Welcome to Class 2 English.

We read Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger as a class. In lieu of a traditional written assessment, students were asked to create an artistic representation of their understanding/interpretation of the novel and/or characters.

The students chose several different projects. We have paintings, stories, drawings, two comic strips and a research paper to represent the students' knowledge, understanding and interpretations.

Posted below are examples of the types of projects that were submitted.

Submitted by Taylor H. ~ A continuation of Holden's story:

So, after old Phoebe got off the carousel, we decided we’d head back home due to the rain and all. Phoebe kept talking about how Dad was going to kill me the whole way home. Boy was I nervous, I could just imagine my mom giving me one of those “I’m very disappointed in you Holden” speeches and how depressing it would be. Then my dad sending me back off to some new school full of phonies. I would have rather been dead than go back to a place like Pencey, I honestly would have.

Phoebe and I were getting soaked so we started kind of running home. After just a few minutes I was all out of breath, and Phoebe didn’t even mind. I must have smoked at least a hundred cigarettes. I had to stop and rest for a second, I was gasping like I just ran a marathon for Christ’s sake. I happened to look up at one of these billboards all way up on buildings while I was standing there. It was one of those corny reach out and touch somebody type of ads. It read, “ Always down? Have no real desire for direction in life? You’re not alone, just call us at...” There was some number too but I never got the chance to read it.

I guess Phoebe saw it too because she practically tore my arm off trying to get my attention. “Holden look! That sounds a lot like you Holden, maybe you should...”
“Hey c’mon now, I’m not always down!” Truth was, she had a point. It did sound like me. I didn’t really feel much like admitting it though.

I said “ What good would talking to some guy sitting at a desk do me anyway? He wouldn’t even know me, and you really need to get to know someone to help them. I can’t explain my whole goddamn life story.”

“Holden stop swearing! Won’t you please stop swearing?”

That made me feel real crumby, I shouldn’t be swearing, but I couldn’t help feeling a little frustrated at the fact that maybe I should be calling that number. This idea popped into my head. Maybe I could sort of make my folks feel sorry for me and all by telling them I had to go have one of those psychoanalysis things done. I remember Carl Luce saying his dad could do that sort of thing. I wouldn’t have the guilt trip to worry about, my parents might even be extra nice to me.

Phoebe was real excited about me coming home, and I did feel good about that. I couldn’t really think where I was going to start. I tried rehearsing how I thought my little chat with the folks would be. Problem was, trying to prepare some phony answer for them was making me feel like a terrible liar. So I decided it would be better to just act natural.

The elevator ride up to my floor seemed to last forever. Phoebe pranced to the door and held it open for me “ After you, Holden”

“Thanks,” I thought.

My parents were both siting in the living room chatting over some coffee. I wasn’t too nervous anymore. That was good, because they both turned to me with delighted faces. “Holden, darling! Its so nice to have you home again. How have you been? I have so many questions for you. Are you okay Holden? You seem awfully drab.”

Truth was, seeing my mother so happy to see me really got to me. She hadn’t yet heard I’d gotten the ax, and I planned on telling her. It’s just once I told her, she wouldn’t be so happy anymore. I wasn’t too hot about that thought.

“It’s great to be back Mom, it really is. Im so excited to see you and dad and Phoebe again. I have some important news i wanted to talk about.”

“Oh? Well come now sit down, tell us all about it,” Mom said.

I did. I told her all about Pency and how I hated being surrounded by the phonie, how I’d gotten the ax and failed all my classes except English. Then, I told her how a credible source had recommended I get a psychoanalysis because I have issues or something.

She wasn’t too happy to hear about Pencey. Neither was my dad, who had barely said a word since I arrived. My idea must have worked though because they just gave me hugs and told me I was welcome to stay until I had the analysis done. I never really thought much about actually going through with it, but once I got a chance to mull it over the ‘ol noggin I decided going would be sort of interesting.

It was around 5:00 pm. I figured I would give Carl Luce a buzz and set this whole thing up. He answered the phone, I told him about what I wanted and he set me up for the same time tomorrow. He was glad to hear I had come around, he really was. I didn’t do much the rest of the night just chewed the fat with Phoebe. It was great to be back.

The next day I slept just about until my appointment. My folks drove me to the building. It was a real fancy looking joint. Turns out, after I met with Carl’s dad, he recommended me to this “Treatment Facility” where I would go and stay at for a month or so.

I left right from the interview! Man how I was surprised. They said everything I needed would be supplied there. I realized about half way to the facility, after being basically pushed out the door onto the bus, that something wasn’t right. Who was paying for all of this? It couldn’t have been free.

Then it hit me! My parents had probably gotten a call from Mr Luce and had this all ready. I thought about it for a minute or two and figured this couldn’t be much worse than a prep school full of phonies, in fact it might be better. I was glad I hadn’t known about their idea to get me into this. I might have screwed it up or something.

I arrived around 6:00 pm at this place called ‘HCMI’ which stood for Help and Care for the Mentally Ill. It was this big red brick building with windows every 5 feet. It had this big silver arch way over the entrance with the name on it, and it had a water fountain with Lilacs and Tulips potted all around the place. It looked kind of nice and I actually felt sort of happy just being there.

I walked up the steps and was greeted at the door by these two cute nurses in the white nurse uniforms like you see in the movies. They led me down a long corridor (the inside was as nice as the outside) and brought me to the admissions room. This older looking fellow with coke bottle eye glasses and gray thinning hair held a checklist. He said “Welcome Mr Caulfield, pleasure to have you here. I am Dr Headowt. I will be showing you around as well as administering your supplies. Please, step right this way.” He led me around the place showing me the recreation room, the tennis court out back, and things like residential rooms and rooms for private sessions.

Then, he brought me to my room with my things and left me to get settled in. I hadn’t seen another person who was actually living there. Dr Headowt came back into my room after awhile and told me about my schedule. It was pretty much eat, sleep, have some time to horse around, and go to what they call “therapy.” This schedule would be my life for the next year.

Several students redesigned the cover of the book:
Below is one example, submitted by Shawn D:


Other students chose to paint. Below is a painting of Holden submitted by Dave M:


David's description of his painting is as follows:

At Age 16 Holden Caulfield is very unsure of himself.He has no direction in life like the average 16 year old . Holden is smoking cigarettes, drinking daily, inviting hookers to his hotel room,failing school and getting kicked out of numerous schools. Holden also is a very judgmental person and seems to think everyone is a hypocrite or in his words a phony, But the question is is Holden really the phony himself?

Justus S submitted this painting:


Justus describes his painting as follows:

"This is a painting of the hotel that Holden stayed at after he was kicked out of boarding school. In this hotel, Holden got his butt kicked because he didn't pay a prostitute. He spent the whole time just talking to her. The hotel was called the Edmont hotel. He decided to stay at the hotel until Tuesday so that his parents would have time to get over the fact that he was kicked out of another school. Even though Holden planned on leaving on Tuesday, he left Sunday. He then goes to Grand Central Station. He gets his luggage locked in a locker. After that he goes to a sandwich bar for breakfast. That ends his hotel adventure."

Cody P submitted the following painting: