To My Teacher
by Shaun, then 14, to his English teacher
I didn't ask for it. This mind that seems to so repulse you.
To help me when I've needed it in any other way.
Except when in your class room - and then you seem to feel that
You must destroy me utterly, to make me just the same. I threaten you? I think so. But I really do not mean to.
I'm just a boy and you're a man with my mind in your grasp.
You could hold it and caress it, and help it grow and prosper
Or crush it into cubeness so it fits into the pile. I know you are a poet, so I'm trying this to tell you,
Sir, I don't want special treatment, I just want my chance to shine.
I'm hating all the hiding that I'm finding I must go through
To make myself acceptable in this place I've found myself
You call yourself a teacher, well teach me, Sir, I beg you.
It seems I'm not the person you want to spend your time on
You're not just sitting back, Sir, and letting me learn
I want to learn, so much, Sir, that I really truly taste it
I'm arrogant, perhaps, to think my crude verse might just
I don't claim to be special, I don't want any privilege
I know you do not hate me, I hope I'm wrong about you
Yes, I did hand this up to my English teacher, and in fact, it did work -
although not exactly in the way I'd planned. You know the
He accepted what I'd said, and decided that he would make a special effort to give me what I said I needed. But if he was going to make a special effort - then so was I. He taught me to within an inch of my life - he really pushed me very hard to excel, and wouldn't accept anything less than my best.
I'm not complaining - in fact, I'm extremely grateful to him and I've felt long term benefits from his teaching - it was brilliant. But at 14 - well, I just wanted a *little* bit more of a challenge - he decided to take me to the limits that I could reach.
©Copyright 2004 by Shaun H.