Why I teach…

Thinking this morning of why I like teaching and the poem My IQ, by Ani Difranco came to mind… and it, in so many ways, says it all.

when i was 4 years old they
tried to test my i.q.
they showed me this picture
of 3 oranges and a pear
they asked me which one
is different and does not
they taught me different
is wrong
but when i was 13 years old
i woke up one morning
thighs covered in blood
like a war like a warning
that i live in a breakable
takable body
an ever-increasingly valuable
that a woman had come
in the night
to replace me
deface me
my body is borrowed
yeah i got it on loan
for the time in between
my mom and some maggots
i don’t need anyone to
hold me i can
hold my own
i got highways for stretch marks
see where i’ve grown
i sing sometimes
like my life is at stake
’cause you’re only as loud
as the noises you make
i’m learning to laugh
as loud as i can listen
’cause silence is violence
in women and poor people
if more people were screaming
then i could relax
but a good brain ain’t diddly
if you don’t have the facts
we live in a breakable
takable world
an ever available possible
and we can make music
like we can make do
genius is in a backbeat
backseat to nothing
if you’re dancing
especially something
stupid like i.q.
for every lie i unlearn
i learn something new
i sing sometimes for
the war that i fight
’cause every tool is a
if you hold it

© 1993 ani difranco / righteous babe music

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