TAG English 3-4 Classes Holds Mock Cabinet Hearing


Ania Weglicka

The first panel of characters answer questions in the mock cabinet hearing.

Jenny Xu, Executive Editor

As a way to wrap up their study of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Mr. Scott Chalk’s TAG English 3-4 classes held a mock cabinet hearing on Jan. 24-25 where students pretended to be characters from the novel. Students went up in groups of five and were asked a variety of questions, ranging from their favorite color to their characters’ social security number.

In previous years, characters participated in mock trials, news conferences, as well as presidential debates.

“I don’t do this every year, I try to do something different every year,” Mr. Chalk said. “I’ll usually make up something for us to do related to the book that’s contemporary.”

To get into character, students dressed up and put props into use. Jason Siegel ‘17, who played James Castle, arrived in an array of arm slings, casts, and a neck brace. Castle, a student at Elkton Hills School, jumped to his death after being bullied by his classmates.

“I just thought that I could do a lot with him that would be funny,” Siegel said. “I used a lot of the slings I’ve had from injuries in sports, and I basically made a lot of jokes about how he fell.”

Some chose to play minor characters for the versatility it allowed them during their cabinet hearing. Though research of characters was required beforehand, with such little information provided, students found themselves having to make up traits for their character.

“I chose Faith Cavendish and she’s a minor character, so I felt like it would give me more of an opportunity to play around and characterize her the way I thought fit her,” Shreya Yellepeddy ‘18 said. “It gave me an option to play around with my response, and I just had to infer and go with what I felt was right.”

The mock cabinet hearing provided a humorous way for students to further explore The Catcher in the Rye. Each book studied brought new roleplay ideas and allowed students gain improvisational skills.

“Every answer is improvised, it’s not predetermined, and questions aren’t typical like standardized tests or as formulaic,” Mr. Chalk said. “It’s a really good talent to be able to improvise, and [it helps us] review the book.”