Humanities class is taught by Ms. Small. The class delves deep into the fundamental problems in society. I enjoy the discussions and open-ended essays that we do in HUM.
Analyzing satire was one of my favorite topics in HUM because they are carefully designed to mask their true meanings behind the personas they create. For an in-class essay, I analyzed the speech “The Museum of the Plains White Person”, which aimed to change the way museums treated Native American artifacts by satirizing the ignorance of white people about their ignorance towards Native American culture and their cruel treatment of Native American property. Rayna Green, the author of this piece and director of the American Indian Program at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, created a brilliant persona: a Native American museum leader hoping to create a ridiculous museum about preserving White culture. My analysis of this hilarious and meaningful piece is below:
After reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau over the summer, we worked in small groups to create plays about the book. Ours was a comedic spin-off of Dr. Phil, who is attempting to treat Thoreau. Thoreau is depicted as unstable and disconnected. Phil also interviews some special guests (Ralph Waldo Emerson and a local woodchuck).
The creation of the play served as a good bonding experience as well as a creative spiral for all of us. It felt satisfying to build on each other’s crazy ideas. We tried to throw in hints of our opinions on the play through the advertisements. Some of them were modified off of actual brands, while others were made up entirely to express a certain feeling we shared on the book (like our “firewood” commercial). Overall, the goal of our play was to interpret how someone disconnected like Thoreau would fare in modern society.
The play was performed at Bournedale in early September 2022.