Year End Wrap Up – Mrs. E Style

Ummm, Sorry about that I guess I am a month late. Sometimes you really do need to IMG_7700recover from the school year and that is certainly me this year. It is a was a great year professionally. It was amazing year in my classroom. However, there were a lot of sleepless and worrying nights of just being a teacher. I know at this point the saying that teaching is the only profession where you stay up worrying about other people’s children is cliche at this point, but it is so true. Our youth are struggling, exhausted beyond measure from pressure from the world and fighting to be heard.

As well, I am an empath teacher which means I often will take on their feelings and struggles. I learned this year I need to sometimes put boundaries on that because when I don’t my family is the one that suffers because there is nothing left for them. My empathy is what makes me a good teacher. My empathy is also my weakness.

IMG_3222 2But enough about that….I hinted at a different type of calling for the last year. This has been in the works for over a year. I was getting what I have deemed shoulder taps. Taps from the universe that I needed to add a new “tool” into my tool belt. The decision came with much urging from some important people to me most of whom knew my desires before I did. Many whom I told after I decided and said, “Well I saw that coming.” Even though the decision still shocks me to this day.

This tells me again that education is clearly my life’s calling. English is my path, rhetoric is my heart, education is my profession and serving others through that has become my passion. I have decided to add educational leadership to my repertoire. I started an accelerated program at Indiana Wesleyan University. I will graduate a year from now and hopefully pass the administrator’s licensure exam and add it to my teaching license.

I will answer the questions I assume most have because I have been getting them all along.

“What will you do with that?”

“But I thought you loved your school and teaching.” 

“Where are you going to go?”

The easy answer to most of them are again I am following where I believe God is leading me. I do love my school. I adore it in fact and know for a fact I would have never been lead this direction without my school. I don’t know what my professional future holds and yes I have goals. Right now I am a dual credit instructor/high school teacher in one of the best high schools in the state and one of the top (if not the top) early colleges in the state. I am not going anywhere.

All of my professional decisions have been made this way and none of them have been wrong or included any regrets and they have always landed me exactly where I was meant to be. I will never forget telling people I was going to be a high school teacher. They thought I was crazy. I heard a lot of, “Why would you do that?” Now I can say hands down, this was single handedly the best decision I have ever made and I made it on a whim and followed what I felt like my gut was saying to do.

This decision is exactly the same. I don’t know why I am doing it, but I do know exactly IMG_3891why I am. I am being lead that way. End of story. So my transition out of the classroom, if and when it happens, will work much the same. I will be lead there. So for now and my foreseeable future, I will still be possessing my “I am that crazy English teacher” persona that I have garnered and truthfully earned. I am right where I am meant to be.

I also want to note that all of my students in my classroom the past 6 years have given me the courage and confidence to even think or dream this could be a possibility. I know I am the teacher, but they all teach me so much and I love them all so very much even though I am terrible at saying it.

And there are definitely some other people that also deserve some massive recognition for my strength and confidence in this decision. The first is my own principal. It takes great leadership to inspire and lead another person to that path. I am not only grateful for the opportunity to work with him, but even more honored he is my mentor through this next journey.

IMG_9368My work bestie going on 7 years strong. She is literally my rock when it comes to all things professional. Yes, I am married to a teacher, but this girl is in the trenches with me daily in almost every imaginable way possible. We do almost every thing together. Her friendship and ability to cheer me on from the sidelines is unparalleled. Rarely do I let my personal fears and insecurities out in the professional setting, but she is always someone who I can be me with when I need it. So thank you…..Mrs. D.

My guy….I could cry just thinking of his unending love and support. When I mentioned this was a possibility I thought for sure he would think I was crazy. I had my “speech” all prepared for why it was a good idea. I didn’t need it. He immediately said, “When do you start?” That kind of love is rare and I know that. But that is also the kind of love that pushes you to be your best self and yes heIMG_1158 has always had that effect on me.

And my baby girls who I am continually trying to show they can be anything they want to be in the world and that there is no dream too big or no goal they cannot conquer. They were not surprised in the least either. All of my family of five expected this and I think knew before I did.

