From my experience, poetry in general can be a little intimidating to non-English majors/self-described non-writers. It ranges from having archaic and overly developed vocabulary that requires a dictionary to understand every line to deeply metaphoric description and symbolism that “makes no sense” without doing a mini-history lesson.
So what do you do? You address one of its most popular topics of the ages – LOVE! It has toppled empires, caused wars, heightened family feuds, severed relationships and marriages, enraged gods, empowered lonely starlets and their fans to want more from life, and changed the social class of fair maidens everywhere.
- Why would people go through so much destruction, pain, and frustration in their pursuit of LOVE?
- What is the reward? What do people get in return?
- Is there an age requirement for being in love? Are adults the ONLY people who can REALLY fall in love? Why?
- What other emotions do you experience when you are in love?
We are going to explore that today with today’s group assignment.
Take a look below at the collage I created on this post. Notice the pictures, listen to the music lyrics playing and read the quotations. Then, in a group of three, you will brainstorm on the definition of love in your journal/separate sheet of paper. EVERYONE needs to have his/her own completed assignment (10 ideas at least) to get full credit for classwork today.
You have 20 minutes to complete this assignment. Let’s treat this like a Writing Challenge to all my blog followers.
Feel free to respond in your comments. :)
So I realized something about this amazing blog and equally extraordinary audience – if you are new to my blog, you probably don’t a great deal about me. And I further realized that my life has been a testimony to chapters of extraordinarily interesting and fascinating life experiences (yes, I just got a little wordy but it’s for a point). Here is an ironic list numbering 30 items that offer some more insight into who I am as a person, more than just an educator.
#30:I love Christmas music during the holidays!
#29:I love Eggnog! No one in my fam likes it but I get it every year! Then I know it’s Xmas!
#28:I have a special reverence for The Nutcracker – I was a toy soldier and rat (not in the same production) in my dance school’s production when I was a kid. Yes, I was a ballet dancer and I still miss it!
#27: When I got into DC, a strange feeling comes over. I feel this sense of pride and awe being in the region where major decisions in our country are made. And I am THAT CLOSE to meeting the Obamas! Hey, it could happen!
#26: I am so proud of my younger brother! He is my rock (even if he doesn’t know it and gets on my nerves sometimes)!
#25: I hate the smell of chitterlings! When I was younger, my parents would love to cook it on the stove and the entire house had its disgusting smell. To this day, I will never eat a bite of it!
#24: I learned how to type so fast from the Mavis Beacon computer program. When I graduated from middle school, my dad put me on this schedule to work on the program every day, almost all summer. To this day, I rarely have to look down at the keys (really just for the numbers because I don’t use them as much as letters).
#23: I used to be really jealous of my brother when we were little. When he was a toddler and my mom was filming him with the video camera, when she wasn’t looking, I would knock him down softly. LOL! But eventually, I got over it.
#22: In middle school, I used to like this boy but he wouldn’t be honest if he liked me or some other girl. He called me up at home and I got so tired of his crap that I played the chorus in Janet Jackson’s song “If” and hung up the phone. Look it up, kiddies. Boy, did I have some guts as a kid!
#21: My cousin let me ride with him on his motorcycle when I was a teenager. We went REALLY fast! It was so much fun but my mom was so afraid for me. I couldn’t stop laughing!
#20: My mother has an obsession for all things Ralph Lauren, especially when she was pregnant with me. She named me after her favorite designer and perfume.
#19: I am the oldest sibling in my immediate family. My younger brother was my roommate.
#18: Initially, I attended college in hopes of being a doctor. I took an internship in HS with an orthopedic surgeon and fell in love with the practice. But once I started taking the required math and science courses (and started failing those classes even with all help in the world), I quickly switched to English.
#17: I worked in the Human Resources Department in the University Library when I was a sophomore at UF. I learned a great deal about the inner workings of payroll (like library staff gets really agitated when their checks aren’t correct).
#16: No, I have never been married (and I have no kids) but I would like to be someday.
#15: For a school trip in HS, I went to Europe. The class and I went to Italy (Venice and Verona), Germany and Switzerland. Talk about a great Spring Break!
