Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age
A portfolio project led by Mariana Parisca, Story Stitchers Artist in Residence
March 2-25, 2017
Spoken Word by Emeara during the Artists’ Talks on
Saturday, March 25 4 PM at
7513 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton MO 63105
Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age is a time capsule of teenage voices combined with adult artists living in St. Louis in 2015, all reacting to a critical and unique time in the history of race relations, gun violence, police roles and community relationships in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
My Life on School Grounds
c Saint Louis Story Stitchers, 2015
The people in St. Louis, Missouri always think that its a simple place and can hardly wait to leave. Sort of a “it’s greener on the other side” kind of deal. Of course I also have such desires sometimes when something awful happens nearby. The killing, the shooting I’ve heard it all before. Thankfully I haven’t seen it. But life is not always sweet and cherishing as people may think. Things happen all over the world that are not always good. Not saying that’s its good but its not a foreign concept.
I grew up in St. Louis. Was home schooled by my parents until they couldn’t stand to be around each other anymore. Then I entered middle school. Started in the 7th grade. Every morning I sit in the back of the bus and watch as other students crowd into it as well. I’d watch the all the girls flood onto the bus talking about their boyfriends while I think about what I’m going to do about the homework I’ll receive tonight. I’d watch them as they talk, see how they dress. It’s always the same leggings, crop tops, Nike shoes, and headbands. All the same everyday. While I sit in the back of the bus with my JC Penney jeans and Goodwill shirt I got for a $1.00. All of their conversations start with a “OMG! I can’t believe” or “ Did you hear that..”. The stories were always the same, someone did this and it was funny or someone did that and it was wrong. All good reasons to gossip I guess.
I go to school thinking failing is not an option, once I enter this building there’s no turning back. I go up the stairs that seem to never end. Going up them is a class all by itself. Enter the hallway and go to Language class to get me a little fancy lock for my locker. Which I find as a place to store things you think you need but you’re never going to use. I throw all I can into the useless metal box and walk to my first class. Which was math. Now when I was homeschooled I could grasp math pretty easily. You just add some numbers and bam! you got an answer. But in middle school, math became my struggling class plus the hardships of science. It was a surprise to me. The thing I thought I was good at turned out to be my worst subject. The subject I was always bad at which is writing I suddenly gain a strong liking to. It was like I didn’t know myself. Gym was hard also, it’s an easy A, but I dislike the fact of running anywhere and it seems like that’s all we do. Nevertheless all the weird and new discoveries helped me realize I love creating events, and that I am really good at taking charge. I seem to be climbing higher as I discover the new me.