SPEAK

Bernini-The-Rape-of-Proserpina-detail3

Here we get another page-turner. We loved the film and hopefully you enjoyed reading the novel too.  The title is quite emblematic, isn’t it?  Melinda Sordino undergoes a traumatic experience and this forces her into a sort of depressive tunnel.  She does not have any point of reference.  She cannot SPEAK UP, that is she cannot express her feelings, her emotions, her thoughts.  She withdraws into a sort of catatonic state, she barely speaks and living (and going to school) becomes a trudge, a burden.  Yet, little by little, especially thanks to her arts teacher, she frees herself from fear, from shame and decides to SPEAK UP, she decides to express herself first through art and then she manages to verbalize her nightmare to guarantee herself a much-expected rebirth.

speak[1]

If you were asked to change title to the novel, what would it be?  It should retain the quality that SPEAK guarantees, that is it should be effective about the plot without spoiling the read.
The author herself, Laurie Halse Anderson, says that “there are lots of kids out there in Melinda’s position – struggling with depression and teetering [moving unsteadily] on the edge of disaster – but people don’t pay attention unless they do something drastic”.  Do you agree with this statement of hers?  Why (not)? Can you think of any “drastic” event involving young people with problems either in Italy or in the USA?
The writer adds “today’s teens have to cope with massive amounts of stress and conflict.  Way too many of them understand the pain of not feeling like they can speak up”. Do you feel supported at school?  Do you think that if you were in trouble you could rely on some of your teachers, on you classmates, on any other adult figure within the school you attend?  What do you expect as a student from the institution that you frequent 5 days out of 7? Do you think students are well-catered for? (Try to provide examples). 
Do you think Melinda Sordino’s lot [condition in life] would have been different if she had been attending your school?

speak

I do not generally watch the film adaptation before I read the novel.  With you I opted for the reverse, to help you find your way through the book.  The following is the trailer to the film, do you find it to the point?

What I liked about the film and the trailer is that they highlight the key-role of the arts teacher in helping Melinda find her voice.  Of course, being a teacher myself, informed the way I perceived some scenes in the film.  I despised the history teacher for his being obnoxiously arrogant, for not promoting free expression in the class, for abusing his role as a teacher and most of all for being racist.  Yet, there is the other teacher that balances the situation perfectly well: he is a teacher who cares for his students and cherishes his profession.  I would like you to think of a teacher that you esteem/ed a lot, that in your opinion helped you become a better person.  Write a letter to that teacher and express your gratitude, express in what way s/he helped you.  (TASK ONE)

The movie is faithful to the book, but there are obviously things that had to be cut.  What scenes are not in the book but in the film? (mention one you found meaningful).  Then, what scenes are present in the novel, but not in the film? (once again mention just the one/s you deem more significant).  Why do you think the director chose such an ending?  Were you happy with it?  If yes, why?  If no, why not?

dont_speak_by_pizzadreams

I was astonished to read in an interview to the writer that lots of young men asked her why Melinda was so upset about being raped.  This means that many young men are not being taught the impact that sexual assault has on a woman.  As we mentioned in class, we are inundated by sexual imagery in the media (think of advertising with lots of sexual innuendo, it seems that if there are no hints to sex a “product” does not sell!) and often youngsters come to the shocking conclusion that having sex (even forced/unwanted sex) is not a big deal.  This explains why the number of sexual assaults is so high.  Another aspect that puzzled me was reading that most adults feel that rape is an inappropriate topic of discussion with teenagers.  What do you think?  Do you think teachers should speak openly about sexual issues or do you think this topic should be left to the free choice of families only?

dolce-and-gabbana-rape-ad

Believe it or not, but Speak was banned from schools in certain States in the USA since it was considered filthy and immoral; in other words mentioning rape meant for the censors dealing with “soft pornography”.  Do you think “rape” should not be mentioned in school or do you think that mentioning it helps some students become aware of the ordeal some “victims” have to face, or helps them speak up, as it happened for some of them in the USA?

