Dear Clara- a poem

Dear Clara,

 We know what your talents are

We know you love the arts

We know there are two published novels to your name

We know you taught yourself a foreign language

We know you run a blog

We know you can leave your heart on the stage

We know your dream is to be a full-time author

 

We know you hate math

We know you hate science

We know you won’t ever need to know the Quadratic Formula

We know you don’t need to know about Saturn’s rings

Or the mitochondria, or logarithms, or matrices

We know you’ll have to do taxes and manage your finances

We know math isn’t your gift

We know science will never be your career

 

But your talents aren’t enough

Your art isn’t enough

You have to be good at math,

You have to be good at science

You have to know the Quadratic Formula to get into college

Sure, you’ll have to pay taxes

But you can figure that out on your own

While instead of teaching life skills,

We teach you about the cell

Instead of furthering your talents

We’re going to suppress them

Make you learn algebra instead of how to improve your novel

Make you know the mass of Jupiter instead of how to write for the theater

 

And here’s a test that we make everyone take

Same questions, same judgment

We know no two brains are the same

But we’ll judge them all on one test

One test that doesn’t really tell us who you are

It tells us how well you’ll submit to our oppression

How well you’ll study the things we want you to know

Instead of the things that will make you a better artist, a better person

 

So what we’re demanding

Is that you put away your writing, your blogging, your language learning

Take a break from the stage, although it keeps you sane

Put your life away, put us above your mental health

Stress yourself out studying for the things you hate

Because if you can’t solve equations

Or explain science you don’t even believe in

Clara, dear, you will never be good enough.

 

Love,

The School System

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Ordinarily I would never ask you to share my posts. But if you feel like I do– if you feel as though this poem of mine is a reflection of your own thoughts– please share this.

I want to do something about the oppressive American school system, and writing is my method. I don’t even write poetry, but I thought this was the best way to get these words on paper.

So if you understand exactly what I feel, if you too want to do something to change the school system in America, please don’t hesitate to share this poem to whatever social media you choose.

Thank you.

-Clara