A Poem in Favor of Humanity


2017 – it’s 2017
Who would think that in 2017
I would feel the need to have you read
a poem in favor of humanity?

I look out at my students
what do I see?

I see wires from teenage ears
red, yellow, black pods in and around their ears
talking to them
mesmerizing them
hypnotizing them

I see the omnipresent ChromeBook
on their desks – their laptop computer instructors
And on tables as stand alones
I see the Boxes standing tall –
They are Black
They are Powerful
They are Teaching my kids

And I am complicit….

What did I just say?
The black plastic and metal square heads
Are everywhere… scrambling
the brains of my students
teaching them to be compliant
all the same

But my kids are the outliers on the scattergrams –
my rebels
my questioners
my thinkers
my doers
the next generation’s movers and the shakers

At least they used to be


They used to be when we treated them as humans
not data
not profitable
not little red, yellow, and green bars on Excel data sheets
not as inhuman commodities
not as a dollar sign
not as a deficit
not as the invisibles
the unwanted
the disposable
the shame of the school
the student who brings down my VAM

So – where is the humanity in 2017?

The little rectangular plastic and glass slab that sits in our pockets
I won’t even begin to go where that slab has pulled our children

a place where our children hide out
a place where our children hide from reality
a place where a child is no longer human

Why do our kids want to get lost in the Screen instead of in the woods?
Why do our kids want to get lost in the Internet instead of in a good book?
Why do our kids want to live inside a box instead of in the real world?

I cry out for a return to humanity
for a return to nature
for a return to that which makes us human
and unique and real and immortal.

I cry out for a 21st Century Transcendental Movement.

Who will join me in the fight to transcend
the data
the algorithms
the pie charts
the Excel Spread sheets that try to
define our students?

Let us together form a new world
for our children and grand children –
a world that celebrates the child in each of us
a world that loves nature
a world that believes we are more than just flesh and blood –
certainly more than a data point –
a world that believes we can transcend the rational
a world that reaches for the stars.

12 thoughts on “A Poem in Favor of Humanity

  1. JO – I will join you in the fight to transcend…in prayer…ONE with HIM…with others. These are “words” that wrench my heart….that wrench His heart. HIS Authority still reigns..and HE is the last Word on EVERYTHING. I love your heart. Nan

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Poem in Favor of Humanity (By Poetic Justice) - Wait What?

  3. Pingback: A Poem in Favor of Humanity: A Teacher Sees Students | Diane Ravitch's blog

  4. Reblogged this on BLOGGYWOCKY and commented:
    A beautiful poem, and so very right.
    We need to fight back against the extreme computerization, the depersonalization, the reduction of our children to data points.
    All so states and school districts can save money, corporations can make money on the backs of our children, and oh, don’t forget the goal of producing unthinking, unquestioning, compliant little robots who will eventually work at whatever job they are told to do, for whatever bones and scraps are thrown their way, and vote the way the oligarchs want them to.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I read a huge book & Zion traped our schools sistem , the book is banned because it’s the true insider knowledge the power of Zion and corruption and the worts education is here because the evil who banned good boocks block the truth the boock could be buyed if you can find one do it and read it because it’s never late after get TRAPED from Zion .
    I have to tell the difference between fition and reality but no many would read the way I articulate my comments, why ?
    Because I’m not English-speaker but I’m not going to argument / help / fight / tell the truth/ the TRUE have no color / nacionaltty / language/ no money / the true is transparent/ real / /////


  6. Sometimes I wonder if the impoverished rural schools in our little corner of Appalachia aren’t unintentionally providing a higher standard of human learning with their continued, economically-required, slow march toward technology. No chromebooks here, no fiber optics. The teachers have smartboards now, new a few years ago, instead of chalk, but the computers still move from classroom to classroom on a cart, scheduled in advance, not nearly enough of them for each student to have his or her own. Here, school is a sanctum of unpluggedness. No phones. No Ipods. No earbuds. Perhaps the humanity these poor kids gain through interaction will compensate for the generational devaluation of education, the rock hard certainty in so many kids that college is a ruse when $13.50/hour on a gas rig or strip mine is the dream.

    Liked by 1 person

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