I don’t know how teachers do it. Last week I spoke in six different classes at my alma mater Harrison High School about Emerge Global and my time in Sri Lanka. And it was exhausting. The kids were great, don’t get me wrong, but it was a physically draining process and by the end of the day I had déjà vu every time I began my talk.
One of the highlights was reconnecting with old teachers, coaches, mentors, and in the case of Coach Janssen (pictured below) all of the above.
The first class I spoke in was Mrs. Nimmer’s Creative Writing class (which I also spoke in last December when I was back in the USA and wrote about here). As they did last time, the students were encouraged to pick a piece of jewelry and write a poem about it. I’ve reproduced a couple of them at the bottom of this blog post.
The best part about speaking at Harrison was the enthusiasm that it generated. I had students coming up to me afterward asking how they could help and where they could purchase the jewelry. The student President of the Sunshine Society emailed me about a possible joint Emerge Global-Sunshine activity or event, and one of the classes that I spoke in (Fashion Design) wants to donate 20 of the bags they’ve sewn to the girls, filling them with toiletries, stickers, hair accessories, and other things that young girls like. In general being able to share Emerge’s story is one of my favorite parts of the job, both for the excitement it generates in me, and the outpouring of support that it produces.
—– Make Me And with all she’s been through, now I know The demons, darkness, and evil to show She wraps me around, to numb her pain hands so tight, I feel her strain The ribbons pink, a color so weak, from when she lost her voice, forgot to speak So she spins me tighter, squeezes to fit breaking, crying, rising from hit She’s so friendly, such a simple girl The browns and silvers all mix with a whirl And with her story, it makes her strong But in the place, that’s where she belongs I’ve made a necklace, such a simple toy I’ve set her free, from that forceful boy Remember her story, it’s what you should do Because right now here I am, wrapped around you By: Kristen White —– Beads the blue shows my tears, the sadness brought on by by what you did to me. I’ve been sent away like I was in the wrong but no, it was you. the green shows my jealousy, because I want to go home. I’m jealous of all the girls who are at home because you didn’t ruin their lives, so they still have family. the gold shows my distrust, I used to be so trusting but you took that away as you took a piece of my life, you took some of my soul and a piece of my heart. the black shows my rebellious side because you can’t keep me down. I refuse to let you ruin me and I will rise from the ashes of my life and make something of myself. the brown shows my stability, you left me wobbly and unsure but now I know how to stand and I’ll stand tall and live live my life so I can be free from you. By: Becca Miller