Essay Writing Song Playlist On Persons

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If my life had a theme song it would practically be any Taylor Swift song because she relates to about any teenage girl's life. She has a song for every kind of breakup or any type of boyfriend problem. I can relate too many of her songs when it comes to having problems or fights with my boyfriend therefore, any song written by her would be a theme song for me. If I had to choose one song, it’d be "Back to December", because it was back in December when a lot of drama happened between me and my boyfriend.

Amber Germain, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song it would be "Pocket Full of Sunshine" because everywhere I go, I make sure to make a person smile. We need the sun to smile. Also, to make someone happy when they're down is one of the greatest feelings in the world. "Pocket Full of Sunshine" would be my theme song because I'd like to think that through everything I've been through, I should be happy no matter what.

Brianna de Leon, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

My theme song is without a doubt "Manic Monday" by The Bangles because every morning, especially for band, it is so hard to get out of bed; Manic Monday is my alarm for when I wake up.

Irene Infante, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

"Knee Deep" by the Zac Brown Band would be the theme song of my life. This would be my theme song because it is all out relaxing and having a good time, and that is what my life is all about.

Casey Gatton, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If I had a theme song for my life, I would enjoy having the song "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson. I would love to have this as my theme song because I believe that this song describes the way I feel. As feel as though I wish I could just be given the chance to “Spread my wings" and so I can go places “till I touch the sky".

Angelina Vasquez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

The song that would represent my life would be "Young" by Kenny Chesney. I chose this song because it makes me appreciate my teenage years, and to let loose and have fun. Being young makes me think of being a kid, or playing games cause once your older you can't really do much, you have to be mature and you have bills to worry about. That’s why I love being young.

Allyson Galindo, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

A theme song of my life would probably be "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd. Not because I do heroine and stuff like that, but because I numb my feelings with other things. It could be something as simple as watching a movie to just distract yourself from the troubles of our world.

Robert Garza, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If I could choose a theme song I would say it would be "Daddy's Little Girl" by Frankie J. The reason why is because it relates to the relationship of me and my dad. It talks about how there are some many situations where you lose a dad or your dad leaves because of your mom. Whatever the situation might be you just cry about it because you can’t stop it. So that is basically what the song is expressing and it’s kind of like my situation because my dad left to go to work somewhere else. I don’t get to see him very often and he also had problems with my mom.

Yamilex Garcia, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Honestly, I wouldn’t really have a theme song. Not that much happens in my life, but when something interesting does happen, it’s either very good or very bad. Why have theme songs for something normal?  Even is I do get a theme song, I hope it’s not a musical or opera.

Airik Sanchez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song, it would be “The Pass” by Rush. The song is about a teen that has been through all sorts of pressure and is having the worst of problems. So he contemplates suicide. Not that I have ever thought of suicide, but the song goes on to suggest that every dark part of your life will be opened up by a brighter and more hopeful future.

Jacob Martin, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life were to have a theme song, I think would be owner of a lonely heart. Mostly because I’m always alone and prefer to be alone instead of having a broken heart.

Martin Mendoza, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

I think one of the songs that could be a theme song to my life is “Like My Mother Does” by Lauren Alaina. This song is perfect for my life because it talks about being the same as her mother and wanting to be like her mother and its the same for me I love my mother and want to turn out like her and I do look like her so that’s a good thing.

Tatianna Pena, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

My song theme would probably be "God gave me you" by Bryan White. I've gone through so much in my life, and somehow I manage to keep my head up high. This song gives me hope, and makes me realize there's more to life then what I thought. 

Alyssa Ramirez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If I had a theme song I would want it to be “Keep your head up” by Andy Grammar. I would want this to be my theme song because, it talks about when you have the blues and you feel like you can’t do anything just keeps your head up and you'll be alright. This would be the beat theme song because; it will always give you confidence and keep up your self-esteem.

A.J. Casarez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song it would be "A country boy can survive" by Hank Williams Jr. Because me and my dad would always listen to that song when we would go hunting which always made me feel like I was in a better place.

Kevin Zimmerer, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

A theme song for my life would be "Like My Mother Does" by Lauren Alaina. The song talks about how she looks up to her mom and everyone tells her she is like her mom, and that is me exactly. I love my mom she makes me smile and made me the person I am today.

