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2005-05-14 - 5:37 p.m.

Poetry Daily features a poem today called "Sursum Corda" which is the project in NW D.C. that Georgetown Law Students in Richard Roe's fun literacy and law class volunteer at as tutors to kids after school. This is mandatory for the class and itself is likely one of the most amazing educational experiences in "LIFE" for many of the otherwise privaleged students- some of whom would never venture into such an environment otherwise. Others who did grow up with hardship welcome the opportunity to give back to a community that can benefit from their time and effort! The students REALLY enjoyed the experience tutoring and were touched by the relationships they developed with the kids.

Professor Roe's class focuses on the fact that a common factor among those who persue a life of crime is often poor LITERACY! He explores the notion that society's social mores are less easily LEARNED by those who are not exposed to CULTURAL LITERACY even as early on as infancy when small children learn mores through nursery rhymes and stories read or told to them. He focused on that today the ORAL tradition is not as strongly carried out among those who are poor as it was in the past, and therefore LITERACY becomes all the more important. (Actually I just realized that wasn't a FOCUS, but rather my own insight.... as I wrote that I remembered that was something I took from the class!)

When I took the class, in part due to my almost 2 hour communte and the fact I was caring for my children, Professor Roe allowed me to fulfill the tutoring requirement by working with Soren who clearly exhibited some of the reading problems of a child with a learning disability. Professor Roe had in fact met both Katerina and Soren before I even enrolled in his class as they were with me when I met him to inquire about it.

At the time I was grateful to be able to take the class with that accomadation for me, but at the same time I wished I could have participated in the tutoring with the other students.

I really enjoyed reading the poem today and am interested in looking up its author to see if I can find out more about him/her. I came across a very neat blog by a Catholic man called "Sursum Corda" which he defines as "Lift up your spirit" and indicates it is from his favorite part of the mass. I also found this poem of the same name: Ralph Waldo Emerson - Sursum Corda Seek not the Spirit, if it hide, Inexorable to thy zeal: Baby, do not whine and chide; Art thou not also real? Why should'st thou stoop to poor excuse? Turn on the Accuser roundly; say, "Here am I, here will I remain Forever to myself soothfast, Go thou, sweet Heaven, or, at thy pleasure stay." Already Heaven with thee its lot has cast, For it only can absolutely deal.

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