Thursday, March 30, 2006
poetry day

My second graders had their "poetry cafe" performance today. For the past couple of months, a poet from the community has been coming in and working with the kids to write poetry, which they collected and edited into books for today's performance - they made all the pages, illustrations, and covers themselves. It wasn't a huge show or anything, just the class performing for the class itself and parents who were able to come in the afternoon. Held inside the school's library, they set up a podium with a microphone, arranged the tables, and provided some snacks for the kids to munch on (juice, cookies, and tea provided) while they listened to their classmates perform.

The funniest part was watching the kids doing the "official poetry cafe applause" - snapping their fingers. Have I ever mentioned that I can't snap my fingers? It's one of those many random life skills that I never picked up.


The kids asked me if I was going to read a poem. "Mr. Chan, you should read something!" I thought about reading this one, one of my favorites...


Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
  Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
  But has trouble enough of it's own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
  Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
  But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
  Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
  But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
  Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
  But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
  Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
  But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
  For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
  Through the narrow aisles of pain.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (b.1850-d.1919)

Yeah, too much of a downer for the 2nd grade, me thinks. Besides, I didn't want anything to take the spotlight away from their performance today. They were great, and of course, the parents loved hearing their kids read their work aloud.


Tomorrow is Dad's birthday. I'll probably go and visit the cemetery, maybe with flowers, and most likely with a flask. I've been so caught up with this whole teaching internship thing that it's been awhile since my last visit.


Nice poem, teach'. And have a nice visit. I need to get back to LA and visit my parents, too. My borther just old their house, and so the only place I could go is there resting place...

Peace, dude.
yay! i'm going to start teaching 2nd graders on monday. i bet the poetry cafe was so awesome and cute! and happy birthday to your dad. i hope you have a good visit.
oni- thx.

steph- thx... have fun with your kiddies!
April is poetry month. Put a Poem in Your Pocket, the nytimes tells me. :o)
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in?scrip?tion (n-skrip-shun)n.
1. The act or an instance of inscribing.
2. Something, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
3. A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
4. The usually informal dedication of an artistic work.
5. Jeremiah 31:33

the facts.
name. Gar AKA "that Chinese guy" "Sleepy.McSleeping"
ethnicity/nationality. Chinese/American, 4th gen.
location. Sea-Town, WA, USA Kawanishi, JAPAN
occupation. less-cynical poor grad student
age. younger than you think, older than you know



UnseenGC @ AIM
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