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Born David Henry Thoreau Thoreau chose to legally change his name at the age of twenty to make it the name that would later become the highly recognized and respected name of Henry David Thoreau Thoreau chose a different path for his life than many other individuals during his time he rejected the normal ideas of a democratic government and based his life on the ideas of transcendentalism Thoreau is best known for living two years of his life at Walden Pond but there are more aspects of his life that have reached the people of America When Thoreau was a young child he deeply immersed himself in nature It was evident to his elders that he took a great interest in literature and writing Thoreau began his writing at a young age with his first essay at the age of ten entitled The Seasons Showing great intelligence Thoreau was accepted to study at Harvard University at the age of sixteen and with help from his family he was able to raise the money he needed to attend While there Thoreau had a good chance of being at the top of the class but it was said he went his own way too much to reach the top Foerster 26 Thoreau graduated from college on August 16 1837 and then began a teaching career in Concord Massachusetts Not long after he began teaching Thoreau retired He had long been criticized for the way he punished his students Instead of choosing to flog them or to beat them when they did something wrong Thoreau instead chose to deliver moral lectures to the children The parents and elders of the community did not think this was enough to properly punish the children to let them know that what they were doing was wrong It was for this reason that Thoreau resigned he did not believe in the idea of physical punishment taking any part in education
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