My final in-depth progress post

Hello TALONted friends.

I know that it’s my second time posting tonight, but that is because I accidentally wrote out the last post, but forgot to transfer it, and actually post it until today. Oh well, you just get a whole lot of your favourite person tonight. :)
Before I complete the tasks for this post, I just want to give you a quick summary of my mentor/mentee relationship so far. Obviously, as I’ve bragged about in last posts, and will do again, MY MENTOR IS PERFECT! She is easy to talk to, experienced, and knowledgeable. And yes, while it has been hard to organize meetings due to our busy, conflicting schedules; she also understands what I have on my plate right now, because she had the exact same situation in grade 9 and 10. Because of our very similar learning styles, neither of us are too far out of our comfort zones during the meetings, which makes it easier to do our jobs. Slam poetry can get pretty personal, which I’ve definitely learnt over the past few weeks. No matter how many metaphors I use to cover something up, sometimes the awful situation just sticks out like a sore thumb… or a bad metaphor in this case. That being said, I think that if I had a different mentor, I might be uncomfortable sharing my not so pretty side, which would restrict my learning. I haven’t shared every single poem with Emma, but I have with majority of them. If I had an awkward relationship with my mentor, I probably wouldn’t be inspired to write such deep poems in the first place, with would then stop me from learning mentally, as well as literally.
I found the following in my notes because, as Edward de Bono advocates, “You need to seek to pick out the concept behind what is being said (or read). What is the concept here?” (121)
Some concepts that Emma and I have gone over in the past few meetings include:

-The politics at a SLAM jam, including swearing and being a bad audience member. Sportsmanship is extremely important at slam jam’s.
-What some inappropriate slam topics might include. The practical idea behind this, is basically to always have an extra poem ready to perform, in case the judges are marking specifically hard on a certain topic.
-Page and stage
-Writing or performing, the great debate, and how we’ve decided they are about equal in importance.

 

“Without alternatives, we had rigidity, and complacency” (de Bono 136).

Emma has really given me the choice in this project. If I want to, I can write a deep poem that I’d like to hide in a dark hole, and never let anyone see, or a poem that is funny enough to crack the devil up (Although I’m still needing some work with funny poetry). But my point, is that she hasn’t given me criteria for any of my poems. She simply requests that I write a poem every two weeks, so that we have new material to go over. Part of this comes from her own experience. She remembers her grade 9 in-depth project and mentor, and thinks about how much work it was. Her mentor, Jacob, had a curriculum, and deadlines, and made in-depth feel more like school, than a passion or hobby.

When I brainstorm topics for future poems with Emma, we come up with a variety of ideas. I think that if I had a different mentor, I might not be as willing to put every idea forward; even the crazy ones, which sometimes turn out well.

Emma has also brought up many times, that she is learning from me as well. In other relationships, it seems like more of a teacher-student thing, but Emma makes me feel like we are equal. I obviously know that Emma is there to help me get better at my craft, but at the same time, I have helped her find topics for poems, and she has tested certain exercises with me, before doing them at workshops.

Emma has also given me the option to perform a sacrifice poem at hullabaloo… which might be a good way to celebrate in-depth…

This is my last required blog post for in-depth, but since there is still over a month left, I’m sure I’ll post again. So, see you soon!

-Mackenzie

Sometimes, I forget that I’m not invisible.

Hello TALONted folks.
This past weeks assignment, was to record a snippet of the conversation I had with my mentor, transcribe it, and identify the hats in it. Most of our meetings are simply talking about feedback on poems that I write, and perform for her. Therefore our conversation refers a lot to my most recent poem, “Sometimes, I forget that I’m not invisible” so, in order for the conversation to make the most sense to you, I’ve copy and pasted the poem for you. Ah! Publishing my unedited work, yikes!

This is us talking specifically about the part near the end, which talks about rainbows.

Sometimes, I forget that I’m not invisible.
I wander through my own house, as a ghost,
Like the old ladies in photographs have never seen my face before.
I forget, that I can’t walk right through walls, without hurting myself.
Sometimes, I feel like I should be a ghost.
Instead, I have the disadvantages of being both human, and mist, but have neither of the advantages.
I’m a swirling clumsy mass, who people pretend they don’t see in the locker bays.
That’s the excuse, for being shoved in a daze.

