Family. Community. Society. Humanity.

There is so much negativity building up at the moment. Within families, within communities, within society, within humanity as a whole. These things, these things that are the pillars of our world – they’re breaking down, being replaced.

It’s a massive challenge as anyone really, but particularly teenagers, to grow up in this world. It’s so essential that we, as the future, hold on to what is important. Family. Community. Society. Humanity.

This is a huge struggle, but I’m trying to make the decision to understand and believe in these things.

Soooo, that was the thought of the day! If you guys have any comments on that please do let me know.

Now, I’m going to do like a mini update/catch up thingy with everything I need to tell you all. There’s quite a bit!

  • The amazing Bri has just started blogging again after a couple of months. This is such good news. Please go check out her blog and introduce yourself, it’d mean the world to her.
  • I’m participating in Hannah’s photography contest! No, I am not a photographer, but I wanted to try something new and Hannah is just the sweetest, loveliest person.
  • Remember the social experiment a load of you helped me out with a couple of months ago? Well, I’ve nearly finished putting together all my results and I’ll be sharing them on here very soon. Stay tuned.
  • I’m staying at my Nan’s at the moment looking after her as she just has a knee replacement. She’s doing really well as she’s super determined. She ALWAYS reads my blog so please give her a quick ‘get well soon’ in the comments. She’d be thrilled. 😀
  • I’m going to be doing a ‘day in the life of me’ post soon. So I’m quite excited ’bout that. Also, I’m thinking maybe a little Q and A sesh maybe?
  • I think that’s it??????

What was your thought for today? Tell me all your news! Are you excited for all my future plans on this blog? Lemme know….

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Wish Me Luck – Spoken Word Poetry Performance Update

Hello there!

In my recent post I talked about an urban music and spoken word poetry performance I am going to be a part of very soon. Well, I’m here with an update on that!

  • The performance is on Thursday and I am SO excited.
  • I went to London for the rehearsals last week and it was AMAZINGGGGG!
  • I have two solos.
  • I am performing two very poignant, topical spoken word pieces written by yours truly.
  • At the rehearsal I spent a hardcore one and a half hours with a spoken word poet learning everything you need to know about performing.
  • I spent another hour running through the whole thing with the rest of the group who are sharing all different genres of music, but all with an urban twist – rap, acapella, reggae, etc.
  • I am basically the complete polar opposite of the word urban #countrygirrrrl so I went to the rehearsals in my wellies. Picture below!

Stay tuned for photos of the actual performance coming soon! Oh, and wish me luck, my friends! *dances* *practices like crazyyyyy* 

 

Writing Competition Hosted By Gracie and Gracie: The RESULTS

The time has come to announce the winners of the writing contest hosted by my friend Gracie Marchiani and myself. I won’t keep you in suspense for too long, but before you become tempted to scroll down and skip this part of the post, I must stress that it is very important, okay?

Right, firstly Gracie and I would like to thank every one of you who entered this competition and contributed a story of your own crafting. You guys are AMAZING writers and we had such a hard time choosing between all of your entries. So, you may all take a bow. *applause*

Originally, we had planned on picking just one overall winner, but a number of factors made us decide to change our minds and award 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Reason #1. We couldn’t choose just one winner. Reason #2. We know how busy everyone is and we thought that one winner critiquing everyone’s entries would be a liiiiittle overwhelming. So now each winner gets a few stories to give feedback on. Okay?

If you are a winner – I know, I know, the suspense is killing me too – pleaseemailusstraightawaytocollectyourprize,okay?

Phewf, let’s get on with it.

Third prize goes to……

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Emmie from Pheonix American Girl World with her story Ghosts At Sunset Lake!!!

Emmie, we loved your story so much. It was beautifully written and you weaved the prompts insanely well. Congratulations! Please get in touch with us to recieve your prize. Your story ill be posted on both mine and Gracie’s blog within the next few days.

Second Prize is for….

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Emily from The Island Of Me with her story ‘Gone’!!!

Emily, your piece was hauntingly beautiful and deeply thought-provoking. Congrats, girl! You totally deserve your prize, get in touch to claim it. ‘Gone’ will be posted on both Through The Eyes Of Gracie and A Light In The Darkness within the next few days.

And finally, the prestigious prize for first place will be awarded to…..

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Andrea from Spaceships, Vampires and Very Secret Agents with her story ‘Flames’!

