I do not care about quadratic equations, or the two sides of a triangle, or your short version of history that doesn’t go over everything.
I do not care about how to find C when X equals A times B that equals Z.
You all are just cramming things into my brain that makes no sense to me and expect it to stick like gum to a wall.
How am I supposed to remember it all?
What I care about is learning something I can apply to the real world, at any moment, in any location, no matter what age or career I go into.
Teach me how to ignore the whispers behind my back as I walk the narrow hallways on my way to class.
Teach me how to fill out a tax reform so that when I am on my own and have my first job I won’t be so confused.
Now that’s math I am not likely to forget.
Show me how to accept myself regardless of the color of my skin, or how much money my parents have in their bank accounts, or what kind of game systems I own, or how many pairs of name brand shoes I have.
Instruct me on how to rise above the hatred evident in some of my peers’ eyes for no other reason but for what they see on the outside.
Teach me how to be myself instead of a copy of who everyone else wants me to be.
Help me gain a better understanding that even though I am not like that girl, or as rich as that boy, or as well off as those people, that I am still worthy of a chance to make my own self worth.
That although my face is not as flawless as the girl in the magazines
And my hair isn’t as long as the girl next to me
Or that my skin isn’t as light as hers that I am still beautiful.
Instead of teaching me the statistics of teen girls that are born of teen mothers that become teen mothers TELL me that I am more than that number.
That I am just me and not part of some person’s observations and calculations.
Teach me that although I am black I can be someone.
That I will not end up like the stereotypes that I see on the TV.
I will not end up in jail, or selling drugs on the corner, or pregnant before I manage to graduate high school, or shot and left to die at a young age.
Reassure me that I will not be classified as another black child just because I AM a black child.
That I am more than what people can see with their eyes.
Teach me to not have hate in my heart when I see girls with lighter pigment than myself or different color eyes.
Lecture me on how I am an individual who has a place in this world.
That I won’t feel like an outcast for the rest of my life because there is a place for me somewhere.
Even if it takes awhile to get there.
Tell me that I can be whatever I want to be and not to forget my dreams.
Convince me that I am not what society perceives me as and that I can make a name for myself in a positive way.
That someone will love me for who I am and that I won’t have to change for any man or woman.
That God is watching over me and carving a path for me and is pushing me in the right direction for my future.
Teach me that I am not a forgotten child because I live in the ghetto, or a third world country, or because I was born a certain color or with a disability.
Explain to me that even if I was white or Asian or any other race that this is the path that I am suppose to live and that I will make it through.
Teach me not to have hate in my heart and soul for other people because I do not know that they have been through, or where they have been, or who they are just like they don’t know who I am.
Slam these lessons into my mind and pry my eyes open so that I may see and imbibe the reality of life.
That even if I were born as something or someone else I could still have very little money for college and a broken roof over my head where underneath may lay a broken family.
What no one else has taught me because maybe no one else cares.
Teach me these things as my teacher, my mentor, my guidance counselor, my educator…
Teach me these things in a classroom and then I will start listening to you.
Because I feel like no one is listening to me
That all the people around me are doing is criticizing me because for some reason they think they know me.
They don't know that the walls are closing in on me...
That the walls of this room are trying to choke me.
They don’t know what I have been through or what I am going through.
And YOU don’t know who I am…
How can you know who I am when I don’t know who I am?
In class I barely utter a sound because I feel so small.
It’s almost like I’m not there at all.
So I’m slowly losing focus…
And maybe you would notice if you had the ability to pry my mind open.