It’s a Monday afternoon, in the exact middle of October, when the virtual world is suddenly filled with two words, as cold and searing as a Samurai blade– Me, too. Have always counted it among my greatest fortunes to have never been raped, taken aback, each time such thoughts enter me– by the idea that a woman should be thankful to have been spared having … Continue reading Me, Too
We’re meeting this morning, you and I, so that you can return to class after the incident the other day, when you threatened the peace and safety of the room where nothing happens, when there is chaos, and magic happens, when we let peace in. We met already, yesterday, when I gave up the only time I’d had all day to eat, maybe to use … Continue reading Meeting Prep
Used to call it a Do Now, but now find this to be too harsh an order; prefer to think of the first few moments in class as a time to reflect, unlock the door to the story this class will tell, and itself become, as we venture into another hour with a Bengali man in New York City, trying to make sense of his … Continue reading Opening Thoughts
America has long mastered oppression, subjugation– the art of war on her minorities, waged through conquest, slavery, rape, lynchings, segregation, mass incarceration, the too many weapons wielded against those too vulnerable, too inadequately armed to counter such tactics of systematic torture and annihilation, the likes of which are hard to find outside the borders of America, the land of the free. But worst of all … Continue reading Stand Up! Fight Back!
Being a good student isn’t about the grades you get, or how much the teachers like you, or how well you read and annotate, or how eloquently you write essays. Being a good student isn’t about always having the right answers, or never being too shy to raise a hand, or understanding things on the first try, or having the kind of memory that lets … Continue reading Good Students
For as long as I remember, the paper has been the ocean, into which all the rivers within me flow, when there comes to be too much to hold within, and dams come crashing down. A Russian literature teacher in Armenia once handed us postcards of people, veering from the curriculum of War and Peace and Anna Karenina in that bold, uncanny way she had … Continue reading Simply Write
People always be telling me to speak proper English. Yo, yasss! That shit get me tight! I ain’t about to talk like some white boy– Good evening, sir. Pardon me. Bullshit. I ain’t gotta sound like that to be smart. I can talk any way I want. That’s right, son! Don’t let the white man tell you what to do. It’s interesting, I say, that … Continue reading Proper English
Welcome to Orientation English. My name is Maryam. I am your teacher. Please share your name, and how you feel about English class. My name is Jose. I don’t like English. Hi, I’m Estefany. English is my favorite subject. I’m Ali. I don’t like English class. The English teacher at my old school said my English is so bad, I should be a cab driver. … Continue reading Orientation
Resistance to being taught isn’t a matter of principle, an act of will, a choice. It’s a condition; a symptom of this system, these times we’re living. We claim to have made learning a right for all, when in truth, there is equity in education, like there are hot days in Antarctica. We say we’ve come too long a way to need a mention of … Continue reading To Read or To Live?
I just met a kid who transferred to our school because his old school didn’t care that the reason he was absent so much last year was that his mother was battling cancer. He’s here now, brilliant and strong, and his mother kicked cancer’s ass, and that old school can kiss mine, ‘Cause this kid’s going to college. You feel me? Continue reading Who You Calling a Drop Out?