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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


We have some time each day to read our books.
We call it SURF. For twenty minutes, mute,
we read without a qualm or class dispute;
we read of villains, heroes, brutes, and crooks.

Alas, I glance around with furtive looks:
instead I treat this “SURF” time as my loot
and write instead, which fits me like a suit.
Thus nervous apprehension hotly cooks…
for violating what the time is for,
I felt quite anxious writing sonnets there,
for teachers can be lenient or strict
and both exist today and evermore -
so play on whims and tiptoe everywhere
or agitate and freedom shall constrict.


  1. This poem brings back a memory....

    I was a shy, 10-year-old girl. Our 5th grade class got a new teacher. We played some sort of elimination game, and when I was eliminated, I started reading a book. The teacher sternly took the book away. I started crying--it wasn't even my book, and I didn't know how I'd replace it. The teacher did give it back, but apparently after that I still didn't do well with her strict ways and came home crying almost every day. Thankfully my parents switched my sister and I to a different school after Christmas.

    It amazes me that a teacher could be unkind to a kid just for reading (or writing for that matter.)

    Great sonnet!

  2. I hope that experience didn't scar you for life! I had a similar experience with my bus driver "Mary" ( It wasn't as traumatic as that experience...however, I did switch out of a private school after Grade 6, after experiencing racial issues and stuff like that in Grades 5 and 6 at that school.

  3. Ours was a switch from private to public too. I'm not sure the experience with the teacher scarred me for life, but it's definitely a sad memory. I'm sorry you experienced racial issues. Ugh.

    Our private school was small and suffering financially. In chapel (it was a Christian school) they were telling us kids that they needed more money to survive. I laugh now at them putting that pressure on KIDS--how inappropriate!

  4. Ugh indeed.

    That must have been highly appropriate for about desperate! I hated chapel. Itchy sweaters...runny noses...and now I'm piously atheist :)

  5. Far from atheist here...but my twin sister, who went to all those same chapels, is atheist! One of the reasons we tell people, "Yes, we're twins, but we are very different!"

  6. Ah, the twin paradox!

    I must say though, I'm not piously atheist (that was more of an over-statement), but I'm definitely thinking twice if I ever decide to be more religious...


A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

- Emily Dickinson

Thanks, Wordle!