"I Am Not Yours"
Sarah Teasdale

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love — put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

Today, April 18th, is “Poem in Your Pocket Day,” and while the evening is almost over, I thought it worth while to share at least some form of poetry. This particular poem by Sarah Teasdale speaks volumes to me as I continue on this strange and frustrating path. Was I wrong? Was I not? Was it circumstance? Was it me? Was it…well, was it simply just a big mistake? 

Sometimes - scratch that - most of the time it’s easier to ask questions than to answer them. It’s easier to ask ‘why?’ than to take the risk in answering. Because really…who’s your audience? Again with the questions…but, in most cases we are speaking to ourselves. Why did he say that? Why did I say that? How can two people, living within each other be so in sync with each other, but at the same time so out of it? 

Circling back to the poem, I’ve begun writing creatively again; it’s amazing what a little bit of distress will do for the creative soul. One of the avenues I’ve begun exploring is poetry and I’m enjoying this new voice, these new words and patterns of writing and expressing myself. My students have just finished up a series of poetry workshops spread out over six weeks. It was amazing to see and hear what they had to say - I think we forget that teenagers are little people, caught half way between child and adult. They have so much to say! In writing these poems in class, I see some of these students taking risks, expressing themselves truly without fear of rejection and judgement. It’s amazing how a few lines, in a non-sensical order will make us feel so much better, so much more understood or heard.

The teenaged years are such a turbulent time…I remember being so incredibly angry and confused…and even more confused and frustrated because I couldn’t figure out how or why I was angry and confused. I keep thinking that if I’d had some sort of outlet - poetry, song, writing, painting, whatever - perhaps I’d have been a little happier, and potentially a little nicer. 

So, in the spirit of self-expression, enjoy this little poem for what it’s worth. It may not speak to you, you may not get it, but that’s the beauty of poetry. We can take whatever message we like from it, molding and morphing it into our own little personal mantra, fanning it out in front of us when we need it most. 

It’s a short afternoon of paper grading for me and as usual, I find myself sitting at a table, sipping my coffee and laughing out loud uncontrollably.

Sometimes I’m amazed at the humor these kids can covet in a single sentence.

The perfect way to start a morning - quiet, some strong tea and light piano music. 

travelingteacheradventures:

Last week students were asked to create their own tumblr post. The assignment is the beginning to a five week examination of careers and possible future interests. I wanted to have them start with what they are passionate about and then (hopefully this week) we can move onto how we can take those passions into our work lives. 

Students were asked to create a life motto, couple it with a picture and then explain it in 150 words on the back. Some of the images I received were downright silly “I can see you” - while others were mature, well thought out and totally amazing! I particularly enjoyed the one with the space jumper…”life might be a long fall, but in the end it’s worth it.” 

Tumblr Post Success! If you are interested in getting the assignment, e-mail me or visit my Teachers-Pay-Teachers site. (Click on the underlined bit!!)

Cheers!

(Reblogged from travelingteacheradventures)

I’m subbing long term for the art teacher, and while I’m excited to be adding more hours to my weekly punchcard, I’m less than thrilled with the behavior issues that have cropped up as a result of little - to - none classroom management. Initially I thought that teaching art would be simple, and in reality it should be, but this classroom has absolutely no boundaries, rules, expectations nor consequences. The result is a scary mix of 6 - 8th graders with free reign. It’s too free even for MY conversational and easy-going teaching style…and that’s saying something. 

Tomorrow I’ll be re-starting the class, going over and creating classroom rules with my students, expectations and consequences for breaking these rules. It’s sort of a blessing (not really) in that I get to try a rule making strategy I’ve never tried before. From there we’ll get into the classroom norms/set-up. In Language Arts we start with a Journal Entry or 5 minutes of silent reading. I wanted to do the same thing in this class, so I’ve mocked up an Art Journal. Each day they’ll doodle, write, draw or whatever in response to a question, prompt or picture up on the document camera. The point is to get them warmed up for Art 2-D and to get their minds to switch gears. I can also use this time to review previously taught techniques and whatnot. 

The second set of pictures is the “I’m Done Jar.” Last week I noted that students finished fairly quickly with their sketches and rather than simply put the materials aside and continue with other work, they began doing silly sketches which I felt wasted the material. Scouring the internet for various other early finisher projects, I found this jar idea. When students are finished with a project they come to this jar, pull out a strip of paper (of which there are 200) and continue a focused artistic exploration of whatever it is listed on the paper.