ASDFGHJKL, Andrea, we looooooooved your story sooooooo much. It was absolutely amazingly written, your descriptions were beautiful, the drama was intense and you wove the prompts wonderfully. Congratulations! Go get your prize, my friend! Flames will be posted on mine and Gracie’s blog within the next few days.

Massive well done to everyone who won and everyone who entered and YOU, for reading this!

Nothing More Than A Ghost – A Poem

His breaths laboured and laced with pain.
Her breaths as soft as summer rain.

His body slumped, holding in all the grief,
Her body floating, her touch cool and brief.

His eyes wide and unseeing, tears overspilling,
Her eyes deep and longing, her gentle gaze chilling.

His arms wrapped around his torso, holding everything in,
Her arms limp and lifeless, for onto life does she no longer cling.

His fingers curled around a photograph of her,
Her fingers lightly brushing away all the things that were.

His voice calling out her sweet name.
Her voice echoing his stricken pain.

His thoughts searching through memories of them both,
Her being nothing more than a ghost.

  Nearly myself cry writing this! Hope you guys are all okay. Xxx

Light – A Prose-y Thing That I’m Particularly Proud Of + A Reflection Of Society

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Sooooo, I haven’t shared any of my poetry in ages and so today I’ve decided to share a sort of prose-y piece that could be classed as a very long poem or a very short story written in stanzas (sorry, I’m indecisive) that I’m particularly proud of. As always, all feedback appreciated. I love to hear from fellow poets, writers or even just people who enjoy to listen and read. Oh, and while I remember, you have until the 27th of Feb to enter Gracie M and I’s writing contest. Click HERE to read all about it!

Writing this poem was a bit of an exploratory journey for me. It took into a world of metaphors and philosophy. It taught me to travel beyond the surface. I hope it takes you guys on the same journey. Loads of love to ya all as always!

Light by Gracie Chick 

Light.

On or off? I caress the switch with my fingertips, my mind racing, my head feeling like it’s about to explode, my thoughts and insecurities chasing each other in a fast-paced, never-ending, time-bomb ticking circle. On and on and on. All night. I can’t sleep.

Light.

“Please keep burning, please don’t go out. You are my only hope…” I murmur into the candle flame, my fingers hovered over its warmth. “….for I am so afraid of what the darkness holds.” I can’t sleep for I am too scared. And cold.

Light.

The only light I know is the one that shines from my iphone screen. The only beauty I know is the one that proclaims and aims for perfection, perfect body, perfect, perfect, perfect. #perfect. I must be perfect.

 

Light.

The only light I know is the one that keeps me warm at night and drives the dark away. The only beauty I know is the dance within its flames.

Light.

I switch you on. You hurt my eyes. You do nothing to soothe my pain.

Light.

I rely on you. You are my saviour in the darkest times.

 

Light.

What are you? I learned all about you in science class and then again in RE. Two very different definitions. The light of the sun or the light of Christ?  Do you go deeper than that? Do you fill the cracks of the earth? Pierce the surface? Reach the most remote parts? Could you penetrate my life?

 

Light.

You are the only thing that keeps me going. I am grateful for your presence. I don’t know what it is about you, but I’ve sworn never to question you. So you are here and I am happy.

 

Light.

Could you touch me? Touch the darkest parts of my soul, the parts where the darkness flooded in and I tried to stop it, but it it filled the empty voids quicker than the speed of light, oozing in to suffocate my screams. So now I stay silent, drowning in sickly, sweet black, black treacle.

 

Light.

You are my halo. You are my security. You are the only thing keeping me afloat. Without you, I would burn into the ashes of hope, sink below any sort of horizon, redemption.

Light.

I’ve thought about it and I think maybe the grey is worse than the dark. The dark can be lit up with sunbeams, if you try hard enough, but the it’s the grey you really get lost in.

Light.

I’ve thought about it and maybe the reason why you and I go so well together is because both of our lives are battles. Mine a constant fight to stay above the surface, to float by with ease, staring at the sun in the sky, not looking down, ignoring my feet thrashing in the water, keeping myself afloat, keeping myself alive. Your’s is a simple fight, yet one that can never fully be won, you have one enemy and one enemy only….is the light afraid of the dark?

Light.

Greyness. It’s like paint, isn’t it? You hold a brush between your fingertips, trailing it alternately through white. Black. White. Black. White. You watch as the colours merge, your life becoming a blur between them.

