WBEZ | Chicago Writes http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-writes Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Writing from the Odyssey Project: The Allegory of the Cave http://www.wbez.org/blogs/front-and-center/2012-04/writing-odyssey-project-allegory-cave-98488 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cave2.gif" style="width: 471px; height: 326px;" title="(Photo courtesy of Odyssey the Project)"></div><p><br>WBEZ’s Front and Center project will be launching a series about literacy in late May. We are highlighting writing from organizations around the city as we lead up to the series.</p><p>The Odyssey Project is an organization that <a href="http://www.dropsend.com/">provides a college-level&nbsp; humanities classes to low-income adults. </a>This essay is in response to an assignment to write a personal version of Plato's <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave">cave story.</a></p><p><strong>The Allegory of the Cave</strong><br>by Tené A. Buckner</p><div class="image-insert-image ">The geography of the cave for me was a dysfunctional family of origin filled with abuse, neglect, abrasiveness, and all kinds of levels of addiction.&nbsp; I would be lying if I said there was no love. There was. My family of origin were my “puppets.”</div><div class="image-insert-image "><br>We were like “crabs in a barrel,” (an expression that I’ve heard my mom use quite often.) With crabs in a barrel, as one crab tries to get out of the barrel, the other crabs constantly pull whichever one is trying to escape back down with them.&nbsp; In my family of origin we had toxic competitiveness and lack of emotional support, warmth, encouragement, motivation or inspiration. In fact, we put each other down quite often.<br><br>My fate was doom, gloom, failure and depression, and a repeated cycle of abuse, neglect, addiction, sadness and hate. I was blessed to start a long, tumultuous, and rewarding journey of professional therapy.&nbsp; I began a very slow, gradual process of being “released from bondage.”<br><br>At some juncture I was able to turn around and see that every thing that I had been through and taught (verbally, or just modeled for me day-in and day-out) was mostly all lies!</div><p>My “ascent to the light” was a very long grieving process of realizing that my family would NEVER be the Cosby family, that my mom would never be Claire Huxtable, and that the Cosby family wasn’t even the real Cosby family!</p><p>Eventually I began to build a more positive life with warmer, more loving, more affirming people, all very imperfect like me though.&nbsp; My “out-side world” is full of love and fun-times and also very challenging and sad too, such is life.</p><p>Relating to my family now, inside the “cave,” can be such a triumph for me sometimes. Other times I need to make that ascension and turn around to reality to discover some new, hard truth about life and about myself.</p><p>I have transformed on so many levels, and I can now accept people inside and outside of the cave for who they are, or appear to be, and love them and myself in a more healthy way, or at least what I believe and what I have learned is healthy.&nbsp; But one can never be too sure, for I think that I’ve learned these things inside and outside of the cave.</p></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 25 Apr 2012 13:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/front-and-center/2012-04/writing-odyssey-project-allegory-cave-98488 Chicago writes: I Came to This Country On the Head of A Crocodile http://www.wbez.org/blogs/front-and-center/2012-04/chicago-writes-i-came-country-head-crocodile-98208 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/6257532815_4fc8174af0_z.jpg" style="height: 400px; width: 600px;" title="Neighborhood Writing Alliance poet, Mayi Ojisua, reading one of his poems. (Photo courtesy of Neighborhood Writing Alliance)"></div></div></div><p> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted rgb(170, 33, 29); margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; }ul { margin-left: 15px; }li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><p>WBEZ’s Front and Center project will be launching a series about literacy in late May. We are highlighting writing from organizations around the city as we lead up to the series.</p></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image ">This poem comes from the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, an organization that <a href="http://www.jot.org/about_us.php">"provokes dialogue, builds community, and promotes change by creating opportunities for adults in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods to write, publish, and perform works about their lives."