First and foremost, thank you all for taking the time to read my posts o’ random ponderings. I was absolutely stunned last night as I noticed visitors from all over the world had been reading my articles. For a project that was started simply as a means of satisfying my inner desire to write, I can’t believe just how much it’s grown. Thank you!
With that said, here are some of the thoughts that ran though my mind today.
The Power of Words
This week, I’m introducing my eighth grade students to the wonderful world of spoken word poetry. I can’t tell you just how much I love this contemporary form of performance art. These poems are powerful, yet accessible. They’re timely, and foster difficult discussions. Many spoken word poets will tell you that writing and performing such pieces is naturally cathartic. After viewing a few performances myself, it’s not difficult to ascertain why that’s the case.
After two days of reading works from tremendous writers such as Clint Smith, Sarah Kay, and Sabrina Benaim, the most striking aspect of the lessons has been witnessing the wide-eyed responses from my students. They have come to realize just how powerful words can be, and I’m hopeful that they’ll enjoy writing their own poems later this week.
If you’re interested in viewing spoken word performances, I highly suggest visiting the Button Poetry YouTube page. You’ll find yourself glued to your screen for some time. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Alarming News Regarding LGBQ Youth
Earlier today, CNN released troubling findings from the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. According to the report, upward of 40% of U.S. high school students who identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or questioning were seriously considering suicide. The fact that transgender teenagers were not included in this particular study makes the results all the more alarming. Previous research had suggested that transgender youth were already more likely to consider committing suicide than LGBQ students.
I find myself deeply distressed by this new report. As a faculty advisor of my school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, I know firsthand just how difficult daily life can be for these magnificent kids. Thinking that some of those boys and girls may be considering self-harm is gut-wrenching. No child deserves to feel that they’re aren’t good enough to enjoy the wonders of this earth. We need more allies of LGBTQ youth! Please consider becoming an advocate for LGBTQ teens in your community.
For more information on how you can make a difference, visit www.glsen.org.
Tuesday Night Quickies
In the spirit of transparency, I must admit that I’m beginning to grow weary of social media. As you know, there’s just so much negativity out there. I know I’ve said it before, but The Pondering Father may have to take a leave of absence from Facebook and Twitter for a bit. I need to block out the internet trolls and maintain these good vibes of mine!
No, I have not seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi. For the love of everything, please do not spoil it! I’m hoping to catch it at some point this week. I haven’t been this excited to see a film in the theater since The Dark Knight.
NBC has officially announced plans for the revival of their hit series, The Office. Unfortunately, Steve Carell will not be joining the project. No Michael Scott? No, thanks.