Here’s a hint — we were at Dempsey Middle School in Delaware, OH, a very happenin’ place. Only insiders, however, can tell where Suzi is in this picture. For more information on Dempsey, follow the link above.
Okay, these were the best prepared students for a visit that ANY author could hope for. Here you can see the student body (and me) congratulating two of the winners of the poetry contest. Raucous applause! The judges for the contest were AP English students at Hayes High School — how cool is that for peer review?
At a different assembly, tech students presented me with books that they had made where they chose cool graphics to go along with poems that they had written based on my work. They took the first couple lines of one of my poems and developed the poem on their own, kind of like using sour dough bread starter. The responses were creative, honest, thoughtful — taking my poems to the next — and more personal — level. Here’s just a sample chosen at random — all the writings were very cool.
I’d rather starve myself
Or pay a million dollar fine,
or serve a lengthy sentence of the solitary kind.
I’d rather sky dive
or do fifty pages of homework
or get thrown out of Wal-mart
Cause my little sister bit the manager
Than to say I’m wrong
One final idea (also with an assist from the tech teacher) is displayed on the bulletin board in this final picture. Media Specialist Karen Hildebrandt is pictured here beside power point slides that the students created in computer class. Why not combine a poetry lesson with power point instruction? Now, look carefully and you will see Jesus’ notebook, from Sheldon ISD outside of Houston now proudly hanging on a bulletin board in Delaware, OH. Poetry does indeed bring folks together, building bridges!
Big big thanks to Karen for all her hard work getting the kids and the staff jazzed in advance. Lots and lots of work. And thanks to all the teachers for seeing that poetry can live outside of language arts class.
But . . . but . . . but . . . where is Suzi?