Tag: poetry

An Earned Prize

When I graduated from high school in that section in the yearbook where graduates share their future dreams, I wrote that I hoped to someday win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

My dream to change the world through story.

I published a bit of poetry, wrote my thesis as a narrative, dabbled in prose, but I know deep in my bones the euphoria of living alongside students as they come to know themselves as writers.

This week a student of mine earned the Currie-Hyland Prize for poetry, one of the most prestigious awards given to a high school student in Saskatchewan. And he earned it.

He writes well. Words that ruffle our rootedness.

But the award was messy. He has trouble accepting praise. When the magazine arrived I told him I would be sharing his honour the next day publicly over morning announcements.

And I did. And the sharing still bothered him. ~He is bright. And I am honest. The sharing wasn’t only for him. It was also for me.

The sharing of the award conveyed, in some small way too, that through my student’s challenges to navigate traditional senior ELA courses there lives a brilliant mind, brilliant poet, and most importantly, a capable learner.

And this, I know, is my Nobel Prize. It always has been. When students achieve success. When students achieve belonging, independence, mastery, & generosity, my inner world steps up to cheer.

So. Now we educators run full-out towards June. We find creative ways to help students meet outcomes with fidelity, and I wonder, in all of our work, what is our hope for students? And is it a poetic-run towards their Nobel or ours?

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Bird Feeders: The Red Shoes Series

Coffee HouseThe students I live alongside set a challenge, to write about the past/future. They set the challenge so I would finish a piece, put pen to paper, stop sitting in conversation so long with each of them, and step up to the mic. After all, we headline in a month.

The future. The past. The future. Tricky business these places.

~

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Red Shoes

I am attending Festival of Words this week. Tomorrow is workshop day. The morning is poetry. The afternoon is passion. I have been instructed to arrive in the morning with a poem to work on in class. I wanted to write a performance piece about my deep loathing of homework. However, the following emerged:

 

Red Shoes

Del was 81 when her grown daughter of five died.

Sipping tea, Del told me that people don’t bring casseroles to a divorce.

Del was wise. She told me when I had the world figured out I could buy a pair of red shoes.

My flats were red with a band of pink across the toe. They fit the width of my feet.

Del died years ago, long before I was ready for my shoes.

She never told me about strokes.