January 29, 2008

Last year, in fourth grade, my daughter’s teacher had the students write a “BioPoem”.  The worksheet bills a BioPoem as a “snapshot of who you are”.  I’m assuming it was used as a “get to know each other” kind of exercise, as it also calls for the authors to exchange with someone when they’re done and see what they can learn about someone else.  I’ve seen similar things before, and I would bet these are popular on blogs or MySpace pages (I’d link to MySpace but that site and my computer do not get along, at all).   

My daughter’s touched me in several ways, and I’m in the process of framing it because it just feels like something I should keep out and be reminded of, rather than filing it away with the rest of her papers.  You can find the instructions for making a BioPoem here.  If it never comes up in school, I highly recommend you introduce it to your kids – I’m guessing it can provide you valuable insight.  My daughter wrote two, and I’m going to copy them both to this column to share with you, changing only names and personal location info.  Maybe some punctuation changes too, so you don’t have to suffer the over-comma-nation of the BioPoem (she gets it from me).  I’ll leave the spelling though, it’s part of the charm! 

BioPoem # 1: 

(Daughter’s first name)

Goofy, caring, nice

Daughter of (Father’s name)

Lover of animals, horses, monsters

Who feels happy, sad, mad

Who needs to move, be goofy, watch stuff

Who fears drains, vegetables, meat

Who gives understanding, time, knoledge

Would like to see wild horses, Mexico, the west

Resident of Michigan



BioPoem # 2: 

(Daughter’s first name)

Loving, crazy, kind

Daughter of Sherry Mercurio

Loves make believe creatures, gadgets, electricity (I want to blow up Pluto with it)

Who feels confused, lonely, crowded

Who needs space, nature, exercize

Who fears gross food, big spiders, big buggs

Who gives kindness, forgiveness, trustworthiness

Whould like to see Hawaii, Pluto, Jupitor

Resident of Michigan


Of course, as a mother my mind zeroes in on the “confused, lonely, crowded” thing almost immediately.  Feeling lonely and crowded both at the same time definitely could explain the confusion part!  I’m sure she’s only kidding about blowing up Pluto too, but either way, it’s not like it’s a planet anymore anyway so how important can it really be?  I can definitively tell you that the “fear” of meat is really more of a “it sucks, why do I have to eat it” type of aversion, though probably if I allowed it she would gladly run screaming at the sight.  She really hit the nail on the head though on a few things, like needing to move and watch stuff.  I almost believe that if I made an instructional DVD about how to clean her room (complete with furry helpers and maybe a side story about how vacuum cleaners are made or something), she might actually “get it”.  The things the child has soaked in from Animal Planet and National Geographic Channel amazes me.   

Sometimes I think kids know themselves better than we give them credit for. 

I do plan to write one for myself, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.  I’m sure what took her probably a half hour will take me three days, oh the trappings of age and inhibition.  I’m hoping my younger daughter’s teacher will have them do it now that she’s in fourth grade as well.  If not, I’ll have to, because it won’t look right to have just one hanging on the wall…but I suspect the entire thing will be a different exercise when mandated by mom.  You know how that goes.   

In unrelated update news:  I can now verify with complete certainty that the damn parrot I wrote about before Christmas?  The one she *had* to have?  Apparently not quite so life-changing as expected.  I believe (seriously) that she’s touched it exactly three times since Christmas.  Once to move it to the spot where it lives in her room, once to get it out and try to make it work while she was banned to her room for an hour or so after fighting with her sister, and once to show it to her grandparents.  We did find the off switch though, so now he can be displayed in all his proud uselessness instead of hiding his little light under a cloth.   

I think that’s about all I have.  It’s winter blues time for me I guess, and I’m just kind of hibernating and hoping for more snow to make everything glittery and clean again.  There’s little worse than cold, gray, muddy looking terrain in winter – give me snow any day.  I’m considering doing that thing where I go all crazy thinking I need to redecorate half the house and start by tearing up carpet or painting swatches on a wall…then I just lose steam entirely and wait for my husband to come along and fix it.  It’s pathetic, I know, but at least I’m aware of my own flaws, right?  I’m trying hard not to do anything that can’t be undone…but this is pretty famously the time of the year when it happens.  It’s okay though, he’s fairly well adjusted to me by now.  He’s also itching to use some new tools he got for Christmas so I’m pretty sure I can figure out a way to play into that, brilliant manipulator of men that I am.  Pfft. 

Hope everyone is well, surviving the winter and thriving even!  Always love to hear your thoughts.

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