Friday, May 07, 2010

Dear Education: I'm Your Child

Kyle's "Last Lecture":

Update 5-14-10: Here's the text of Kyle's poem. It's not exactly how he delivered it, but it's pretty close.

Dear Education

Dear education: I am your child, an offspring of wild thoughts entangled with knots and photos of poorer countries, people sleeping on cots. I am the series of words ordered to make enough sense to partly understand the past tense; I am a present poet of no specific dazzling hero heroics. These pages in my corporate friendly text book do no good to me, I am like Socrates, I seek knowledge through my own means enlightened conversation, dreams, books, meditation. I am the raised hand waiting patiently for the teacher to hear my answer, so answer me this teacher, why must I wait for you to hear me?

I will blurt out senseless answers to answerless equations, learn the ways of other nations through cultural vibrations which sink deep into the solitude of my sleep, and speak very loudly for the hungry, the weak. This week is next week’s memory of repetitive cycles and styles, hair cuts and new shoes, no new thought on the newest news, yo, I learn out of pure bliss of learning, in me is a yearning to continue turning in and out of realizations.

Dear math, your certainty scares me. I am uncertain that algebra will aid me, for I refuse you, it is so clearly absent in me. I will make up my own numbers, and number them none through no more, no more comes right after when can I, can you is before will you, will I keep going? Going is nowhere if everyday you are where you were, where you were is where I could be. Could you please tell me why I must learn this uncertain certainty? Certainly you can understand that I am no average man and thus trust that I will soak in passing thought while these formulas for fractions gather dust. I need not geometry, for nature doesn’t produce your so called square, your man made perfections and imperfections. Sections of rock are not measured; they are felt and seen, in real life not square screens. I have seen this in my dreams… and I remember in the morning, there is no math in waking, math is taking me from wisdom and forcing me to understand mere riddles.

Dear grades; Why do you try to cut me like a cookie and shape me to a mold? As if to then be sold to another institution of being told what to think and how to arrange this ink on my notebook surface, scribbling flight without the gift of wings. I do admit that you do teach me the potency of further potential somehow essential for a good job, to spend my time gathering money to exchange for my right to own anything. I should be taught but not graded, there is no reason, we are all as inconstant as the seasons.

How does one grade the slow hover of leaves braking away from treetops tossed into fate filled gravitational landing spots? I have graded politicians and cops, judges, CEO’s, American Idols. This system has failed and cannot continue in its current direction; it must be re-thought and re-taught so that maybe somehow people in this world will actually seek understanding between one another.
I will recite my right to recite my voice by choice of creating sound for others to listen to and ignore till they stoop so low in ignorance that their brains land with a Thud on the floor.., I have a fist full of forgiveness, to forgive what I forget. And pave a path for truth to flow which is diminishing, yet, it is all too much. Much is all too well, and as long as there is hope for heaven there is a need for hell. My mellow moon is melancholy.

If I could express the spirit, I would rise above lies and find the truth for all to hear it and know the reasons why…why we still have not found our place, our place as intellectual apes.
Dear students of “acting like your paying attention”; learn if you choose to, do as you want to and let me entangle thoughts with knots while reason looses value, and slowly rots. You lend yourselves to faulty fictions and contradictions only audible when nobody wants to listen. So listen now, now you listen to me, for I too have a need to say what’s right when right is wrong and life is blinding me.

Dear education; I am your child.


  1. Just had the great pleasure of listening to your passion and admiring your talent for poetry.

    Go well young galactic traveller, I see a bright future for one with such vision and wisdom.

    And now I shall tell others...

    Best wishes from the Bavarian forest. Paul -

  2. Can I find the transcript to this somewhere? I am in awe. Where is this student from?

  3. @MrsC - Kyle is a senior at my school. I'll see if I can get the text from him and add it to this post.

  4. Wow--a little Shelleyesc (Percy Bysshe that is). Love it. What a talent this young man has. Learning 2.0, Schooling 2.0, everything 2.0. Inspired.

  5. What an amazing gifted young man. You can tell him he made Ms. Cameron cry, too, and I'm not even a teacher at his school. :)

  6. Thanks for sharing. Just observed a slam in our middle school. This is inspirational!! Looking forward to sharing this with them.

  7. Wow! Do you record all your students oral presentations?

  8. holy cow...
    i would love a script as well...
    thank you for sharing Karl.

  9. Stunned. This could go as viral as Did You Know? Please post the transcript so we can savor it, though replay of the video does it better. I found myself thinking of Shakespeare soliloquies, then wondering what other thoughts would stretch forth as his hands punched that front pouch pocket forward in time to his words. So many dimensions. This is a marvelous legacy indeed.

  10. This is so great, I had to comment. I'd also appreciate a transcript of some sort.

  11. Wonderful.

    Karl, it'll be interesting to see how you teach algebra and geometry to this new generation of thinkers. How passionate and free-thinking this young man is. He wants to invent his own numbers. I love it!

  12. I just updated the post with the text of Kyle's poem.

  13. Kyle is absolutely awesome! Thank you for sharing!
    All the best from Croatia

  14. kyle: 4 letters equaling HOPE...such young vibrant, honest and true wisdom.
    such a spirit.
    i, retired from teaching, 65 years of age, resume new dreams of the future filled with kyles, filled with hope and sensibility.

  15. Wow. Wow. I can barely write this through these tears of joy and awe. I am so impressed with Kyle's passion and wisdom and ideas, not to mention his powerful delivery. I am off to share this post.