cara

Readers wrote tons of letters to the writer, expressing their gratitude for the book, because reading it gave them the strength to speak up.  To respond to their letters, Ms Anderson decided to write a poem dedicated to all the victims of rape.  Significantly enough she decided to entitle it  “Listen”.  The striking words are “cut to let out the pain”, “your book cracked my shell”, “Speak gave me wings, opened my mouth, I whispered, I cried, I hated talking”, “You made me remember who I am”.
Can you write your poem through Melinda’s eyes? (TASK TWO)

This is my poem:
 
You usurped my being
You bent my will
You choked my living energy
You gagged my thriving youth
You silenced my days
You threw me into an unspeakable and gnawing despair
You were like an avalanche crawling over my body, scarring it to unmentionable limits
You branded my deep soul with your filthy semen
If only you knew what deep gorging chasm you forced into me
I want my old me BACK
I want my life BACK
BUT
You uprooted the joy of my future
You viciously deprived me of a loving choice
Despair
Numbing Despair
Limiting my teen days
Spoiling my life
Energy, I beseech you,
Enter my body,
Delete the brutish and fiendish wound that aches within my body and my mind
Spark some new vitality into me
Ambers turn into a vigorous fire
Life
Energizing life sow positive seeds into my being
Seeds that will make my despair vanish for ever
REBIRTH,
Anguished, but much yearned rebirth.

but_I_don__t_speak__Typograph_by_xwcg
If you are interested in getting to know more about the author, you could visit her webpage at  http://madwomanintheforest.com/

Last but not least, this is a useful website for rape victims http://www.rainn.org/ 
 

Is there a similar website in Italy?  What do you think is done in Italy to sensitise the public opinion about the ordeal of rape?  What is done to help young teenagers overcome the pain, the shock, help them speak out their turmoil to win their lives back?

When I was an adolescent a school mate of mine, the girlfriend of a classmate and a friend of mine, was raped.  That changed both their lives.  I have clear recollections of those days.  Little was done to help her.  Not because of lack of will, quite the contrary, it had more to do with a deep sense of embarrassment.  Speaking about sex and tackling the problem of sexual assault was a taboo issue.  If only I could go back to those days! I am sure I would react differently, I am sure I would do something to make a difference in my friend's life.  Speak has certainly made me rethink about that terrible incident and writing this post has certainly worked as a catharsis to me.

A good book should reflect human experience we can learn from, Speak certainly did.

SANY00021

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34 risposte a SPEAK

  1. anonimo scrive:

    EMPTY
     
    There I was,
    there he was.
    It happened.
     
    The others don’t know.
    I didn’t mention it.
    They don’t want to listen to me.
    I don’t speak.
    They would say he is horrible.
    They would say he is spiteful.
    They would say he is an animal.
    But they would know nothing.
     
    Sometimes I wonder
    If maybe it was my fault,
    if maybe it was I that had brought him to do that.
    Sometimes I wonder
    What could have happened
    If I hadn’t go to that party,
    If I hadn’t drunk so much,
    If I hadn’t been so carefree,
    If I had paid more attention.
    Houw could have been
    If I had begun my freshman year with lots of friends, some quietness, some joy.
    If my main problems had been how to dress up,
    to justify myself for some homework not done,
    how to escape from my house to meet my boyfriend.
    I wonder
    HOW WOULD HAVE BEEN?
    HOW COULD I HAVE BEEN?
     
    If, if, if.
     
    But now there aren’t if in my life anymore.
    I don’t think about future,
    I don’t make plans,
    I don’t organise anything.
    I barely think of what I’ll be doing in five minutes.
    My main occupation is staring at the others,
    watching them living their lives:
    they are
    joking, eating, speaking, worrying, crying, celebrating, thinking, running
    they are
    singing, dancing, jumping, playing, judging, planning, laughing, acting.
    They are someone.
    They have feelings streaming on their veins,
    they have life bursting out from every pore of their body.
     
    I used to be one of those, one of them.
    I used to feel happy, anger, worried, relaxed, cheerful, joyful, mad.
    Now I feel nothing. I feel empty.
    Me doesn’t exist anymore.
    There is no more me.
    I am nothing.
    I got used to it.
    Maybe I only need someone who can hear me.
    But I’m not able to speak. Not anymore.
    I’m only a ghost, and ghosts don’t speak.
    I’m a shadow of my old me.
    I loved her.
    I hate this nothingness.
     
