Monday, June 08, 2009

Student's Work: Poetry

The following poem, a tribute and not an assignment, was written by eighth grade, homeschooled student MJD and read expressively by the student at the end-of-the-year program. MJD is describing the two-hour block class British Literature and Expository Writing.

The Longest Two Hours

Awaiting the hour in which we will start,
The sipping of coffee, the sketching of art.
A most nervous chatter we all do resume —
Till the cause of our worry stands up in the room.

She searches her suitcase filled with grammar and papers,
Which we all hope we'll pass on — sooner or later.
We cringe at the squeaks coming from the white board
As the sharpie writes down the words sooooo abhorred.

“Test first today. Hope you studied. “NO NOTES!”
The latter of which was all capitals and quotes.
But the ominous squeaking continued to rant,
Like an eerie, unearthly, and hair-raising chant.

Adjusting her glasses, eyes fixed on the board,
She read it out loud piercing word by piercing word.
“At 11:30, a timed essay. But, before then,
Even though it may kill me, commas. Again!

From obvious to strenuous the questions did vary,
From King Lear by Shakespeare to Beowulf by Heaney.
But she doesn't stop there, to our humiliation.
Mumbling each grade out, we hold in our frustration.

But the class ends not here. It resumes in an instant!
We study our commas till she thinks we're proficient.
And then comes the break, which even she needed.
But the break was soon over and we were reseated.

The timed essay subject was studied with groaning.
This subject (to some) was simply mystifying.
How could one explain this impossible subject?
But from the large desktop, the orange bell was plangent.

We scribbled our writing till the paper was smoking.
When we thought there was time left, “Five minute warning!”
With a yell of dismay — and a groan — and a sob —
We looked at our papers: a Terrible Job.

The teacher looked round from student to student,
From bright-shining faces, to those of great disappointment.
Standing up and collecting, her faced turned to gray.
Someone hadn't disposed of his gum yet today.

She whirled round quickly, staring at the offender,
With a quiet voice filled with much suppressed anger:
“Next week you'll lose the gum. I will not forget!”
Then a student whispered, “Lunch?” “No, not yet!”

Homework slips were quickly retrieved from her bag.
It felt much lighter once from it they were snagged.
The large homework paper was black with the ink
Of words that described what we must get done this week.

“Now off to lunch with all of you,” she said.
“Fix up your commas. Ow! My poor head!
"Or else I'll might read your timed essay grades aloud!”
Then we scurried to lunch — a stampeding crowd.

As we share lots of laughs over previous classes,
The fond memories build, and we know they will last.
Typing assignments at 1:00 A.M. on the computer,
The teacher who led was a wonderful tutor.

— Contribued by MJD.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 6/08/2009 04:00:00 AM