chloe Valdez said. “The experiment was not as difficult as I thought it would be. Going with option one that included clothes was a little challenging at first. But after a couple of days, it was manageable with the selected pieces of clothing I had.”

Results will be announced this week in class to report findings from the experiment.

“I hope that these social experiments and literature shows students that living a deliberate and simple life is effective,” Yoder said.

Students read multiple works from Thoreau in class such as, Civil Disobedience and Walden, to understand the meaning beyond the text.

Walden was talking about going down to the basics of life and not getting more than you need to live simply,” junior Mark Bito Onon said. “To succeed is to first understand complex problems we are currently facing. Then we have to take a step back from it and work methodically.”

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