Perspectives: 166/365

Summer has a way of
Making things go away.
The beach, the fireworks,
The heat, each conspiring
To make for the best time of year.

This summer for Taylorville proved
The opposite. Everyone settled into
Their away from school
Modes, but
They were secretly scheming,

School begins again tomorrow
With the undercurrent
Of canning coaches,
Pedestaling music, and
Ducking responsibility the normal way of things.

Graduation

A year ago, twenty-one,
The Brick, smoke and swill,
The perfect bar
To cement two feet in adulthood.
This year twenty-two,
I’m in the stands for your graduation
With your caffeine challenged sister
And a show boardering on an
Amusement park or Wal-Mart.
It’s great and your new degree,
Whatever it is,
Would serve you well for a farce
Or comedy of human fasion errors.

Congrats, son.
Welcome to unemployment.

Perspectives: 6/365

As the machine keeps going
What is there to look forward to?
The first day of school?
Puberty?
Graduation?
College?
Jobs?
Marriage?
Grandkids?
Death?

Maybe all of those,
But who really can live
Only looking towards the milestones of life.
They are bumps on life’s continuum
That are nothing more the tally marks
On prison walls.

What then?
Small town identities…
Schools…
Of what,
For what,
Whosie what.

Schools offer sanctuaries
For souls needing identities.
Far beyond the academics
Are the social structures
Where kids find like minds
Testing the norms of friendships,
Creating the balance between group identities and stereotypes
Battling the war of tolerance and tribal acceptance,
Schools bring disparate people together
Letting them get to know that we are not so different
If only we see acceptance of our differences and
The need to learn how differences encourage growth,
That we are not some Internet logarithm,
Predictable, patterned, and programmable.

Schools are temples for learning.
Learning is necessary for growth.
Growth brings people together.

Small town schools are more than academic factories.
They are places where clubs allow for greater exposure
To stuff that might be more interesting
Than the latest standardized test
Or article proclaiming the rigorous machinations of education.
They are places were extracurricular activities like band and sports
Promote fellowship through accomplishments
Of a different sort than an A+ and GPAs can ever understand.

Schools are not factories or machines.
They are places with a heart,
If only the richness of the non-book stuff
Is viewed with a proper perspective.

Meatloaf Pharaohs Looking Audacious: Parents

“The elephants are dancing on the graves of squeeling mice.” Cream, Anyone for Tennis

we just want what”s best for us,
the best classes, the best facilities,
the best tax rate, the surest grades
we want coaches sure to get us scholarships
we want the wink and the nod
when things aren’t just as we think
we will raise money
we will chaperone dances
we will even put up with hours of homework,
but WE expect a something in RETURN.

Meatloaf Pharaohs Looking Audacious: Administrators

“The elephants are dancing on the graves of squeeling mice.” Cream, Anyone for Tennis

Mandates make the job nearly impossible.
Contracts don’t help much either.
I’m in this job because I want to help children.
If I change one teacher,
Think of the number of students
I’ve made a difference for.
They say I’m an educational leader, but
I never taught under these conditions.
I never knew what it was like to answer
To the whims of politicians, parents, and even teachers.
Now they all call and I have to listen
Because I’m nothing more than a middleman in this job,
More manager that expert teacher.
Now I feel like I’m too far from the students
To make the kind of difference I once did.

Meatloaf Pharaohs Looking Audacious: Students

“The elephants are dancing on the graves of squeeling mice.” Cream, Anyone for Tennis

I wake up.
I sit in class.
I take notes.
I finish assignments.
I go home,
Do hours of homework, and
Go to sleep.

Then I wake up a do it again.

Why?

How does this stuff matter?

Obviously, it doesn’t
Because we learn the same stuff
Year after year.
After year.
After year.
Maybe that’s why I don’t care.
Maybe that’s why I don’t try.

I get it.

My choice.

It’s just school.

Meatloaf Pharoahs Looking Audacious: Teachers

“The elephants are dancing on the graves of squeeling mice.” Cream, Anyone for Tennis

We longed for the day
When graduation would be there,
High school would be over, and
College would set us on our adult ways.
We were told the past four years
Were the perfect preparation for the next four or five.
We never bought that message
Seeing the homework as unnecessary,
Wondering why we couldn’t leave for lunch, and
Moaning about all the dumb stuff we couldn’t understand.

Secretly we vowed to never be like that.

Then we got our jobs,
Falling into the trap of efficiency and control
Set by the changing tides of evaluation and continuous improvement.
We started giving homework,
The same kind of assignments that we dreaded.
We continued reading the books that we did,
As if they are the only ones that have anything important to say.
They were classics ordained by people from another time,
An era we railed against as students.
Then, we became the robots we vowed to never be.

Now we pass the blame onto the kids.

I wonder how I became the brick and mortar I so dislike.
Those with authority tell me to make a change.
In the same breath, they say they can’t make change at their level,
So what am I to do?
I’ve latched onto every initiative they have thrown out there,
Nearly a quarter century of graphic organizers, objectives, and technology.
It’s all just a filter, as the information to be delivered
Rarely ever changes,
At least in principle for the foreseeable future.

Strange Impotence, Born and Bred: The Cartoons

Mind’s eye visages
Looking to create idealized visions
Offer an upbringing
Diconnected from reality.
Next level rising equals Rusmore consideration
For those unable to accept
The separation between seed and ambition.
The chasm between life lessons and
Learning through the physical
Makes dealing with those who fail reality
An exercise in a logical void.
Let not the impotence of thought
Raise our children.
Let not the blinders of genetic proximaty
Test the will of those who see clearly
That sports is nothing more than play
If the lessons are not taught.

Bewildered Eyes Hack: Patience Allows Laughter

“Comedy is, for the most part, just an obsession with injustice.” Whitney Cummings

He came to school hungry
She never satiated on breakfast.
He acted out,
She sent him to the office.

Later they learned about nutrition
He taking advantage of the program
She realizing Pop-Tarts aren’t that great
The food allowed them to survive.

Years later,
He was working and shopping for produce
She was retired and doing the same.
His basket ran into her little cart.

They recognized each other
His maturity not masking the child
Her wrinkles not scratching out his memories
Of their year together in fifth grade.

They never realized the food bond between them
They never put it together that “hangry” is real
They only knew that giving each other a chance
Created a flood of memories right there in the safe part of the store.