Light. Dark. Light. Dark. Light. Dark. Light. Fine, grey. Light. Grey. Light. Grey. Light. Okay, okay, Light. Light. Light.

Light.

Please show us your triumph, your strength, please use us to change the world, despite our weaknesses.

Light.

So you have won this battle at least. You have drained the darkness from my heart, but your word is but a promise. Please keep it.

Yours truly,

Hope

Yours truly,

Modern Society.

 

Writing Dump + New Spoken Word YouTube Video

‘Photo Dumps’ seem to be ‘a thing’ in the blogosphere right now. Thing is, I’m not much of a photographer. I am a writer, however, a very keen one and one searching for feedback on her work! So today’s post is going to be a ‘Writing Dump’ because someone likes to be rebellious original. It will consist of poetry, short stories and snippets of novels both finished and not.

First though, here I am with another spoken word poem, this time accompanied by creative film-making by me, starring me! Todays poem/film is called Peace For A Poet and it is about a poet on a journey to find peace in our crazy, messed-up world. Along her way she highlights all the injustices she encounters, but in the end….well, you’ll just have to watch it to find out!

I really hope you enjoyed that! As always, feedback is appreciated!

Now, onto #1 of ‘The Dump’. Oh yeah!

“I see you crying, crying like you can’t take no more. I know you’re hiding, but I don’t know what you’re hiding for.

You’re like a diamond shining underneath a billion rocks.

And no one knows the truth except me, and you, of course.

Or do you? I guess there aren’t many mirrors in the pile of rocks that crush you,

Nothing to reflect your brilliant sparkle and bounce it back to you.

Just dull grey rock, maybe you think you’re the same, just with one small difference:

you’re at the bottom of the pile, under everyone else.

Let me tell you, you’re way above them, honey, you just need to realise it.”

I like this because of its sass. It’s from a prose-y short story called Revolution.

#2 

Okay, here are a few snippets from my incompleted NaNo project, The Melody Of Life:

He looked upset. “I wish I could be here to help her”

“Why can’t you?” I asked, raising my voice as anger and confusion threatened to appear, seemingly out of nowhere.

He didn’t answer, just hung his head, all trace of a smile gone.

“I said, why can’t you?” I shouted.

“Dante?” I spun around at the sound of my Mother’s wobbling voice.

“Coming, Mum.” I popped my head around the living room door.

“She misses you, you know.” I whispered, but when I looked around my Father was gone.

It was weeks before he appeared again, perhaps even a month. I was upstairs in my room, imagining as usual. I heard something at the window. Looking across, I couldn’t see anything. Just as I was turning back to stare at the blank canvas of my wall, a shadow crossed the glass. I sighed and decided to check it out. Flinging the window open, I looked out across the rooftops and, sure enough, there he was. He was sat with his back to me, gazing out at the town, swinging his legs over the edge of the garage roof.

“Hey!” I exclaimed, leaping out of the window to join him. He looked at me as I sat down next to him, no surprise in his eyes.

“Where have you been? You abandoned me!” I laughed, glad to have him back. He didn’t laugh with me.

“You don’t need me anymore.” he said. That stopped my laughter short.

“What do you mean?” I asked. “What do you mean, Dad?”

I’m not your Dad.” he told me. That made me wince. “Look, you need to leave me behind and find your real Dad.” The power of his words really hit me hard, right where it hurts too.

I thought about explaining how I couldn’t, about how it would hurt me even more, about how I was safe here, with him, but somehow my argument sounded feeble now.

“You may not need me, but you do need this.” I watched as he pulled a scrap of dusty orange paper from his jeans pocket and handed it to me.

I traced Sahra’s handwriting across its surface. “Where did you get this?” I breathed.

“Call her.” he said, and with that he jumped from the roof.

“Dad!” I cried, looking over the edge, but he was gone. Probably forever.

Just to say, this is his imaginary Dad, his real one left when he was young.

“How did you know I was on the roof today? How did you see me?” I asked

She laughed a little. “That would be because I was on the roof too.”

I was astonished. “You were? You were on my roof?”

“No! My roof, silly.”

“Oh.” It was obvious now I thought about it.

“It’s a great spot for thinking, no?” she stared dreamily out of the window.

“Yeah, you also get a pretty damn good phone signal up there too.” I joked.

She laughed softly.

An attempt at humour. 😉

We walked for a long time in silence. Finally, I spoke. “Sahra?”