Every year I look for my lesson of the year. This one was different and was way more personal than in years passed. Usually it some teaching technique or something that furthers me as a professional. This year’s lesson was two fold. It will move me more forward professionally, but personally I learned to draw boundaries as a teacher and a human being. But I also learned I can do so much more than I ever have given myself credit for. The funny thing about that lesson is I keep reteaching myself that lesson over and over and over.

So yea…year end wrap. Lesson for this year always push yourself further than you think you can go. Dream the impossible. It can happen. – MR

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Goodbye, Class of 2018.

Every year this post exists. I bid adieu to our current class…my previous crop of students. I teach primarily juniors. I have a sprinkle of seniors. But in their junior years, I spend a lot of time with them. A lot. This class came to me after losing one of their very loved teachers, spending a lot of time with another English teacher that they love dearly. I was essentially an interloper. It scared me and I felt defeated from the beginning. They scared me (Read my 2016-2017 year end wrap up). But I know one thing. My heart and the importance of being authentically myself in the classroom. That is what this class did for me. They gave me confidence to see beyond my own reach because I feel like they had to do that and I got to witness it.

The second and likely most impactful to me as a professional and personally was feeling my own calling and purpose shift and change. The world has been trying to tell me awhile, but I ignored it or just wasn’t picking up on it. I am not even sure I have entirely figured it out. But I am getting there slowly. It isn’t a story I am ready to tell or even have put all together. But I have found a voice I didn’t know I had. Now I just need to articulate it. My dream is bigger than I could ever imagine and it scares me.

I have been making huge strides to answer that calling. HUGE. It is only just beginning and that class and my juniors this year (look for my year in wrap up for 2017-2018 school year in the coming days) will be forever linked to this life change for me. They all have no clue; but one group showed me it is okay to do things that people think you can’t/shouldn’t do and the other encouraged me to see beyond my own strengths to get closer to my purpose and to my faith and see how they are inextricably intertwined for me.

Back to the class of 2018…They were underdogs not of their own making. They were the third “child”, our third class. The class where rules were getting firmly established and a little less guinea pig. They had some ownership, but had to work a bit harder for it. They had to go through the same growing pains as our first two classes, but it was different.

The emotional part and the part that made me proud was watching how they rose to the occasion despite the attention being paid to the others. They just plugged away, did their business and waited. I also got to be there and have a front seat in their junior year when people started taking notice and their stories were being made. I am not saying they didn’t start before then, but that is the cool thing about teaching juniors and seniors. They begin finding their voice, their own purpose and you get to see it. I won’t say I underestimated them because I don’t think as a teacher I could ever underestimate my students (again more on that in my year end wrap up). But some did. They underestimated themselves.

I think what I loved most about this class is the accomplishments and stories in those accomplishments. Most of the accomplishments have stories behind them that very few will actually hear.

Yesterday as they walked across the stage and I thought of those stories my heart literally felt like it could burst. I want to scream how hard they worked and tell their stories. But they aren’t my stories. I am just a tiny piece in a gigantic puzzle.

All I know is I will hear their names again. My love and honor to my students of the class of 2018. Love wins. It always does.

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Silence is the hardest part of teaching.

“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”
― Jim Henson

And I would add to that quote…how you made them feel. 

The stories that we cannot tell are the hardest part. Some you just cannot tell. Some you don’t tell because it isn’t your story. Some just don’t feel right because they are tiny moments of human connection that to type it all out for the world to consume feels like it would somehow minimize its humanness.

But we do have to keep ourselves in check and acknowledge that we are humans and with that humanness comes brokenness. We aren’t unfeeling robots who don’t recognize that the world exists outside of our classroom. Or at least I am not.

Those moments when I want to clamp down the hardest because they aren’t figuring out MLA or reading as in depth as they should are the very moments I remember that the world spins outside of my classroom for them, just as it does for me.

And life is beautiful, and cruel and real. It gives and it takes away. Those are where the stories are at. The stories that they will tell; the stories just as I tell my own. The ones that shape us and make us who we are. Sometimes they leave us better than when they got to us and sometimes they leave us less than they were.

But they are real, they are human and my best asset as an educator (and honestly as a human) is to acknowledge that. I am blessed to have this job. It is hard because I am so emotional about it. But it is a blessing none the less.

