High School Student Work

In the years during the Pandemic when school was on a computer screen I asked my students (grades 10-12) to write what they learned during the Pandemic. This is the poem that grew from those questions. Enjoy!

WHAT I LEARNED by CHS students

there are over 730 streets in the United States
named after Martin Luther King, Jr.,
I learned how to crochet, I learned
a new song on my ukulele, I learned more
about the movement and protests behind George Floyd.
I learned some Italian vocabulary and phrases, I learned that

crickets come out, I learned there are only three
weeks left of school, I learned how to fix
a wobbly chair, I learned how to
make pop tarts from scratch, I learned camp
is cancelled, I learned how to crochet, I learned patience
while doing a project, I learned about the type of

world we live in, I learned how powerful and
harmful saying nothing is, I learned about safety
regarding protests,
I learned about the power
every individual has to speak out.
I learned just how cruel some people can be, I learned

what we choose to
emphasize in the climate surrounding our country
determines the direction our community takes and our
capacity to create change, I learned
how to make enchiladas, I learned to take advantage of creative
down spells, to use that as motivation instead of as

an excuse to quit. I learned about the mental health community,
I learned how heartbreaking this world can be, I learned why
everyone disliked the movie The Last Airbender
I learned about my privilege, I learned that
bees don’t have lungs, I learned that Social Media can
be scary and amazing,

I learned about an extinct bird
that had a 7 meter wingspan, I learned more about
laws regarding filming other people,
I learned that cicadas are
expected to emerge in some parts of the US this year, I learned
the capital of Liberia is named after

James Monroe Monrovia
I learned that milk helps when you’ve been tear-gassed. I learned
how to stay safe during protests
I learned that the police use their own officers to
instigate violence at protests in order to retaliate with more
violence and discredit the protesters, I learned how to make

Chicken Francaise, I learned to make sushi
I learned a song on the piano, I learned legal
terms, I learned
about recent events regarding police
brutality and also about the deaths of

innocent Black people,
I learned
a new piece on the viola,
I learned to
I learned to reheat steak.