“Mmmm.”

“Thank you.”

“What for?”

“Today.”

“Oh. That’s okay.”

“You know what you did, right?”

“I guess so.”

“You took me into the real world and you’ve made it hard for me to leave.”

“I’m not sure I follow.”

“When your life does have bits missing, it’s easy to slip into a place which isn’t entirely real. Before I met you I had cut myself off, wrapped myself up in my imagination, hidden from the truth. I created a place that’s perfect, too perfect, a fantasy.”

“And I drew you out of it?”

“Exactly. You’ve changed me in the few days we’ve spent together. You’ve shown me how amazing reality can be and now I don’t want to go back to my old ways.”

Sahra stepped in front of me. “Dante, you don’t have to.”

I clenched my fists. “You know what it’s like, Sahra. You know it’s hard for me.”

“Yes, Dante.” she whispered softly. “But it’s not impossible. I’ll help you, Jenita will help you, so will Paige and everyone.”

“There’s something else I need to tell you.”

Ooh, the drama!

“Please.” I asked empty space. I felt my way blindly through my thoughts. “I’m not five. You have to tell me what’s happened.”

I heard a sigh, it was strangely muffled. “Look. Get your head out of that pillow and I’ll explain everything.”

I lifted my head and blinked in the light.

Neeeeext! 

I punched in her number, just to see what it looked like on the screen. It was attractive. I laughed quietly to myself, I never found the prospect of numbers or figures exciting. Maths was not something I revelled in.

Hehe.

I have to tell you the truth after all this time. I’m not much of a writer, you know that, but I’ll try to explain the best I can. Please don’t expect any eloquence because that’s one thing I can’t provide.

I am and always will be your friend, but I have to tell you this (you may hate me for it afterwards and never want to speak to me again, but I’ll accept that as my fate). I lied to you all along. It felt terrible to deceive you, but I promise I was only trying to help.

You know, if you ask nicely I might even give you some more snippets, but for now…..*closes book*…..the end.

#3

The Angel Of Peace

I arise,

Shrouding shawl wrapped around my compassionate shoulders,

Ascending from the wrath of 195 nation’s past.

 

From the eye of the storm reflected in their vision,

From the glint on the blade of a metallic winking sword,

And from the release of a gun.

From two hands interlocked, stained with the blood of enemies and comrades combined,

I arise, the angel of peace.

Just another lil’ poem on the not so lil’ subject of peace. 

 

Words That Burn + Poems About Identity And Two Big Announcements!

As part of my home school curriculum, I am doing a project called Words That Burn. It was launched by Amnesty International and is aimed at teaching young people about human rights, whilst encouraging them in their creative writing, mainly poetry. Learning at its best, in my view.

So, today I wanted to share a poem that we had to analyse in my project. It’s a really powerful and beautiful piece by spoken word artist Dean Atta, on the topic of identity. After that, we had to write our own poem, about our identity.

However, before we go into all of that exciting stuff, I have an important announcement to make! 🙂 You can now go vote for the nominees in Megan’s Part 1 of the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards! I am literally jumping up and down right now because I WAS NOMINATED IN TWO CATEGORIES! Wow, I never expected that.  Anyway, go vote! And good luck! *proceeds to dance around the room*

Okay, so coming back to the poem. I present, I Come From by Dean Atta.

I come from shepherd’s pie and Sunday roast
Jerk chicken and stuffed vine leaves
I come from travelling through my taste buds but loving where I live

I come from a home that some would call broken
I come from D.I.Y. that never got done
I come from waiting by the phone for him to call

I come from waving the white flag to loneliness
I come from the rainbow flag and the union jack
I come from a British passport and an ever-ready suitcase

I come from jet fuel and fresh coconut water
I come from crossing oceans to find myself
I come from deep issues and shallow solutions

I come from a limited vocabulary but an unrestricted imagination
I come from a decent education and a marvellous mother
I come from being given permission to dream but choosing to wake up instead

I come from wherever I lay my head
I come from unanswered questions and unread books
Unnoticed effort and undelivered apologies and thanks

I come from who I trust and who I have left
I come from last year and last year and I don’t notice how I’ve changed
I come from looking in the mirror and looking online to find myself

I come from stories, myths, legends and folk tales
I come from lullabies and pop songs, Hip Hop and poetry
I come from griots, grandmothers and her-story tellers

I come from published words and strangers’ smiles
I come from my own pen but I see people torn apart like paper
Each a story or poem that never made it into a book.

