A student emailed me today to express his frustration and disappointment.
A little back story; I mentored a Poetry Out Loud team every year I was at CHS, and every year, this kid jumped in with both feet. He was good – expressive and excited, dedicated to really understanding the poems he chose and to reciting them in ways that opened them up to his audience. He consistently won the school competition and was a strong contender in the regionals, and every year, he got better. He could have gone a step farther this year – maybe even made it past states into nationals.
He’s not going to find out, though, because the teacher who was supposed to take POL over didn’t bother to register back in November, despite the student’s repeated requests. It should be noted here that the teacher in question is also a poet himself.
So I found out today that there is no Poetry Out Loud this year. I still need to verify it with Mr. Poet, but I don’t think he registered before November 1st. Right now I’m pissed and sad at the same time. I am just so upset. I reminded him five times. I’m just so angry. Also I am not even angry at Mr. Poet; I am pissed that I have to miss out on my senior year of fucking Poetry Out Loud! I could have made it to States this year. I could have made it.
Yes, you could have, Sweetie, and I’m so, so sorry.
I’m alternately heartbroken and furious. I wanted so much better for those kids.
**EDITED TO INCLUDE:
I could NOT let this stand, so I sent an email to my contact at the Humanities Council and begged to know if there were an alternate route my babies could take to compete in Poetry Out Loud this year… and there IS! There’s a public library on the far west side of the state that participates as an independent group – I imagine they take in homeschoolers, too – and anyone from CHS who wants to participate can join that group! It’s a nearly three hour drive to the library to make the meetings, but I put out the word that I’d help out anyone who needs transportation (I have driven that route myself many times because I’m a fellow at the Holocaust Studies center at the university in that town). No word yet on whether anyone needs me to drive them, but my disappointed student isn’t so disappointed anymore!