Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "The Hardest Thing to Teach"

This poem is spillover from the November 8, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "interpersonal / emotional intelligence" square in my 8-1-16 Character-Building card.

"The Hardest Thing to Teach"

Bruce Marshall teaches science
at the Everleigh High School
in Omaha, Nebraska.

He teaches his students
scientific method and experiments,
the process by which a hypothesis
may mature into a theory.

He teaches them about
about biology and geology,
chemistry and physics.

He teaches them about
natural laws and cycles and
the way that small things
make up bigger things.

The hardest thing
to teach is how to care,
but Mr. Marshall does that too.

He explains that each class
can become a family of choice.

He teaches his students
to think, but also to feel.
He teaches them teamwork.

In the science classroom,
he assigns experiments that
need three or four hands to do.

Mr. Marshall takes the whole class
to the gym and demonstrates
physics by manipulating
a parachute together.

He takes them to the shop room
where they make teambuilding skis,
and then shows them how to walk
while coordinating four people.

He takes them to the library
and turns them over to Ms. Fischer,
who teaches them about computers and
books and how to look up the answers
to all different kinds of questions.

Ms. Fischer and Mr. Marshall
open the computer room to
talk about networks and how
many computers can work like
one bigger, smarter computer.

It works.

Mr. Marshall sees the kids
growing closer together as
they learn new skills.

He watches Fortney and Brant
figure out the physics of
throwing footballs.

He watches Stan and Lawrence
pick on each other and fall in love
and break up and get back together
and start taking couples work seriously.

He teaches science and teamwork,
and he teaches teenagers to care about
someone other than themselves, and
it's exhausting ... and it's amazing.

Mr. Marshall loves his job.

* * *


Bruce Marshall -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and wavy brown hair with a short beard. He wears large geeky glasses. He favors ties with geometric or scientific designs. Mr. Marshall teaches high school science in Omaha, Nebraska. He also sponsors the science team and the chess club. He has a good eye for which students can handle more responsibility or need extra help.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Science Teacher, Good (+2) Dexterity, Good (+2) Negotiation, Good (+2) Patience, Good (+2) Teen Support Contacts
Poor (-2) Overworked and Underpaid

[Character by Stardreamer]
Kelinda (Keli) Fischer
Ms. Fischer is the librarian at Stan and Lawrence's school. She is in her early 50s and has fair skin, blue eyes (with horn-rimmed bifocals) and light-grey hair which she wears in a long, wavy shag. She is a science-fiction fan and convention-goer, and very hooked into geek culture in general. She is the aunt of Gabriela Dickenson.  Her preferred mode of dress is Business Casual for work, jeans and geeky T-shirts on her own time. She works out enough to stay fit because she doesn't want to dwindle into a Fragile Old Lady, and contradances as a hobby; at conventions, she is fond of costuming. She is married but has no children, by choice. Ms. Fischer will happily befriend any student who has an interest in learning, and tries to spark such an interest in the others if she can do so without being pushy. She also refuses to tolerate any sort of bullying in the library, and has a Mean Librarian reputation among the students who are accustomed to having their nasty behavior be ignored by teachers. She contributes to equality-activism causes and occasionally attends activist rallies. She and Mr. Marshall are friends and allies.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Research, Good (+2) Geek Contacts, Good (+2) Computer Skills, Good (+2) Stronger Than I Look, Good (+2) Artistic Eye,
Poor (-2) Very Nearsighted
Signature Stunt: Google-Fu (from Research) -- she can find useful information about any topic, no matter how obscure or difficult to define, very quickly.

Fortney Sullivan -- She has pinkish-fair skin, brown eyes, and light brown hair usually pulled back in a short braid. She is tall and beefy, but quick on her feet. Her four older brothers have inspired her to keep up with the guys. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska where she plays football on the same team with Stanley Wood. As a cornerback she excels at agility and catching the ball. Hyperconscious of her precarious social position -- football is respected but girls are unwelcome there, and playing football is seen as unfeminine -- she is always looking for ways to move up the popularity ladder.
Qualities: Good (+2) Determination, Good (+2) Cornerback Football Player, Good (+2) Student
Poor (-2) Unpopular

Brant Owens -- He has tawny-fair skin, brown eyes, and short straight brown hair. He is the oldest of three brothers. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska where he plays on the same football team as Stanley Wood. As quarterback, Brant has excellent throwing and aiming skills, but lacks the leadership that usually accompanies the position. He also has an unfortunate habit of ostracizing or bullying less popular people.
Qualities: Good (+2) Quarterback Football Player, Good (+2) Popular, Good (+2) Work Ethic
Poor (-2) Leadership

* * *

"The hardest thing to teach is how to care."
-- Unknown

Explore Everleigh High School in Omaha, Nebraska, Terramagne. See the exterior and floor plan. Here are the science room, gym, shop room, library, computer room and desks.

Everleigh High School is named from history. In Local-America, "During the Expo, famous madames Anna Wilson and Ada Everleigh were making a good living from the crowds." In Terramagne, the Everleigh sisters' alternate history was true, and instead of starting a brothel, they started a women's law firm and networked with other businesswomen to form the Ladies' Business Bureau.

Teambuilding activities include the "centipede" game of using teambuilding skis. You can make your own. Here are videos on making and using them. See them in use in the gym.

Collaborative research projects are important in science and community. It has many benefits. High school science classes sometimes do these projects, and so do colleges. Explore some collaborative projects and apps for collaboration.
Tags: community, cyberfunded creativity, education, fantasy, fishbowl, life lessons, poem, poetry, reading, science, weblit, writing
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