ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 18, September 28, 2007
Today I played "Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green Day, and then asked the students to write quietly for about 10 minutes, just responding to the song. I told them they could write about a memory the song brings to mind, or the feelings the songs generates, or anything at all, as long as they did it in a focused and mindful way. As I rather expected, the assignment produced some noteworthy writing. David wrote a long rhymed poem that fit into the hip-hop style, a poem that grew stronger as it went along. Phil wrote a dark, enigmatic poem about an "It" that "suffocates you and everyone else." Alexis, although she claimed it was a "dumb" poem, wrote a few elegantly simple lines, and Maria wrote a charming and poignant poem (which I had to beg her to let me read to the class).
Here are a few quotes:
"losing love from a girl you care about
miss her without a doubt
never look back
September is gone, that's a fact"
"The seasons come and go
the year moves on so slow
I don't know what to expect
and if I'll have any regret"
"The lyrics, 'like my father come to pass' remind of when my father died four years ago. It is kind of like a mist in the back of my mind that fades away once in a while, but is always there."
"Time slips through groping fingers
floating away, hands pleading outstretched,
but it won't return,
wasted minutes, never reclaimed."
"…and the dry leaves blow across the grass,
the same leaves I listened to, lying in the grass."