    Erika Capovilla

  2. anonimo scrive:

    Erika,
    I thank you for your heartfelt poem.  It is really touching and most of all you seem to have grasped the very deep essence of Melinda's personal tragedy.  If Melinda were a girl who had had the misfortune of being raped, she would thank you for the sympathy you are showing her with this poem of yours.  Unfortunately there are lots of Melindas in this world, this poem is certainly dedicated to all of them, and I am sure none of them would ever object to it.  On the contrary they would certainly smile at you with eyes trimming with tears and they would remark "thanks Erika, thanks for being such a sensitive SISTER".
    With admiration and gratitude.
    Your teacher of English.

  3. anonimo scrive:

     I was raped,
    IT violated me…
    And now I’m unclean and dirty
    I cannot speak! I’m numb..
     
    But one day I will reclaim
    What was taken from me.

     
    Will I ever forget?
    I'll never forget what IT did.
    IT used rape and abuse
    To have power over me,

    Holding me back for too long,
    Stealing my happiness…my friends…my youth.
     
    The pain.
    IT hurt me, something I has never felt before,
    It wasn’t a cut or a scrap.
    This pain will never go away or heal.
     
    The guilt.
    It is killing me,
    Even though it is not my fault.
    If only I had not been at that party!
     
    NOW. I want to break free and take back my own life.
    I want to speak up…not to fell alone any more.
    No one should feel that way.
    No one should cause that pain.
    Because that pain lasts a life time…
     

    Alessia Testa

  4. anonimo scrive:

    Speak up and Rebirth
     
    Silence, who is the only weapon that I have
    Pain to be abused, teased.. pain who diseases my
    Emotions. You, beast, betrayed my willing and your Evil eye
    Attacked my spirit and my self-esteemed will be halve.
    Kidnapping myself, you destroyed my life
     
    Universe knows my story and a friend
    Picks up my inwardly tears but anyway she wasn’t able to accept me
     
    Although I find a person who was able to make me vent by painting a tree
    Night tree I hated a lot but I learn to love it and
    Drawing, I started grow up forgetting that black hand.
     
    Rebirth, what I need
    Enhancing my self-esteemed
    Believing in my virtues.
    Ichoke my fears destroying them;
    Rage, what I calm down and
    Truth what I speak loud telling my story for the first time to my hero.
    Hi myself! This is the phrase I say to my new life at the end.

  5. anonimo scrive:

    The last one is mine = Erona Giada

  6. anonimo scrive:

    Pain and empty.
    This is what you left me
    and I, that I was deluded, you were so nice, so strong
    Now, you are my nightmare.
    You are who raped my body, but most of all
    You are who raped my soul.
    Your hands that covered my mouth,
    I feel them still on me
    and I can't speak.
    Your body on me, made me a prisoner of a world that I hate.
    I'm dead inside, you killed me.
    You prevented me to choose, to decide, to be happy.
    I am alone. I am alone in the world.
    I and my will to escape, to scream and no longer exist.
    BUT, I can't continue to hide behind all of this
    I have only one certainty:
    I was raped.
    I can't cancel, I can't forget
    BUT I can overcome, I want, I must overcome!

  7. anonimo scrive:

    I want to scream but
    You gag me
    You choke my voice
    You seal my mouth
    I want to forget you but
    You branded me
    You hit me with your spiteful claws
    I want to reborn but
    I shake with fear
    I’m welting, the colours of my thoughtlessness are fading away
    I can not pluck up the courage to come to life again
    I can not pluck up the courage to sow a new seed.

    Adua Dalla Costa

  8. anonimo scrive:

    You hurt
    You choked me
    You gagged me
    You were like a boulder over me and still you are
    You branded me
    You crumbled everything.

     

    I shiver
    I loathe you
    I swallowed down the truth
    I seal my lips.

