The link below leads readers to a 10-minute freewrite that I composed with my Improving Writing class at Florida A&M University. In Old Friend from Far Away, Natalie Goldberg asks readers to discuss a time that they itched, and most days after teaching my freshman composition class wherein most students are usually disconnected from everything but their cellphones, I find myself itching to write poetry, or to read Alice Walker, or to paint images of revolutionaries. I itch to nourish my creative muse–a muse which is often neglected as a result of my responsibilities to the classroom.
More often than not, I feel like I am blowing my energy on careless human beings who simply attend the university because they don’t have anything else to do with themselves. They exist for the sake of existing–which according to Buddhist philosophy is freedom and enlightenment. But of course, student stand stills have little to nothing to do with peace, freedom, empathy, and loving-kindness. And so what do you do in a 21st century space wherein worldstarhiphop, Atlanta Housewives, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr disconnect students from reading full length novels, writing detailed research papers, engaging Martin Luther King’s rhetorical genius, following directions, listening to classroom instruction, completing required assignments, arriving to class on time (if at all), building classroom community, respecting the classroom space, and taking full responsibility for their behaviors?
I usually bitch and moan. But I also write poetry. I paint Che. I read Alice Walker. I listen to gospel music. And I blog. And with every tomorrow, I enter the classroom hoping for the best, always hoping for the best.