Dogwoods

seeker of visions

what does this mean.
to see walking men
wrapped in the color of death,
to hear from their tongue
such difficult syllables?
are they the spirits
of our hope
or the pale ghosts of our future?
who will believe the red road
will not run on forever?
who will believe
a tribe of ice might live
and we might not?

                        — Lucille Clifton

__________

Class update: Today was half and half.  Before break, class was ok but full of disruptions from my irrepressible under-twenty group.  There was a surprisingly large number of them in attendance, and nearly all of them rowdier than usual.  Then after break … gone.  Every single one of them gone.

That left the rest of the class and meant that we had a “normal” class: productive, fun, attentive.  It also meant that my older students took that opportunity to talk to me about all the reasons they were fed up with the kids, all the reasons I should separate the groups and give the young people a class of their own, all the reasons I needed to stop being nice with the younger students and be more like a scolding parent. <sigh>

This is a reaction I really didn’t want my older students to have, but which I am not at all suprised to know they are having.  I’ve lost some students because they couldn’t stand being in class with that group.  It’s something that often happens when young students are mixed into classes with “traditional” adult ed students.  I had hoped we could avoid it.  We had young students last year and we were fine.  We had young students at the start of this year and we were fine.  But with the group that arrived in January, and with the group the was added to the mix this month, there’s a much larger force in the room.  Prior to now, the older students have been very much the majority.  Now the class is just about half and half.  And that’s clearly a balance that doesn’t work.

And, of course, there could be that these students just don’t work.  But I don’t think so.  I think if I had only one or two of the group that walked out today, we’d be fine.  But all of them together is just too much.

And why did they walk out today?  Oh, right, today is four-twenty, National Weed Day.  Yes, exactly.  Just because they have the whole rest of the day to smoke, that’s no reason to stay in class for another 90 minutes.  It’s not as though they have an important goal in front of them like earning their high school credential or anything …

<heavier sigh>

__________

And the royal rhyming continues.  I find these poems only work for me (or only sort of work for me) when I’m writing about something “heavy.”  And I think that’s about the rhymes.  If I have to rhyme, at least let me be talking about something serious, something that has enough weight to counteract the Dr. Seuss-ness of my rhyming.  But I don’t always have something deep and meaningful to write about.  Sometimes I want to write about my cats, or the gorgeous dogwoods I saw in bloom on my way to work this morning.  And then the rhymes start to sound childlike.

Full green flowering,
each open flat, wide
to the sun.  Each devouring
that light, glistening with pride.
Each dancing, shaking her green-eyed
glory in the breeze,
her fleeting life a dazzling tease.

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