November 15, 2011

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 8:41 pm by a care in the world

It’s been almost 12 weeks since my last post… that should give you some idea of how exhaustingly busy my life has been. My husband and I are immersed in the most challenging, most consuming, and– at least for me– the most fulfilling work we’ve ever done. I’m loving teaching, even if I devote way too many hours to planning, grading, and worrying over my students. We finally reached the end of the trimester and today was the last day of exams. Tomorrow we start mini-terms– 5 days of teaching whatever our little hearts desire, and students sign up for anything that catches their eyes. I’m teaching Gothic Lit and Slam Poetry for the next few days. I’m really excited about introducing a group of middle schoolers to the world of Gothic poetry and short stories and seeing what catches on.

I’m even more excited about finally getting to use slam poetry and hip hop theater in the classroom with a group of high schoolers. I’ve even got the slam poetry team from Davidson College coming to do a writing workshop with us– it’s gonna be awesome. All I want to do is go at this with all the energy and confidence I have, and pray that my students will approach the class with open minds. My greatest fear in this area is always that people with more diverse backgrounds, from whence hip hop comes, will look at me as a silly white girl co-opting their culture. I mean, look at me– I just said “whence.” Can a girl with a Eurocentric, Shakespeare-driven, Renaissance-art-loving background really embrace the language, stories and struggles of urban minorities? I don’t claim to understand it, I just think it’s important to read those stories and hear those voices and acknowledge those issues. I love that people use art to express themselves– it can be such a powerful medium and can allow for conversations that politics would kill. I don’t know if I’ll start with this poem, but it’s one I keep coming back to…