What High Schoolers do with an Open Mic

Good morning beautiful people! The weekend is over and it’s time to get back to work. But first, I want to tell you about Friday night. It was amazing!

The students of East High School’s Women’s Lit class all came down to Coffee at The Point for an open mic night. They had read Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons as a class assignment and created poetry, artwork and songs based on their personal demons.

From the freshmen to the seniors, I was impressed by their bravery in putting themselves out there and sharing their frustrations with a crowd of peers and strangers. Several students spoke of what it is like to be queer and not accepted by family. One student spoke of being of mixed race and how that affects him. He talked about how people expect him to behave on both sides. He spoke about his fears in what he sees on the media and how that same media portrayal makes others fear him.

One student broke down for us what it feels like to be gender non-binary, someone who doesn’t ascribe to either gender identity. They spoke of body dis morphia, that sense that your body doesn’t look the way you feel inside. They talked about how mirrors are a problem, because mirrors are a confirmation of that wrongness. I was intrigued. I have some friends who are trans gendered, but we have never spoken so frankly about these feelings.

One student talked about what it is like to be an immigrant. Her Nepali heritage is important to her. She told us about how some immigrant kids will change how they act just to fit in. They will even change what foods they serve their friends when they come over. This young woman has decided that it is better for everyone if she shares her culture instead of hiding it.

I am so thoroughly impressed by the younger generation. Their openness and honesty was astounding. I cannot wait to see the people they will become.

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