I just love love love some of the lines in this, they’re so poignant. “waving the white flag to loneliness” “crossing oceans to find myself” “being given permission to dream, but choosing to wake up instead” I could go on and on and on. Seriously

Now comes the challenging part. I had to write a poem like his: an I come from….. poem. So I sat down and made a list of the things that have shaped my identity and then crafted them into this poem.

I Come From by Gracie Chick

I come from words springing from emptiness,

I come from the pages of a book, 

I come from misty mornings in my mind and conversations long into the night,

I come from the flames of a candle and the glowing embers of a campfire

I come from struggles and determination and an overwhelming desire for true friendship. 

I come from missing the sunrise and waiting all day for it to set.

I come from craving beauty in a world I want to change, 

I come from tears and discontentment, 

I come from dreaming big

I come from two amazing hearts that never lose faith. 

I come from wanting more than black and white

I come from music that no one else hears and stories that no one else sees,

or writes.

I come from a river of ink and a land of where the honey is too sticky and sweet and the milk soured long ago.

Hope that made sense to you guys! Now, the big question is……

Where do you come from???

Please answer in the comments, debating is more than welcome!

And now, time for the second big announcement. Some of you might remember reading my discussion post on makeup a few weeks ago. If so, you’ll probably recall that I included a section detailing the thoughts of many different teens throughout the blogosphere. The result was amazing and everyone really got into the discussion element of it. So, I was thinking I’d make this a regular thing. If you’re interested in contributing your opinions to these future discussion posts, please drop me an email at graciechick29@gmail.com

Then, whenever I need your thoughts, I’ll send out an email (probably monthly) and you can reply with your contributions. This is aimed mainly at teens, but if you’re older or younger and would still like to participate, feel free. Also, if you sign up, you don’t have to participate very time. If you’re ever too busy or just don’t want to contribute that’s totally fine.  Hoping to see lots of interest in this!

What did you think of Dean Atta’s Poem? What about mine? Complete this sentence: I come from…

Are you going to sign up to give your opinions in my future discussion posts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extracts From My Journal + The Best Of 2017 Blog Awards Have Arrived Again (Yay!!!)

30th November 2017

It’s a proven scientific fact that any energy that keeps getting larger and larger will eventually explode. For example, friction will  eventually burst into flames. Well, there’s friction in my mind right now.

My Mum called it emotional turmoil, my Dad called it being lost, but I think friction is a good word at the moment. I’ve already burst into flames a few times, the energy always seems to die down, simmer quietly for a little while and then begin to build up until, you guessed it, I explode again with emotion again. Most of the time I don’t even know what causes all of these feelings. 

I need to look towards my future, focus on the positives that lie ahead and stop clinging onto the negatives of the here and the now. Being sad and discontent never made anyone’s life better, I’ve got to take action. 

2nd December 2017

Today I went to see Wonder at the cinema. As the scenes from my favourite book flashed past my eyes, I immersed myself in the story, rediscovering the powerful themes that run through it. Many of them are relevant to my life right now – being different, going to school, fitting in, standing out, real friendships, finding your place in this world, staying true to who you are. 

In all of the characters that I’ve known and loved for so long, I suddenly saw myself. When I read the book (and I must have read it 100 times, no kidding) I am an observer in Auggie, Via, Miranda, Jack Will, Julian, Summer, Justin and everyone else’s lives. However, watching the movie made me see their story in a different light. I felt like I was there, I was part of it.

I was Via, struggling with friendships. I was Miranda, just trying to fit in with the crowd, wanting to be liked. I was Summer, trying to be a good friend and Jack Will, trying but not always succeeding.There are no words for how much I loved this movie and how much of an impact it had on me. 
4th December 2017

I went to my teen yoga class today. Although I’m not flexible enough to do half of the poses I still love it. It’s amazing for relaxation, concentration, exercise and the releasing of stress. 

My yoga teacher, Luna, says that in yoga thoughts are like clouds, we let them drift by without holding onto them. You go into your body and just observe your mind. It makes you less anxious and stressed plus it helps you concentrate on your thoughts and make more sense of them. This was great for me, for someone who’s brain is especially active and often anxious, it helped me chill out and bring things into perspective. </

In other news from the life of Gracie Chick, my prize for when I cam runner-up in a poetry competition arrived. I received a certificate and a small bundle of writing supplies (a notepad, two pencils, one pen and a bookmark). Exciting! 🙂 


I’ve also been really into cooking with foraged goodies. This time of year is brilliant for wild food and I’ve been making the most of the abundance of it on the farm where I live. 

