Whale Talk: Credit Should Be Free by Liam

Whale Talk

Credit Should Be Free

Differences lie in everything

Photo by ; Merriam-Webster


In Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher, T.J. Jones goes to Cutter High School. In the book, T.J’s English teacher, Mr Simet, doesn’t want to coach wrestling and wants to create a swim team instead, but the problem is the high school doesn’t have a pool. T.J gathers students at his school and encourages them to join as well. T.J is also a good guy. Protecting people from getting bullied or being a helping hand to others may be a reason for under acknowledgement. He is so kind that his friends get annoyed at him for being this way and want him to just be a regular teen. T.J is different in many ways, race, emotions, actions and ideas but that doesn’t stop him from being a great guy.


T.J. doesn’t get as much credit as needed, because many problems run through is life such as racism and selfishness. He is a Japanese African American who was adopted by white parents. He is a great swimmer but doesn’t like to attend school events. The swim team was formed by him, conducted by him and he was the only swimmer who could compete in state races.


Whale talk introduces the topic of racism by T.J having to endure it everyday in high school.“The inland North-west isn’t exactly the most ethnically balanced spot in the universe.”(77) This shows that T.J is aware that he is considered different in the part of town that he lives in. T.J is not acknowledged as much as he should be because of he’s different.


Racism is important because it could happen to everyone. But we don’t get to choose what race we are and how we look so why should we judge, it’s like the luck of the draw. We all experience it, in and out of our daily lives but you probably don’t take action. We can even see it in our everyday life here in India. People are judged all over the city and not given equal opportunities.


The next reason that his friends and teachers don’t give him as much credit as needed is that he can act out differently. T.J has anger issues and can be a jerk sometimes, that’s why he doesn’t like to compete in activities. “STOP!”. “Mrs, Herrick yelled, but i punched Ronnie Blackburn in the nose anyway.” (7). T.J acts out aggressively towards classmates and peers but I mean how would you feel if you got treated unfairly everyday and people don’t care about you. Many people don’t understand a person fully because they may not take the time to get to know them. There are many reasons for that and for T.J its his attitude towards others. T.J doesn’t have many friends but he still does his best to be the best person he can as a teenager.


In Whale Talk, T.J only got recognition for being a great swimmer, but he’s much more than that. He led his team, inspired many and tried his best throughout his high school years. T.J. Jones should get much more credit because of his dedication to life but doesn’t due to personal treats such as race and personality.

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