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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Pop of Adrenaline

Pops of adrenaline
paused in a moment
of panic
my petals fall
in an impossible pattern
of dramatic play
punctuated power
pouring pressure
to prevail
piercing silence
as my ears split
my eyes closed
my packed body
to pry my shoulders open
as I rise
I am alive.

I had a surreal moment today. A school shooting training. It was so many things but mostly empowering. The only way I knew how to write about such a moment was to write a poem that took all my emotions and put them into one place. I thought about so many horrifying scenarios today. I practiced horrifying scenarios today. None of which I want to encounter. No one should ever have to, but too many have.


  1. Precise is how your poem depicted your feelings. I hope you never know any of the scenarios you encountered today.

  2. Oh, Betsy, your Slice sent chills through my body.

  3. I read Robin's story too, Betsy. What an experience for both of you! "Too many have."

  4. It's so sad that we now have school shooting training. I pray that you'll never need the skills you learned today, but how powerful that you came away from it feeling empowered.

  5. Did you know that you were going to be doing a training? Last year in Oregon one school did a surprise simulation on a teacher work day and there was a lot of backlash afterward that it was reckless to do that (

    Reading your poem makes me cringe. I hope that your staff knew it was coming, rather than thinking it was real.

    1. I felt very prepared for the drills. We went through three simulations, ranging from very helpless to prepared. By the end you felt like you had some tools to take away and that your chances of prevailing were much higher. It is a scary thing to think about but I feel better knowing that I have some means to protect my students and myself if the unthinkable were to occur.

  6. Your poem is perfect Betsy. It's a perfect combination of words to describe what we went through. I love that you wrote your thoughts in poem form. I considered it as well but could not get what I wanted to say into that format. Your words are powerful...I'm glad you wrote about it today.

  7. We do this once a month at our middle school. It always makes me so anxious, and I know my kids feel the same way. I don't think it will ever feel normal to participate in these drills - and that is a good thing.

  8. Wow, I bet that was very surreal. That would be so scary and you never think that it could happen to you but it happens more than we realize. It is so very sad to even imagine.

  9. I pray none of us ever have to experience this. Last week one of our schools had a "drill" of sorts. A "stranger" was in the building for over an hour before someone realized he shouldn't have been there. We live in a scary time don't we?

  10. We had many lockdowns practices when I taught. There is not much in the way of protection that can be done. I could secure the classroom, but only to a degree. It reminds me of the nuclear attack drills we had as students where they tried to tell us we'd be safe if we sat in the hallway and just put our hands or a newspaper over our heads. Sorry, I'm just a bit cynical about our systems. Maybe you got more training in defense tactics than we did.


Thanks for the comment love!