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Reflective/Discussion Poems

By Josie Whitehead

What Makes Me What I Am.jpg


By Josie Whitehead

What Makes Me What I Am?

I could have been a mountaineer

    And climbed the mountain peaks.

I could have had a big canoe

    And paddled hidden creeks.


I could have been a pianist

    Or a farmer, or a nurse –

But, all too late for doing these,

    I chose to write this verse.


I could have been a linguist,

    Or a miner or a clerk –

But in this world you have to work

     To leave behind your mark.


So when I started school, aged five,

      I felt I really knew:

‘I want to be a teacher, Mum,’

      And, yes, these words are true.


I’ve taught for many, many years,

     And enjoyed the work I chose,

But it’s seldom that you’ll ever meet

     Someone, so young, who *knows.


We all have different skills, of course:

      And there's many we must learn.

Oh I hope you'll find your hidden drive,

      Which, with luck, will help you earn.

Copyright on all my poems

*  knows exactly what they want to do when they leave school in their teens.

NOTEIn the days of my youth, the 11 plus exam was the determining factor as to what you did with your life.  As far as I am concerned and many other people too, the 11 plus (which I failed) is/was a complete waste of time and has nothing to do with determination to work hard and achieve whatever you wish to achieve in life.  I'm sure that learning how to iron socks and make coffee - yes, or making stuffed toys - weren't necessary to be taught at school!  Oh yes, we were taught such stupid things!!  I'm not the only one who saw the 11 plus as something that wasn't a good thing, though.  Hard work and determination will get you anywhere in life.  Josie 

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