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Waiting for the world to change

This week has been filled with inexplicable angst and emotions in my life.

Maybe, as my one student so boldly suggested today, it’s just “my time of the month” (which it totally ISN’T by the way), but I’m finding it hard to believe in others this week.

I love teaching, with all my heart, but I find it disheartening to be a firsthand witness to the attitudes of today’s youth. I’ve been discussing different stories of bullying this week in my one class, and when I asked about cyber-bullying, an entire class was in agreement that “people join ‘those sites’ expecting to be bullied.”

In the teacher’s room, the conversations are toxic. I invested in a pair of headphones so I could drown out negativity during my prep, but even Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” can’t save me from gossip, complaints, and whining.

I’ve heard multiple people, both in the halls and out, referring to people and things as “so gay” or “retarded.” It has actually become more of a battle to call people out on this and have a reasonable conversation with them on it than it is to let my blood boil and  realize that it is physically impossible to open the minds of some people.

Even tables at bars are calling me gay.

Even tables at bars are calling me gay.

I’ve been feeling sick these past few days, but I’m stubborn and haven’t wanted to call out. I left school with a sore throat and a killer headache today, which was only made worse when I logged onto Facebook once I got home:

Big surprise, Chris Christie has filed an appeal to last week’s NJ Superior Court decision on same-sex marriage.

This alone wasn’t surprising to me, as I made it clear in my post on the topic that I felt it was only a matter of time before he tried to stop it.

What did surprise– and hurt– me was what Christie said about the topic. He said, “If the court single-handedly, without guiding precedent and without input from the [NJ] Supreme Court, reverses this course and overrides the intent of the democratically elected branch, the state will suffer irreparable harm.

You know what makes me suffer irreparable harm?

Being told I’m not human.

Being told I’m less of a person than someone.

Being treated like a second class citizen.

Having my civil rights decided for me by individuals who aren’t even affected by them.

Having my job, potential marriage, and any thought of stability in the future being ripped out from under me because I live in a state where the governor thinks he has the right to treat teachers and same-sex couples like dog shit.

I’m sick of all the injustices in the world. I’m sick of discrimination. I’m sick of ignorance. I’m just sick of everything, in general, being less than ideal.

I guess I’m just, as I’ve been singing non-stop this week, “waiting on the world to change.”

Poetry saves.

It’s funny that a prompt for OctPoWriMo 2013 would make me get teary-eyed, but that’s exactly what happened when I read this morning’s prompt. My students are currently taking an assessment, and it *seemed* like a good idea to write a poem while they are silently working. I didn’t expect to have the response I did to a prompt.

The prompt reads “Lets write a Poem about Why We wrote that very first poem.” The first poem I remember writing was an imitation of a poem I heard on Rugrats about Chuckie’s mom when I was in 2nd grade. I wrote it for my great-grandmother, who I met as a baby, but mostly for my mom who was upset she couldn’t make it to her grandmother’s funeral.

The second poem I remember writing was actually a series of dramatic, anger-inspired poetry I wrote as an angsty teen coming to terms with her sexuality. I think I threw those poems out, and I don’t really remember what they said, except that they were full of fucks not to be given and suppressed rainbows.

I think the real turning point for my poetic life was my freshman year of college. My Creative Writing class was a clerical error. This class turned out to be a turning point in my life; it made me realize that I can actually write and perform poetry. I also found a great source of knowledge, friendship, and comfort in this mistake. The class acted as a catalyst in jump-starting me enrolling in a poetry class with a professor I came to call my mentor and friend. Poetry got me through so much– life, death, romance, being in the media spotlight, becoming an adult, coming out, and finding my voice (and blog!) in the world, just to name a few.

This post has evolved into a rambling reflection, like many of my posts. So, I’ll keep my poem short and sweet.


Poetry saved me
when I didn’t know that I
needed to be saved.
It’s my happy accident.
Thank you, college, for my voice.