Trivia and Poetry

In our family, we love Trivia games. We have three that are geographically themed: Česko,with all questions about the Czech Republic, obviously, Svět (which means world, and you have to get one card from each continent before heading to the center and victory,and USA (self-explanatory, really). So, Sam had some friends over, Friday I think it was, maybe Saturday (not relevant to the story) and we were playing Česko, and Sam said to his friends (sotto voce and in Czech) “Maybe we should play USA and give Dad a chance to show off how smart he is.”
Everybody laughed and it was kind of funny because the little booger knows me well.
So, today I’d decided to use my poetry books as a lesson – it’s a gymnasium, the kids are 16-17 – and one of them had kind of asked for it. Well, maybe that’s just me wanting to do it, because all she asked was “Do you have any hobbies,” but that’s all it really takes for me to show everybody my poetry books.
The thing is, though, I’ve tried this lesson before and it’s not always a great lesson. Oh, some of the kids are always a bit impressed, which I guess is a worthwhile goal, but sometimes they’re impressed, I suspect, for the wrong reasons. They’re impressed, for instance, that I’ve written books, and they’ve all got very professional looking covers and all. They’re not always completely knocked out by the contents. Half of them don’t even pay attention. I kind of feel, at the end of the day, that I’m taking advantage of my teaching position to hawk my books, and that’s even more true if it’s a successful lesson.
Well, the kids today,most of them just chose the shortest poems, and some of the cheekier ones zeroed in on anything with dirty words, but that’s O.K. Most of my poems don’t have anything really bad. So, I was thinking it was a failed day until one of the students came up to me after class,said he’d sent a message to an absent student that we were reading my poetry books and she asked where she could buy them.


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