Thursday, April 10, 2014

Words Matter: the Day of Silence

Welcome to class.
Today is GLSEN Day of Silence April 11th, 2014

Open a new window to or just click here.
Review what I wrote first - start at the bottom - or read the transcript.

Screenshot from transcript

In light of yesterday (Wednesday's) violence
at Franklin Regional High School near Pittsburg,
I want to bring some awareness to the power of
words - and the pain of bullying.

Plus the power of connection and compassion.

And yes, the power of poetry. The power of words.

Words can fail us in the aftermath of tragedy,
yet we may find solace in poetry that gives voice to
our sorrow and loss.

But how can poetry give voice
to those who are

In poetry, we see and hear the invisible.

In poetry, we inspire. We listen. We learn.
We find empathy. We not only see the invisible,
but we see through the eyes of the other.
We may even see ourselves more clearly.

What words inspire you?
What videos inspire you?

With youtube videos of spoken word, def poetry jams, TED Talks, and PSAs,
poetry has evolved.

In class, honoring this Day of Silence, here is your assignment:

Watch any and all of the videos below.
Hopefully, you brought headphones.

Take notes for your poem due Monday.

Post quotes, thoughts, and possible poem titles to

Again, lines that resonate - write them down or share them;
maybe work them into your own poem.

Click here for more details on your HOMEWORK.

Click for more information on the Day of Silence.

While not malicious gossip, nor direct threats,
perhaps, the meanest action may be ignoring someone.

Not just giving a person the silent treatment,
but ignorance to the fact that they exist
and that person's story and identity is
different than your own. Isolation

will drive a person mad in prison, but
what does it do to a person among us
in society. They float unacknowledged in the halls,
on the sidewalk, in our world, in our lives.

A sea of faces blending into the background,
extras in a movie where we are are the stars
and they are minor characters: student
#1, student #2, student #3, etc.

I wonder what would happen if we walked
in other shoes, saw through their eyes.
What do we see? If we listen,
what would we not just hear but truly learn?

“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.” 
― Ralph EllisonInvisible Man

GLSEN wants to know: 

What are you doing to end the silence around 
anti-LGBT bullying and harassment? 

Share what you are doing #DayofSilence

1 comment:

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