Tuesday, September 2, 2008

One million kids

I went back to school today. Not back to school like pen and notebooks and listening to lectures, but back to school like I do now, on the teacher side of things. I'm at a new school this year. A beautiful brand new building with high windows and sun soaked floors and students from every borough and dozens of countries. Today we drew maps of our past and wrote stories about our names. And we wrote poems about the subway. I love my new commute. Its this long winding elevated ride through three boroughs. And I get to see this along the way...

this amazing place called Five Points in Long Island City. And you can imagine this sends all kind of electricity through Jacob.

Then today we read this fantastic poem called 'Night Subway'.

And we did some work imitating the venerable Katha Pollit. And I admitted that I too always wanted to write about the subway. I once wrote about finishing a book by Jim Lewis on the N train over the 59th street bridge, crying my first unstoppable public New York City tears as the book came to a close with the skyline behind me.

But today. O today. I forgot that one million students went back to school today. And tens of thousands of their teachers and aides and coaches. And the subway platform looked like this.

And the air conditioner in my car was broken. And the sneakers in my bag left imprints on my hipbone everyone was pressed so tight.

But we wrote some pretty fantastic subway poems today.