“Looking Outside” by Noah Bogart
My son wrote the following poem during a math test in tenth grade. I doubted my ability to teach him Algebra II so we had enrolled him one hour a day at the local high school. Imagine my surprise when in the middle of the year, he came home from taking a test to exclaim: “During my math test, I wrote two poems!” I cringed. Wasn’t he supposed to be double checking his answers?
I stumbled across one of the poems this afternoon and it spoke so eloquently to coerced education and its failed power in the lives of kids, I had to share it with you.
Looking outside, I yearn for freedom, not French.
Looking outside, longing like never before,
Looking outside, and feeling trapped in this cold,
Looking outside, I’m caught between math and history,
English and Spanish…
everything but interesting
Looking outside, I inwardly cry,
Noah Bogart (age 15) 4/02/2003
Melodrama aside, I love the way he expresses the essence of the struggle to learn in a canned environment.