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In Mr. Terry’s Secondary 4 American Literature class, students have finished a unit on Romanticism. Romanticism promoted individualism and a love of nature. The genre dates back to the early 19th century in America that reacted to the Industrial Revolution - a period when people migrated on mass from the countryside to jobs in factories in large urban areas in hope of gaining a better standard of living.
Continuing with Ms. Carr's tradition, students had to think creatively and equate what The Romantics and Zen gardeners have in common. We discussed how both groups used nature to inspire personal and spiritual growth, viewed nature to counterbalance the problems of modern life, used symbolism or metaphors in their work, and believed that nature is a path toward understanding humanity and truth. To show mastery of the unit, students had to design a mini-Zen garden and draft a paper on how both groups are intertwined.
The results were not only eye-catching but also helped students compare their work to the modern world. It is wonderful to see how gifted and imaginative QSI students are when given the environment and freedom to promote 'individualism' like past Romantic authors, such as Emerson and Thoreau.
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