    My head is killing me, my throat is killing me.
    I want to get rid of these thoughts and whispers that creep in my mind.
    I should probably tell someone,
    just tell someone.

    Would you listen?
    Would you believe me?

    Pain. Nightmare. Escape.

    Get over with it
    Let it out
    Split it out
    Blurt it out.

    Silvia Salvador

  9. anonimo scrive:

    the fourth one is mine Irene Pellegrini, sorry.

  10. anonimo scrive:

    I am just astonished by your capability at writing poems.  Perhaps we should have started much earlier.  It seems you are better at writing poems or creative pieces of writing than doing your tests. 
    Alessia, your poems is really unexpectedly involving.  I esteem you as a student, but you do not tend to make your voice heard in class.  SO reading this excellent poem made me understand that the blog certainly manages to give my "silent" students a great/powerful voice.  Thank you, I really appreciated the heart-felt way you wrote it. 
    Giada, you definitely wrote a nice poem.  This proves that you can write in English and you should worry less about negative performances and focus more on the things you can do well.  Do not give up writing and reading in English, do not stop loving the subject.  You can do very well if you want to and if you dedicate enough time to studying the subject. 
    Adua, I did not grasp one line (I think you mistook one word for another, in class we will discuss about it), yet your short poems if very powerful.  I enjoyed reading it.
    Silvia, great poem, you certainly let your thoughts out, spit your creativity out, blurtet your emotions out!

  11. anonimo scrive:

    Watch this highly provokative ad against rape.  It certainly subverts the assumption that the victim is somehow to be blamed for what happened to her.
    See you in class.
    Your teacher of English.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AewZdSvJPPA  

    It starts with a familiar scenario: Pretty girl in a bar wearing a short skirt. Continuing the generic vibe of the scene, a guy catches a glimpse of her and exclaims to his buddy: "Check out that skirt — she's asking for it!" Cut to the same girl earlier that day looking at skirts in a department store. The saleslady asks if she could use some help. The girl replies matter-of-factly: "Yeah, thanks, I'm going out tonight and I want to get raped. I need a skirt that will encourage a guy to have sex with me against my will." The clerk excitedly coos: "The blue one. Definitely the blue one."Feel a wee bit unsettled? Aye, you should. Women don't flirt, drink or dress their way into rape, and the ad highlights the absolute absurdity, and basic inhumanity, of the "asked for it" attitude.

  12. anonimo scrive:

    I am no more me.
    I’m struggling to let it go,
    to let it pass by
    and continue to live my life.
    But I have no more strength:
    you took all of it and threw it away.
    Where is all the voice I once had?
    Why can’t I speak?
    Why can’t anybody understand me?

    Sometimes I blame myself for what happened.
    Because I was too naïve;
    I just wanted to be wanted
    and I didn’t care about anything else.
    I didn’t pay attention.

    But now I have only memories.
    Memories of that girl full of joy and life
    I once was.
    Now the time just passes by
    as if I weren’t alive.

    I have no more friends.
    I have no more feelings.
    I have no more dreams.
    He stole everything I once had,
    and now, because of him,
    I have no more life.                         

    Valentina Lupieri

  13. anonimo scrive:

    IT change my life.
    I wasn’t able to speak but now I feel revived.
    Now I feel another person,
    with another life,
    with another, better soul.
    Are you listening?
    I don’t care about YOU.
    I am sick of you but I don’t loathe you.
    I have lost my friends,
    my family doesn’t see that I was dead inside.
    IT change my life.
    IT change my life.

  14. anonimo scrive:

    The last one is mine Nicoletta Pagura

  15. anonimo scrive:

     

    I look out and i am already over,

    over the imposing trees,

    over the roofs with their smoking chimneys,

    slight memories appear in my mind,

    violent moments, nearly endless,

    dirty moments that leave scars in and out,

    unfortunately unforgettable moments.

    There have been and I can not forget them,

    they have changed me, forever.

    I grew up from that night, I felt used

    I understand that people can be bad;

    now I feel naked and vulnerable,

    like a tree in early winter,

    but it is almost summer

    and I want to live,

    I can not preclude me happiness

    because of a bastard!

    Now I expect a guy who loves me and respect me in body and soul. 

    Silvia Fedrigo

     

  16. anonimo scrive:

    Valentina, reading your poem moved me.  You've always been a gifted student and I am so happy to have you in my class.  You tend to be very silent and you rarely speak out in class.  So reading your poem, which discloses great insight and sympathy, touched me deeply.
    Nicoletta, you got the main point (I think) of the aftermath of a rape: the change you have been thrown into is just like a deep scar, isn't it?
    Silvia, the right boy will certainly turn up. 
    Your teacher of English

  17. anonimo scrive:

    Which image do you find the most striking to fight against sexual assault?
    Let me know in class.
    See you.

  18. anonimo scrive:

    LOST

    the only way I feel
    ALONE
    nobody would touch my dirty soul

    your mouth spoke to me
    your eyes looked at me
    How could I know?
    you deceived my naive being

    I still feel your hand on my body
    Your scary, determined hands
    like brutal tentacles grabbing me
    I'm not able to forget your stomach
    your slimy, sweay stomach on me
    your shoulder, your arms
    are still tormenting my nights
    Didn't you care about my weeping cries?
    about my innocent body, my inexistent breast?
    Fourteen years old.

    They told me "you should have spoken"
    with whom?
    who would have helped me?
    They would have said "poor"
    he is a monster, he doesn't merit to live
    BUT who would have been able to hang my hand,
    to read my grieved heart through my deeply offended eyes?

    Alone, lost
    he have stolen my passion, my emotion
    I don't feel the same, I can't remember who I was before
    Where is my smile? Have I ever smiled?
    Where are my full-of-joy eyes?
    Where are my friends when I need them?
    Who could understand?

    I scream under the moon, I scream to the night
    full of grief
    plenty of weakness
    to the stars
    without energy
    without oxygen

    I still have the same NIGHTMARE
    What does peacefully sleeping mean?
    You're a THIEF

    It was MY fault?
    I am really sure I should have stopped it
    I feel giulty, damn I can't stand it!

    FEAR, PAIN, WEAKNESS, SUFFERING, HELPLESS
    the only words I know

    They told me speak! SPEAK?!?
    my voice is broken in two
    my heart is puzzled

    I want to REBIRTH

    Fabiola Celaj

  19. anonimo scrive:

    SPEAK
     
    Anger, despair, revenge…
    No. I do not feel any of these.
    Just numb. I am just numb.
    I am a victim, a passive victim.
    But how can I react?
    You make me fade away, you make me die inside.
    And now…I am broken.
    Nobody can fix me.
    I am screaming, I am crying.
    Why don’t you hear me?
    Why don’t you wipe away my tears?
    I’m without voice, nothing inside.
    Somebody must save me,
    somebody must bid my blood to run.
    Hush.
    Around me, inside me.
    Hush.
    It makes me drown.
    Won’t somebody speak, won’t somebody talk?
    I must talk. Say it.
    Tell them what happened, tell them what he did to you.
    I tried to forget, I tried to pretend that it didn’t happen,
    but I can’t avoid it: it obsesses me.
    So, speak.
     
    This pain is going to leave.
      
    Sara Perin

  20. anonimo scrive:

    FALLING DOWN
    A day…
    A month…
    A year…
    And you always have something hurting you,
    that is your 'unspeakable' life.

    You do not think about the motivation of that action,it happened, you can only go on and rebirth.
    Somebody says that SPEAK is the kye happiness.
    They are wrong!

    YOU KNOW THE WAY TO STAING ALIVE.
    Perhaps  listening to music, or painting the big beast who hurt you so much and throw the paper over you and trumple on it since the pain runs away.

    Life is a fearful friend,
    sometimes it pets you
    and
    sometimes it deceives you.

    You've got constantly need to fight in order to survive,
    but this is the way, wich makes somebody thinking about the reality of events.
    But, DO NOT THINK YOU ARE ALONE because, you remember your situation, that is ''different'' than the others,
    FIGHT AGAINST IT.

    you are not your only reason to stay alive.

    Veronica Sidoti

  21. anonimo scrive:

    This is it
    here I stay
    just a spot of black and grey
    looking for any escaping way.
    What you did
    took away from me
    the only chance I had to be free.
    Free of loving whoever I want to
    without your spotty face constantly remembering me
    I had sex for the first time with an unknown.
    Now I can’t  hear anything
    because of your voice shouting in my ear
    YOU WANT IT AS I WANT IT.
    Now I can’t smell anything
    because of my nostril full of your nauseating scent.
    Now I can’t see anything
    because of your evil smile which follows me wherever.
    Now I can’t taste anything
    because nothing has a taste for me in this moment.
    Now I can’t touch anything
    because of the fear of meet again a treacherous hand.
    But I can FEEL.
    Oh yes I feel the noise of  the world calling my name,
    I feel the essence of the grass begging me to sit on meadows,
    I feel the smile of  who I love heating up my back,
    I feel the shape of marshmallows melting on my tongue,
    I feel the hand of my teacher laying on my shoulder.
    RAPE.
    Just a word but so hard to face.
    Right, but life is so much more.
    NONE BUT OURSELVES CAN FREE OUR MIND.
      
    Martina Cimmino  

  22. anonimo scrive:

    This is it
    here I stay
    just a spot of black and grey
    looking for any escaping way.
    What you did
    took away from me
    the only chance I had to be free.
    Free of loving whoever I want to
    without your spotty face constantly remembering me
    I had sex for the first time with an unknown.
    Now I can’t  hear anything
    because of your voice shouting in my ear
    YOU WANT IT AS I WANT IT.
    Now I can’t smell anything
    because of my nostril full of your nauseating scent.
    Now I can’t see anything
    because of your evil smile which follows me wherever.
    Now I can’t taste anything
    because nothing has a taste for me in this moment.
    Now I can’t touch anything
    because of the fear of meet again a treacherous hand.
    But I can FEEL.
    Oh yes I feel the noise of  the world calling my name,
    I feel the essence of the grass begging me to sit on meadows,
    I feel the smile of  who I love heating up my back,
    I feel the shape of marshmallows melting on my tongue,
    I feel the hand of my teacher laying on my shoulder.
    RAPE.
    Just a word but so hard to face.
    Right, but life is so much more.
    NONE BUT OURSELVES CAN FREE OUR MIND.
      
    Martina Cimmino

  23. anonimo scrive:

    Sorry prof I'm a bit unable so I posted it two times =) sorry!

  24. anonimo scrive:

    Cimmi, ONLY YOU! 😀
     

  25. anonimo scrive:

    WHY?
    It's YOU.
    You are a BEAST.
    Why did you do that?
    Why me??
    You stole my choice.
    You stole my love.
    You stole my innocence.
    You ruined my teens.
    I wanted to shout,
    but you didn't permit me to do that…
    …now I'm mute.
    I'd like to talk to my mother, to my friends,
    but I'can't, I have a block of  ice in my throat.
    My soul is shouting and fighting against that memory,
    but my body is motionless.

    Why??
    Why can't I move?
    Why can't I forget?

    Now I have understood…
    I have to face it, I have to live with it…
    I'm still the same person,
    he didn't change me and my personality.
    Now I can start a new life…
    Now I'm stronger…
    Now I'm again the old MELINDA.

    Alice Piccolo

  26. anonimo scrive:

    Where are you? Sweet, innocent
    lighthearted girl. Where are
    you?
    Lost among blades of glass
    too tall
    too bright.

    Where are you? Me no longer mine,
    flown away
    to get rid of the guilty lymph of
    my days. Twin traitor, where are
    you? You left me alone.
    My mirror the pain.