I may just be your problem.

homework

I don’t need research reports to tell me how to feel on this one. I don’t need to take some sort of grad seminar to convince me differently. I have been in the classroom for over 8 years at this point. All of that time I have been teaching college writing. I also have raised three girls, so I see it from a parent’s perspective.

Kids don’t need hours upon hours of homework to prove they are worthy of the high school diploma. I think sometimes we forget they are kids. And yes I say we because I have been that instructor. I have been it regularly.

Yes I may ruffle feathers, but is our goal to take every ounce of their childhood time left over at the end of the day even at 16, 17 and 18? Because if this is your goal then nope. Nope I don’t accept it.

Students are spending 8+ hours with us in our classrooms and then coming home and doing 2+ hours of homework (this is definitely on the lighter side) for us. Do we need to teach them material and work ethic with our assignments? Heck yes! They need to understand the importance of working for what you need and want. They do need to understand it takes hard work to get there. But I think we may have been skewed in methods of getting there.

Burying them in work so that they are forced to become mini-adults and machines pumping out work for us that in the end sit on our desk for assessment. I respect my profession way too much to tell others what they should be doing in their classroom. Basically, I won’t presume to know the best way to teach math or social sciences or any other course than my own. Heck I would even venture to tell my English colleagues what they should and need to do.

But what I will say for the last two years I have changed the way I teach. I teach dual credit college writing, dual credit college speech, dual credit children’s literature, English 9, Mass Media and SAT Prep. I find that smaller assignments in class with me and often partially carried over at home are more beneficial.

For example, in my college writing course we recently had a lesson on analysis of scholarly writing. In class, I taught them how to break down an author’s arguments in a table. You know argument as table top and the supporting evidence as the legs of the table. I taught it like a mathematical formula. We called them artistic proofs and centered around the rhetorical language of academe. This took about 1 and half class periods. No homework and lots of working with one another and lots of working me as a guide and observer.

Then I gave my students about half of the class period to write a one and a half page MLA formatted response paper for me. It wasn’t enough time to finish in class, but was enough time to let work with me for awhile, work with their partner for awhile and we did this all in google docs so I could see it all. They had a little that required them to work at home, but it didn’t bury them.

Can I tell you how many kids felt like that process was helpful. They mostly taught themselves how to break down academic language. I gave them the tools and they did it. Does giving them an hour worth of homework every night achieve the same. Maybe it does.

But in that weeks time they probably had 20-30 minutes of work from me and made progress as college writers that me assigning a 5 page paper and letting them go at it at home alone would not accomplish. I didn’t bury them. It was chunked out in class with me directing, me observing and then on their own.

Just the same when we are reading for my course. Anyone else struggle with students that don’t read? Yea if you don’t, I don’t believe you. There is nothing worse than that observation that inevitably happens when someone hasn’t read. So yea I do a lot of our reading together. If we read together then I spend less time in the battle of teaching to students who don’t know what is going on. I end up frustrated and they end up frustrated with me.

The reality is that I sometimes have to assign reading because I do teach college classes and English classes, but I set up my classes so that required reading is imperative to do because if not you won’t be prepared and stakes are too high to not. But they also know that the more we get done in class the better off their homework load will be. It is a pact we make and so far it works.

I have results teachers. I have positive results. I am doing something right because I have the evidence to prove it. Now I understand and will make the statement that college is a very different thing. It requires work and it requires tons of self discipline, but I will say I am teaching high school kids college courses, so I am consistently striking an odd balance between you are a college student, but also a high school kid. I teach juniors in high school who are basically freshmen in college. This works for all of us.

To be in MR’s classroom….. – MR

I miss Thailand.

How do you miss a place that you have never even been? I am not sure, but I do. Maybe it is empathy or compassion. I am a teacher to a large population of refugees. Refugees that escaped war torn lands with unjust governments, or escaped persecution for their beliefs and ideologies.

The word refugee for me was just a label I would place on people that didn’t look like me artists-respond-ban-5or sound like me. It wasn’t that I was overtly prejudice or even ethnocentric. I just had all this privilege that had just never been checked. It actually probably was never something I put much thought into not out of carelessness, but just out of ignorance.

