Tuesday, January 27, 2015

For Women Who Are Difficult to Love

I'm completely captivated by this piece from poet Warsan Shire, "For Women Who Are Difficult to Love". Full text under the photo and video (written and performed by Shire).

For Women Who Are Difficult to Love
You are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Turkey Photo Album

Finally (finally!) got all my photos from last summer organized, edited, and uploaded. And it only took me six months, ha ha. This latest album is for my trip into Turkey for the second time, in the summer of 2014 (I also went in 2013). Turkey is just amazing, and I had a blast, as usual! Included here are photos from Izmir, Sirince, Ephesus, Cappadocia, a hot air balloon cruise, and Antalya.

Link to the public Flickr album, here:

Fire her up! Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey. July, 2014.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Video Poems

Just found this great site, Moving Poems: The best poetry videos on the web. Check 'em out--there are pages and pages of work by a variety of poets. Here's one below, by Rachel Eliza Griffiths, from the 2011 Mule & Pear (I actually got this from You Tube, as I can't figure out how to post individual vids from Moving Poems):

Awesome, huh? I've got to get back in there and watch more, once my internet connection speeds up (major issues, of late!). Cheers, Lauren

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hamlet in Shanghai

I keep forgetting to mention this year's class field trip to Shanghai to see Hamlet. Same as the past two years, when we did King Lear, and Macbeth, students studied the play for the month before the performance. Characters were drawn, scenes were acted out, film clips were watched, essays were written, and there was much in-depth discussion. The students were so excited to see their first live play, and to travel to Shanghai, and they were not disappointed! TNT Theatre Britain put on a great show, as usual, though they did have to cut some things, as the entire play, acted out from soup to nuts, is over four hours long. Gone was the Fortinbras subplot (understandable for a cut, but still, I was bummed--I think it adds an extra interesting layer to the story). Also, the presentation of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern was fabulously hilarious, and Ophelia's mad scene was stunning. We all enjoyed it so much. Here's a photo of us on the staircase at the Lyceum Theater that night:

Definitely a fun time, every year, and I'm so glad I can get the kids excited about Shakespeare--indeed, to even READ an entire play! This spring, TNT Theatre Britain is putting on The Merchant of Venice, which I've been teaching every spring semester for the past four years. I'd love to take the kids to that, too, but eh, maybe I'll just go and enjoy that one myself. Yeah, that sounds good. 

Donation Day

Yesterday, after organizing and boxing up all of the donations to the Orphanage Clothing Drive, the students and myself delivered everything to the Jiangyin Children's Welfare Home. We had a lot of donations (including about 20 brand new winter coats from an anonymous donor!), but were somehow able to stuff it all into ten boxes, and get it loaded and dropped off downtown.

Imagine our surprise when the local news station showed up to interview us for the nightly news! . Luckily, one of my students was able to act as translator. I haven't seen the broadcast--I don't think I even receive that channel on my TV--but will post it if ever found. 

Anyway, it was a good day. The coordinator of the orphanage was happy (as I'm sure the kids will be), the students were happy, and I'm happy that we could all work together to make even a small difference. Many thanks to all the donors, to Celia Cheung and Xu Hailong for help in coordinating everything, and to my students for all their work! Here are some photos:

At the Jiangyin Children's Welfare Home with all the donations.

With my student, Kyara, being interviewed for the nightly news.

Organizing some of the donations.

All boxed up and ready to go!

Our chariot/delivery bus, lol.

In front of the school before we left to deliver the donations.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Orphanage Volunteer Program Article

The article on my junior class Orphanage Volunteer Program is now up on the school's website, with student writings about the experience. Also included is information about our December 2014 Orphanage Clothing Drive. We've gotten a LOT of donations, so far, and expect to deliver all the items at the beginning of the new year. I'm so proud of the students, not only for their compassion, but their efforts to make a difference! Here's the link to the article:

Orphanage Volunteer Program at Nanjing Senior High School: