Saturday, February 11, 2006

Poetry Slam Winter 2006

Our Winter Poetry Slam is over and it was wonderful. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday saw eight of our 5th through 7th grade classes participating in a friendly competion of original written poetry performances. Our Queen's finalists even had the opportunity to go on to Slam with another school Region in the Bronx. In all their were a total of six slams involving 22 different connections and not one site was unable to connect. That is technology at its best.
Of course this wasn't the case the week before our Poetry Slam. No, the week before saw "Murphy's Law" in full effect. A cable modem at one school inexplicably stopped working, another cable line got chewed up in a door, and the icing on the cake was that six of our 8 Polycom VSX7000's had a software version that would crash the bridge if they were not updated to a later version. On a personal note I had to be in California for a family event and so I was working against a ticking clock. Miraculously, the cable repair was done as scheduled in both schools. So much for the bad rap the "cable repair guy" gets. I was able to remotely, with the cooperation of school techs, upload the new software from 7.5 to 8.0. And I flew to California on Friday and back to New York on Sunday without any airport closings because of a winter snowstorm (fortunately it's not this weekend where over a foot of snow is expected). So, on Tuesday morning we were ready to SLAM!
Our Poetry Slams were great. Our students and their poetry was just wonderful. The poets from UrbanWord, the spoken word residency that had been in the schools for ten weeks working with the students, were there supporting their students. So were their teachers, classmates and school administrators. I hope to post a link soon to some of those performances. In one e-mail I received from a principal he said " I must say it was a tremendously positive experience!  Thank you for bringing such a wonderful opportunity to our kids."
I am so proud of our teachers, our poets, our tech support, our administrators, our judges but most of all our students for such a spectacular event. Next month we will host an Open Mic in one of our schools where all the students, not just the team members, will get a chance to perform their poems. Then of course there is our Spring Poetry Slam in May where we get to do it all over again.


Janine Lim said...

Hey Andrea, sounds like a fun event. Can you tell us more about the format and how you decide which classes connect, etc. How does judging happen? I would like to learn! :)


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