I am going down the new road of educator. some of the louderFAM are going to be going into rikers island to help teach a poetry class. details are forthcoming but we had a meeting with the director of the program to day and as she is going over some of the fine print; i found myself excited and scared at the prospect of having my first ‘students’ be a group of incarcerated individuals. not so much the fact that I am going into one of the most infamous penal facilities in the country, nah, thatâ€™s aight. just the fact that i have never taught before.
luckily, the rest of the louderCREW have a good deal of experience in conducting poetry workshops and will help me sculpt through a nice program of which i already have some ideas. let’s look at this from the best possible light, shall we? if i can help this group, maintain a focused lesson plan and have some good poetry emerge from them– then i can handle anything. walking into a library group will be a breeze in comparison. yeah, that’s the ticket!
another nice fit into this puzzle is the fact that i went to my first workshop in a LONG while this past saturday. it’s run by the b.c.a. and moderated by anthony morales. the class was fun and i had a good couple of free writes and am very much looking forward to next week’s critique of my work. we’ve got three pieces we have to put together and this may also fit nicely with that ‘bring a new poem’ challenge for next week’s slam.
i give workshops all the credit in the world for bringing me to where i am right now as a writer. my first workshop was through louderARTS and it provided a setting that allowed me to be more vocal than the open mic and let people know where i was trying to come from in my work and they, in turn, commented on whether or not my work reflected that direction. those first workshops were so good that ray initiated some more on his own and thus was synonymUS and a few great friendships born.
funny thing, i was sure that i was going to play the role of church mouse when those sessions began. my work was so new and i really wasn’t sure what i was trying to accomplish. compound that with the fact that everyone else in the room had some decent writer’s credentials. first chance to defend my work or my view points in writing and i was quite the verbal motherfucker. actually had to slow my role for a sec, as i found myself taking sides on every issue coming up. even got into a slight verbal altercation with a workshop member when i felt that they were not contributing to the group and was just using the class as their own personal playpen/therapy room.
those early lessons prepared me well for this new class, i was shut when it wasn’t my turn to speak and kept from commenting (thus taking the spotlight away from the moderator) on some things. when anthony starts the feedback portion next week, watch out! cool moment was when anthony said he recognized my name from the loudNOTES and someone else from the class commented on hearing both me & fish on an open mic already… my response?
‘never mind that, i’m here to learn.’
yesterday was also westside rhyme and the show was long but good with mara, c r avery, tai and roger on the mic. maya azecuna rocked the mic as well. tonight, 13 showcases morris stegasaurus, a true orginal of slam, he of the ‘nothing is more romantic than a one-legged prostitute’ poem. oh yeah, there will be something to write later, fo shue.