Just over two thousand students sit in Disney Concert Hall on the symphony’s education outreach day. The symphony sits patiently on stage as the conductor gives his speech to us restless third graders; he then introduces the guest soloist. He is a tall man with hardly any hair and skin that hasn’t been touched by the sun in years it seems. He held a silver trumpet in his left hand as he waved with his right. The conductor strikes up the orchestra and after only a few seconds the soloist begins with the most beautiful note. This note flowed from his horn and touched the ears of over two thousand students. Of those students probably no more than a handful gave it any thought. With that note a new generation of trumpet players is born.
In Susan Griffin’s “Our ...view middle of the document...
To describe such an event she weaves excerpts of comparison to well-known objects or ideas to make the idea seem less abstract.
Griffin’s essay is about the head of the Nazi secret police, Heinrich Himmler. She begins with describing the journal of Himmler and his influences in writing it. His father, a schoolmaster named Gebhard, forced Heinrich to take up keeping a journal. Gebhard wrote Heinrich’s first entry to show him what he wanted from him. Heinrich was forced to remember all the events of the day and the exact times at which they occurred and add them to his journal. His father stood over him as he made his entries and guided his mind toward what should be added to the journal. Griffin explains how there is little of Heinrich’s own voice in his journal, that it is overshadowed by his father. This repressive nature was linked to the child rearing practices in Germany during the time Gebhard grew up. Dr. Schreber, a child behavior expert, promoted practices like tying of the hands and feet to bed post so the child could not suck his thumb or touch himself. This overbearing attitude that Gebhard had adopted continued on into Heinrich’s schooling. Gebhard wrote in Heinrich’s journal the names of his classmates, their father’s name, and their father’s job. He then told Heinrich to choose his friends wisely because the worth of a person is determined by their father.
Gebhard’s attitude caused Heinrich to lose himself as a person and look for self-worth wherever he could find it. The beginnings of this are noted in his journal when he starts making entries such as, “I played with the landlord’s boy” or “I swam today”. These entries are vague and he writes that he swam day after day never saying any more than that. Later in life this pushes him to find himself and he turns to the military to do so.