AKA “What the WKCE Means to Me”

 

While taking this year’s science test

In the Japanese room, I wonder

If the elements translate well

 

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Leaves of Paper: Poems and Stories About Teaching

Standard Translation

 

AKA “What the WKCE Means to Me”

 

While taking this year’s science test

In the Japanese room, I wonder

If the elements translate well,

Though not on the wall, where I see

Characters representing letters, words,

Ideas. And I wonder where our

Ideas are at in school; who our ideas

Are to come from. If I

Know that gravity gives me wrinkles

And slows my fastball down, do I need

To know any more? If it’s all one

Cycle or the next, and I’m just riding

Along, how would I be helped to see

Where I’m going? Soylent Green, anyone?

But Japan and Europe are ahead

Of us in science testing for first graders,

So it’s a priority, like being able to identify

Subject and predicate in a sentence

without meaning, without context, without

an English teacher to tutor.

Where do we stand, or sit, in the global

Neighborhood if we live in California

And don’t understand plate tectonics?

Dead is one answer

Dumb is another

Disposable might do.

But haven’t we always been?