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Name:

Poetic Responses to Rodriguez

I tightened my grip on pencil and books. I evaded nostalgia. Tried hard to forget. But one does not forget by trying to forget. One only remembers. I remembered too well that education had changed my familys life (34).

Assignment: 1) Compose a poem that is a creative response to your understanding of The Achievement of Desire. Your poem should be thematically linked to Rodriguezs essay and answer, in some way, the following questions: What is the transition like between your two worlds of school and home? What does each look, feel, taste, smell, and sound like? What are you like in each place? What emotions do you associate with school? With home? How has education changed you? How has education affected your family? What have you gained because of your education? What have you lost?

2) Use at least TWO of Rodriguezs writing techniques:


Use specific, lively details - SHOW, dont tell. Incorporate a vivid memory. Repeat a refrain throughout your piece: e.g. Your parents must be very proud (31). Use dialogue. Write in another language. Use parentheses to show contrast: e..g. Why didnt we talk more? (My father never asked) (38). Vary the lengths of your sentences: e.g. I kept so much, so often, to myself. Sad. Enthusiastic. Troubled by the excitement of coming upon new ideas (35).

3) Include powerful, vivid diction. Each word should be essential to your poem. (Your poem does not need to be long.) 4) Title your poem in a way that fits the content. Poems are DUE on Monday, March 26. As always, you may share your poem in Authors Chair for extra credit.

Prewriting Activities
The boxes below are for you to do some brainstorming. Use powerful diction, description, and concrete images, not just generalizations. Show, dont tell. My home culture School culture

Of all that youve written and brainstormed, choose the images, scenes, or words you find most compelling. Using these, begin to draft your poem.

Some examples: Sonrisas (by Pat Mora) I live in a doorway between two rooms. I hear quiet clicks, cups of black coffee, click, click like facts budgets, tenure, curriculum, from careful women in crisp beige suits, quick beige smiles that seldom sneak into their eyes. I peek in the other room seoras in faded dresses stir sweet milk coffee, laughter whirls with steam from fresh tamales sh, sh, mucho ruido,* they scold one another, press their lips, trap smiles in their dark, Mexican eyes. *lots of noise

What I Do (by Roxanne Beth Johnson) Eat cereal. Read the back of the box over and over. Put on my red velvet jumper with white heart shaped buttons. Walk to the bus, pick up discarded cigarette butts and pretend to smoke. Get on the bus. Girls yell, Wire head, ugly black skin. Take a window seat, under the radio speaker. Look for cats hunting in the fields. Go to class. Stay in at recess. Steal chewing gum, plastic green monkeys and cookies from desks. Eat in bathroom stalls. Pure white light pours in. Try to get a bloody nose by punching myself in the same bathroom after lunch. The teacher passes around pictures of herself pregnant. You were fat! I yell. Everyone laughs. I lap it like licking honey from a spoon. I was pregnant, whats your excuse? Everyone laughs. I swallow stones. Grow tired in the afternoons, droop like a sunflower in the lengthening light. Get on the bus. Girls yell, Brillo-head! Zebra! Sit in an aisle seat. Your fathers a nigger! I say, No, hes a fireman. Laughter all around. Pinch myself shut like squeezing soap from a sponge.

Walk home. Sometimes find an unsmoked cigarette in the gravel along the curblong, white, new. Put it to my lips, pull it away and hold it aloft, movie-star-like, all the way home.

Student example: I am a rice-fed child. My mom picks me up from school everyday And we speak Mandarin and English interweaving skip effortlessly-most of the time. School lunch-I bring my dinosaur chicken nuggets, I eat pizza with a fork and knife, remembering 2nd grade: What is that furry stuff? I love to read so much, my parents have banned fiction books on the weekdays after I got caught reading book behind book in class Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens old books, classic literature Love those references only I get because I read all those books No ESL for me no need GATE and AP 3rd ranked in our class I see the FOB girls I look at them always laughing and hanging out speaking effortless Taiwanese Mandarin I wish I were that good.

Poetic Response Rubric


Exceeds Expectations Theme & Title Poem has profound theme highlighted by powerful title. Obvious that author has read and deeply understood Rodriguez. Meets Expectations Poem has clear theme highlighted by fitting title. Obvious that author has read and understood Rodriguez. Approaching Expectations Poem attempts a theme that is not totally clear. Title does not quite fit poem. Not clear if author read and completely understood Rodriguez.
Uses 1 and attempts another: Specific, lively details SHOW not tell. Incorporates vivid memory. Repeats refrain. Includes dialogue. Uses another language. Uses parentheses to show contrast. Varied sentence length.

Doesnt Yet Meet Expectations No theme. No title. Not clear if author read Rodriguez.

Writing Technique s

Uses 3 or more of the following: Specific, lively details - SHOW not tell. Incorporates vivid memory. Repeats refrain. Includes dialogue. Uses another language. Uses parentheses to show contrast. Varied sentence length.

Uses 2 of the following: Specific, lively details - SHOW not tell. Incorporates vivid memory. Repeats refrain. Includes dialogue. Uses another language. Uses parentheses to show contrast. Varied sentence length.

Uses 1: Specific, lively details - SHOW not tell. Incorporates vivid memory. Repeats refrain. Includes dialogue. Uses another language. Uses parentheses to show contrast. Varied sentence length.

Diction

Excellent word choice. Every word counts. Submitted ahead of deadline. Typed. No spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors.

Every word counts. Submitted by deadline. Typed. 1-3 spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors.

Some unnecessary and overly general words. Submitted within ____ days of deadline. Typed. 4-6 mechanical errors.

Words not carefully chosen. Submitted ____ Handwritten. Errors interfere with meaning.

Timeliness & Effort