Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Beatles and Dreaming (BAL Blog Post #7)

What do you know about old music?  Before the time when you were born.  Tell me what you know about music from the 60's, what you know about jazz, what you know about early 90's hip-hop.  This weekend, I am going all the way back to music that blew life into me when I was just a kid - that still means something to me today.  I go through phases with music.  These days, I have kids, so it's less Mobb Deep and more Bob Marley, less Outkast and more Beatles.  I challenge you to listen to something that is not on the radio, find out who Kanye sampled and go listen to the original Motown song.  

March is ending and with it comes the promise of spring, though the irony of snow on the first supposed day of blooming isn't lost on me.   It's been a heavy year, and a long winter.  I find myself lost between the covers sometimes, dreaming of things that I can't change.  Or can I?  I am always incredibly self-critical, so I was sending doubts into the universe, and received this response today:



The first thing I wanted to tell Joshua was that his place in society as a man of color is at the top - and anyone who tells him differently isn't worth his time.  I cried, because it is the small moments like this that make life worth it.  I will never be paid what I'm worth, but I chose this profession because I was hoping to have an impact on just one person.  Affirmation that I have done this is beautiful.  But, I am far from done growing, and I have much work to do to become a better educator.  Joshua himself is an amazing thinker and I didn't make him that way, he was born with ideas.  I do not see my role as an educator to give you thoughts - it's to extract your thinking from your brain.  I'm curious, at this point in the year, what's one lasting impression that you will take from this class? 

We're beginning a new book this week (really, next week because of the overnight trip and disrupted schedule this week) and it's one I've taught before and love so much.  It is a play by Lorraine Hansberry titled "A Raisin in the Sun", and the first thing that we will talk about is a poem (you'll see it below).  What do you think about the poem?  How does it connect to what we've already learned and studied?  What do you think this play might be about, which is titled after a line in this poem? It's about to be April, aka National Poetry Month... so even though we're reading a play, we will be poeming all throughout this month.  Get ready for good reads and words galore - and please don't forget to post any poems you write on the IPG Site! http://ipg.icsmich.org

Harlem                                                               

BY LANGSTON HUGHES                                       

What happens to a dream deferred?                             

      Does it dry up                                                                    
      like a raisin in the sun?                                                      
      Or fester like a sore—                                                     
      And then run?                                                                    
      Does it stink like rotten meat?                                    
      Or crust and sugar over—                                                          
      like a syrupy sweet?                                                        

      Maybe it just sags                                                              
      like a heavy load.                                                           


      Or does it explode?                                                          

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Devin says.... Before i was born there was musicians like B.J Thomas and the Beatles, Ozzie Osborn many of the star who contributed to there Era. In the 90's the Hip Hop Era emerged and Famous rappers like Biggie and 2 pac had made this type of music very sucessful.

adama said...

This peom is connected to things we have talked about during class because of racism. The reason i say this is because in harlem this is mostly black and latino people only a few white people live threre.

Anonymous said...

Alisha says ... My dad is an old school hip happier and ive been born into the music for most of my life even today i still listen to it and it still soothes me as it did when i was like 6. But the hip hop music today disgusts me bc it has no meaning to this world it isn't relevant or it isn't relevant to me at least and ive read a raisin in the sun its a good book.

Unknown said...

what i think of the poem is that theirs peoples dreams that get denied. they get told over and over that they cant reach their dreams and it has to connect with the american dream

Unknown said...

i think that this poem is very non-directive its not very informative of what it really means.

Chante said...

This poem is mostly connected to many things that we talked about racism and Harlem is about how their are many different people that live or even visit harlem.

Elaine brooks said...

I'm curious, at this point in the year, what's one lasting impression that you will take from this class?

One lasting impression would be the different things we interpret, like different feels of people and experiences we get from this class

Anonymous said...

Devin Natera says... I feel like this Poem is basically stating that the American dream is what people think of when they come to America but when we see Harlem its the opposite. Harlem was a Haven for African Americans so no that its getting Gentrify its a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Farielly says ...

