Metamorphosis Day in Ms. Yencsik’s English classes
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Ms. Yencsik’s GT English 10 classes participated in Metamorphosis Day, on Wednesday and Thursday, January 20 and 21, and attended school as someone completely different than their typical selves.
This event occurred after students read Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. In the story, the main character, Gregor, woke up one day as a cockroach. For Metamorphosis Day, students had the choice of altering their appearance, personality, or both. Each student went through their own transformation in order to observe the reactions and judgments of others, and to experience how Gregor must have felt.
Some changes were subtle and others drastic. In one class, the majority of students decided to be mute for the day. They received signed passes that allowed them to remain silent for the entire school day. Those students, along with several people who chose to speak in only their second language, struggled to communicate.
“I was mute for Metamorphosis Day. It was difficult because my friends kept asking me to talk to them. I got a variety of reactions because I’m usually very talkative. It was an interesting experience,” said Dildora Salimjonova, a sophomore in Ms. Yencsik’s 2B class.
Changes in appearance tended to receive more attention from others. Those who usually wore sweatpants decided to dress formal. Girly girls rocked sports clothing, and tomboys wore dresses. Some students aimed for a certain look, such as Goth. During the following class, they discussed whether this event reinforced stereotypes.
Makeup, wigs, crazy clothing, temporary tattoos, glasses, jewelry – students went all out for the occasion. In some cases, personalities were changed to match these looks. People who were normally kind insulted others. Those who were usually pessimistic decided to have a great attitude the whole day.
Sarah Young, a sophomore in Ms. Yencsik’s 2B class said, “For Metamorphosis Day I decided to have an attitude and be rude to my friends and teachers to see if I could get a reaction. It was very tough for me because I despise being rude to anyone and I never like to act that way. My friends continually attempted to make me smile and break. It was very cool to step out of my normal character, though I most definitely do not want to act like that in public again.”