For the last two years of Res Life fall training, we have done an exercise on identity development called the “I am from…” poem. Basically, Res Life staff members are tasked with creating a poem that describes where they are from. Most recommend using the phrase “I am from…” to start each stanza, though it isn’t required. I really liked this my first year, and ended up creating a second draft of my first poem the following fall training. So I’d like to present you with instructions/suggestions for writing one yourself, followed by an example. (now my third draft!)
Think of important events, people, places, smells, sounds, songs, books, foods, traditions, games, activities, plays, tastes, and whatever else matters to you/impacted you growing up then put it into the I am from format.
Here’s an example.
I am from cow poop and hop harvest,
from calzone, hamburgers, and Spanish on the phone.
I am from “sleep when you’re dead” and “breakfast is ready”,
from early mornings and late nights.
I am from reading nightly past my bedtime.
I am from John Deere tractors and old, wood barns,
from harvest parties and Sunday morning Mass.
I am from the road less traveled.
from getting grounded from books and sneaking them back.
I am from classic rock, 80s hits, country, and gangsta rap,
from Texas chicken and dumplings and Mom’s enchiladas.
I am from bales in the field and hops on the bine,
from bad puns and bad words for farm equipment that broke.
I am from dogs on the porch and cats on your shoes.
I am from Tommy Boy and Star Wars,
from burning garlic and meals in fields.
I am from put others first and think before you speak,
from learning to manage my temper.
I am from tradition and the annual rodeo,
from traffic is 5 cars behind a tractor.
I am from muddy football and rainy baseball,
From theatre, choir, and FFA.
I am from, “Oh, I know your grandpa” and “Whose son are you?”,
I am from everybody knows everybody,
from checking your family tree before you date.
I am from “a little rain never killed anybody”,
from “it’s raining, so no baling today.”
I am from the middle of nowhere, and the center of everything.
I am from hot air balloons and Mt. Hood,
from 5 different types of rain.
I am from the evergreens,
from “Do you wanna get Dutch?”
I am from I-5, not the 5.
I am from the smell of the morning,
from looking at the stars in a pickup bed.
I am from camping in Wallowa and swimming in the lake,
from driving to Corvallis to watch the Beavers play.
I am from UPS and Ron Thom’s “Home”,
from TP 2 and A/L GL.
I am from Todd Field and the SUB,
from rugby and CVP.
I am from SmOpp.
I am from South Quad and North Quad,
from Thompson and McIntyre.
I am from Economics and Communications,
from making models and looking at how it all fits into real life.
I am from Residence Life,
from RHA, RA, RPA, and RCC.
I am from being the RA on-call and surprise bathroom conversations,
from “Listen Linda” and a”surprise for my thighs.”
I am from laughing with residents and crying with residents.
I am from SmOpp Monthly meals and surprise trips to Ice Cream Social,
from going the extra mile and feeling burnt out.
I am from an amazing opportunity and a supportive team. from “Are you sure you want to do a third year?” and “I definitely do,”