I asked a few staff members to read and react to my poetry book Hoping For Sugar. I have been writing my book for about a year through independent study in the Nexus program. It contains poetry regarding relationships with others that I have experienced throughout my life, and the emotions surrounding them. It is meant to be an emotional roller coaster, and to let others know that they are not alone in what they experience.
Michelle Fongemiereading I hope you starve from Hoping For Sugar by Taylor Rock. Fongemie says, “Wow! That is a dagger straight to your chest!”
Fongemie reading Monochromatic from Hoping For Sugar by Taylor Rock.
Olivia Gatti reading from Hoping For Sugar by Taylor Rock. Gatti has been a major help with editing and inspiration for other books.
Gatti and I talked about several ideas for Hoping For Sugar. I enjoy the passion she has for all things literature, and she portrays them well through her body language.
As I am sure you can tell, we had a great time reading some of my work together. Gatti will continue to be one of my favorites as I move on to new books and places.
Rex McCoy has also been a large supporter of my work. He always has something to say about any kind of work that I put before him.
McCoy is a bit camera shy; however, he graciously agreed to react to my book for me. We both could not stop laughing, and had a great time reading together. I appreciate McCoy’s cooperation and participation.
The second hand of the clock moves at the pace of a snail as the teacher yammers on about the new pointless unit that the class will focus on for the next six weeks. In the back of the classroom, students stare out the window and text on their phones, completely disinterested in the teacher’s endless lecture. Minutes go by. More valuable time that could be spent on passionate learning is lost.
To tackle this wasted learning and disinterest of some students in the traditional learning style, CVU plans to implement the Nexus Path next fall, an alternative program through which students still receive the education necessary to graduate, but will do so through a learning environment that they create and run. According to Troy Paradee, the current Snelling health teacher who will be one of three teachers working in the Nexus Path program next fall, “the idea is for students to design their own learning based off of their interests rather than simply following a curriculum that teachers and adults provide for them.”
CVU began to consider incorporating such a program into the CVU learning setting several years ago. In 2013, the Vermont legislature passed the Flexible Pathways Initiative (Act 77), which required secondary schools like CVU to offer alternative ways for students to reach graduation requirements outside the traditional classroom environment. The goal of the initiative was to increase graduation rates and offer a diversity of learning pathways for students who would like learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom setting. Although CVU does have other alternative learning methods, such as dual enrollment and tech schools, the administration felt that more could be done to accomplish the goal of Act 77. According to Paradee, “when Principal Adam Bunting arrived back at CVU this fall, he brought with him the idea for the Nexus Path, which he modeled after the SOAR program at Montpelier,” and this alternative learning path was born.