Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Working with Psalm 119

Amazed and joyful are those who get straight As,
who follow the teaching of the teacher.
Amazed and cheery are those who study diligently,
who follow the teacher’s chalk on the chalkboard.
Always I will sing the praises
of the one who grades my essays.
By which means can a student stay focused?—
by following your instruction.
Because I have resolved to work on this paper,
do not let me open up Facebook.
Beating inside me is a heart
that treasures your writing prompts.
Cast your favor upon me, your student,
that I may graduate and make you proud.
Clean my textbook of mistaken underlining,
that I may perceive the gist of the chapter.
Class is full of spitballs and taunts,
but I still long for your affirming gold stars.
Dust is all I am before you;
make me a human through your guiding words.
Daunted am I in the face of my homework;
keep me awake as I solve the equations.
Day by day I choose to seek out your teaching;
your spelling rules purify my mind and my prose.
Earnest am I in my desire to learn;
teach me to research and write a good abstract.
Everything distracting remove from my vision,
and I will soak up all the words that you say.
Embellishments fill up my peers’ paper margins;
remove me from doodles and bring me to notes.
Feeling your love would encourage me greatly;
give me a pat on the back or the head.
Forever I’ll follow your rules and your methods,
for I have decided to trust in your guidance.
From playground to playground I speak of your greatness;
I am not embarrassed to study my notes.
Give your student a sign that you have not forgotten
to give me a grade that reflects my devotion.
Gone are the days that I played on the playground
with students who mocked you for really little things.
Gratitude fills me at night when I study
for now I am careful to practice with flashcards.
How often have I begged you with all of my heart;
have mercy on me, in accordance with your grading curve.
High GPAs are awarded to others
but I trust in fairness and don’t cheat on finals.
Halfway to dawn I look up from my desk
and praise you for your just rules.
Insights you give me according to my abilities;
you have treated your student well.
In earlier years I too shot some spitballs,
but now I keep your laws.
I prefer the teaching you give me
to thousands of sour jawbreakers.
Joyful will be those who see me obey you,
for I have committed to watching my grammar.
Just as you promised me early in autumn
may your constant attention comfort me.
Jubilantly may I follow your laws
so that I do not go to detention.
Kindness I long for;
I hope for your A.
Kicking and screaming they dragged me through mud,
flouting your playground rules.
Kids in their teasing almost defeated me,
but I still completed my homework.
Long will you stand at the front of the classroom;
your word stands firm in the hallways.
Life is a gift when I follow your teaching;
I am your student; save me!
Laughing they tear up my flashcards and homework
but I ponder your math proofs.
Man oh man how I love your teaching!
It is my study all day long.
More information than in all other years
have I learned from you.
My mind ponders your standards;
therefore I hate all cheating.
Never have I felt more faint;
o teacher, give me an A in accordance with your word.
Negative and positive charges are my eternal heritage;
your lessons are my heart’s delight.
Neither cheaters nor gum chewers
will weaken my resolve.
Oh how I hate the students who cheat,
but I love your teaching.
On til the end of the day you will guide me;
I hope for your comments.
Oration directed at cheaters terrifies me;
I am in awe of your moral code.
Please keep me safe from the fools in the playground,
for I have done what is just and right.
Perjury is rampant within your classroom;
it is a time to act for the teacher.
Place me highly within the grading curve;
give me understanding, that I might know your rubric.

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