#14: I am a chronic bibliophile. I’ve read Think Like A Man, Act Like A Lady by Steve Harvey, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, My Story by Marilyn Monroe, and so much more. Currently, I am reading the memoir The Legs Are The First To Go by the fabulous Diahann Carroll and I plan on getting the Wendy Williams book collection (last year’s Ask Wendy, Hold Me In Contempt). I also Grimm’s Fairy Tales (you got to know the classics, right?), a lot of Oscar Wilde, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, and W.E.B. DuBois on my E-reader application on my laptop!
#13: I love Spoken Word Poetry. I have two locations in Miami that I used to when work wasn’t too hectic. I have yet to find a new place in the DMV area. Any suggestions?
#12: If I had to choose a TV character that was the most like me, I would say either Brenda Lee Johnson from TNT’s The Closer or Kate Reed from USA’s Fairly Legal. Their mix of strength and vulnerability is something I can DEFINITELY identify with.
#11: I met Hill Harper at Yale where he held a luncheon for young people for his book Letters to a Young Brother. He is incredibly nice and well-spoken. My HS students were trying to hook me up with him. How embarrassing (but he did call me “exquisite”)! Not bad for a HS teacher!
#10: I am a closet romantic. I hate to say it but it’s true. I love listening to my fave love songs (mostly from MJJ) to go to sleep to.
#9: I buy at least two new fashion/celebrity gossip magazines every other Friday. I am also a loyal follower of The Young, Black, and Fabulous celebrity blog since 2003 and Wendy Williams since 2005. A lady has to stay current on ALL kinds of news!
#8: I secretly want to be a DJ. I actually tried it out at a friend’s party and I was terrible (but I loved every minute of it!). I have this secret talent of creating the most amazing mixed tapes/playlists for every mood. My iPad and smartphone are full of them. I have been experimenting with the iPad app DJay and already made some mixes with my iTunes music. And I even got to try it out in real life at Scratch DJ Academy in Miami. Thanks, Jamie and Amaris!
#7: My parents raised my brother and me to appreciate the rich history of African-American music and film. We listened to all the Motown greats (The Temptations, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Jackson 5/The Jacksons), Sam Cooke, James Brown, 70’s and 80’s Soul/R&B singers (Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Emotions, The Pointer Sisters, Phyllis Hyman, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Freddie Jackson, The Commodores, Lionel Ritchie, Donny Hathaway), and 90’s R&B (Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Janet Jackson, Anita Baker, Vanessa Williams, Tevin Campbell, Boyz II Men, Usher, TLC, En Vogue). I tend to gravitate to those greats and compare everyone else on the music scene to them – sorry, new artists!
#6: I was not popular in HS. I was/still am really tall (almost as tall as the teacher), a tomboy (I played volleyball and preferred jeans and Chapstick to dresses and lipstick to wear to class), was a novice writer (I wrote a vampire novel for fun and it became a Freshman sensation) and liked to listening to SKA and rock music (long live, No Doubt, Prince, and Lenny Kravitz!).
#5: After not having an “exit strategy” for graduating college, my parents moved me to CT in hopes that I would go to grad school at Yale. Yale didn’t work out (I worked full-time in a bookstore and in retail for a year instead) but Columbia eventually did. Not bad for a runner-up.
#4: I lived in NYC for two years. While at Columbia, I stayed in Harlem with my great uncle. It was wonderful and I miss it terribly.
#3: I saw the musical The Color Purple two times: once on my own dime in NYC and once when my parents came to NYC. As far as the rest of my family goes, I have become an adopted New Yorker.
#2: As a result of #4, I am a huge fan of Sex and the City. Yes, I have seen the entire set of the series and yes, I own the movie (and I have seen it multiple times). Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed with its sequel – Carrie, you married the love of your life! Work stuff out TOGETHER! You don’t need to go OUTSIDE your marriage to feel complete in your marriage! I’m just sayin’.
#1: I have fallen love in with New Orleans three years ago at a conference and hopefully, I will be able to spend my summer there for the Essence Festival that can beef up my resume.