“MOTHERFUCKER!!!”

In order to support my lucrative business of poetry, I work at an after-school program at the middle school nearby (where the even bigger bucks are!).  When my rambunctious group of 6th graders come into our classroom after school, they’re exhausted but energetic enough to crack on each other and joke the whoooole time I’m there.  Yesterday, as the kids lined up to sign-in to the program, one of the boys screamed “MOTHERFUCKER!” right behind me.  The other boys laughed. As a writer, cursing doesn’t bother me.  But why do I feel the need to become the bitchy witchy teacher when it comes to students cursing?  The boys got in trouble, but I felt incredibly guilty for stifling language, however inappropriate.  I think of the book “The Geranium on the Windowsill Just Died But Teacher You Went Right On,” which is a picture book about how young people are dehumanized by the school system, their teachers.  I don’t want to become this, especially on the challenging days, but how do you remain positive when the system around you is so fucked up?

“Good boys and girls always listen.

To learn we must listen.  We must listen al the time.

Good boys and girls never talk, but they always listen.

We should listen and listen and listen!

To you, Teacher, and your words, your words, your words.

Your words, your words, your words, your words, your words!”

-Albert Cullum, who dedicated the book to “every grownup who, as a child, died in the arms of compulsory education.”

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1 Comment

Filed under 30 days/30 poems

One response to ““MOTHERFUCKER!!!”

  1. Jessucka!

    I believe there is a time and place for everything. Language is no exception. If you don’t want to stifle language then teach them a plethora of other words to express their frustration. Empower them through vocabulary. There’s also a difference between expressing yourself and be obnoxious. The kid who randomly yells motherfucker, obnoxious. The kid who builds an art project or a poem around the words mother fucker, expressing himself.

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