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High School Poetry First Place -- Emily Wheeler

The Impractical Mission 

by Emily Wheeler  of PCHS

 

Have you heard of the tale, from the school down the block?

About how one man sent some folks into shock?

He did what most thought could not be achieved

By helping some wild students learn to succeed.

It was said that this class just couldn’t be taught

They refused all the teachers the principal had brought

Until a stranger mysteriously blew into town,

Claiming he would finally calm this class down.

The principal directed him to the infamous class

And warned him of fears that the kids wouldn’t pass.

He reassured the principal that when he was done,

That all would be passing, each and every last one.

He entered the class and told them his name

And said, “Personally, I think it is such a shame

That many of you think that learning is lame.

But after I am through, you won’t think the same.

The first subject I will teach today is math,

A skill you’ll need for your future career path.”

The class moaned and groaned, and refused to obey.

They suggested this stranger should just go away.

The man was not discouraged by the class’s reactions.

He turned to the white board to begin teaching of fractions.

He drew a circle and divided it into eighths.

Then he pointed to the front at a boy named Nate.

He asked, “Young man, I ask this of you,

Could you tell me what’s left if I took away two?”

Nate gave the stranger a puzzled look,

Then began to flip frantically through this math book.

“Math isn’t that hard,” said the mysterious man

As he reached under his desk and pulled out a pan.

The class gasped as they saw what was inside.

It was a delicious-looking chocolate silk pie.

The man sliced the pie equally in eighths

And gave the first piece respectively to Nate.

He told the class of the number given,

And also told of the remaining seven.

“There are seven-eighths of the pie remaining left.

Tell me how much is there if I give one to Jeff.”

“Six-eighths!” cried the class with excitement and glee,

As each of them thought, “Will he give a piece to me?”

The man taught and distributed with the rest of the pie

And the class was beginning to like the new guy.

The final subject he taught for the day was English,

A subject so difficult it caused the class stress.

The class got rowdy and refused to work.

The man said, “That’s what you thought of math, at first.

I’ll prove to you all that English is fun.

I’m sure you’ll all like it before the day is done.”

They opened their textbooks to page five seventy-three

To a story that would teach them of dramatic irony.

“We’re going to act out this story, as if it were a play,

Or just like a movie you’d see this Friday.”

The man drew on the board a jungle backdrop

While he put Bethany in charge of handing out props.

Then he assigned everyone in the class a part

And soon the kids were very eager to start.

The class acted the story the way the man intended,

And they each felt like children as they pretended.

They were going through the jungle, in search of a crown

To return to their queen before it was sundown.

It was now three o’clock and the bell began to ring.

The kids sadly sighed as they gathered their things.

As the months carried on, the students grew smarter.

And towards good grades they each tried harder.

All the folks in the town nearly had cardiac arrests

When each of the students passed their competency tests.

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