Poetry is a way of expressing yourself in a deeper way. I didn't understand the poem at first until we broke down the words and defined it. It connects because we've talked about how dreams can be denied and can be forgotten if you don't do anything to make it happen. I think this play might be about a dream that was forgotten and someone regrets just letting time pass and not doing anything to make the dream reality.

Anonymous said...

Janee said ..
One lasting impression that I will leave this class with is how race is depicted. Throughout my life I have been what has come to be known as a "mut", a mixed breed. I have seen that Hispanics and Blacks go through the same horrors of our stereotypical society. Yet, this class has taught me there is a difference between us, it isn't about race, it is about color. People see their color and immediately view them differently. Hispanics have it "good" in a sense, "blessed" with their fair skin to be able to thrive in modern day society. I will also leave this class with a more open mind to things I may or may not know. Many times I simply brush off the opinions of others because I feel mine is correct. I will leave this class with the skill to listen to others even if I feel I am right. Along with being able to know that it is not always a matter of who is wrong or right, but simply having the chance to express your opinion.
I feel "A Dream Deferred" has an impact to its readers in igniting the idea of "where do my dreams go?" along with questioning why didn't they achieve a certain dream or why did they change their mind in he first place. This connects to what we have learned and studied because in a recent article, it stated that in the early 1900's they used to "redline" neighborhood that were predominantly black. This means that they would be denied any loans or a way to obtain housing. This connects because the title of the poem is named "Harlem" which was a predominately black neighborhood that was most likely "redlined" or in other words, denying the African Americans the American Dream that various people rave about. This is just another example of how the Americans didn't want the African Americans here, because they were never promised the American Dream although they were stripped of their own land.
The play "A raisin in the sun", will most likely be about a African American family trying to live out the American dream that they continue to be denied of.

William B said...

I can relate to the Harlem poem because I know several people that had their dreams put aside to either raise a family or had to help their family in a desperate financial situation and they tell me never to let go of my dreams.

Linda. O said...

My last impression that i will take from this class is the discussions about races in the media that makes us feel like in the history class and it really makes me feel good talking about it even though i don't share in class, i write my thoughts in the do now.

Luz Al. said said...

The last impression that I will take from this class is that everything is happening for a reason. Even tough the reason may not be there there is connection to fit them that will connect to pass things.

Unknown said...

I agree with Joshua Martin because your teaching skills are phenomenal. You allow all students to express themselves in ways many other teachers don't. In addition, the poem confused me at first but i comprehend it better now. The poem basically describing dreams when people give up on them using brilliant metaphors.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your responses so far, guys. This morning, as many of you are on trips, I'm thinking about the opportunities that you have at BAL to see the world outside of your block, and I am grateful for this community. I'm working on a spring playlist to challenge you to listen to something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. I'm also getting really excited for what's ahead in this class, we still have so many conversations and so much thinking to get done this year.

-Ms. Lauren

Unknown said...

daniel

i think this peom is trying to explain how fast a person could get old

Jesus Jimenez said...

Jesus Jimenez said ..........

What i think about the poem ? I think that the poem is really small but that if you take time and read it little by little and try to find an answer to everything it has sooooooooooooooooo much to think about and learn about and it has a huge story. Its crazy how such a small poem can have a lot of meaning towards it. It quite surprised me.

Derrick RICHARD said...

What I think about this poem is that people that reads it might think oh it base on the section of Harlem in Manhattan but when you read it over and over again and using a little bit of annotating and reading it carefully it actually describes a dream and what does that dream do. It connects to what we are learning and studying is dream and does it stay with you all the way or does it fade away. It is about having a dream and making choices. The choices are whether if you want to continue your dream job or think of another dream job.

alice said...

This poem can be interpreted into different ways, however the best way to interpret this poem is too connect it to the Jim crow law, where most people were separated however this poem talks about slavery in Harlem.