Danelle Potter, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song it would be this Spanish song called “Esa Hembra Es Mala” it came out in some novela my mom used to watch. From the first time she heard it up to now she says it’s my song. The song is about a girl saying she’s a fallen angel she’s men and she manipulates people to get what she wants and when she gets it she’ll throw that person away. I have no idea why my mom picked it for me but ever since then it’s been my song and she has it has my ringer.

Damaris Perez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song it would be “Someone like you” by Adele. I consider my life being full of love from my family and friends. I've luckily always had someone there for me when I feel lonely or just when I need someone to talk to.

Violeta Rico, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song that played every time I walked I would like for that song to have special meaning to me. The song would have to have inspirational lyrics that would brighten my day and give me strength throughout my day. Who Can Pluck Us by Flame represents all of me. The lyrics itself say how no one can pluck us out of God's Hands.

Alondrita Barron, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song it would be "YOU CAN LET GO NOW" by Crystal Shawanda. This song reminds me of the love my family shows towards me. It also represents how they don't want me to go. It's time for me to spread my wings and explore on my own.

Nora Katana Sims, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Taylor Swift “Fifteen”. Only because the song says of what exactly happened to me, when I was a freshman in high school falling in love and not realizing of what I needed to be focused on the most. I was just too busy paying attention to just one guy. Which was a huge mistake now that I look at it now? But we learn its life. The little mistakes only make us stronger in life.

Abigail Gonzalez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If I could choose a theme song for my life I would pick the Batman Theme song. Only because I think Batman is the best, and the only superhero that is close to being real. With the Batman theme song being my song for my life I would be fighting crime and I would get rid of all the "Clowns" in school. I would then later find a friend who would help me. If only the Batman Theme song was my life's theme song.

Stephen Cavazos, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If I could choose any song to be my life's theme song it would be the BATMAN one. I would choose this song because I love Batman.

Jackie Ruiz, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life could have a theme song, I would like it to be “Wannabe” by The Spice Girls. This song talks about how friendship is a big part of their lives, and that is also true with my life. My friends and family come first before anything else, and now looking back and actually realizing what the song is talking about I like it even more. And to this day, I still know every word to that song.

Brianna Menchaca, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life would have a theme song, it would be the Super Mario Brother's theme. I like this theme because it's perfect music for walking or running, plus you can't beat a classic.

Daniel Tobin, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

I would want my theme song for my life to be “Long Live” by Taylor Swift, because she is basically saying to remember the good time and to live a fun life. I would like to do that when I am older and to remember the good times in high school before I graduate and go to college.

Lucero Hernandez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song it would be the "Assassins Creed" video game theme. I would choose this song because it would make everything I’m doing sound mysterious. I would think though that it might sound a bit too mysterious. People might think I’m planning something, but I don't care.

Johnny Thompson, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song it would be “Headstrong” by Trapt because the song motivates me in so many ways. It helps me get up when I am down, when it workout. The song just brings out my inner wrestler that is inside me.

Elias De Leon, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If I had a theme song it would be Darth Vader’s “Imperial March”. I choose this theme song because it’s so epic, and imagine walking into a room full of people while the song is playing. It would just blow their minds. Also, it goes with whatever I’m doing. For example, walking down the halls at school, ordering a burger, or even taking a shower. That is why is would want Darth Vader’s Imperial March as my theme song.

Cristian Farias,Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

 If life was a theme song, I would choose "Life is a highway" by Rascal Flatts. It is such a great song and it portrays so much to how life is. It says that the road may be tough but has going to keep riding on the highway, and not giving up.

Marylou Martinez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song, it would be "You got a friend in me" by Randy Newman. I am there for most when there life seems to be upside down. I turn there frown upside down. People consider me a good friend, because I try leading them through a good path with my advice. This song makes me ecstatic when I think about my best friend and Buzz and Woody from "Toy Story", there friendship will never die. Likewise to mine and my best friend.

Gemma Mandujano, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song, it would be "Life is beautiful" by Six AM, because the song has many feelings to it and it shows that you have to appreciate life and get the most out of it, you cant do something until you have experienced it. You have to take advantage of every moment. And it has to be fun and know what to do, Which is what I do, appreciate what I have and be happy about it. I first have to experience something before I say things about it.

