Gratitude & Grading

Yesterday was my last day of school for who knows how long, maybe forever. I now have at least a year off to focus on my writing and my website project. There is of course one little thing  to finish up–grading. My least favorite part of teaching.

Most of these students will get good grades and it  helps to know that going in. I just finished reading a poem by one of the less vocal people in class and it really touched me, made me realize how grateful I am for the good people I had the honor of mentoring this summer.

The poem starts out negative: all about how his summer has been ruined by having to be in class. The beautiful mornings, the shining sun, the sweet freedom of summer–all of this is taken from him because he has to spend four hours in my class twice a week.

Then the poem takes a turn as the poet realizes he likes being in a room with other writers. He enjoys how the course transforms him into someone who is serious about writing. He no longer feels that class is a prison but rather a haven where he gathers with others sharing the vibe of creative expression. Something in him wakes up and realizes this is what he is, a writer. This is what he wants to do, write.

Gotta say, it made my day!


  1. We had a lot of great poets in our writing class which makes me wonder which one of them wrote the poem in question.

    I have my suspicions…lol.

    Our class was special and I’m not just saying that because I was in it either. 😀

    Everyone was friendly, respectful, and genuinely interested in each others writing…a rarity indeed.


  2. It was Jovan’s poem that I paraphrased, Paul. Did you guess right? There were so many good writers in the class, but I think his was the only one about how the class had changed his outlook for the better. It was not in the first batch from him, and it took me completely by surprise!


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