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Students learn about how the past is present

Students+were+taken+on+a+trip+to+BAM+to+watch+a+one+and+a+half+hour+showcase+with+poets%2C+DJs%2C+dancers%2C+singers%2C+and+musicians.+Even+though+all+the+performers+had+different+pieces+to+display%2C+they+were+all+connected+to+the+same+theme+of+Past+is+Present.+Many+people+had+different+views+on+the+topic+of+Past+is+Present%2C+but+they+were+all+similar%2C+bringing+their+audience+back+to+the+theme.+Photo+attribution+to+Nicole+Yu
Students were taken on a trip to BAM to watch a one and a half hour showcase with poets, DJs, dancers, singers, and musicians. Even though all the performers had different pieces to display, they were all connected to the same theme of Past is Present. Many people had different views on the topic of Past is Present, but they were all similar, bringing their audience back to the theme. Photo attribution to Nicole Yu

by Nicole Yu, staff reporter

Students were taken on a trip to BAM to watch a one and a half hour showcase with poets, DJs, dancers, singers, and musicians. Even though all the performers had different pieces to display, they were all connected to the same theme of Past is Present. Many people had different views on the topic of Past is Present, but they were all similar, bringing their audience back to the theme. Photo attribution to Nicole Yu
Students were taken on a trip to BAM to watch a one and a half hour showcase with poets, DJs, dancers, singers, and musicians. Even though all the performers had different pieces to display, they were all connected to the same theme of Past is Present. Many people had different views on the topic of Past is Present, but they were all similar, bringing their audience back to the theme. Photo attribution to Nicole Yu

Juniors took an English trip to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) to experience live poetry that was portrayed in various ways by poets, DJs, dancers, singers, and musicians. The performance was held on Thursday, April 7th with the theme “Past is Present”.

“I think the purpose of the trip was to experience the beauty of poetry while outside of the school environment. We were supposed to hear the voices of many artists and understand that the past influences the present, and how that tells the story of people from a variety of different cultures,” junior Amina Chowdhury said.

Mrs. Marks took her students on this trip so that they can learn more about poetry and see poets perform live. The theme, Past is Present, is the current writing prompt of the students in the junior AP Language and Composition class.

“The performance was captivating. I especially enjoyed Climbing PoeTree, a spoken word duo that emphasizes social awareness, women’s issues, and environmental awareness. Students will be able to bring back enrichment on a number of levels. They enjoyed the DJ, the beatboxing, spoken word performances, songs, and music,” English teacher Mrs. Marks said.

Prior to the trip, one of the performers, Jennifer Cendaña Armas, visited the school to prepare students for the performances. She talked to the students about what they could be expecting from the trip.

Armas also performed one of her original poems to the junior classes, one of which she performed at the BAM. The poem was about immigrating to America. She presented it in Tagalog, another part in Spanish, and also in English.

Performers were able to present original pieces that they wrote, using the theme: Past is Present. The performers included Jennifer Cendaña Armas, Flaco Navaja, Climbing PoeTree, Liza Jessie Peterson, Yako 440, DJ Reborn, a dancer from BAM – Drake, and two high school students – Rosemary Fraiser from the Cultural Academy for the Arts and Sciences, and Naya Mason from Acorn Community High School.

“Climbing PoeTree’s poem that connected nature with human nature really stood out to me. It made me think about my environment and my own tendency to do the very things they were describing naturally occurring things do. It took personification and connected it to spirituality,” AP Lang student Briana Pistone said.

Original poems were portrayed in different ways. Most performers incorporated music. Musician, Yako 440, beatboxed in the background while the poets performed their poems. Performers, such as Armas and Navaja, sang their pieces in multiple languages. Others spoke in different tones to give more of an impact to the audience.

Even though all the performers had different pieces to display, they were all connected by the theme. Many people had different approaches and interpretations to the theme. However, they always brought their audience back to it.
“In order to truly understand you and your place in this world, you need to know where your people and family have been. You can’t move forward without knowing your past – the good and the bad of it,” Mrs. Marks said.

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