Oct 30

Teach Us

*Every year during spirit week at the end of the year HUHS does a poetry slam where students are able to share any of their poetry/writing. This is the piece I performed last year about Harwood, directed towards the administration.

Teach us. Please.
Prepare us for our future.
(even if that doesn't include college)
Don't spend an hour and thirty minutes
Forcing upon us this proficiency knowledge.
You're Lecturing us about how to create an exponential equation,
Or how to learn if yeast is living or not
We wanna change this, but what chance do we got? 
Because these teachers have been here,
Year after year, 
And it's hard to believe that any change is near.

We like to preach about our student voice, 
But if you gave us the choice, 
We’d be learning how to cook, we wouldn't  just be reading the same classic books
We’d have home ec and wood shop
Something to make these standard classes stop.
Because we can spend all day here
But we're still watching our grades drop.

We spend 7 hours here, five days a week, 
Dragging ourselves through the day.
I might not talk a lot in class, 
But trust me I've got something to say.

How many times are we gonna have to learn about U.S history
Before you teach us how we can change it?
When do we learn how to do more than survive?
Because I know there's a lot of us who don't really wanna be alive. 

Do I need to revoice that?

When are you gonna learn we’re not using what we’re being taught?
We’re memorizing facts for a test
Then forgetting them by next block.
Teach us criteria that we’re going to use.
Please.
Teach us how to survive, no screw that, thrive, 
 in a world that still sees us as children, 
but expects the ability of an adult

Teach us about change.
Help us see that we have a voice.
Show us that shit happens. That life sucks sometimes, 
But what we do with it is our choice
Educate us about manipulation, abuse, truth, and reality.
About things that we’re gonna go through.
Show us that this is more than a paycheck to you.

Stop pretending like you don't see.
If no one's gonna call you out on this then I guess it's gonna be me
There's no way you're that oblivious to what goes on in these walls.
What goes on in our bathrooms with and without stalls?
Do you really not see the groups of 3 walking out?
They put their heads down, act casual, scatter about.
Maybe the bathrooms naturally smell like mango
What do I know?
Do you not see the flushed faces of the couple that just -made love-
Up against the bathroom sink.
Come on, take a minute, think.
Connect the dots.
And think about everything that goes on within these halls.

Now I know Harwoods not the capital of diversity. 
But I'm sorry it's still a shock to me
How a special needs kid can get harassed in a bathroom and it's fine, 
and you still get that look in your eye when you find out my ex isn’t a guy.
And you don't do anything when you hear them say “he’s a fag” or “oh that's gay”
I've been listening and what I've found
Is some of our teachers find it quite hard to ask about your pronoun
It's not that complicated, usually as simple as he she, they them
I know change doesn't happen in a day, 
But if not now then when

Now that I've said all of this you can act surprised, 
But really what's new?
You hate to admit it but you know that everything thing I've said is true 
You can tell me I'm wrong, I'd love to debate.
Cause my mom was class of ‘99, my dad being ‘98.
They spent years goin’ to the same classes right here
So i know not much has changed in the last 20 years, 
But hey, maybe after all this, 
We can finally switch some gears

These were issues then, and they are now.
They didn't have Juul but there were things that, in the 90s, 
Were just as cool
My parents did it, and I'm sure most of yours did too, 
And let me just say I'm sure some of you were conceived, 
Not far from this room

So I know it's not our generation, 
And i'm just saying, maybe if these problems had been taken into consideration
20 years ago, when my parents were here, 
I wouldn't be getting the looks from administration that I am for standing up here.