</a></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>I CAME TO THIS COUNTRY ON THE HEAD OF A CROCODILE</strong><br><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.jot.org/JOTArchive/arc_2008/RoundAbout.pdf">Published in the Winter 2008 issue of the Journal of Ordinary Thought</a></div></div></div><p>As an alien, I came to this country on the head of a crocodile,<br>to be recognized<br>in this land of the free.<br>I came prepared without any load.</p><p>As an alien in this land<br>of milk and something,<br>I have nothing yet in plenty.</p><p>I came here by boat, because<br>I cannot swim.<br>I don’t know why the plane left me<br>by the roadside.</p><p>No ticket,<br>perhaps<br>no ticket.</p><p>From the very first day,<br>my alien name had changed<br>place to place.<br>Tragedies don’t care for me no more.<br>A hopeful loss,<br>remains my luck.</p><p>An alien,<br>an alien is a wind vane.<br>With two smiling ways<br>that have a low tolerance<br>to trust direction.</p><p>I left my home in Amso.<br>Vultures and white seagulls<br>are flying low<br>into the banks that cannot spell my name.</p><p>Eyes here, mouth there.<br>Camera is everywhere.<br>Snapping and snatching<br>the wrong faces.<br>Is an alien to be deported soon?</p><p>An alien,<br>don’t speak English well.<br>They cannot ask.<br>Cheap as Made in China.</p><p>In God we trust.<br>In this land of freedom, I hide.<br>Washing dishes, plucking rotten tomatoes,<br>jumping fences and hurdles,<br>an alien getting married soon.</p><p>Would the fence of heaven<br>keep the paradise dreamers<br>away from the kingdom come?<br>Crocodiles are waiting.<br>&nbsp;</p><hr><p><strong>More from Front and Center and Chicago Writes:</strong></p><blockquote><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/NeighborhoodWritingAlliance_0.jpg" style="height: 67px; width: 100px; float: left; margin-left: 4px; margin-right: 4px;" title=""><a href="story/front-and-center-literacy-series-96251">Front and Center: Literacy series</a><a href="blogs/front-and-center/2012-04/women-rampage-97968"><br>Barrel of Monkeys: The Women Rampage</a><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/front-and-center/2012-04/chicago-writes-fish-day-and-other-stories-826chi-98130"><br>826CHI: </a><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/front-and-center/2012-04/chicago-writes-fish-day-and-other-stories-826chi-98130">Fish Day and other stories</a></p></blockquote><hr></p> Fri, 13 Apr 2012 13:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/front-and-center/2012-04/chicago-writes-i-came-country-head-crocodile-98208 The Women Rampage http://www.wbez.org/blogs/front-and-center/2012-04/women-rampage-97968 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/The Women Rampage.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="image-insert-image ">WBEZ’s Front and Center project will be launching a series about literacy in late May. We are highlighting writing from organizations around the city as we lead up to the series. This first one comes from <a href="http://www.barrelofmonkeys.org/">Barrel of Monkeys</a>, an organization that teaches <a href="http://www.barrelofmonkeys.org/school/">creative writing in Chicago Public Schools</a> and then turns the student's writing into <a href="http://www.barrelofmonkeys.org/performances/">performances.</a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Luke Hatton was teaching a class where the students were writing stories based on a picture. One student was having a hard time getting inspired.&nbsp; After Luke talked with the student, the student said: "Wait a minute.&nbsp; There's something wrong with this picture.&nbsp; Where are the ladies?" Then the student wrote "The Women Rampage", which Geoff Rice arranged into a song.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p><strong>The Women Rampage</strong></p><p><em>By </em>Dante H., 4<sup>th</sup> Grade, Loyola Park After School Program</p><p>Once upon a time there was a room full of food and men, but no women. Women always wanted to get in that room, but women were not allowed! One day women started throwing rotten eggs at the room because they were so angry that they started breaking in to the room, gobbling the food, and beating up the men. It was a women rampage. Then after all that they rebuilt the room and women were finally allowed to go in.</p></p> Thu, 05 Apr 2012 13:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/front-and-center/2012-04/women-rampage-97968