But I do now. My personal and professional self has been changed on so many levels because of my work with my students. Of course it is, I know. But my world view has grown ten-fold. My students have traveled more and been through some of the most intense emotions known to man and all I have to offer is I have been to Canada.

I recently did a recipe project with my juniors where the goal was to tell me a personal narrative tied to a food that they have an emotional tie too. I expected quite a variance on the stories I would hear. My school is known for diversity. But what I didn’t expect was to literally feel my refugee students longing for their “temporary” homes.

This prompted a late night research fest to see what this refugee life looked like for my students and as you research you wonder how they could miss such a place. But what I instead realized that they missed wasn’t the place, but what the place meant to them. It was the simplicity of their needs, the closeness of their families and the fervor with which their beliefs withstood testing.

As I researched that and graded them I began to identify those same things and same feelings. This longing for what may have seemed more simple or the most basic parts of ourselves. We all know what it is like to long for home or simplicity. A place where we belonged no matter what. A place where the simple needs in life were all that mattered. The type of needs like cooking the food around us not the kind that you can just run to the store for, the need for human interaction so you just go to your next door neighbors or missing the simple toys that you can create from just a piece of paper.

As my students presented their recipes and their lives a common theme began to emerge and I heard over and over, “I miss Thailand.” And finally today I proclaimed, “I, too, miss Thailand” and it this wasn’t some sort of misappropriation. Instead, it was me sitting back and being the student, checking my own privilege and letting my students teach me and teaching me the way they see their worlds and what my role in it is.

I hear and see those in the world against refugees and this idea of someone’s right to our land more than another and I wonder if they sat in my classroom for just a day would they feel the same? I never saw my career path leading me this way. But my faith and my career has called me to this place, this time, my classroom, my students and I cannot walk away from that more ignorant than when I came. I refuse that injustice.

The purpose of this moment was for me to know that their missing Thailand feels an awful lot of like my missing my own home. It is familiar, it is safe, it is survival at its most basic where our main goals in life are to eat, sleep and survive and we all know what that feels like. But do we really?

Taking a moment to realize I have no idea. – MR

(Photo Credits)

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Immawhat a teaching series of posts meant to inspire, reflect on the making of MR as a teacher and a classroom.

Imma a what: Take # 2 

There are two things I know my students like about my classroom. These two things are the things I hear over and over again about my classroom. One is simple. 

One is I always try and make sure my room smells good. No joke. I use those glade plug ins and kids like it because my room smells homey. That is usually the first thing I hear, “Mrs. E your room smells so good” or “I love coming into your room because it smells good.” Who knew smells changed learning, but 6 years at this and yup they sure do. 

The second before I start anything English/Speech related I always check in. I don’t talk about anything school related and if they do try and talk school I ask them to hold off. When we first started our school we called these weather updates. 

I am not sure if my colleagues still do this, but I do. I greet them at the door and then start off by saying, “How are we?” Most of the time they are too busy and don’t acknowledge me. Then guess what…they do. 

In my experience, kids want to know you care about more than their grade in your class. I won’t lie that sometimes it is exhausting juggling all of that. But I cannot even begin to tell you how many times those check-ins have helped me get a student through a tough concept in class. If they know you truly care they will work for you. 

These are no magical tips or any kind teacher whisperer stuff. This is just me being me. My authentic self is very much my best teacher self and my personal self translates quite nicely into my professional self. 

Two of my personal and professional goals: 

  1. To smell good always and to actually be known for it. 
  2. To try and leave people hopefully better than when I found them. 

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Immawhat is a teaching series of posts meant to inspire, reflect on the making of MR as a teacher and a classroom. 

I am nothing special.

I have a large group of teachers that I hang with on the interwebs and I watch their instastories, follow their blogs and youtube channels and I think to myself I should share more about myself as a teacher. I consistently share the emotional side of my teaching which is likely the most poignant for me. But rarely do I share what works and what doesn’t and how I have evolved as a teacher. I hang with these people and I am truly inspired and want to show them what they show me.

And then my thought is I am nothing special and what could I possibly add that hasn’t already been said. I mean I am no different than most of the teachers I have met. We work countless hours not for the big pay, or the glory because usually there is none. I work long and often thankless hours. I go to bed worrying about my kids at night and I spend my days trying to leave them better than I have found them.

