Friday, April 27, 2007

New Thing #33: ...and I don't know it

Today is New York State Department of Education’s Poem in Your Pocket Day. A friend of a friend needed to get 25 people to sign up to read poems in schools, so I signed up the second I heard about it and got two coworkers to do the same. Armed with a Lewis Carroll poem I memorized as a song when I was 13, I recited a poem during an assembly at a public school in Brooklyn. Deep Brooklyn. The school was a fun, loud, friendly public school, with a fun, loud, friendly principal and fun, loud, friendly kids. In accordance with the theme of the day, every one of the 200 or so kids at the assembly had a poem in their pocket that had been written by another student. Several kids were randomly chosen to read their own poetry, perform raps or recite original limericks and haikus. Aside from the principal, who recited a Langston Hughes piece, I was the only person reading something someone else wrote. I had fun getting into the “will you won’t you will you won’t you” rhythms of The Mock Turtle Song, and the kids were very appreciative and receptive. My favorite part of everything was the applause alternative that the administrators use to cut down on noise and to save time: jazz hands! After every act, the kids held their palms at ear height and shook them. I think I’m going to start doing that at improv shows!

I don’t have a photo of me at the mic, as taking a picture in a school and putting it online would have been inappropriate, so enjoy this snap of the gift bag they gave me!

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