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Last week, our beloved Field Trip Intern Timothy Dyke conducted his very last field trip at the Poetry Center, and also hosted a special guest, poet and Tucson mayor Jonathan Rothschild! Here are some photos and book-spine poems generated by the students (and teacher) of Miles Learning Center on Tim's last day.
What is Found there
the night of stones
the shallow end of sleep
Elephants and angels
For the past two years, Tim Dyke has been one our wonderful Education Interns. He's recently graduated from The University of Arizona with his MFA in Fiction, and will be returning to his Hawaii homeland to teach. We will miss him dearly.
Even if I am the world’s oldest intern, I still am glad that I have had the opportunity to work at the Poetry Center for the past two years. In the spring of 2010, I made the decision to leave Honolulu, Hawaii, where I had lived and worked as a high school English teacher for 18 years. I would travel to Tucson, AZ, a place I’d never been before. I’d enroll in the Creative Writing graduate program to pursue an MFA degree in fiction writing. In order to augment my funding support, I applied to be an Education Intern at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. I still remember the interview. I hadn’t had to apply for a job in almost two decades, and then all of a sudden there I was: I remember sitting in my friend’s office, borrowing his phone as I talked to the Poetry Center staff about joining them that upcoming autumn.
Two years later I am all set to graduate. With the support of the Creative Writing faculty and my classmates in workshop, I have produced a novel manuscript and have read and learned so much about fiction writing.
Tim Dyke is pursuing his MFA in Fiction at The University of Arizona. He's also an Education intern at the University of Arizona Poetry Center.
As an Education intern at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, I'd like to think that if a school group wants to schedule a field trip for a particular purpose, the inventive educators here will be albe to create a program that can accomodate them. When teachers from a local Tucson elementary school asked if they could visit the library to see the exhibit on Sharlot hall and Hattie Lockett, I said, "Of course." When I wasa told that the next Thursday morning would bring 25 Kindergartners and first graders to the Poetry Center, I anticipated a fun time. I also wondered what exactly a five-year-old or a six-year-old could appreciate about an exhibit that featured poets from Arizona's historical past. What could we do for their field trip that would be useful, fun and enlightening?
To plan the field trip, I began by consulting the Poetry Center website. According to the information provided, Sharlot Mabridth Hall and Hattie Greene Lockett lived and worked at the turn of the 20th Century. Members of the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame, both Hall and Lockett were "women of thought and action, pioneers in word and deed." On the morning of March 8th, I stood around a library case with an eager group of five and six year olds. We stared at leather journals and photographs of an Arizona that might no longer exist. How did I connect the lives of these pioneer women to the lives of these young visitors? Well, I'd like to think that I began by viewing these students as explorers in their own right. I'd like to think I considered them to be children of thought and action, young pioneers of word and deed.
Timothy Dyke is a fiction writer and MFA candidate at the University of Arizona. He currently holds the field trip internship position at the Poetry Center, leading and creating content for field trips for students of all ages.
During October and November, two groups of students from Tucson High School visited the Poetry Center for field trip experiences focusing on the work of Emily Dickinson. As a writer, reader and teacher, of course I was delighted to converse with young people about the poetry of this great American writer. As an education intern at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, I found myself confronted with this question: what can Emily Dickinson mean to teenagers in Tucson today in 2011?
There are, of course, answers to this question. Some educators might focus on the biography of Dickinson. Perhaps students would draw inspiration from learning about this original and independent woman who refused to allow society's expectations to hinder her dreams of personal expression.
by Timothy Dyke
Timothy Dyke is a first year Masters student at the University of Arizona in creative writing. From 1992 to the spring of 2010, he lived in Honolulu, Hawaii and taught English to high school students at Punahou school. He serves as an Education Intern at the Poetry Center.
Visual art can be a safe and engaging entry point into poetry for young learners. Students who become confused when asked to say what a poem means can feel a sense of relief and eagerness if asked to choose a crayon that matches the "color" of a poem, or when invited to draw a picture inspired by words on a page. Poets and visual artists have collaborated for centuries, and some of the best examples of these multimedia explorations can motivate young people to look at the written word through a visual lens.