    Come back to me. I need you
    I want you. Give me the strenght
    to show him I'm not died.
    You can.
    I know you. Where are you?
    I'll reach your land.

    silvia maglio

  27. anonimo scrive:

    Dear teacher,
    I would apologize for my actions that maybe could be arrogant. I would apologize for my loud and selfish voice. I would apologize for my excuses that in that moment I should avoid and I should silence. But I would thank you to teach me what I should do in that moment and that the respect is the only weapon we have to win every obstacle, every problem.
    I think I grow up with this telling-off and I think I change my behaviour in front of an adult. You was like a mum who tell off her daughter to have respect, to think before speaking, to be older.
    I know you're not a mum, you are a teacher and I'm your student: there's no as a close relationship as I have with my mum. But you was a mum the same. Or maybe a guide!
    Many times I hate you because I think you forgot that I'm 17 and I make a mistake more than an adult: my actions were disrespectful, yes, but, believe me or not, I have never wanted to pull your leg.
    But many times I love you because you teach very well, you are strict when students need, you work not to earn money but because you love this job and you are a guide, for everyone. You are able to preserve the silence, involve your students and ( It is the most important feature you have) you always spend a lot of time to re-explain. to help when we don't understand. I esteem you a lot, even if we are opposite persons and if I decide to go to universe and learn the same subject you teach, I will come to you for every doubt, hoping you accept me.
    Thank you for all!
    Eroina Giada

  28. anonimo scrive:

    It is eleven o'clock p.m. and I have just finished rereading all your poems.  I feel touched, I feel proud of you.  Regardless of the mistakes (I did not want to edit your poems, I wanted you to post them with their mistakes because they express the fact that you are blossoming and blooming students.  If you keep on studying and upgrading your level of English, in two years time you will be able to go back to these poems, be proud of who you were then, of what you were able to express in a foreign language, yet spot the mistakes and realize how much you have bettered yourselves as users of English!
    I am proud of having you as my beloved students.  You thanked me for what I am doing for you, well, I MUST SAY THAT IT IS BECAUSE OF YOU THAT I AM DOING ALL THIS! If you were not special students I would be in bed now, reading a book perhaps.  So THANK YOU for taking up all the challenges I come up with.  THANK YOU for giving new sap to my profession (IF IT WERE NOT FOR MOTIVATED STUDENTS LIKE YOU MY TEACHING CAREER WOULD BE A DRAB, SEEN THE FACT THAT THERE ARE LOTS OF STUDENTS WHO DO NOT FEEL LIKE STUDYING AT ALL).
    Some of you wrote a letter to me, well I do not deserve it, yet I thank you for that.  You filled my heart with joy.  Not because of the compliments you paid me, but because your gratitude for what I am doing makes me understand I am on the right track as a teacher.  You know I cherish values more that anything else.  The fact that you appreciate that gives me an energetic spur.  Even when I am confronted with disruptive and who-could-care-less students (I have a bunch of them clearly "painted" in my memory!), your words give me faith: I should not give up believing in the power of teaching because of them.  I should focus more on the achievements than on the failures.
    This is my heart-felt letter to you.  You were asked to write a letter to a teacher you admire, I am writing a "pseudo" letter to you as students I admire.

  29. anonimo scrive:

    Darkness. deep down in my soul
    Alone. Nobody sees something. nobody feels something
    Guilty. I am the only one to blame
    Pain. I do not want to hear, I do not want to see, I do not want to speak
    Price. someone had to pay for another one’s mistakes. It is me
    Awareness. what is happened is happened, I do not want to be dead forever
    Strength. Is the only thing I really need
    Ears. someone to rely my painful secret
    Light. thank you for helped me
    Alive. finally I can smile, I am not alone. No more

    Bozzolan Arianna

  30. anonimo scrive:

    Really nice, Arianna.  I enjoyed reading your poem.  🙂
    Your teacher of English

  31. anonimo scrive:

    Pain and emptiness
    This is what you left me
    and I, that I was mislead, you were so nice, so strong
    Now, you are my nightmare.
    You are the one who raped my body, but most of all
    You are the one who raped my soul.
    Your hands that covered my mouth,
    I feel them still on me
    and I can't speak.
    Your body on me, made me a prisoner of a world that I hate.
    Now, I'm dead inside, you killed me.
    You prevented me from choosing, deciding, being happy.
    I am alone — I am alone in the world.
    I and my will to escape, to scream and no longer exsisit.
    BUT, I can't stop living!
    I have only one certainty:
    I was raped.
    I can't cancel this, I can't forget it
    BUT I can overcome this nightmare, I want to, I shall overcome!

