Clinton-Massie Middle School

Okay, how cool is this? I walked into the school and looked down and realized I was walking on poems written by CMMS kids and published in sidewalk chalk all over the place. One that sticks in my mind was an angry poem that involved finger pinching of a sister and some other mischief and ended in the words, “the worst part is, I was grounded for life.” It was hilarious. More serious was an “Angry” poem rewrite using the word “Marine” and honoring a local soldier. We were able to meet in a large group instruction area instead of a gymnasium or a cafeteria, which was also cool. I really felt that I got to make eye contact with everyone. One boy I won’t forget soon told me that he had been in the school but a few days — his fifth school so far this year. Mixed up family, he was there in spite of incredible odds, not the least of which was it ain’t all that easy to move a southern accent up north. We talked for quite a while, he showed me a snapshot of his estranged mom, brother and half brother folded in sixths. We talked about how success is the best revenge. He promised me that he would graduate from high school, no matter what it takes. I’m writing about this here, hoping to seal the deal. Good luck.

The drive from the Waynesville area back up to Marysville was pastoral, back roads through working farms, tractors stirring up dust across wide fields.

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