I have convinced myself that 2011 will be my year.
I am healthy.
I am strong.
I am happy.
I am getting a little bit more fulfilled.

I know that I start each year out with a whole lot of optimism, and then eventually I get a little more down, until I am just like the previous year. I feel much differently now, though. I’m not sure what it is. Is it that I have decided to just give my life over to God? Is it that I have accepted who I am, and that I want to build upon that girl? Is it because I am beginning to branch out in Memphis? I suppose I can pinpoint the reason I feel strong and beautiful right now, but it is still fascinating.

Somehow, this week at school has been quite wonderful. Monday, we introduced our new Big Goal. We will get a class average of 6 on an End of Year Exam, based on the AP Literature Exam. It is insane. They freaked out. I am freaking out. I suppose. Mostly, though, I feel peace with it. If they don’t reach the goal, at least I had really high expectations of them. i don’t expect these kids to be able to pass an AP test yet, but perhaps one day. They just have to learn what other college-bound high schoolers are doing in life.

Tuesday, we started our poetry unit. I introduced poetry by showing some slam poetry, some Saul Williams, some KRS-One, and even some Taylor Mali. We also talked about Tupac, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, etc. We discussed sonnets, lyric poetry, ballads, epics, and dramatic poetry. We watched a short clip of Ethan Hawke’s version of the “To be or not to be” soliloquy. They seemed into it, excited even.

Wednesday was fun. We did some coding of poetry–ABAAB, etc. They got approximate rhyme, they got internal rhyme, they got free verse. It was great.

Yesterday, Thursday, we started on “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. While 3 of my classes really understood what was going on, and they understood the symbolism and metaphor there, my 5th period was unable to get it. I honestly don’t understand where they missed such important lessons as looking further into a text, or not taking things so literally. I wonder if they understand sarcasm or double meanings or even tact. I am really going to have to take steps to ensure that they can analyze that text.

Today, we are took their quiz, and we are watching a movie.

Life is good.
It truly, truly is.