Most people can’t imagine.
What the gun shots would sound like ringing down the hallway
The sound of the glass in the classroom door shattering.
All of the blood.
Most people can’t imagine.
Seeing the school name pop up and holding in your scream
Seeing the headline, “17 confirmed dead”.
The possibility of that being your baby.
Most people can’t imagine.
The feeling of your child sending that “I’m okay, still on lockdown.” text.
The feeling of finally seeing your child walk out and run to you.
The embrace you hold them in that makes you never want to let go again.
But what you really can’t imagine is the crushing realization
that you don't see your child coming out,
that you didn't get a text saying they were okay,
that your child is one of those 17.
The feeling of...
The light truly being gone from your life.
Words from the Author
I began writing this poem the February 14th, the day of the parkland school shooting. It took me a couple days to finish and I made edits until the very end. I wanted it to convey unthinkable emotions which is firstly, why it is called "Most People Can't Imagine" and second, is incredibly difficult to do. I tried to capture the emotion well but that was even hard for me to do because it wasn't me who went through it. I watch videos from inside the school, all of the blood, glass, and horror. I saw the parents standing outside, crying, hugging and hoping. If you are wondering why this ended up being in the parents perspective, I think because the weight of the thought of losing your everything when there is nothing you can do conveys the emotion I was trying to find the best. As for the revisions, as I said, I was making changes until the very end and I am still not sure this is how I want it to stay. Originally there was only three stanzas but I ended up breaking them into two and adding to each, in attempt to convey the differently feelings of first hearing about it versus seeing them after waiting what felt like a lifetime. Maybe I still haven't captured the emotions I was hoping to, I would imagine it isn't an easy feeling to put into words, but I tried my best.
The total amount of pages I read this marking period was 709. My pages per week average was 59. This is not as little as I felt it was first marking period but still not my best at the same time. I was just very focused on all of the projects we were doing with our three books that I didn't read much else. I read the The Black Aperture by Matt Rasmussen, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides, I am unsure if we read a full second poetry book.The one I kind of got into, my favorite, was probably The Virgin Suicides if I had to chose just because it was very different from the other two books I was reading for this project. I feel like I always answer this question "school" but again, I did the most reading in school. I think the only time I carve out reading time is if I really the book and I really haven't felt that recently. I read a little bit of The Virgin Suicides outside of school but thats it. As I said in the last reading analysis, I think we were very focused on writing this tri but I did read more than the last marking period. As for growth though, as a reader I don't think I have grown enough that I can say that. I can usually read quite a long time at once if I really like the book, but as I said, I haven't really had that so I don't think my reading stamina has improved at all this marking period. I hope to read a lot more both in and out of school than I read this marking period. Also I would like to find a book I really like that makes me want to read more. I did read my goal amount of books for the Tri, and maybe 10 plus for the year? I learned this marking period how much we can tie our reading into presentations, essays, and much more. How in depth thinking can give you a lot to write about with a book. These books all had a similar heavy topic so they weren't necessarily my favorite reads but they did get me thinking a lot.
Capturing Coping by Haevyn Seidel
My main topic was mental illness, and the YA book I chose was All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. The question I was attempting to investigate further was how does each person cope with their mental illness differently? Throughout the book I also found contrasts to my own question in finding similarities in coping methods.
The main characters of the book Violet and Finch both struggle heavily with mental illness. Violet struggles with heavy anxiety and moderate depression because of her sister dying in a car accident in which she was next to her in the car. Her anxiety hinders her from getting into a car at all for a long time following that accident. Finch struggles with severe depression with constant suicidal thoughts and possibly bipolar disorder, although it is never clearly stated where this comes from. I think that Niven also wanted us to look at how two people with mental illness can be in relationship and the ways in which that can both help and hurt. The book clearly illustrates how Violet and Finch could relate to each other in order to not feel alone and even benefit each other in a couple other ways. Violet finally gets into a car, but only with Finch. Finch realizes that he doesnt think about suicide when he’s with Violet and that he may actually truly feel happiness with her. At first, Violet uses ignoring everything she did with her sister to cope. Looking back on the book, Finch doesn't really have a way to cope, which is why I think it ended up eating him alive until he killed himself. If anything Finch hides his true feelings from others to cope (which still is not much of a coping method at all), the difference we start to see is that when they are together, they use each other to cope.
