Tuesday, November 8

Educational Philosophy Parody on “Theme for English B”

The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you--
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it’s that simple?
I am twenty, an average girl, born in Chicago.
I went to school there, then here, Florida.
Fifteen years, I’ve been to school
Two more, I still got
Before I’m done and in school again
But by that time, I’ll be the teacher

It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me
There are so many theories
So many philosophies
Well, just five
But that’s enough when you’ve got to prescribe to one
 or two
 or three
 or four
or all five

At twenty, my age, I’ve suffered them all
Teacher-centered essentialist classrooms
Rows of students paralyzed in fear at no kitten but rather
Of a rather fat cat dressed up in a test booklet
I’ve been a victim of perennialists 
Holding within a “great book” a great book.
For all the eyes behind her head,
Teacher couldn’t see my copy
Of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging inside of my copy of The Iliad
One day I walked into a progressive classroom
The teacher put us all in groups
We built a robot and learned
About torque, levers, and voltage
I’ve been privy to social reconstruction
Now that is motivation
To seek and find a problem
Then to seek and find an answer
My mind was never idle in that class
In the class of an existentialist
I drank cool water
She let us be
And was our friend

Being me, I can never be you
Or Ms. Wild
Or Ms. Green
Or Mr. Melvin
Or Ms. Kilic
Or Ms. Miller
I can only be me
And with being me, I will carry every philosophy
I am product of them all
Of the tests
And old books
Of the group work
And activism
Of the simple, free classroom that played my kind of music and turned me into Da Vinci
For an hour

I’ve learned from all of them
I guess they all learned from me
And now we’ve both got something true
A living, flowing, breathing philosophy
This is my page for Special Topics

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