Fabian Montelongo, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song it would most definitely be “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” theme song. Why you ask?  Why I picked such a song? Simply because I love eating pizza they love eating pizza, I love martial arts they love martial arts and I have a pet turtle. The theme song also explains their fearsome fighting skills. One day I hope to achieve their awesome ninja skills and become a radical dude like master splinter, who knows how to make the best sushi ever.

Elias Garcia, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song it would be "Weary Memory" by Iron and Wine. I am quite relaxed and satisfied with things in my life. I have put the past behind, and now I enjoy the memories I have. Every day something different happens. If its good then I will remember it, but if it is not good than I fix my mistake and won't do it again. No matter what happens, life keeps going.

Brenda Cardenas,Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song it would be the lazy song. This song is my choice because I wake up in the morning hoping that its Saturday so I won’t have to do any single little thing. This song represents me by showing my feelings. Like it said in the song I want to do nothing during the day and hope to do what I want throughout the day.

Efren Segovia, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

My theme song is Life by Arid because life is short and I feel like we are being tested for something greater. However, we need someone to hold while were here. Someone to lean on or to depend on in our darkest fears.

Miranda Gonzalez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

I thought choosing my theme song would be hard. I was wrong; I have always loved the song “Only Hope” by Mandy Moore. The song can mean many things to different people. So in that case I like to think it’s talking about God and how I can always have him by my side. It’s a song I can listen to everyday and not get tired of. Just how God won’t be tired of me. This song really represents the way I feel and think about things. I think that’s why I love it so much.

Abigail Vasquez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

My theme song would be "Sound track to my life" by Kid Cudi. I can relate to what he is saying about his life. He and I have a lot in common. We have been through a lot in our life and especially in our childhood. We have been left out in the streets to live on our own and we still live for God and keep our head up high and live free and strong. I had to fight for what I have it is not given to me. When you see me you just see a normal girl with a beautiful smile but really no one has any idea of where I came from. I will never give up no matter what the case, yes it can be hard at times but you just got to do what you have to and never give up and lift your head up into the sky.

Cristina Gonzalez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life had a theme song it would have to be "Anthem for the Underdog" by 12 Stones. This song says no matter how many times you have been knocked down you still get up. It speaks of how the underdog has the strength to beat the stronger person. This would be my theme song because I have always been the smallest kid in school, but even though I was short and I was small it wouldn't stop me from doing what I wanted to do. I took on that challenge and pushed my self to the point where I knew I gave it all I got, so weather I won or lost I was a winner I gain my respect an I could do what they did even though I was a small little kid out there.

Ruben Marin, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If my life could have a theme song, it would be a song named “Successful” by Drake. In this song Drake says that the only thing he wants in his life is to be successful, which is the same thing that I want in my life, just to be successful.

Diego Guerra, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If I could have a theme song it would be "Break stuff" by Limp Bizkit, because that song seems to describe my everyday life.

Matthew Chrostowski, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If I could pick a theme song for my life, my song would be "Dollar and a Dream" by J.Cole because he talks about his struggle to make it in life and I feel like I have to struggle to make it because things in life don’t come easy.

Daniel Rodriguez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

If I had to choose a theme song it would have to be "Man I want to be" by Chris Young because in all reality that’s exactly what I want to happen to me. I want God to change me into the man/young teen that he wants me to be, after all the bumps down the road vie gone through it seems as if everyone has lost faith me and my mistakes. And well I want God to help me become a better person and change me into the person he wants me to be so I would be able to live life by him and give him all the glory. This song shows that when you're going through a hard time you can always turn to God and ask him for help.

Thomas Hernandez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

The theme song that would describe my life would probably be “Baby Got Back” written by Sir Mix. A lot you have probably heard the familiar verse “I like big butts and I cannot lie". The reason why this would be my theme song is because I like big butts.

Jose Olivo, Jr., Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

That’s the theme song I would have, also if you ever have the chance to be somebody be batman, always be batman.                                          

Michael Martinez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Kid Cudi is probably the most relating artist out there for people. His slow mellow music is both calming and interesting. He's my favorite artist out there, and I know once I saw the teen speak I was going to pick a Kid Cudi song. I choose "Soundtrack to my life" because that was probably the first song I ever heard from him, but even if I heard it years ago he explains life so well, I still continue to hear it today.