Because we are setting up new classroom expectations and rewards/punishments, I’m hoping that these two activities will assist in creating some semblance of organization and structure to my lessons. At any rate, I hope they can serve to fill time at the beginning and end of each lesson while allowing me time to check in with early finishers and my stragglers alike. 

Wish me luck!

Fab photos of my fab classroom!!

It’s that time again - teacher time! This summer I’ve committed to teaching two weeks with the Global Education Camp, run by a friend of the family, hosted here down in sunny UCLA. 

Rather than teach a string of short stories and try to connect them all together somehow, I’ve opted to teach two books to my two groups. The first is a book I taught (in supervision mode) while student teaching middle school Language Arts - Schooled by Gordon Korman. It tells the story of a young man who has to switch to a new middle school. The story deals with bullying, teen identity, right versus wrong, and various other aspects of middle school life. The language is not difficult in the slightest, but I find the content really resonates with many youngsters who’ve witnessed some sort of bullying in their school lives. 

On a side note, I’ve been told there is quite a bit of bullying going on in some Korean schools, so this should resonate with some of the students…fingers crossed. There’s a whole bunch of writing and characterization work we’ll be doing over the next two weeks; I’ll keep you all posted!

The second book I’ll be teaching is one I have wanted to do for sometime - Speak by Laurie Anderson. The content is a bit strong, as it tells the story of a girl struggling to deal with the fact that she’s been raped; she becomes an outcast as she begins high school. Weaving a tale of depression, desperation and ‘out of control,’ it is yet another coming of age/identity type story that resonates with a lot of young adults.

Here’s hoping for a successful first day! Click on the link below if you are interested in books for middle/high school girls, but my personal recommendation is “13 Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

- Jaime

http://blog.lemuriabooks.com/2009/01/books-all-high-school-girls-should-read/

There’s a bridge in Jiuzhaigou, a kilometer from the park entrance I unwittingly found while wandering the surrounding hills. The rush of water flowing below my feet served as a sort of meditative process as I contemplated and assessed these last few weeks of my journeying in China. It was quiet, the beat of the water on the rocks pounding out any other penetrable noise, and for an hour or two there were no horns, no chit-chatting Chinese, no cat-calls and no other noises to bother me from my writing respite. 

It was perfect. 

We all have a place to go to when we’ve run into something nasty - a mental place that gives us peace and serenity. At one time I would imagine myself on a beach in Mexico with some tanned gladiator fanning me and rubbing my feet. I used to float in the Pacific ocean, but for now, I think I’ll just take myself back to this bridge outside the Tibetan monastery in Jiuzhaigou. 

Being a tourist is great fun when you are on your own - you get to move at your own pace and enjoy the sights as you want to. But, being a tourist with someone you know and love is even better because it gives you a certain sort of reckless confidence that enables you to find yourself in the most strange situations. 

I met my father in Shanghai two nights ago and since then we’ve played tourist - booking one of those ridiculous Big Bus tours and hopping on and off wherever our fancy takes us. The weather in Shanghai has been wonderful thus far - it’s hot and humid, but yesterday was a beautiful sun-shinning day, reminiscent of a California summer day. However, by about four p.m. the smog, dirt and nastiness came out as we were forced to abandon our plans to take a river tour of the city and head up to the tallest building in the Pu Dong area. 

Today it’s off to the fabric market where I can hopefully get some pants made - did I mention a HUGE tear in my pants? Yeah…too much Chinese food I guess. Then it’s off for a river cruise with a stop at Starbucks for an afternoon coffee break. 

Yeah…we like being on vacation. 

My co-worker and I spent the better part of yesterday grading listening final exams. Now I know how my high school French teacher felt after each unit…I can only imagine that the wide variety of answers she received either put her in stitches laughing so hard or drove her to burry her sorrows in bad reality T.V. and Oreos…or…something else. 

One of the stories on our listening final has to do with Irish immigrants coming to the U.S. in the 1830’s. In response to the question “In the 1830’s the presence of millions of Irish gave a strong connection between crime and immigrants in people’s minds. What are three examples?” we got an awesome variety of answers. My personal favorites have to be the ones centering around ‘wife-beating’ which morphed into wine eating, drug eating, white eating, life eating and my personal favorite wife-eating! 

Seriously…wife eating WOULD be a serious offense!