I did not love this book due to the fact that it just seems as though the author did everything she could to make this a “typical relatable teen book” and that sort of annoys me. Finch is the perfect “he’s just a guy who truly doesn't care what people think” character that every middle school teen would love. I think that the content of the book, (past his character) is actually quite interesting. The way it’s structured, their point of views, how the characters perfectly complement each other in many ways, and the over all points I believe Niven was trying to convey, I actually really liked.
The reason I chose this topic/big question is because in 7th and 8th grade I had moderate depression that i was struggling with. I just had a terrible time at school, the teachers were mean to every student and didn't care, I had the most toxic of “friends”, my “friends” treated me like garbage, I was bullied in volleyball for not being pretty, skinny, or white, enough and in turn all of that made me feel terrible about myself. Thank god, I have fortunately come out of that place and haven't felt that way since middle school. I finally learned to drop friends that don’t treat me well, and only to be around people who make me happy. I quit volleyball after deciding it wasnt worth all of the tears, and I finally let my family in on the fact that I was struggling and realized how lucky I am to have a Mom, Dad, and older Brother that love me and care about me so much. Having my family and (actual) friends there really got me out of that place. I still have a bit of anxiety but I have learned to control and handle it pretty well, which I believe is something to be a little proud of.
After getting through this and looking back on it, I began to think about kids like Finch who didn't have friends or family to help him and eventually felt as though there was no other way away from the pain other than to end it for good. It breaks my heart thinking about all of the kids who weren't able to keep going, and who didn't have the support system they needed. I know I have several friends still struggling heavily with depression and I try to make sure they know everyday that I love them and would do anything for them if they needed me. I think that my friends were also a huge reason for me choosing this topic so I wanted to mention them also. Most of my friends use humor as a coping method which has become pretty standard in today's society, I find that quite interesting, which is the final reason I wanted to choose this topic. Today, humor is what captures coping in general but overall this book helps show how each person uses (or does not use)coping individually.
Haevyn Seidel is currently a senior at Mount Pleasant High School located in Michigan. She plans on attending Grand Valley State University next fall to study and pursue a career in engineering.
The total amount of pages I read this marking period was 677. My pages per week average was 112. This is less than usual because as a class and personally we were so focused on projects and papers that we skipped a lot of SSR and I didn't have much time to read. I read the The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, #NotYourPrincess, by Lisa Charleyboy, and This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki. I didn't really "love" anything I read this marking period, my favorite was probably This One Summer if I had to chose. Probably still school even though we didn't read a whole lot which is probably not a good thing. Last Tri, I would've said absolutely, but this Tri I think was more focused on me growing as a writer than a reader so I guess not. I can usually read quite a long time at once if I enjoy the book, but I don't think my reading stamina has improved at all this marking period. I hope to read double the amount of books that I read this marking period. Goal number of books to read for the Tri would be 6 or more for the year, maybe 10 plus? I have learned that without SSR time or me making time on my own I don't get the chance to get myself super enveloped in a book and it makes me almost disinterested.
Some of the more significant growth territories that I experienced were the first viewing of King Lear vs. the second, the 1:1 critical theory conversation that my group was able to have with Dr. Kris McDermott, and viewing other presentations before presenting our own.
In all honesty, at first I was skeptical of the overall point of re-watching King Lear after break but after doing it there was a lot to takeaway. I understood while watching the first time, the role of each character and generally what was going on in the play but watching a second time gave me the chance to look deeper into my theory. It gave me more time to not just understand who the character was and what they were doing but rather why they were the way they were and why they were doing it. I was also able to use my groups choice of deconstruction theory to help me answer those questions. This helped me realize the benefit to re-watching something, how the second time around you can gather entirely different information that you may not have noticed the first time.