Jennifer Villanueva, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

The theme song I would choose for my life would be "Party Rock Anthem” because when ever I'm in a bad mood that song is the best song to keep me running and make me in a better mood cause I could dance to it and whenever I dance I get in a good mood cause I love to dance and I love to party rock! well yeah that’s the best theme song I would want to have cause I love that song and everyone loves it and will dance with me and I love when that happens so yeah that’s the song I love a lot!

Joseph Torrres, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

 The theme song I would choose for my life would have to be “My Story” by B. Reith because it talks about God's Grace, His unconditional love for us, and how He never leaves our side. He is with us even if we don't see Him, or feel him. And if we believe and have faith, greater things will come. The song also talks about how He, our God, already wrote our story or our life, and He guides us each and every day.

Alejandro Valdez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee

I selected “My Way” by Frank Sinatra because I’ve lived my life without regrets. This song really captures the way I think about life every day. It sheds light on how people should interpret life and all its beautiful moments. But not only does it capture the good things, but it also shows how people can struggle also. When I hear this song my eyes light up and my heart floods with passion.

Ariya Tafolla, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee  

I chose this song by Neil Young because it really punctures my body and impacts my emotions and portrays my self being. The song is about a boy and his father having a conversation about the boy’s future, while the son is so caught up in current events and is so eager to expand his life but his father is telling him to slowdown and to enjoy his childhood not making the mistakes he had once made. My father is always pushing me to strive to be the best person I can be and he really has helped me alter my life for the better and for that I am truly grateful to have a brilliant mentor and a loving father.

Raul Cardenas, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee  

If I had to pick a theme song for my life it would have to be “Monsta” by Shonlock. The reason I am picking this song, is so people can know that I am a Monsta for my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. We did not deserve to be alive right now because of what we have done in this world, but thanks are to God that Jesus stepped in to save us from our sin. Christ died for our evil. We need to repent and turn to Jesus. God has this amazing love that he pours down on us, whether accept or not He is still going to love us no matter what. And because of His love we are able to love others, but some people do not feel loved. Well that’s because they have not accepted Jesus into their life. And if you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then now is the time to do so. All you have to do is say a simple prayer like: "Heavenly Father, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe in you and that your word is true. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that he died on the cross so that I may now have forgiveness for my sins and eternal life. I know that without you in my heart my life is meaningless. I believe in my heart that you, Lord God, raised Him from the dead. Please Jesus forgives me, for every sin I have ever committed or done in my heart, please Lord Jesus forgives me and come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior today. I need you to be my Father and my friend. I give you my life and ask you to take full control from this moment on; I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ."  Amen. You have to be serious about this because if you’re not serious about accepting God into your life then there is no point in saying that prayer. God isn’t someone to be messing around with, you should really live for Him and serve Him because He deserves all the Praise for what He has done for us. We don’t deserve anything but yet every time we serve Him, He blesses us for one thing we did, when He did more than one thing for us.

Michael Morales, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee  

If my life had a theme song it would be the song “Poppy” by Mac Miller. This song talks about how the death of this artist grandfather has made him feel. He says in his song that his grandfather will always be in his heart. This song related to me how I felt when I lost my cousin this year March 23 of 2011. He will always be in my heart also and I will never forget those times we had all together as a family. This is why that song would be my theme song.

Luis Pecina, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee  

My theme song would be “Good Life” because every time I hear that song, I look at the past and all the good things I've done and accomplished. Just by the voice of the artist and the beat, it cheers me up. it makes me feel like a good person.

Andres Dena, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee  

If I had a theme song for my life it would be “Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry. Because my life contains a lot of ups and downs with boys like everyday. You don't know when they are being honest or when their being just mean but they don't want to say it to your face. It’s better to move on than just sit around crying for him.

Celina Casanova, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee  

The song that defines me and my life would have to be “Trouble" by Never Shout Never. Its mainly about a boy or a girl having the as grow ups would say the unrealistic dream of being a singer in New York or a big time actor or just wanting to leave home move into the city get a really awesome job great place to live and away from the troubles you had at home, and when you do go back you can tell people about the great things you did. So now I’m here in all the trouble in the world and I guess Im waiting for my chance to live my big city dreams and according to my theme song.... I get to.