</I made this delicious lunch for my family, it’s a chickweed and lettuce salad with a berry vinegar dressing and crumbled parmesan on toast. It was SO good. 

</A yummy snack of roasted burdock root chips sprinkled with sesame seeds. Okay, I hope you enjoyed that little peek into my life at the moment. I felt like doing an update and I wanted to be honest.<Now, I have an exciting announcement to make ~ Megan is hosting the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards for the third year in a row! By taking the survey now, you can vote for all the amazing blogs and posts out there that you’ve particularly loved. So, what are you waiting for? Go VOTE!

What’s going on in your life at the moment? Don’t be afraid of honesty, I often am and it never makes you feel better when you bottle it up. You can send me an email if you feel like talking. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Oh, and will you vote in the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards? 

‘Gracie’s School’ Q and A Post + An Exciting Blogging Announcement

In my last post I introduced to you to my very own school, students and classroom. I shared my happiness at being able to fulfill my dream and making it happen through my own determination.  I  also asked you to submit your questions for my school themed Q and A. Well, many of you had lots to ask so read on…and enjoy!

Questions from Mukta:

When and how did you realize you wanted to be a teacher?

I’ve always loved learning and, to me, nothing sounds more like paradise than a place where young people can gather together to learn and share and pursue their passions.

School, and the modern education system, are supposed to provide that service, but I don’t believe they are. The majority of my generation view school as a negative place, a prison, something they’re forced to attend. School should be a place everyone wants to go to.

I am home-educated and the above is precisely the reason I don’t go to school. The reason I decided to become a teacher is because I want to create the school that I dream of, the school I want to go to.

What time do you begin/end teaching?

Nothing is set in stone yet, at the moment I’m being pretty flexible. Usually we start at about 10am and finish about 4pm??? 😀😀😀

Questions from Loren:

When you start a real school, will you want it to be elementary, middle, or high school?

I hope that my school will be a place where kids and teens of all ages can come together and learn. I want it to be an environment where they help and teach each other. I am from the UK so I’m not exactly that familiar with the US education system, we say ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ schools here!

Questions from Melissa:

Are your pupils allowed to direct any of your teaching and follow their own interests or are you quite strict in following your lesson plans?

There needs to be a balance. I do make lesson plans (which I try to stick to), but if I see that my students are interested in or enthusiastic about a particular subject, I’m more than happy to focus on it. I also welcome my students suggestions and ideas. I have certain parts in each lesson where I ask one of my students to lead the activity and I just watch. It teaches them teamwork, leadership and creativity, all equally important lessons!

Questions from The Girl With IronWings

Are you guys going to travel around the farm place and learn things practically or…..?

Yeah, I guess so. It’s important to include a bit of reading, writing, maths and theoretical science, but most of the activities we do are outdoors, hands on and practical. I find that my students learn better when out and about on the farm. For example, we went fishing in the stream and then identified and learnt about what we caught. They loved it! Way more than reading about the affect humans have on natural habitats! 😀 I bet they remembered more of the former too.

How is the teaching going to be – How different from today’s schools? 😊

Hehe. I would say it’s pretty different. Here’s a quick list.

  • All different ages and abilities taught together.
  • We learn about things that are important in life, like knowing and appreciating your surroundings and how to protect them. 
  • The learning (and teaching!) is FUN!!!
  • I try and think about what suits my students individually, what they need help with and what their strengths are. I keep that in mind when making my lesson plans, unlike school with its ‘one size fits all’ attitude.

Also, since it’s about the environment will you be using gadgets?

We have a few gadgets… a camera trap that we’ve used to try and capture the secret lives of wildlife on the farm. We don’t use a lot of technology, just the internet to research things and find information.

Questions from Misabella :

What is your favourite subject to teach?

I’m about to start doing a book club + English and creative writing classes. I don’t enjoy maths very much, just because I teach out of a book and have to follow a set system/curriculum. These ‘environment’ lessons are great, I get to be creative and come up with fun, unique ideas that really engage my students. 😁

Do you find particular methods of discipline more effective than others?

