What Students Are Saying About Lessons on Slavery, Meme Culture and an Adventurous Kayaker

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What Students Are Saying About Lessons on Slavery, Meme Culture and an Adventurous Kayaker

white, turquoise, blues, greens, a current pulls forward, over the edge. The river flows onward, all water that flows with it goes over, it is a moment of uncertainty in a linear life. All people face such drops, they are natural, and to fall over the ledge only advances the world you know. what lies at the bottom, at the end of the drop, is unknown, and uncertainty pushes one forward …

William L, Glenbard West High School

Water, water, water, water:
Surrounding me,
Rushing,
Gushing,
Spewing over mountain tops,
Looking for an escape,
Looking for a thrill.
Water, water, water, water:
Ever-flowing,
Never slowing,
Always changing,
Condensing, evaporating, precipitating.
Water, water, water, water:
Why can’t I be like you?
Brave, fierce, determined,
I’m stuck in my human prison
Yet you’ve never understood confinement,
I need you for life,
Yet you need no one.
Water, water, water, water:
You see the bright flame,
And head towards it with no abandon,
Reckless with your life,
So that at least it was worth living,
Why can’t I be like you?
Water, water, water, water.

Laura Arbona, Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC

Dang it, I think to myself. This is what happens when I don’t eat breakfast. It’s too late, as I let the power of the water and gravity pull me down. I feel the mixed rush of adrenaline and fear jolt through my body like electricity. This is what I love. I crave that moment of feeling weightless in the air — the perfect mix of that drop tower thrill with a little bit of crazy mixed into it. Then, I relax. My once shut eyes open hesitantly, as I marvel at the view for the longest three seconds of my life. The frigid water bites at my face as I hit the water with a big SLAP. When my vision clears, I can see the world with a whole new view.

Hope Heinrichs, Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC

Did she really mean it? Is she really gone? These thoughts race through my head as I make my way down the rushing river. With every paddle I can feel myself getting closer and closer to a choice I can never take back, a choice that could end my life. It all started last night when Elizebeth my wife of four years, my only true soulmate left me.

We had been fighting for months but I never thought she would leave. I can feel the rush of the water picking up as I approach my demise. I am now seemly flying though the water as I decide I don’t want to do it, but it’s too late. As my kayak emerges over the edge, my heart begins to race knowing this is my final seconds. As I fall a calm overcomes my body, the water almost as blue as Elizabeth’s eyes looks inviting. I am ready to go as I close my eyes and accept my fate.

Dave, Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn, IL

Visions of grandeur
Sensations of earth surround
I embrace the fall

Joe Keller, Hoggard High School in Wilmington NC

Just before we fall
Remember what’s important
You will rise again

Jason Quinteros, Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn, IL