I'm not very good at producing readers, except for my youngest who had a goal to read a million words by the end of his school year and he made that amount by the end of September. Hey, he's a 5th grader, not much social life at that age. Still, even if the other two aren't reading for lifers, it seems writing and poetry run in the family.
Ahi participated in a local event called 16 Bars (he tells me that's a typical length of a freestyle rap). He's not a rapper, but he likes to write slam poems which could sound like rap, but they aren't restricted by a certain beat and they don't necessarily rhyme as much. Long story short, there were 4 boys from Kamehameha in this round and they were all poets (boys + poets = one happy English teacher - even if I only taught 3 out of 4 of them). The guys were judged by the emcee and one mystery judge, and audience response was factored in. Ahi was one of the two that moved on, but the other two have a chance to battle out of the lower bracket.
All in all it was an enjoyable night, and not because my son moved on. I thought all the boys did exceptionally well. I was proud of their vocabulary usage and the results may have been different if all of them memorized their pieces. Congratulations go out to Clint Anderson, 11th grade English teacher, Kamehameha Schools Hawaii. He couldn't be there that night because he was at his 10th high school reunion. As a slam poet himself he's doing a lot to give the boys the confidence to express themselves. They call themselves the Live Poet's Society. Yikes. ;-)