I maneuver around the corridors like Harry Potter did.
My wand outstretched, my eyes shut.
I even move at the same speed as a swarm of smoke.
Slow, gloomy, bored.
But every once in a while I become Usain Bolt,
For if I move quickly, maybe people wont be able to stare long enough to see my scorching face
My burning eyes
Or the water used to put out the fire, dripping from my retinas.
If I move quickly, maybe the tears will dry faster.
Maybe they will soak into my skin.
The wind on my newly dried flesh, is like the familiar chemical burn feeling
At least something feels like home, in this house.

Though I have resided here for the past eleven years,
I don’t recall the last time I lived here.
On paper, it’s legit
But it doesn’t feel like the right fit.

The shoes at the front door, pinch my feet
And I feel like goldilocks, I have been beat.
There is no discrete way to compete with a concrete defeat
This is how I feel.
Defeated.
The room, I once adored, has the audacity of a child’s brain.
Pink, like the cotton candy and unicorns I used to think were real.
Except if I remember correctly, pink starts with P.
ROY-G-BIV there is no P
Because pink, is not a colour in the rainbow of problems, which is now me.

(I read through the above poem for Emma, then she read the actual text. Finally, this conversation took place.)

I’m sorry if any of this is unclear, but I do not wish to explain what the real meaning behind this poem is, so for now, its a metaphor, and is up to you to decide the meaning.

Each colour refers to the colour of that hat. (Grey is white.)
Emma: This is like so juicy, I love this! (Reads through some lines, then…) I love the line, “The shoes at the front door, pinch my feet”. It’s wonderful writing! “The audacity of a child’s brain.” I really like that too. (Reads some more)
So what do you mean by, not the colour in the rainbows, and the whole… pink thing?

Mackenzie: Umm, I mean its kind of hard to explain. I wanted to include the, like, “Rainbow of problems which is now me,” because I’m trying to explain that I am attempting to overcome it, or even understand it at least. And then, I don’t know, a rainbow kind of came to me and I was like, Hey, I am talking about shoes that pinch my feet, and old things, that used to be a part of me, and then the old pink room, that’s now my sisters. So…

Emma: Ya, I definitely got that pink was kind of like this snapshot of your childhood and kind of something thats old. Umm… I didn’t get that the rainbow, was signifying like, a spectrum of problems, because usually the connotation of a rainbow is kind of like this, happy thing.
Mackenzie: mhmm
Emma: It’s okay, as long as its clear. It wasn’t super clear to me, although you do say rainbow of problems…
Mackenzie: I could say like, spectrum instead?
Emma: Ya, I mean you never have to do anything. Just like, as someone who’s listening to it, the connotation of rainbow is something that was more joyful, than like the other imagery that I heard.
Mackenzie: Definitely, I see that. I could also change it up a little bit, and kind of make it a part of the resolution. So maybe, a little happier. So the conclusion could have something to do, more with the rainbow. Or at least, accepting the rainbow. So then I’m keeping Freytag’s arch in mind as well.
Emma: Ya, I mean, I think that as you’ve said, you’ve kind of embraced, well maybe not embraced, but you accepted this sense of invisibility that I’m curious as a listener, what that means for yourself? What does that mean for the [context of the metaphor].
Mackenzie: Okay (Takes a few notes)

 

The rest of the conversation isn’t really necessary, but I was honestly so overjoyed by all of the compliments from Emma, because I truly respect her, and her opinion. I had to share all of the positive feedback.

 

Emma: I really, really think this is a super strong poem
Mackenzie: Thank you
Emma: I really like it, of all of the stuff I’ve seen from you, its just very, almost blunt. Its also in a very nice tone. Which is definitely a change from your usual style. There is no fat, or fluff or anything that-
Mackenzie: Can be removed?
Emma: Ya, a lot of people starting out, they sort of overwrite their poems. But this is a very nice, concise piece of work, I like it.
Mackenzie: Thank you
Emma: Do you wanna try standing up and doing it, or do you wanna put it to rest for now?
Mackenzie: Without really editing it, okay sure.
(Reads poem)

 

-Mackenzie