I am Today’s Generation. I am Today’s Classroom

Poem by Ruslana Westerlund

Dedicated to the students who come through our doors, not the ones we want, but the ones that arrive every day, originally published around 2008

I am multi-racial

I am global

I am hyper-connected

Yet, I’m lonely

I am often hungry

Or malnourished

I am longing, never reaching

I am pursuing, never yielding

I am digital, yet I’m human

I am schooled, yet, not educated

I am followed and yet abandoned

I am Hispanic, I am Navajo, I am Dene, I am Latino, I am Indian, I am Asian, I am Japanese American,

I am!!!!!!!!  I am Korean, I am Russian, I am Vietnamese, I am Somali,

I am Muslim, and yet I am AMERICAN!

I am educated, but my mind is not liberated

I am free, yet, I’m bound

Bound by inequality

Bound by injustices

By injustices in the 21st century

In a world that’s speeding toward singularity

Yet duality in words and action

Singularity of the digital mind, yet plurality of thinking that cannot agree on what’s best for me!

Testing me on an empty stomach…

Analyzing without supper the night before or breakfast the morning of

Standardizing me by test scores…

Standardizing my free will, my creativity, my thinking…

You will never standardize me!

Your multiple choices do not give me enough choices

I need choices for breakfast

I need choices to create, to contribute

To the world that is neworked and yet out of reach

Out of reach for me:

The ethnic minority

The homeless

The hungry

The “culturally and linguistically diverse”

Even me, who inhabited this land before 1942

In the land that sings “This land is your land”, it ain’t my land

I am today’s classroom

So sorry I am so difficult to educate and impossible to differentiate

You know that I would do great in my school was the same as Sidwell Friends

The school of high-powered politicians’ children

I would do just fine…

Dear teachers,

Dear politicians,

Can you hear me?

I am a different generation, so educate ME

Not the generation before me!





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