Joseph Grijalva Section: 5
Modern society makes ample use of both symbols and symbolisms in daily life. The green light means go, the flashing lights at the train tracks mean stop, the sign on the airport wall means no smoking, and countless other signs exist that tell us what to do. For a person in school however, the most important symbol in our lives may be the bell (or electronic buzzer as we have at Jesuit). My poem reflects on the way the school bell controls our daily patterns during the week. The bell symbolizes the overall rigidity of school life. Every week we have the same classes at the same time and, though we my learn something new the object of our studies never really changes. In the same way, the bell rings at the same times everyday, telling us where to go next.
In some ways, the simple school bell has become more than it was ever meant to be. It can bring sadness in the beginning of the day, temporary relief at break times, and great happiness at the end. I find it ironic that we are all taking orders from a simple inanimate object. We need to remember however, that all of the power that the bell posses on it has been bestowed upon by those who obey it. Our system of government works in a similar way. The president and all other elected officials only have power because they were elected by the people. We should never have to feel trapped into accepting things for the way they are. Strict order may provide stability, but it also limits progress.
I wrote “the bell”, not only to describe the way it can control our lives, but also because I used to be afraid of school bells. The first time I actually attended a school that employed a bell was in seventh grade. When I first started at that school I was extremely shy and fearful of going back to the class. Not only did the bell frighten me with its violent wringing, but it also meant that I would have to go and confront my fears. Now I know that the bell is not evil in any way; it is merely a machine that expertly completes its task of timekeeping.