                                                                                   Irene Pellegrini
     

  32. anonimo scrive:

     
    Dear Ms. E.R.
     
    I heard about the good news, the birth of your son, and I am very happy for you and your husband.
    I hope you remember me, I’m Irene, a student of section F, the legendary F!
    By now, the years of middle school are just distant memories but they are the best years, that I remember with joy and with a smile. I had a great admiration for you and you knew this. In your subjects I always tried to give the best of me. With you Italian, History and Geography became more interesting and engaging. I studied a lot, but studying was not a burden, and you always rewarded me. The only “flaw” that I had and still I have now is my way of writing, that you always described as “different, contrary to the whole world, but I like it” I remember that you used to said this sentence when you handed me back my essays. You were my favourite teacher from the first year maybe not at first sight. I remember the first few weeks were tough with you, almost the whole class had called you as the teacher who gave poor grades. But in a short time, you changed our mind. A smile, a comforting word, a lesson speaking about us and our problems…all this marked the three best years of my life! You were close to me for three years, saw me grow up, helped me to grow, there have been moments of difficulty with the school with friends, especially with a particular friend, my best friend. You were available for ours problems with school, especially at the third year for the exams. We spent entire afternoons sitting on the lawn of the school under the sun, you were like a mom for me! When my best friend and I quarrelled you immediately noticed that and tried to help us, let us grow closer again. I will never forget the day of the exam, after my exam, you got up and with tears in your eyes you hugged me, and I handed you a letter that after three years of middle school I decided to write to thank you for everything. Thank you for the teacher who had been for me for what you taught me and for what you made me feel, you are a fantastic person. Your reproaches were always constructive because I realized that it was from there that I had to start: from mistakes, to become a better person. I miss my favourite teacher I miss you a lot!. I feel the need to go back to those moments, I feel too grown up, I feel the responsibilities are becoming bigger and bigger. More than once I went back to school to see you, and as soon as I entered I felt at home. You made me appreciate studying, knowledge, school, knowing how to live well, knowing how to love … and many other things that I keep all inside!
    I will never forget you, you are my idol, you are a myth, you are the best teacher I had at Middle School.
     
                                 With admiration and gratitude
                                                                         I.P.                                                                                         

  33. anonimo scrive:

    dear teacher V.,
    it is a long time since we last met, but you know, there are things which do not disappear after one, two, three weeks, three months, three years. They are always there like the moon, half-covered at times, hidden at others, but costantly, always "hanging" in the sky.
    How are you? I'm fine: school is running fast away and soon we'll be lying on the shore. I can't wait, really. I wonder how many German people I'm going to meet this summer. I can hear you saying: "holidays is the best occasion to improve your German. Do not tell me German guys are not fair!!". Don't worry, I promise I'm going to do my best. All in all, that's what you ever asked us. Our best. Because you believed we were all able to do something important in life, no matter what. We were all able to achieve our dreams if we really cared about them. I remember we were a different class during your classes. No arguing, no scuffles. We were all in charge of our life and the others one. I can't say why, how you could do that, but it happened.
    Now I'm quite good at German. You were right, it is a sort of "geometric language". After the first toils it all becomes easier. But if you don't make that effort German will remain your nightmare, you won't understand anything. Not because you can't, but because you haven't tried to.
    You always understood which were my difficulties. I don't know, maybe you read it in my astonished gaze, when you tried to explain something "strange". "You have to take it like that, German people place the past participle in the last place. No rational motivations. They are a little bit foolish". And how many times you understood I was tired and you told me: "meine Liebe, you really have to take a day off. Go to the sea, go riding, get relaxed". I do not know how you could do that. I'd say you were able to read my mind, you could understand all what I needed, what was up. I think it was a matter of experience, but also a capability of reaching a different wavelenght. It is not easy, you need to be there, your eyes open but not searching; your smile ready, but only when you really feel like that.
    Thanks, because you really managed to be all that. Thanks, because you gave me so much. Thank you.
    S.M

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