My group was also able to have a 1:1 critical theory conversation with Dr. Kris McDermott where she explained that deconstruction theory was very much an umbrella of other theories and how we can connect our theory to the play by analyzing the text and characters. My group chose to delve deeper into the duality part of deconstruction theory and that was thanks to her explanation of how duality can apply to Shakespeare. She really helped us be able to focus on one part of deconstruction that we could put our full attention on rather than just be confused about how oever arching deconstruction is.
Lastly, the benefit of watching other people present before we did our presentation. This is another one that I didn't believe would make that much of a difference until we did it. I was surprised at how many mental notes I was making of what looks and sounds good versus what does not look or sound good. I certainly found a significant benefit in being able to watch others mistakes and successes to help determine what we did or didn't do in our presentation.
(Click photo to view linked presentation)
you deserve the world
you deserve to smile
you deserve to laugh
you deserve to be happy
He is not it.
He is not the one.
He is a liar.
He is manipulative.
He is less than.
You are worth more than he tells you.
You are beautiful.
You are kind.
You are smart.
You are funny.
You are an angel on this earth.
Don’t let him weigh you down as you attempt to soar.
Maybe I’ll never fly but darling, you;
Take me to the sky
Words from the Author
I chose this piece because it had a lot of meaning when I wrote it. I actually wrote this poem about a friend. I think i tried to tell myself it was general, because it does apply to several people that i know, the thing is...I know i had a specific person in mind when i wrote this. I'd say she is one of my best friends, i wrote this poem late at night actually, not in class, because it was in my head and I needed to put it somewhere I guess. This piece stood out to me because it was one that i actually tried on and put thought into rather than a creative writing where i just write down thoughts or rants. As for revisions, there were a couple lines that I went back and forth on, trying to figure out what sounded best but the hardest one(and one I am still not sure of) is the last stanza. I went back and forth between leaving it and taking it out completely. It has a deeper meaning based on the fact that the person I wrote this about would get the reference embedded within those three lines. However, when I read this poem out loud I omitted the last stanza completely because I felt it doesn't flow well with the rest of the poem but I still couldn't delete it completely.
When I was a child my mom read to me constantly, so much that I fell in love with books at a young age. I was always ahead/advanced in reading, probably because of how often I read on her free time. I was always the kid that stayed up super late doing nothing except reading another book I couldn't put down. I always liked reading and enjoyed challenging my young self with more difficult books which helped me not just in school, it also aided in expanding my vocabulary. In comparison to then I don't read as often as I used to at all, which I am not particularly proud of. Now I am very particular with the books I reads and easily get bored of the book if it isn't the genre I prefer. I am not currently reading a book, as I struggled to find one that interests me lately. This summer I read the three books required(The Thin Red Line, 1933 Was a Bad Year, and How to Read Lit. like a Professor)although to be honest I did not truly like any of them. Last year I estimate that I read probably about 8-10 books, which could improve obviously. My favorite authors are Lauren Kate, and Sara Gruen because they are the authors of my favorite books. In my house there has always been an abundance of books because as previously stated I loved to read and be read to my whole life.
I am a reader who is extremely visual, I visualizes everything I reads effortlessly, I am also a reader who usually either really loves a book or really hates it, not typically an "it was alright" type person when it comes to books.I have grown as a reader the past couple years by taking honors classes, reading more advanced stories, and taking on more work.
I do consider myself a writer, I learned how to write from reading, listening, and self improvement. The way that each person learns to write is probably pretty individual, although the belief is that everyone improves with practice. Some reasons that people might write are for enjoyment, for entertainment, or possibly to entertain others. It's not necessarily about what people know, you can be a good writer without knowing everything. I like to write mostly fantasy(just like I like to read) and the occasional rant is nice to write to let things out. My ideas come from all around her, what I see, what I hear, what I watch, everything. Constructive criticism is helpful when it is done the right way. I, in all honesty never write at home unless it is for homework, it is hard to find time for such things now. I feel okay about what I write but to be honest, it could improve quite a lot.