On Hearing Our Names

In Ms. Mild-Thomas’s class, we read Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s “On Listening to Your Teacher Take Attendance” and discussed how powerful her imagery, particularly of the pencil sharpener blade at the end, made us feel her emotions and think. We talked about what it feels like to hear other people say our names. We talked about ways that people make us feel really loved or special, through calling us nicknames or saying our names in certain ways and we also talked about times that our names were mispronounced or said in ways that made us uncomfortable. The students then wrote poems that, like Nezhukumatathil’s, used sensory detail to express an emotion.

[I see their lips move]

-Sara C

I see their lips move with the word “xena”coming out of their mouth.
I imagine it in slow motion  X-E-N-A. That feeling i get makes me feel so embarrassed.
All I could smell in that moment was the dirty air, with the air being windy.
All I can taste is the fear in my gut. The gut feeling making me so red.
As my fingers touching to distract me from what just happened me being shocked and embarrassed.



-Jocelyn N

I love when my brother calls me JJ 

I see me and him playing around 

I hear us giggling and screaming 

I smell the dandelions in the breeze

I taste the hot cocoa  and donuts

we drank and ate 5 years ago

I felt his warm hands hugging me 

Our first winter together



-Jocelyn C

Every time you say my nickname I always feel so loved like a teddy bear. 

When you call me sissy I feel loved like a loving bunny. 

When I hear the word sissy I feel like a dog coming for a bone. 

I always feel like a dolphin swimming when they call their names to do a trick.

I also sometimes feel like a guinea pig when they call their names. 

When you don’t say my nickname I feel sad like a blobfish.

Every time you say my nickname so exciting, I feel hyped like a jaguar. 

When you call me sissy I feel happy like a monkey.

When you say my nickname when your excited, I hop like a kangaroo. 

I love when you call me sissy.






“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.