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The Things I Carry 2017

I carry my CCSD identification badge and the tracking device contained therein. I carry my keys, guaranteed entrance to most doors in our school, except those most in need of opening.

I carry the burden of expectation, the anxiety borne of the worst kind of perfectionism–the feeling that you are forever letting other people down. I carry the endless list of questions: Am I a good teacher? Am I good enough to make this meaningful? If I cannot make it meaningful to students, does it…

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"America" student poems

Here are some efforts from my English 11 students, using Whitman and, in one case, Hughes as models.

Macie B


I see America singing, the varied carols I see,
Those of teenagers, each one singing theirs as it should be emotional and strong,
The attention seeking, singing hers as she spreads another rumor,
The athlete singing his as his final season comes to an unfortunate end,
The alcoholic college kids singing what appears to be a jumbled mess as…

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Thoughts on libraries and loss

I was a weird little kid—anxious and socially awkward, I felt more comfortable with books than I did people. Once, in elementary school, when the power went out, I asked the teacher if I could move my desk over by the window so I could continue reading. Yes, I was that kid.

My elementary librarian shepherded my reading, and it is only now as an adult and a reading teacher that I realize the extent of her gift to me. I hung out in the school library not only because I loved books, but…

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a juxtaposition

"Since an ineluctable part of being a human self is suffering, part of what we humans come to art for is an experience of suffering, necessarily a vicarious experience, more like a "generalization" of suffering. Does this make sense? We all suffer alone in the real world; true empathy's impossible. But if a piece of fiction can allow us imaginatively to identify with a character's pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with our own. This is nourishing,…

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Samantha Palmer, Mitchell Dean Owen, Jaxson Kuhlmann and 10 more joined polkingclassroom
5 hours ago
Emerald Siepker, Emma Nelson and Lexi Muhlbauer joined polkingclassroom
Bailey Scheuermann posted a discussion
Cage the Elephant is a band that I used to listen to quite a bit up until this year. I chose this band because their songs are something that everyone can enjoy, and the lyrics have meaning. This song is trying to tell us that quote, "things aren't…
Jan 11
Bailey Scheuermann replied to Maxwell Molle's discussion Christmas Movies and Holiday Spending
"Christmas is always portrayed as the most wonderful time of year. When people are giving until their hearts are content. Which is the opposite of the truth. They defiantly hold those motives. I grown to believe that Hollywood/creators/celebrities/ e…"
Jan 11