Teachers usually teach because they are called to it. Webster’s defines call[ing] as a summons or command. The connotation of that word though is so powerful. Both of those words are imperative meaning that it MUST happen. 

The first day of school this year I asked a question of my students. I said, “What qualities does a good teacher possess?” I got lots of adjectives and definitions with great meaning like “a teacher who listens”, or a “teacher who knows I am more than my grade”, or “Someone who gives second chances” and I started to try and sum it all up into a few short sentences for the whole class to agree on. One of my quiet students who has had me a few times before raised their hand and said, “A good teacher is someone who acts like you.” I blushed at the unexpected attention. I moved on quick out embarrassment, but that comment meant so much to me after I could process it away from 30 staring eyes.

I realized I need to give myself credit. I am one of many good teachers who cares a lot for her students, who works way harder than she is paid for and who is called to teach and in that moment that student acknowledged that hard work, dedication and caring. That doesn’t lessen those in the trenches with me and their shine. We are all doing amazing things and there is enough room for us all.

My philosophy on education has changed over the years, but I find one thing is consistently true and that is when I am true to who I am on the inside and out my students see it. They want someone who is authentic. I am not afraid to make a mistake, in fact, I point out my mistakes. Like the time I mispronounced vacillate and called it (spelling like I pronounced) vasillate. I still giggle about that with my students. We are human. They need see that. They are human and they need us to see that.

But in an effort to acknowledge that we all have something great to add into the whole wide world of teaching I would like to start sharing in my little corner of the web universe about Mommy Rhetoric the teacher. I remember when I started teaching I made the category tag “Imma a what?” because I was shocked how I ended up here and now I cannot imagine myself anywhere else, so it is time.

I answered the summons and I found my place and I found me.

_____________________

Immawhat Volume 1 – MR

Can I finally unpack?

teaching

This school year was unreal on so many levels and I am not sure I entirely realized it until I watched our class of 2017 walk across the stage. Our principal did a run down of all of the accomplishments of the school and as he did a run down I suddenly felt like you do if you are sitting in a church hearing a sermon and like they are talking directly to you. I shook my head, I began to cry and I wiped my eyes as I smiled ear to ear.

I have not talked a lot about what I have been through professionally this year because I was worried it would come across as bragging or hurt my fellow teachers who work just as hard and furiously as I do. Teaching isn’t a single player sport. It requires collaboration, team work and the support and sometimes flat out job carrying of others to get through.

More than anything…nothing about my job is about me. I don’t teach for me. Sure I get a paycheck, but when I walk into that room or I support a student outside of my classroom it is never about me. I had the blessing to find a job that helps bring out my best attributes and fulfills a passion I never knew I held so deeply. As well, I am not even sure I can correctly articulate the wonderful things that happen at my school or in my classroom and there are many times I scratch my head and wonder if this is how every teacher feels.

But to get to the point of what I want to unpack is that a professional high that happened for me this year and it so hard to even put into words and even now months later I cannot even explain it. A local public radio interviewer came to do piece on my student population and I was picked to have them in my classroom and had the pleasure of recommending students for the piece to be interviewed. I was also interviewed. The feature ended up being picked up statewide and then nationally in an NPR piece.

And while I appreciated all that, I wish I could bottle the way I felt hearing and watching my students interact with Claire. The pride and excitement of what my students have had to overcome to change their worlds and just how they do that. I stand in awe on a regular basis.

Well the hub bub died down and then we got a call that our state’s former first lady (Judy O’Bannon) wanted to come and visit with our kids after hearing about the NPR piece. The former first lady who takes up educational issues. She also has a documentary type show where she features foreign lands and tries to make connections, so that the world seems a little less big. She has always traveled abroad for the show.

Then she heard our story and realized there is a story that fulfills her criteria right here in Indiana. She interviewed our local community, our mayor and then ended up again in my makeshift classroom and with my students. Again, I got to beam with pride. But there wasn’t much better than the moment she sat down alone to interview me and asked about the conflict that is brought to my classroom based on the diversity in my school.

