Transcendentalists

“The Transcendentalists lived in Massachusetts in the eighteen-fifties,” Teacher said. “They believed that man could exist and be at one with nature. Examples would be Ralph Waldo Emerson and his friend Henry David Thoreau, a man who built a cabin on Walden Pond and lived there by himself for two years.”

Larry Adams listened intently to his tenth grade English teacher and liked what he was hearing. I could get into that, he thought to himself. Never the best student, he enjoyed being outdoors. A lot. He liked walking in the fields and woods outside of town and drawing pictures of birds and wildflowers in his sketchbook. Mostly, though, he liked being by himself. He couldn’t help but thinking that maybe he was like those Transcendentalists. He smiled to himself. Maybe there was a little bit of that Thoreau guy in him.

Later in the day, when his math teacher started talking about geometry, Larry quickly lost interest. Fighting back a yawn, he tried his hardest to stay awake but just couldn’t. He lay his head down on his desk and soon nodded off.

Teacher woke him by yelling in his ear, “Adams, you good for nothing! Wake up and get to work on your assignment.”

“Yes, sir!” Larry said, as he snapped to attention, fighting back an urge to salute the arrogant so and do. Teacher stared at him and shook his head in disgust, muttering, “You’ll never amount to anything, Adams, you know that don’t you? You’re a loser with a capital L.”

Well, to each their own, Larry thought, thinking back to the Transcendentalists. He liked the world he lived in. He opened his math book, but instead of lifeless numbers, he saw a rolling landscape of verdant forests and sun drenched fields. There was even a hint of a secluded, faraway pond glistening in the distance. He didn’t have to think as he decided to hike to it. In a matter of moments, school became a distant memory as he found himself strolling though a land filled with colorful wildflowers and the delightful twittering of countless singing songbirds. He had a sudden urge to join them so he did. Happily, loud and clear, he began to whistle a warbling little tune. It actually sounded quite pleasant, if he did say so. He smiled to himself. Too bad if Teacher didn’t like it.

 

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