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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Mic Check brings poetry to students

Victoria Rivas -- THE BATTALION
Madison Parker, Mic Check president, and Davis Land, vice president and telecommunications and media studies sophomore, work with students at College Station High School on Tuesday.
Victoria Rivas — THE BATTALION Madison Parker, Mic Check president, and Davis Land, vice president and telecommunications and media studies sophomore, work with students at College Station High School on Tuesday.

Lines of poetry echoed sentiments of joy, turmoil, doubt and reason through the lofty ceilings of College Station High School’s entry foyer. Snaps followed.
Mic Check, a College Station-based non-profit dedicated to promoting contemporary and avant-garde poetry, began a new weekly workshop series Tuesday to teach high school students about poetry and encourage them to express themselves through writing and spoken word.
The workshop’s location will alternate between A&M Consolidated High School and College Station High School.
Madison Parker, president of Mic Check and class of 2014, said she began planning the workshop series at the beginning of the summer. Parker said she wants to make sure to integrate the students into the experience.
“We want to show them and say, ‘Here’s what slam poetry is,’” Parker said. “But we also want to hear their expectations for the semester as well, and really not make it like school. We want to put the ball in their court to see where they want to grow.”
Parker said the organization worked with high school teachers and administrators to get the word out to students.
Courtney Wellmann, department chair of English at College Station High School and the school supervisor of the program, said she was impressed by Mic Check’s organization and planning of the workshop program.
“Mic Check has come in the past and presented to our students as part of an English unit in our classes, but they really wanted to get our students involved in the writing process,” Wellmann said.
The Mic Checkers, as they call themselves, discussed what influenced them to begin writing, then each recited a sample of their own work.
After the introductions, the high school students were encouraged to write their own sampling and read aloud to the group.
“I was surprised for the amount of students who came,” Wellman said. “I was so impressed by the turnout. But I was even more happy that the students wrote and read for the first time — that’s very impressive.”
Aleenah Spencer, Mic Check board of directors member and biomedical sciences senior, said she feels that writing poetry and reciting it in front of an audience can be therapeutic.
“My goal through these workshops is to express that students can express themselves through words,” Spencer said. “Poetry is an art, and because art takes on so many different forms each poet can take on a different form whether they are shy or outgoing, excited or calm.”
Parker said Mic Check hopes to give students a comfortable environment where expression and individuality is promoted rather than hindered.
“When I was writing in high school, I loved it. But honestly I was embarrassed about it,” Parker said. “I wish I had someone to tell me that this was something that was okay to enjoy and something I could pursue. We constantly hear, ‘Your voice isn’t important, you’re young.’ We want to remove that thought from their head, and give these students a voice.”

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