The Natatorium

An emporium of oddities from around the world, complete with somewhat informative plaques that almost never match the item they are meant to be describing.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

PoemCRAZY!!!!!

This title is only funny if you have seen the book "poemcrazy". For this I apologize.

I have been going to DLA (Drury Leadership Academy) since Monday. It is my 6th summer in the "gifted education" program there. If you don't know me or haven't heard of it, I'll give you the run down. Basically, it's a program that allows geeks to identify with each other and revel in the oddities and often snobberies of being "gifted", aka weird, while masquerading as an impressive college-resume-worthy summer academic program that "challenges students" and "fosters the growth of the young gifted mind".

In short, it keeps "gifted" (weird) kids for committing suicide. Literally. Most gifted kids suffer from depression, manic depression, neuroses, cutting/eating disorders, low self-esteem, or all of the above. I can say with confidence that this program has saved countless lives, perhaps even my own, simply by giving the weird kids a place to congregate and accept one another. It's awesome. Yesterday at lunch we all made fun of standardized tests, both how ridiculously impossible the ACT science section was, and how ridiculously insulting the Missouri MAP test is.

But I digress.

The point is, DLA is supposed to be loads of fun. The classes are meant to be sort of open forums of information; the instructors throw crap out at us, we absorb it, mess around with it, distort it, and throw crap back at them, in our weird kid way. The instructors usually revel in this.

But not my poetry class teacher.

She is evil.

Instead of having conversations with us and throwing out information for us to digest and regergitate as a purple elephant, she teaches a very strict 7th grade Technical Poetry course. The first day we were shocked. No talking? No sitting on the floor? No taking the 'assignment' and going our own direction with it? No 30 minute breaks? WHAT???? Now we're just pissed. Really pissed. Not only is she WAY TOO STRUCTURED for DLA, but she's not a real teacher at all, she just thinks she's a genius because she's published two books of poetry FOR CHILDREN, i.e. crap that I could turn out in ten minutes. It's all so cliché: cats, apples, flowers, breezes, birds, moons, etc etc etc BARF. She makes us write exactly what she tells us to, and expects it to be exactly like her stuff. And she's mean.

We try to have discussions in class (we being the students) but if anyone expresses an opinion contrary to hers, she just shuts it down. There's no give and take, no compromise, no openness to ideas, just SHUT UP AND LISTEN, I'M RIGHT. It's like public school, but it's not supposed to be. The retaliation has already began. We tried to solve it by talking to some authorities (other teachers, RA's) about it and asking them to clarify to her what DLA is supposed to be like, but that hasn't made an impact. Now some of the guys are starting to mess with her. One guy changed her keyboard settings to Belgian. That's what happens when you piss off gifted kids.

Will be updating as situation develops further. It could be war.

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