Something I hadn’t really thought about since my first year at my school. A question that I tackled and went back to my own mentor to seek guidance and support. Amazingly, I responded with my 5 years of wisdom I didn’t have back then and that is that, “Most of the time it is us adults with the conflict.” I followed up with there is a lot they could teach us. She said that was the perfect way to end and hugged me and thanked me with tears in her eyes for all I do for my students.

This isn’t just about a group of students to me. It isn’t just about a school or even my classroom. I am not getting attention because I am doing something so different then the teachers who teach beside me are doing. I am just giving a face/name/classroom to what is already happening.

This is what teaching is doing. It is working more hours than you are paid for, spending more in your classroom than you probably should, sitting back and realizing students can teach us things sometimes more than we can teach them and more than anything for me it is my passion. I do it because I have found my calling and talent and I can get paid.

If you pay any attention to this post don’t pay it to me. Pay it to a teacher. Maybe a teacher that meant a lot to you or changed your life. Say thank you. Hug them and tell them because it isn’t always easy. It is exhausting quite frankly and many times I have driven home and updated my resume and decided to get out altogether. But then there is that one student….the one who shouts your name as you are leaving graduation from across the room and mouths thank you and places their hand on their heart. Yea, I cried.

So to unpack….yea it was a year…but every one is. – MR

My love and my best wishes: Class of 2017.

Class of 2017

This one has been ruminating for awhile now because saying goodbye is always so hard for me. It is probably the 2nd hardest part about being a teacher for me. You know you are sending them off to bigger and better things, but it hurts. I remember when my # 1 was just learning to crawl and I had an epiphany on the painfulness of raising children. We are literally giving birth to them to constantly watch them move away from us.

And because my own motherhood is woven into my teaching it feels exactly the same. I wrote something to share with my class a few weeks back about how I truly feel as their teacher. I am giddy, afraid, hopeful and apprehensive all at once. This is very much like motherhood. We hope we teach them well to do amazing things in the world. A world that can sometimes beat the hell of out them. But we have to trust them, we have to trust ourselves that what we taught them had an impact, and we have to watch them walk away and try it on their own.

My first group of kids was special because they were first and I love them dearly. This 2nd group of kids served a very unique and personal role that I am not sure many of them even know they did. I had them all a lot the year my guy had his brain surgery. They gave me the ability to get lost in my work. Their emails when I was down in Indy with him were uplifting and thoughtful. The daily hugs, and words of encouragement. Their love and prayers were felt on levels that they likely don’t even understand or know. When they made their way back around to me their junior year our bond became even stronger. They were and continue to bless me every day.

But on top of that they were the 2nd children in a very unique school where a big deal was made of our first group. They always kinda felt like they stood in the shadows and truthfully they did. Even though they changed the face of our school in their own unique and amazing aways. But still the shadows. But one of my best human qualities is my ability to pull people out of the shadows. This isn’t a brag, it is just my personality.

Over the last few days I have been thinking of each of them and feel nothing but immense pride at their hard work and ability and my little tiny role in that of making sure they all shined in their own ways while in my classroom and sometimes out of it. I make it a goal to have at least one connection with each student in my classroom every year.

Of course, you connect with some students more than others but there are so many in this group. In just a few days, I will watch them walk across the stage many already with their associates degree and I know that I will be that proud teacher that is all those mixed bag of emotions and trying to figure out how to say good bye. For some, I will likely never see again and others they will be shipping off.

I just can’t. I don’t want to. But I have to because it is part of the job. It is trusting you have made an impact, no matter how small, in their future so that they know they CAN and WILL be a success in where ever this life takes them.

So to my precious class of 2017 I bid you farewell. I have said it 100x to you that remember if you need reminders of your greatness you know where to find me and yes I will always awkwardly reply to your proclamations of affection because that is me. But remember that doesn’t mean I love ya’ll any less. Life gets really hard sometimes, but if you follow your heart and lead with love it won’t ever steer you wrong. Now go do great things and make us proud!

My love to you always.

Love Always Wins -MR

Rage against the dying of the light…

banksy-follow-your-dreams-cancelled

First off….I love social movements, social justice and culture jamming. So for you my MR audience I am sharing my favorite version of all three of these and a poem that represents the feelings this graffiti makes me feel.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dylan Thomas