8M, a 7th-grader about to turn 13, is having a lot of fun in his English class, just lately. They're doing a unit on Poetry; his English teacher is a young woman who looks like she might not be much older than Middle School herself. She's wonderfully creative, and puts across real joy and love for her subject, of which 8M, at least, seems to have caught a most virulent case.
She had them memorize two poems of their own choice. 8M asked Jenn and me what our favorite poems were; I told him Lewis Carroll's 'Jabberwocky' and Poe's 'The Bells' (inveterate lover of wordplay that I am; I thought about giving him 'I Am the Walrus', but wasn't sure if that would count as an actual poem). Jenn gave him Rudyard Kipling's 'If'. So the three of us spent a couple weeks memorizing all three poems, and had great fun doing so.
The class held a 'tournament' of everyone's favorite poems. The teacher paired off the poems, and the class voted on which one of each pair they liked, one round every day. Alas, 8M's poems were eliminated fairly early (evidently, our predilection for whimsical wordplay is not widely shared; pity). The ultimate winner was a limerick by Ogden Nash (which seems about right for a middle school class):
A flea and a fly in a flue
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the fly, "Let us flee!"
"Let us fly!" said the flea.
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.
I love limericks. . .
Another recent assignment asked 8M to write a statement describing himself in three words. He wrote, "I am a rebel," and showed if to 6F, who was standing nearby. She looked at it and said, "But that's four words." 8M just looked at her, grinning. . .