Stephanie Gonzalez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee  

One song that describes me is the song "Live for You" by Jason Sweet. This song describes me because it talks about a man who surrounds him self with friends and family but they never seem to fill up that emptiness in his heart. He tried it all but still can’t seem to fill it, and than he later speaks about how God as called him and he has heard him, and how he knows that only God can fill up that emptiness.

Marcos I. Gutierrez, Weslaco High School

Teacher: Jean Bovee  

Using Favorite Songs as Prompts

By:Michael Fulton
Publication: The Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 2
Date: Spring 2001

The writing that resulted from this activity was easily some of the most successful for my struggling students. They were energized by the song's themes, and I felt clever and insightful as I recognized that this workshop was not going to be a chore for any one.

Some of the most successful classroom lessons find their origins in life's simplest moments. Many of my favorite lessons feel as if I stumbled across them. The prompts rarely pop up from the pages of books but often jump out of life's episodes. The following writing lesson, which came out of just such a moment, captured the imaginations of my high school freshmen. The idea grew out of an evening of listening to some live music, during which one song in particular caught my ear. The song, called Invisible, is an original piece by Robert Medici. While the music was playing, I found myself searching for a napkin to copy the lyrics on, all the time thinking about how well my students might relate to them.

I think the lyrics, which are transcribed at right, are richly poignant. In particular, the song addresses themes and issues that seem to be part and parcel of the teen years. Certainly, at one point during our high school experience, each of us has felt as invisible as the songwriter's words describe. Because of that, I decided to use this song as a writing prompt in my freshman writing workshops.

I introduced my students to the lesson by talking about my belief that a good song tells a story. As I passed out copies of the lyrics, I explained that we were about to listen to a new favorite song of mine and asked the students to pay attention to what stories the song conjured in their minds. After playing the song through several times, we then brainstormed in our notebooks about what this song's story might be. My students' ideas included stories of people

  • not being noticed or not getting attention
  • feeling as if they have "no life"
  • feeling like a "thing" and not a person
  • feeling misunderstood
  • feeling depressed or anxious
  • who had been recently dumped
  • experiencing a loss
  • expressing their love and finding it unrequited.

I played the song another time and prompted them with more questions: "Who might the character(s) in this story be? Tell me a little about them." After allowing some silent time for them to get their thoughts down, we discussed our brainstorming. My students' responses ranged from the sublime to the sarcastic, with their imagined stories revolving around characters such as

  • a high school aged boy/girl
  • a young person misunderstood by his/her parents
  • a thirty-four-year-old homeless man
  • a man rejected on his twenty-first birthday
  • a young person struggling with his/her sexual identity
  • a divorced man who has lost his children and/or friends
  • a person suffering from depression or social anxiety
  • a person who feels invisible to God
  • a person who is misunderstood because of his/her religious beliefs
  • a high school writing teacher who wants to be a novelist.

I kept a running list of our ideas on the board so that they could see all of the wonderful variations we had created. After we listened to and complimented one another, I gave the class the last step in the directions: "We are going to use this song as a guide for a story. You might use the lyrics as the philosophies/feelings of your character or as the building blocks in your character's life story. You may want to be the main character, to pick a friend or family member to serve as a character, or to create a whole new person."

The writing that resulted from this activity was easily some of the most successful for my struggling students. They were energized by the song's themes, and I felt clever and insightful as I recognized that this workshop was not going to be a chore for anyone. In her piece, Jenny wrote in first person:

It was like I had disappeared. I saw Joey and his new girl friend Chris Black. She was a cheerleader! He dumped me for a cheerleader!! I was stunned.

Megan was more direct, "It was another typical day in high school, or as many considered it, a living hell." Meanwhile, Christine developed a narrator for her story:

She feels very lost. She is in a brand new environment with so many older people around her. Every time she goes to her next period class, she is always being pushed around by upperclassmen.

And Sophia wrote in journal/diary style:

Everyone knows each other here. I feel so left out. Everyone was talking about all of his or her memories of middle school. I miss my old school. I want to go back.

