June 11, 2014

Write Nice. ~ Salena Parker


Students are concerned about comments written by teachers on graded papers.

I took the emotions, thought processes and ideologies from students in the segment “Shit+, ‘AWK’, ‘frag’, Huh?” and brought them to life on paper.

To clarify, the next to the last paragraph has a rhyming scheme. I wrote that specific paragraph because of the music that accompanied the video. The song was “Let The Drummer Kick” by Citizen Cope. The words melded well with the comments the students were making, and I thought it would be criminal if I didn’t include the music somehow.


Write Nice

Words speak volumes,

Ideas turn pages,

The products could mean something, but

The numbers will change us.

Ink covers it all,

The dreaded scale,

Determines our fate:

Pass or fail.


Asking questions,

Getting no answers,

Fragmented solutions,

And aggravated mentors.

We’re crying out for help!

We need direction,

Stop dodging waves, and

Swim through our ocean.


Swells of doubt,

Consume us daily,

Give us your perspective,

It might help us, maybe.

Does it really matter?

The color of our skin?

In truth, you underestimate the power,

In the pigment of a pen.


Green and blue;

Are preferred hues.

Red and black;

Bring on anxiety attacks.

White, dark, or yellow,

We’re all friendly fellows.

Don’t discriminate our words,

Because of cultures you don’t know.


Let’s look at numbers,

To show you where you stand,

Take a walk by the clock to pass the time,

Or learn to write with a different hand.

Diversity is key

On the road to success.

Two semester’s worth of experience?

I’d call that a “work in progress”.

Most of the teachers were female,

Don’t leave men out, too.

Erase the gender gap,

You have revisions to do.


We don’t want to waste your time,

Word-by-word, we do what we’re told.

Engineered thoughts, robots talk,

Why won’t you tell us what we really need to know?


There’s retaliation in our education.

Concentration towards our summation

Of a paper full of documentation,

And peppered with imagination.

Our explanation for our determination,

To make you see past our confused station,

Is a simple solution from the “Student Nation”:


Teach us, tell us, what we need to know,

With your wisdom, you can help us grow,

Successful students we will be,

When teachers and students learn to see

That writing is more than it seems to be.


Comments are useful, an aid or vice,

Here’s one for you, teacher:

“Teach us to write nice.”


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Apprentice Editor: Holly Horne/Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: woodleywonderworks, Flickr


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Salena Parker