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Archive for June, 2009

Well, just a little.  In reading my textbook for my Masters in TESOL class, I came across this poem in the beginning of the chapter on teaching social studies to ELL children.  It’s not a popular viewpoint in America, but I find it interesting that the author was able to disassociate personal feelings on a very stressful day in order to see the bigger, global picture that many people still do not see.  With no further ado:

From the Other Side

Oh my God. I wrote notes and to-do lists yesterday

Before we were struck.

Now nothing looks the same…

I’ve got to be still

And silent as the trees

To find the presence

To witness

The humanity

Implied in the halftone photograph

Of the man falling head first

From tower top to asphalt

Preferring this terrible dying

To the horror

Of allowing himself to be

Consumed in flames.

Merciless.

Someone’s technology saved a visual record

Of one man’s last living moment

And so I see

A life turned upside down

Someone frozen in free fall

Breathing the last of a gloriously beautiful day

Ripped Dear God by rage

So furiously hot

I must ask

What

Is behind this

What drove people to condemn and execute so many

So ruthlessly

Let me look into the faces of the perpetrators and let me

Listen, Dear God, let me learn

What those World Trade Towers

Mean, What the Pentagon means

From the other side.

When we stopped paying our dues at the U.N.

What did it look like from the other side?

When we refused to abide by the judgments of the World Court

What did it look like from the other side?

When we refused to be bound by the laws of the International Criminal Court

What did it look like from the other side?

When we refused to sign the Land Mine Treaty

What did it look like from the other side?

When we refused to sign the Kyoto Agreement

What did it look like from the other side?

When we walked out of the International Conference on Racism

What did it look like from the other side?

When we embargo and bomb Iraq daily – without a thought –

Without a moment’s reflection on the flaming buildings,

The broken bodies, the human suffering that we’re causing,

For the first time I can say I have a clue

What it feels like

From the other side.

–    Lou Ann Merkle, Artist, Art Teacher, and SEED Seminar Leader in the Upper Dublin School District, 1994-1998 and the Crefeld School, 2001.  Poem read at SEED Seminar Meeting on September 12, 2001, Plymouth, Pennsylvania.

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Five years…

Today is our five-year wedding anniversary.  It’s hard to believe five years have gone by!  We’ve done so much together.  I think we love each other more than we did then…but differently, if that makes sense.  Happy Anniversary, sweetie!

Five years ago...

Five years ago...

Today

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