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In this posting I decided to print a poem about education that spoke to me called "Backwards Day." It's written by teacher/poet Daniel Ferri.


Sometimes at school we have a special day

We call it backwards day

Everyone wears their clothes backwards

Or wears colors that clash

I have a modest proposal

Forget your silly backwards hats and tee shirts

Forget this stripes and checks together puppypoop

Let's get serious

Let's really shake school up

In math class, for homework

Describe the associative, distributive, and

commutative properties

In dance

Choregraph it, dance it, show your work

Points off for clumsiness

In Social Studies, for homework

Prepare two Civil War marching songs, one North one South

Sing in four part harmony, show your emotion

Points off for flat notes

In English, for homework

Carve a sculpture that expresses Hester Prynne's solitary courage

The cowardice of her lover

The beauty and strangeness of her child

In Science, for homework,

Bring in a broken toaster, doorknob, or wind-up toy

Fix it

You get extra credit for using the leftover parts to make something new

Points off for reading the directions

On the S.A.T.

Every one of the questions

Will be in haiku

You get two scores

One in whistling, and one in Legos

No calculators

Let's take a stroll down the hall

Let's see who is in the learning disabilities classroom now

Will you look at all those guys with pocket protectors

Sweating, slouching, and acting out

Hey, no care that you can divide fractions backwards in

your head buddy

You will stay right here and practice interpretive dance steps till

you get it right

Will you look at all those perfect spellers with bad attitutdes

Look at those grammar wizards with rhythm deficit disorder

What good is spelling gonna do you

If you can't carry a tune

Toss a lariat

Or juggle?

You are going to stay right here and do the things that you can't

Over and over, and again, and again

Until you get them right,

Or until you give up

Quit school

And get a job

As a spell checker

At the A&P

~Daniel Ferri

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