High School Musings

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Teenagers and stereotypes – the jocks
The ones that don’t belong anywhere
Miss popularity
The one who grows up to be successful
The modest
The arrogant
The clichés
The drama
The sad ends, tragedies even though the show must go
The humor in between
The different destinations = graduation, college, or something else
People want to get off
People want to stay on
The blizzard of time that make us have no choice
But to get used to one another
Some people who you hate lividly and those you detest for no particular reason
Those you would assume the bad guys
The cool guys
The average ones
And the rare gems in between
The fussy teachers, the ones you admire
The homework you acquire
Cheerleaders
Finals
The End
And the Beginning

Do they have guitars in heaven? Dedicated in loving memory to Eric Nicholson

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He’s gone now

He can no long play

God took him straight away

He was so very ill so he couldn’t stay

On Earth

So now he’s looking down on us

A remarkable man

Always with a plan to impress

Just be being his beautiful self

With the presence of an angel

He wrote the song of Shimer

The most beautiful tune around

Eric should be able to continue to play

The lovely music that stole our hearts away

So I have to ask God

A serious question –

Do they have guitars in heaven?

Where I’m From (according to my 18 year old self)

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I’m from corduroy jackets and denim jeans.
Running water and yellow Gatorade.
Sometimes when it rains for the window panes never lie,
I’m from wet sidewalks and damp fur.
If Scrabble is out and music pulses through my heart,
Then you know that’s where I’m from.

On occasion, if thunder and lightening lurk near,
The warm covers of my bed
Along with an old movie are where I’m from.
Warm pizza and Coca-Cola,
As well as silent laughter of a close friend are where I’m from.
When you can fall asleep to the cites
Of a fantasy land with a glass castle-
That is me.

I’m from oil paintings of mysterious night skies-
The kind of creases that fascinate my fingers.
The love and joy that I possess flows every so slowly
Onto the canvas before I am even awake.
When the lighthouse I’ve portrayed jumps off the page,
That’s where I’m from.

Every so often Harry Potter casts a spell on my world,
And nothing precious to me can be taken away.
My senses celebrate the magic I nourish them with,
For although they cannot tell a soul, they keep my treasures safe.

I’m from scraped knees and bruised shoulders.
One kiss and it is all better.
Where I’m from, long walks on the beach
Make for pleasant conversation.
“Mine the darkness and see the path you leave behind.”
Sometimes there is darkness in the distant trees,
But when the night sky is shimmering with shooting stars,
That’s where I’m from.

The place where I often dwell is in the front yard with all my flowers.
My lungs praise the October air, and the leaves delight my vision.
Sparkling bubbles from the fountain drizzle onto my body-
That’s where I’m where.

Absolutely Fearless: my life story!

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15 years ago today
In the middle of a bright, warm September day
They had to take me away to the hospital
To see what was going on with me
They ran so many tests and they were all very stressed
I was completely terrified
So I hid and I wept and cried
And frankly I wondered
No one knew what was to come
No one knew where it all came from
From such a happy child to frighteningly sick
My diagnosis was something I never heard of
So I thought wow, I’m so lucky let’s go home
Boy was I wrong as can be
I didn’t know the challenges in front of me

The time began to tick
They told me that there was no way I could finish school no way!
But I was certainly no darn fool
My mom pushed the high school hard and then they pushed back
My mom was a Rock star like J.J. Watt and she got the sack
I went in there with positive spirit
And it’s alive in this poem
Can you hear it?
I finished high school, finished so incredibly strong
Held my head extremely high, not a thing could be wrong

Then community college came along
I always knew I wanted to write
So I took that dream and I held it so tight I clutched that dream with all my might
And one night in 2010 I began to have real joy again
I wrote for the school paper and with utter glee
The words and phrases they just came to me: epiphany
Movie Reviews were my thing
God, I could really make the page sing
I’m in clubs like ecology and making friends
But that’s not how my story ends

