During the week of April 24 through April 28, the sophomore class simulated Big Brother by George Orwell. Some would say this year is a bust due to the lack of interest and cooperation of the class, but others were still proud of the outcome and the lessons they had learned, opposite of those learned in years past.
“They decided they didn’t really do what they wanted to do,” Todd Smith, sophomore English teacher said. “I am not disappointed, but I don’t think they got to do what they wanted to do and that they just didn’t approach it in the right way.”
Shelley Moran echoed thoughts on the contrary. “I was a little disappointed because I thought they jumped the gun on the rebellion and they didn’t really follow the rules and get what was happening,” Moran said. She did specify though that it wasn’t the class she was disappointed in, but their way of going about the plan that was really “grinding her gears.”
Aside from the range in opinions, both teachers agree on the how well the students participated in the end of week discussion. “They talked about things like “you can’t win in the simulation just like Winston couldn’t in the book and about specific actions relating to scenes in the novel. I was very pleased about that,” Smith said, continuing to stress his point on how he wasn’t disappointed in the student’s lack of interest.
Students this year, struggled with the cohesiveness of the group and making plans to make it all work Moran explained, partially because they didn’t have a single leader or small group of leaders who tried to set something up. “Well I don’t know that a specific person was, but I do know that social media played a huge role and they made a groupme that was a huge way for students to communicate with each other,” Moran said. “Even though they got nothing done because there were so many people trying to talk and figure out what to do. There was quite a large lack of interest this year anyways.”
Last years sophomore class had much more interest in creating a successful rebellion against the infamous Big Brother and built a giant barricade just outside of Smith’s classroom, blocking Moran and Smith from getting to their classrooms. The desks are suspected to come from the classrooms of Jeff Breedlove and Stephen Skiles, but Breedlove will “neither confirm or deny that said desks came from my room or Skiles’ room,” Breedlove said.
Because of the interest in topping last year’s class, they had deciding rebelling early on was the best way to top them, but this backfired on them. Smith weighs in on his thoughts as to why this didn’t work for them. “They had a lot of outside influence and thought they were doing something different, but unfortunately it kind of backfired on them because Wednesday a lot of them came dressed in green again and the only difference was the ribbon so it kind of lost steam.”
By the end of the week, there were very few people still participating in the efforts of wearing green and their class colored ribbon. Because of this, the teachers are under discussion of the changes they will be making in the future. Both teachers have different reactions to being asked about their future plans. Smith implied major changes, but wasn’t able to release any details at the moment.
Moran on the other hand, was able to disclose the details of their discussion. “We are actually thinking about not doing the simulation for the first time in the last six or seven years to have it die off and so older students have graduated and we can start fresh with students that don’t have as much older influence,” Moran said.
Both teachers still emphasized their liking for the simulation and their desire for continuing in the next few years, but for the time being, it will be a waiting game to see just what next year’s class will have to endure from Big Brother and the Thought Police.
Feature photo by Skylar Bowers
Barricade photo by Michael Paul