Talking Back

Rebelling could be me standing outside the White House and throwing raw eggs onto the windows.

It could also be me rotting in a prison cell because I murdered someone, innocent or not.

Or it could be me talking back to a teacher because I disagree with him.

So let me tell you a story of a seventh grade girl:

There once was a girl who was taught to speak her thoughts. When she was a little girl, she was taught to disagree with things she actually disagreed with. She was taught to defend her argument if that is what she believed was right.

When she was in seventh grade, she moved schools. And during that one middle school year, she was suspended just about every month. And through those suspensions, she learned that she can disagree and speak her own thoughts… unless it went against a teacher’s beliefs.

For example, the school she went to adored Christopher Columbus. She, on the other hand, did not respect him too much. The school said that he was the pathway to spread the Christian belief into America. Although she was and is a Christian, she disagreed. So she spoke up and told them that you cannot spread a belief if the people they wanted to preach to were all dead. She reminded them that the Native Americans are treated like wild animals on the brink of extinction, preserved and observed.

Of course, the teachers did not take it too well. And she spent the next 2 days in a teacher’s office alone. She was told to think about why she was suspended.

She thought it through. Mainly because she really had nothing else to do, but also because she was confused.

She finally figured out why she was depressingly sitting in an empty office; she had rebelled. She had talked back to an authority figure. But she had no idea why that would be the reason for her lock down in a lonely office.

But that wasn’t the only reason. By the third time she was sitting alone in a lonely and depressing dark office, she realized that rebellion does not just affect the people she rebels to. It also influences those around her and that was why the authorities were so scared.

Once the majority was rebelling, the authorities will start to lose the power and control they had over everyone. They were terrified the rest of the student body will speak up about their thoughts, too. So they made it a big deal and punished the first one to dare: her.

Kind of tragic how it works, don’t you think?

Word of the Day: tenebrific
(adj.) producing darkness

5 thoughts on “Talking Back

  1. This post is powerful and compelling and disturbing . . . I just wish it had a stronger conclusion. What should we do with the story you’ve just told us? How do we apply it, learn from it? Where do we go from here (especially given the current political climate in the U.S.)? The misuse of power IS tragic — but is there also something hopeful here? The implication that we aren’t powerless? That our actions, even the actions of a seventh grade girl, can actually make a difference?

    Thought-provoking post, Hanny. One small note: watch out for tense consistency. Towards the end there’s quite a bit of shifting back and forth between past and present.


  2. Be strong Hanny, the way you have always been able to clearly see what is right and what is wrong is one of the reasons that people who are lost like me are attracted to you. We need you! This doesn’t mean that you should keep suffering every punishment from your rebellion, you must have learned through you experience how to protect yourself… wait, I just perceived the girl in the story as you for some reason, I am sorry if that’s not what you meant… was this intentional? Your post leaves me wonders…


  3. It’s evident that you have a strong opinion in everything, and you openly express it. I respect that. This blog post is, however, very discomforting to read as it is clear that you used a personal experience to argue whether rebelling is destructive or life giving force. It is great that you hold your strong beliefs, but I think it is good to keep in mind that sometimes keeping your thoughts to yourself is better as our opinions are underdeveloped. This post is thought-provoking as it reveals an extreme perspective of the spectrum. To strengthen your blog post, I recommend that you add a stronger conclusion to what you believe rebellion is. The ending is sudden and leaves the reader in aghast.


  4. Hanny, that was fantastic. The use of personal experience really made the idea very personal. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until the end of time, I love love love how strong-willed you are. You hold to your beliefs and it astonishes me every time, even when I don’t agree with you. This post is great, and I really enjoyed it. The use of third person is a bit weird, and kind of jarring, but it worked well by the end. I actually really liked the ending – it kinda hits you and then just leaves. I do agree that maybe it leaves some questions but I think that’s okay. Good, even. We need to ask questions and your blog post makes us question the idea of rebellion in our heads. Great job.



  5. Hanny, your honest voice is so evident in everything you write. I can see your 7th grade self rebelling and questioning, partly because I know you are strongly opinionated and express that- which is one of the things I love about you. There is a sense of growth and realization in the post, through the detailed events being written in chronological order to you finally figuring out why you were in suspended and rebellions effect.
    I would recommend you proof reading your post for tense consistency. I would personally say, “speak her mind” instead or “speak her thoughts” in 5th paragraph and would put a hyphen instead of period in the 9th paragraph.
    The post is written well as you state other forms of rebelling and then explore your own. I absolutely love your concluding paragraph and rhetorical question. I do think it is kind of tragic.


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