In 2013 I discovered my saving grace – Shimer college
I decided that was my new dream
The pages on the table literally gleamed
The sun a ray of light casting hope on the page
As I took that pamphlet that my remarkable teacher had
I thought cool, now I’m going to MY school
A school of insight, bliss, and love
A school that was high above
Anything I could ever foresee
And then wonderful things happened to me
There was pain and suffering still
But I made it because I said I will

I made wonderful friends and learned things I couldn’t fathom
My studies were my love and joy
My friends were abundant and present
My classes were quite demanding
Their gift to me from my teachers :their complete understanding
I went on a spectrum of studies
And I had some grief and strive
But I had more in me and had the time of my life
Orange Horse and Solidarity
(Because everyone has seen the phoenix fly)
Two school events
Relished by me
After Aristotle, Darwin, Copernicus, Lerner and so much more it came
After Priestley, Dante, Shakespeare, Bell Hooks, and Woolf
After Gödel, Einstein, Virgil, Kant, and Augustine
After Humanities 3 and wondering deeply about my faith
After Fem Theories and two incredible senior classes
The big day, the end of me as a student came
April 29th 2017 was a day
Where they handed me the diploma and I internally screamed hurray!
I will never forget hearing my name and walking the stage to my happy ending
And a new beginning

Where I am now compared to where I was
All the hard work I put in and my family and friends
All the dark places I found myself in
I got out of them with perseverance, I got the win
Why?
It was because of love
Because you don’t quit when times are so tough
You are strong enough
So I will rise, with a loving family
And a college degree
And for all those who ever doubted me
You only ignited my passion to succeed
And now at 28 sometimes when I think that I’m too late
Too late to live my life
That I missed out
I pause
I take a moment, I take a breath, and realize
I’m just getting started
There’s so much life left to go

Absolutely Fearless

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15 years ago today
In the middle of a bright, warm September day
They had to take me away to the hospital
To see what was going on with me
They ran so many tests and they were all very stressed
I was completely terrified
So I hid and I wept and cried
And frankly I wondered
No one knew what was to come
No one knew where it all came from
From such a happy child to frighteningly sick

My diagnosis was something I never heard of
So I thought wow, I’m so lucky let’s go home
Boy was I wrong as can be
I didn’t know the challenges in front of me

The time began to tick
They told me that there was no way I could finish school no way!
But I was certainly no darn fool
My mom pushed the high school hard and then they pushed back
My mom was a Rock star like J.J. Watt and she got the sack
I went in there with positive spirit
And it’s alive in this poem
Can you hear it?
I finished high school, finished so incredibly strong
Held my head extremely high, not a thing could be wrong

Then community college came along
I always knew I wanted to write
So I took that dream and I held it so tight – I clutched that dream with all my might
And one night in 2010 I began to have real joy again
I wrote for the school paper and with utter glee
The words and phrases they just came to me: epiphany
Movie Reviews were my thing
God, I could really make the page sing
I’m in clubs like ecology and making friends
But that’s not how my story ends

In 2013 I discovered my saving grace – Shimer college
I decided that was my new dream
The pages on the table literally gleamed
The sun a ray of light casting hope on the page
As I took that pamphlet that my remarkable teacher had
I thought cool, now I’m going to MY school
A school of insight, bliss, and love
A school that was high above
Anything I could ever foresee
And then wonderful things happened to me
There was pain and suffering still
But I made it because I said I will

I made true friends and learned things I couldn’t fathom
My studies were my love and joy
My friends were abundant and present
My classes were quite demanding
Their gift to me from my teachers: their complete understanding
I went on a spectrum of studies
And I had some grief and strive
But I had more in me and had the time of my life
Orange Horse and Solidarity
(Because everyone has seen the phoenix fly)
Two school events
Relished by me

 

After Aristotle, Darwin, Copernicus, Lerner and so much more it came
After Priestley, Dante, Shakespeare, Bell Hooks, and Woolf
After Gödel, Einstein, Virgil, Kant, and Augustine
After Humanities 3 and wondering deeply about my faith
After Fem Theories and two incredible senior classes
The big day, the end of me as a student came
April 29th 2017 was a day
Where they handed me the diploma and I internally screamed hurray!
I will never forget hearing my name and walking the stage to my happy ending
And a new beginning

