Theyre always shooting by my house too im scared of

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“They’re always shooting by my house too. I’m scared of guns,” says Katron. I tell Vincent that his story would make a great poem —“Write it down.”
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He writes: I Am From My city is very loud with the sound of pistols. I smell the stink of the garbage. At school, I see Ms. Finch and my paper. At home, I love to eat crab. It is so good, I’d eat it 24/7. It is easy to pigeonhole these kids, to see them only as survivors of their vio- lent neighborhood. But, as Vincent reminds us, there are many other things going on. Yes, there are guns and stinky garbage, but there is also the struc- ture and stability of Mrs. Finch’s classroom. There are also delicious crab feasts. There are loving families and wildly fun times riding bikes and playing. Jamy A writes:
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Five Things I Love The hug of my little sister— she is very special and beautiful. The strawberry and vanilla ice cream with a cherry on top that my mom and I share. The pink diamond sheets on my bed that sparkle so cute. The candle burning on the dresser flickering and casting shadows. The basketball bouncing up and down baug, baug, back. I am new to Miami. I moved here nine months ago and I am still trying to figure out this city. Like every other place I have lived and visited, I am finding that it is full of complexity. These young poets are my teachers and I am learning that, unlike a test question, there is no one answer.
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Miami is many different things: It is the sound of a basketball and chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven and gunfire. It is these shining, expectant faces asking “Is this okay? Read this.” Maybe, in addition to permission, my students also just want to share their poem. “Ms. Nakanishi, read mine!” They want to share their thoughts and perspective and world with me. How lucky I am to be help in such confidence. Mrs. Finch’s 3rd-grade classroom is packed with people— parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, and teachers. One by one my students stand up and read their poems: “I remember when I first started walking. I was small and everything looked big . . .” “In the middle of the night I hear my sister in the kitchen getting a night snack . . . ” “Ms. Nakanishi’s glasses are popping just like Sienna’s hair . . . ”
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“I remember when I was in a body cast. My auntie called me Mr. Broke-Down . . .” “I hear people laughing at people who are poor because of their shoes . . .” “Gazing up at the sky at night Stars are tickling . . .” “My brother snoring with little tears dropping down like rain . . . ” “Your hugs fill me up with love like a balloon and spits out all the hate” A Roaring applause!
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Breaking Silence By: Carlos Gonzalez Story number 4 Dear Students, I want to break the silence between us and talk to you directly. This will be a rambling piece, but one that I offer as a means to help you navigate through what is probably going to be a couple of years of more institutional education. I do this after 21 years or so of teaching in one place, of loving what I do, and hating with every fiber of my body what happens to many, if not most students, as they
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weave in and through the many obstacles called college.
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  • Fall '19
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed, That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is, Bismuth-209, Holger Ernst, Laurel Nakanishi

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