Several students created innovative and expansive fiction. These students explored imagined people with their stories. Beyond reshaping and reproducing their own stories, this prompt enabled these writers to take risks. Jonathan wrote about a character who was a clergy person, "For the past two weeks, the five-eight priest with gray hair has been avoiding his family whom he cherished his whole life . . . He has been like this ever since his mom died; he feels invisible to God." Alan, who was otherwise a very concrete thinker, took on a homeless person's thoughts: "He lives under a bench in a park where only seagulls live. He has one shoe, a pair of pants, and one shirt. He has no friends, no family, and no life." Jesse, who typically clung to comic offerings, crafted an empathetic story of a girl impregnated after a one-night stand:

Mary felt so used and dirty. She sat in the dark room and cried? Nobody would understand. It felt like she was invisible and had no one to turn to. Nobody would accept her or understand. She was all alone. She escaped over the fence with ten dollars on her and hitched a ride where nobody would ever find her.

Underlining their favorite lines of the song turned out to be good advice for writers struggling to begin. After focusing his attention on a few lines, Alec was able to get started:

Beth was starting to get mad because she thought that Billy had not talked to her enough and had no right to be jealous in the first place. Beth felt invisible because Billy is ignoring her and not talking to her.
Billy thinks Beth is as pretty as a picture and wants to keep the relationship strong. The fact that Beth feels invisible really hurts Billy, but he still wants to keep up the relationship.

Sharing our brainstorming always works well, too. Andrew was unable to find a topic that grabbed his attention, but as we went through the list, he was able to relate to an idea. And when I suggested that it might be easier for him to write with someone else as the main character, his story flowed onto the page:

As he walked downstairs, his mom yelled at him and told him he was a lazy bum. "Why can't you be more like your brother?" she said. His brother was a total jock. He was a senior at Staples.
Dane doesn't really have any friends because people think he is a geek. At gym, Dane is pathetic; people laugh at his bad coordination and awful skills.

As a precursor to this lesson or as a continuation of it, you may want to let your students choose their own songs. With the recent renaissance of interest in jazz, you may want to expose your students to Billy Holiday through a recording of her classic Solitude, with which Medici's song shares a similar tone and theme. And don't forget that Charlie Parker loved listening to country and western raconteurs.

I must admit that in the course of this lesson, it was interesting to watch my students, who are mostly Limp Bizkit or Eminem fans, moan and groan through the first few times we listened to Medici's songs. Now, they actually ask to listen to his folk-rock songs during our workshop days. But, it was the success I saw my class encounter with this lesson that really made it worthwhile to both them and me. In students' final portfolio letters, many wrote of this paper as being their favorite workshop experience. Andrew, who had such trouble starting his paper, wrote, "I think that if someone read my 'Invisible' story, they would think twice about making fun of someone different than them." Monica was enthusiastic about the novelty of writing to music, writing, "I really love music, which was why I enjoyed writing this story." Chris-tine reflected, "I think the reason why my thoughts have come easier to me is because you assigned us topics that I enjoyed writing about, such as the 'Invisible Song.'"

When the writing workshops were first considered at my school, they were thought of as a supplement to regular English courses that had a distinctly drill-oriented flavor. But I believed my students needed more. My design has involved giving students time to become fluent on the page before I restricted their writing with format-driven exercises. I wanted my students to write from their interests and needs so that all other academic concerns would make more sense. And when a student uses a sentence like "I enjoy writing," a teacher knows he or she has done something right. Feedback like that is enough to keep a teacher looking-and listening-for other, equally inspiring ideas . . . waiting for that next inspirational moment . . . no matter when or where it is to be found.

About the Author MICHAEL FULTON teaches the writing workshops at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. A fellow of the New York City Writing Project, he is currently associated with the Connecticut Writing Project. He is the author of Exploring Careers in Cyberspace(Rosen, 1998).

Invisible

Begin at the beginning
Before you grow colder
Before those gentle features set in stone
Try to get over flesh and bone
And who is that in the distance
Holding me under
Do I wish away this hollow way I feel
Over and over this endless wheel
No more appealing

If only I thought that you could see
What is so plain to me
Invisible it is
To all but those who know
Just how it feels to be
Invisible like me

Pretty as a picture
But don't get too close now
That's when all the secret
Defects come to shine

Clear illustration of what's not mine
Ignore this feeling

If only I thought that you could see
What is so plain to me
Invisible it is
To all but those who know
Just how it feels to be
Invisible like me

Music and Lyrics Robert Medici

Download "Using Favorite Songs as Prompts"

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