I have been extremely busy on some time sensitive material, which isn’t necessarily new, but there have been a lot of extra add-ons to the schedule this year that are eating up valuable time, and impacting my teaching in bad ways. I have some pretty good students this year, and the overall product of teaching is seriously lacking at this time. That story will have to wait for the summer.
Tomorrow, I am heading to Peoria for the state Quizbowl tournament. It gives me a little time.
About two weeks ago, I was visited by a former student. He had been in really bad shape when I met him … drugs, alcohol. cutting. His parents had tried getting him some help while keeping him in school, but eventually, they realized that he could not continue. We decided to spot him his credits, and let him go get help with about 3 months left in his senior year.
The good news, is that he is sober, and has been for a year. He is still dealing with the after effects of heavy drug use, and still has to deal with cutting. However, he seems to be in a healthier mental state. He was very grateful for the time and encouragement and effort I gave him … I even told him about dad and his problems. It was an unexpected piece of good news in a time when good news seems rather sparse.
The other kind of neat thing: I have a student now who is a really nice kid … I think she is burned out a bit after 12 years of school, and physics, by her own admission, might not be her favorite cup of tea … but she still manages to come in and try, and that is something. She recently competed in slam poetry competition … she made the semis with the following composition:
I don’t dedicate my pieces to people, for the people who normally inspire me are either dead, hard to contact, or are in my inner circle of love. However, my first dedication is for this piece and it is to my Physics teacher, Mr. Tom Egan. He’s shown me that the passion to create and discover, starts with curiosity, an unanswered question, and determination.
by I. O.
Word on the street is
stupid is as stupid does,
but is stupid me doing the same thing as the guy next to me, the one who’s
standing in the direction of the arrow on my “I’m with stupid” shirt?
Or its denotation of repeating the same mistake over and over again, while
every single time I cocoon myself in devastation, or is that plain
I’m from the second city with the number one skyline.
Men, men with their own two bare hands and radical minds thought alike
to create art that towers to the sky.
This girl, asks me for my GPA, 3.2 I say, oh good luck making something of yourself someday.
Me? Create something of myself?
What’s the purpose of that when I’m too busy welting together words,
Black smithing stories, and inspiring not only myself but those who’s ears
are touched by my voice.
I’ve seen artists from all over the world from the exterior square of the Daley Plaza to the Lourve.
I’ve read about the great paths and failures of Rosalind Franklin, John Lennon, Martin Luther King Junior, and Neil Patrick Harris,
Attempting to patch a correlation between their lives and mine.
searching for the next big bang to cure the insanity of mankind.
I’ve seen modern street art curated on sides of city buildings, powerful
quotes sketched onto the oak of my classroom seats.
That girl tells me good luck on making it out on the streets because my mind cannot compute numbers at accelerating speeds, or apply physics conceptually.
But I remind her that those people, the ones who were bizarre enough to create the
towers that scraped the sky, not only were they making industry and
history, but they were creating art.
They welted pieces of useless steel to make something greater than it
The bigots with their big noses only know big bucks.
They don’t know of the sweat, fear, and cosmic dust racing through our finger tips as we attempt to defy our existence with threaded words.
Stupid is racist, a broken hymn with no desire to be fixed.
Stupid is trading morals for tokens and shushing ideas because they won’t be revolutionized for years until after we are gone.
We are artists. We are scientists. We form hypotheses that will cause us to be called crazy. We are poets. We are the children destined to change the world. We think alike, yet nobody thinks like us.
We see color in every corner of every chromosome of ever broken human being.
Stupid is as stupid does,
but stupid does not and will not have the desire to create this.
So, I have this going for me.