Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Pay Off

I started a unit on poetry today with the kids and we'll spend the last 5 weeks of class exploring the fabulous world of poetry. So to start the day out, I had them write a quick poem at the beginning of class. I only gave them about 5 minutes and gave no instructions except it needs to be at least 10 lines, whatever you want to write, however you want to write it, and do your best. A couple of people started out with trusty, dusty, 'ol roses are red, violets are blue... a few of the girls wrote about shopping, a couple of boys wrote about how they don't like writing poetry (they get points for irony), and then I got this one. I teared up a little bit.

Even though our habitat or environment
makes us think a certain way
You told me, "Don't be controlled
by what they say."
And since I fight to defend
my pride
Maybe those decisions might
ruin my life.
I don't like to show that I'm down
or struggle,
But I was raise to keep those
emotions subtle.
Keep away from bad decisions that are
soon to arrive for me
But if I don't, I'll blame myself
not society.
Certain people in my life
let me know there is light.
They keep me from losing it
and going insane,
Cause I know there'll be glory
after the pain.
You didn't just teach me
about English II
But also about life and for that
I thank you.

I told him thank you, and he said, No, miss. Thank you. I think what he's referencing in the poem is a big discussion we had about how most of our boys' first instinct is to fight with their fists before they even think about what they're doing. And how it's not such a far stretch to think that some of those situations could get them into major physical, even legal trouble. And that when you respond with violence, you've lost control and surrendered to someone else just by losing your cool. You've surrendered control to the person provoking you. But it's such a part of their world to respond in kind. It's a constant power struggle day in and day out. I tried to tell them it didn't have to be that way. That they are strong and worthy and intelligent. And don't have anything to prove to anybody.

So the poem was a good moment for me. Maybe I'm doing something right.


tomorrowsmemoriesphotography said...

rest assured - you're doing alot of "right".
and you're an inspiration to those whom you choose to allow into your real world.
stay real!
me :)