The Wave – The Danger of Recreation
Hey, everyone! I’m here again blogging about the book, The Wave. This time I’m writing about the activity of chapters 5 – 8. Enjoy! :)
The next day, the students of Mr. Ross’ History class were greeted by the slogan STRENGTH THROUGH DISCIPLINE written on the board. They hadn’t expected a lecture about discipline from him, unlike other, more conventional teachers. Mr. Ross got his students excited by showing how power and success is possible through discipline: using Amy as a model, he showed how this could be achieved in the proper posture and efficient organization – in how one sat, walked, and moved. He drilled the students, having them walk around and then proceed to their desks in a quick, orderly fashion. They did terribly. David proposed to the class that they line up in the hallway (in order from farthest desk to closest) to reach their seats faster from their standing positions. The class cheered at their success when this suggestion works. They got to their desks in only 16 seconds!
Mr. Ross then gave three more rules to his students: 1) all students must have pencils and paper for note-taking; 2) they must stand next to their desk to answer any questions; 3) all answers and questions must begin with addressing Ben “Mr. Ross”. He then drilled his student in these rules, asking them questions from history. When the bell rang, the students wait for final orders from Mr. Ross instead of leaving on their own accord.
After class, several students came together and discussed how they had enjoyed the experience. David especially believed in the power behind this discipline, though Brad and some others were a bit skeptical about the whole thing. David goes to the washroom and sees Robert Billings going over the drills from class on his own.
That night, Christy Ross was surprised at hearing how well Ben’s students took to discipline. She asked if it would continue the next day and Ben didn’t think it would, as he planned to move on to Japanese history. What Ben didn’t admit to his wife was how much he had enjoyed the experience, as well.
Arriving late for class the next day, Mr. Ross was surprised to find his students maintaining the same disciplined posture and silence from the drills from the previous day. Mr. Ross decided to take it further and introduced a second slogan to the class, STRENGTH THROUGH COMMUNITY. He explained this slogan as the importance of being part of something bigger than one, alone, solitary. He also created a symbol, a wave, and a matching salute that the class should greet each other with. He drilled the student over this new information and instructions.
During football practice after school, Eric was skeptical of David wanting to introduce the entire team to The Wave. However, Brian Ammon was scared of facing Clarkstown’s massive linebackers and was open to give it a try. He was probably open to give pretty much anything a try if it meant even having a chance against Clarkstown. Deutsch, the junior who is second – string quarterback, taunted his rivals and offered to take Brian’s place in the game, as he would rather enjoy stealing Brian’s position. His taunts result in a fight between Brian and himself. David broke up the fight and saw it as proof that they weren’t working as a team. At Eric’s prodding, he told the rest of the team about The Wave and what it could do for the team.
During dinner, Laurie got tired of her father’s golf stories and decided to interrupt and tell her parents about history class. Laurie’s mother, Midge Saunders, was quite concerned that The Wave was too militaristic, but Laurie told her about her exciting experience. Mr. Saunders thought that any increase in discipline and cooperation was an improvement and told Mrs. Saunders to let it go. He brought up the Founding Fathers as an example, while Mrs. Saunders countered that people should not be afraid to act as individuals. Mrs. Saunders then went on to remind Laurie that what was popular wasn’t always what was right. Mr. Saunders asked about David, who very often dropped by in the evenings. Laurie tells him David is studying history for tomorrow, which surprises her parents.
Though it was Ben’s turn to cook, he brought home Chinese take – out as he was too busy preparing for his class. Ben was amazed at how well the students had taken to The Wave and how much better they behaved. Christy asked him how far he was planning to take the experiment and Ben answered that he didn’t really know, admitting that he was also getting caught up in the process, describing it as “contagious”. Christy jokingly warned her husband that it may be he himself who was really the guinea pig of the experiment.
David had walked Laurie to school since they were sophomores. The next morning, he was enthusiastic as he described how The Wave will help the football team. Laurie wasn’t as sure and asked about his seeking help in Calculus. David didn’t want to ask his classmates or they’d know he’s struggling; Laurie suggested getting Amy’s help.
In History class Mr. Ross started by passing out membership cards for The Wave. Cards with red X’s were monitors, making sure all members of The Wave obeyed the rules. He also introduced a new slogan: STRENGTH THROUGH ACTION. Mr. Ross explained that discipline and community are useless without action that achieves a goal. Laurie found all of this creepy, but decided to keep quiet. Mr. Ross also declared an end to competition within the group, that they all work towards the same ends. He then revealed the first action for The Wave: recruitment of new members. David and Eric both felt vindicated in already telling to the football team of The Wave. Mr. Ross was ready to move on to other class matters but George Snyder, Robert Billings, and others spontaneously expressed joy and pride about being in The Wave. After some salutes and slogan chanting, Ben realized The Wave was making a life of its own.
At lunch, Robert was invited by David to join other Wave members at a table. Laurie asked if anyone felt weird about The Wave, but both Amy and Brad expressed relief at the end to popularity contests through this new sense of equality and community. As one of the chosen monitors, Brian joked about reporting Laurie. David sayed she wasn’t breaking any rules, but Robert inquires that if she was against The Wave, it would be breaking the rules because it defied the community. Laurie resisted answering Robert that now since he’s become accepted by others, he thinks that’s a positive development for him.
Posted on April 23, 2011, in books / reading, novel, school and tagged chapters 5-8, experiment, NAZI, recreation, STRENGTH THROUGH DISCIPLINE, The Wave, Todd Strasser. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.