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Imagine a world

Imagine a world
Where no one is different.
No one is different from you.
If your eyes are brown,
My eyes are brown,
And no one else’s are blue.

Imagine a world
Where we eat the same food.
Everyone eats tofu.
Forget a good steak,
A burger or cake,
We all have to eat soy-stew.

Imagine a world
Where we listen to music.
You and I hear the same song.
Forget the hip-hop,
Or raggae or pop,
It’s Beethoven all day long.

Now into this world,
Where all guys like girls
And all girls are gaga for guys,
Present a gay boy,
And a lesbian too.
It’s a shock and a big surprise.

But…

Imagine a world,
Where people can be,
Unique and the best that they can be.
Where the norms and rules,
Are only for fools,
Conforming is dull as can be.

Imagine a world,
Where he can love him,
And the girl can also love her.
It’s not my business.
Do you really care,
Which sex is anyone’s lover?

Life without choices,
Life without freedom,
Is to live a life as a clone.
To pretend I am you,
And he and she too,
I’d rather live all alone.

We are so lucky,
To live in a place,
And live in an era of choice.
Let’s embrace those gifts,
Avoid all those rifts.
And then we all can rejoice.

Topics for Discussion:

What is a stereotype? How are they perpetuated?
Define a “clone”. What would be the effects and end-results of scientific cloning of humans?
What is conformism and why is it such a strong element of influence during adolescence?
What reactions do sexual-orientations other than hetero-sexual provoke? Why does this occur?

Activities:

Students will research cases of gay-bullying and gay-bully-related suicides and share their findings with the class. ( Of recent note: Jamie Hubley and there are far too many more)
If a student you knew was suffering through gay-bashing what could you do as an individual or a group to help out?
How could schools/families/friends help prevent these tragic events?

Why Me?

I don’t get it.

I just don’t get it.

Why me?

I mind my own business.

I stay out of their business.

Why me?

I’m so insignificant.

They are oh so significant.

Why me?

I don’t hurt a flea.

Yet they cause me to flee.

So why

I want them to stop.

But they never will stop.

So why?

I go ask my Dad.

And he really got mad.

He said:

It’s not about you.

And it’s all about them.

Just be.

It’s they who don’t get it.

But you’ve totally got it.

Just be.

Give them some space.

A chance to save face.

Just be.

Until then be strong.

It is they who are wrong.

Just be.

I tried to stop asking “why me”?

And I tried to simply “just be”.

You know?

On some days I’m strong.

Feel someday I’ll belong.

You know?

On days when that just doesn’t work.

I feel such a pitiful jerk.

You know?

They still do not get it.

But they think that they’ve got it.

You know?

Because I’m intact.

Doing better in fact,

Since rising above all that shit.

Topics for Discussion:

  • Why is it so helpful to enlist the aid of an adult? Did this parent help? What else could he have done?
  • How can you decide who has the problem? Me or him/her? How does this help you deal with the situation?
  • What is a “strong sense of self” and how can that help you navigate social interactions?

Activities:

  • Try imagining the scenario, following the poem and plot your anxiety levels on graph paper.Using a red pencil, crayon or marker, scribble your response to the poem on a long, blank sheet of paper. Try to read a trend from your scribble.
  • Describe a bullying situation and then write a list of adjectives to describe the emotions both the bully and the victim might feel. Do any of the adjectives coincide?

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 40,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.

 

In 2010, there was 1 new post, growing the total archive of this blog to 17 posts.

The busiest day of the year was October 20th with 814 views. The most popular post that day was My Walk to School.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were search.conduit.com, stumbleupon.com, search.aol.com, google.com, and ehow.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for bullying poems, poems about bullying, bullying poem, bully poems, and cyber bullying poems.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

My Walk to School March 2008
2 comments

2

Cause and Effect March 2008

3

Telling March 2008
4 comments

4

Can’t you take a joke, kid? March 2008

5

For Teachers March 2008
4 comments

50,187 posts

What initially was a casual thought: “Hey, why don’t I just post these poems to the net in case anyone might find them useful.” has been a real revelation to me. A sad one. If over fifty thousand times someone has searched this site, it is that there is a desperate need to address this issue. I have not posted much on this blog but perhaps i should revisit it…you too!
andrea

Several weeks ago I received a request via my husband’s blog. Students in Shirley’s 6th grade “Skills for Adolescence” class in Texas wanted to use my poems to make a school blog. I was thrilled. Unfortunately, I was unable to reach her with the coordinates she sent. Shirley if you read this, go for it.The same goes for other educators.

The main reason I wrote the poems and the attached teaching aids was to assist teachers and their students in exploring this critical issue. So yes, use them, explore them, improve upon them, add to them, make use of them as you see fit…just cite my name as the author. If it helps only one child deal with this issue then it was worth the effort.

I’d love to see the end result of this venture. Could you stay in touch via this blog, Shirley?

I really need a good cyber -bullying poem on this blog and I feel out of my depth. There’s a challenge for your students. If I approve yours I’ll post it under your name and you can track my readers response to it.

I am amazed at the response I have received to this blog. My husband told me that it was poor web-etiquette to quote your own stats. I don’t see this as bragging, but rather an indication of the pertinence of the issue I have chosen to discuss. Just today I received 267 hits on this blog. Over a 16 month period I have received 15,220 hits in all. Does that not say something? I am feeling inspired to write some new poems. It is what I can do and obviously a lot of people are responding…

Wear Pink

Today is Nova Scotia’s new official “Stand Up Against Bullying Day”. I congratulate their Department of Education for designating the second Thursday of every school year for this event. What a wonderful way to recognize and remind everyone of the innovative and inspiring actions of two Central Kings Rural High School students last year. On an annual basis, reminding all students, parents and staff that bystanders have a critical and pivotal role to play can truly make a difference. If we could convince bystanders to refrain from contributing to bullying incidents and transform them into advocates for the victimized, we could initiate a shift in perspective.

Like so many other contentious issues, bullying is undergoing a shift in attitudes and tolerance. Whereas many of our parents considered bullying as an unavoidable right of passage to be endured in childhood, this generation of parents is balking at that conclusion. We would not dream of driving a car without our off-spring safely tethered into their boosters or seat-belts. We would not consider ourselves to be responsible parents if we allowed our kids to ride their bikes without helmets. Heaven forbid that we smoke a cigarette (or worse!) within their breathing space. Our parents were blissfully oblivious of these potential dangers and didn’t intervene or modify their behaviour. As we become more informed, our responsibilities multiply.

Addressing bullying requires just such attitudinal shift. It will likely take at least one generation to implement meaningful change. What an opportunity to make a difference!

I have decided to try to make this site more interactive in future. I never wanted to be the only voice. I would really welcome comments and contributions.

I have recently attempted to write a cyber-bullying poem but failed miserably. After passing it by my two teen-aged sons, I was convinced that I was out of my depth. It is a huge issue and one which I feel needs to be addressed.

So, I send out the challenge: Write us a cyber-bullying-poem. Use the lingo. Portray what it feels and sounds like….

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