I’ve googled the different ‘methods of discipline’ and would say my style is a mix of them all! I do try to set boundaries, but I also try and be positive and humorous. I wouldn’t say I’m strict, I try to be patient and listen to my students – although that is something I struggle with. I think this is an area I need to look into a bit more – especially if I want to be a successful teacher!

Questions from Tom:

How long do you hope to be keeping up with this school for?

Well, we’re living at the farm over the autumn, winter and early spring so the lessons will probably continue through those seasons. After that my family and I are off on our travels, maybe into Europe, maybe even further, searching for a place to settle down and call home. When we find that place I have no doubt that my school will re-establish itself and begin again, stronger and better than before. 

School is an interesting word, I wonder if it’s Greek?

Well, thanks to your research, Tom, we now know that it is a Greek word meaning ‘lecture place’. It would have looked like this in its original text: skholḗ or σχολή. Great fact! 

 I hope you all enjoyed that little Q and A! I loved sharing my thoughts and ideas on education, I even learnt a few interesting things in the process. If anyone still has any questions, please feel free to comment them and I’ll try to answer.

Okay, now I have an exciting and important announcement to make: I am getting some newly designed features on A Light In The Darkness soon! Not saying anything more, but watch out for a post revealing those. This is me at the moment: 🤐☺☺☺🤐 

Xxx

‘Snapshot’ (A Guest-Poem)

cropped-cropped-chaotic_overthinking_small1

The poem is a little special to me, you see, because, after years of writing, I wrote about how things are in my country, how reality has nothing to do but to lie there with glazed eyes, because everyone is waiting, and just waiting some more, for a change. It’s like walking through honey, and change is bitter and hard work; most people here simply curse it. The few who risk a try get trapped in this spider web of lethargy. Time stills. No one moves. Everything stays the same and hypocrisy prevails. 

These words are a perfect introduction to a stunning poem that I am about to share with you all. The author is Flaw Rainlight  Here is how she describes herself:

Hey there! I’m Flaw Rainlight and often write under the name of T. E. Pyrus. I live in the company of five wonderful cats and writing is a passion. I also learn and love classical dance and music. 

When I first tried my hand at writing, I was about six years old, exploring Dr. Seuss and R. L. Stevenson. That was probably soon after realized my love and awe of books, the way they preserve dreams and lives of people, real and imaginary, for decades and centuries. 

I remember thinking at one point, when I was bothered by the lack of fun things to read on a short vacation with my parents, that if I couldn’t find things to read, why couldn’t try writing them? 

And thus, my imagination, fueled first by boredom, and later by curiosity, passion and a desire to challenge myself further, spilled into little rhymes and incomplete stories. (I’m still mortified that my mother keeps a firm hold on those notebook pages of childish rambling.)

Eventually, encouraged and supported lovingly by friends, family and absolute strangers, I decided to bring my work out into this scary outside world. I began to explore spoken word and set up this blog as a medium to reach out to people like you, who care about writing, and write about caring. After all, thinkers and writers unfurl from the burning fire within to love the world and everything in it, and to witness its evolution that many simply walk past without another glance.

Wow. She certainly I’d talented. Here is her wonderfully deep and meaningful piece:
SNAPSHOT’
 Curiosity stares through tinted glasses
at railway tracks that glint darker in the sun;
the house crow that pecks on the ties in between
looks only slightly greyer than its shadow.
The diesel smoke and incense mist
lie faintly over red painted benches
that infrequently decorate the station platform.
Glass doored cabinets in miniature stalls
hold jars of hard candy, myriad pan filling
and sugared tamarind sweets to charm the mouth,
brightly coloured foil packets of biscuits and sweetened milk cake
lie sulking on the icebox, liberally filled
with ice cream and badam milk, mishti doi and lassi,
chilled soda in orange, brown, and green,
sealed bottles of water for people to please.
People and more people with stranger clothes and faces
scurry and stumble, then scramble and hurry
up the overbridge and down to platform number four
with sari and suitcase, toddler with a missing shoe.
Cartons of fresh iced fish to be sold a thousand miles away
settle comfortably on the floor of the parcel compartment,
painted blue, like all the thirty and one passenger coaches
tailing the rusty red engine that punctuates the chaos
with sleepy sighs and anxious whistles.
Footsteps and wheels run briskly here,
yet time runs ever slowly still
in rhythm with the ceaseless chant –
“cha~i coffee! co~ffee chai! cha~i coffee!…”