Where I am now compared to where I was
All the hard work I put in and my family and friends
All the dark places I found myself in
I got out of them with perseverance, I got the win
Why?
It was because of love
Because you don’t quit when times are so tough
You are strong enough
So I will rise, with a loving family
And a college degree
And for all those who ever doubted me
You only ignited my passion to succeed
And now at 28 sometimes when I think that I’m too late
Too late to live my life
That I missed out
I pause
I take a moment, I take a breath, and realize
I’m just getting started
There’s so much life left to go

The Abyss

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It’s when I finally think everything is fine

After I awake and I start my Wednesday…

I look up and realize something terrifying

Blackout, I blacked out from anxiety

Even though the sun barely had time to hit my eyes

Half an hour has passed like a minute

I want to take the hand that’s offered by my friend

And hold on so incredibly tight

I wonder about this next level anxiety

Falling into an actual abyss

I wonder if I’m being tested

So I furiously clean, clean, clean

Fear fainting again, fear the blackout, fear missing class

But mostly, I fear being swallowed up by the abyss

So I make a plan, make phone calls, I struggle to pray

And consider that there’s time I cannot account for

It’s too much to analyze

So I make some coffee

Maybe I can just wish it away…

 

Ode to my English Class: Enormous Wings and Things to Carry

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Ode to Gadies and Lettermen

To sitting across from a complete stranger on August 26th

And reading “Hills like White Elephants”

Ode to Nicole the page princess

Ode to Liz Marie the 1st spiritual leader, blunt and fierce

To the chalkboard and that darn desk that is always loose

To the window that displays only a moment in time

Ode to Civil Peace, Building fires, and Sweat

Ode to living out a Saturday night live skit

For drinking water, coffee, or chocolate milk

And listening to Nick’s wise insight about a story

Or simple pride to say he man handles things

Ode to Ben for declaring a boy becomes a man at age 13

Ode to McKenzie for her insight during The Guest,

Choosing structure over freedom

Ode to Spencer for history lessons and beer critiques

To greasy lakes and Open Boats

Ode to Patrick’s memorable quote about what the blind actually see

To Paul’s open-mindedness – thank you for truly diving into the stories

And seeing so many details, giving us so much to think about

Ode to Scriveners, yellow wallpaper, red convertibles and rocking horses

Ode to Liz for being so peaceful, calm amongst the storm

To Megan for having her i-pod and head on straight, sitting in the back, a buffer

To Brian’s skepticism and humor and baseball caps

Ode to Vlad’s indifference and Antonio’s ability to answer

Questions on the flip of a dime when all seems lost

To Nell, my lucky ninja for sharing her frustration of violent video games

During the things we carried discussion

We all sat there quietly, I tried to imagine it but I just lost myself in realizing

We are not as desensitized as we may think

I foolishly went on and on talking like I had some right others didn’t

I apologize for my loudness and my annoying at times presence.

My many tangents

I apologize for calling foul and pounding on the table like the child

In The use of Force

Ode to Bill for reading

And always being able to say from beginning to end what happened

Ode to Mielas for pointing out the great depression and discussing Native Americans

Ode to chrysanthemums, happy endings, greasy lakes, cathedrals, and the guest

To Desiree’s baby and the newborn thrown…

Ode to Megan’s Solace on the side

Ode to Elly’s grace, glasses, giggle and spot on analysis

This is my Ode to Professor Davros for listening to what ever we

Had to say and for taking jokes with a gram of salt

For coming to class and getting a migraine no doubt

But for absorbing all of our babble into something that makes sense

We sit transfixed, bedazzled.

Some loud, some quiet

Some laughing some texting

Some tired, others pumped for discussions

Ode to Occurrences at Bridges, Necklaces, and Real Things

We came as ordinary people and learned where we are

And where we have been

Leaving my desk and chair I emerge towards the door, and stand realizing

“I prefer not to.”

(Memories from a great class, a poem I found that I’d like to share)