Here is an excerpt from 
Sweeping Statements
, which is included in theYo Miss script:

i walk into the auditorium
alternative sentencing institution, jail, but school, school, but jail. – 24 hour – locked doors – guards – teenagers- boys, tough, tall, angry – last stop before jail jail.

two hour train ride – snow – rolling hills  country homes  – colleges – farms – prisons –
boys from new york city –
fresh air, barbed wire – sky.

i’m here to teach writing
juggling, theatre
(oh great, i’m short, i’m looking up at them can’t they sit down?
then i’ll have some authority
i decide to do something
they can’t do
i start juggling, balls are flying
they are laughing
i catch a ball on two fingers and let it roll down my arm,
back into the pattern
i juggle backwards, on the floor, upside down 
damn, can you teach us that?

, i say
four more guys come in wearing ski-masks why are they wearing them? (it’s over 75 degrees in here)
they are wild – running around – hopping over chairs – jumping up on the stage,
the guard in charge can’t control them 
they tower over me wutchya think you’re  doing? (nervous, they are too close, i can’t see their faces)
well for now, i say, these other guys want to learn how to juggle that’s bullshit
if you want to do it
there are the balls.
they are trying to intimidate me from under the ski-masks
i see they are getting hot
under the masks
they are sweating
under the masks
they can’t breathe
under the masks
they go off to the side
gasping for air…
they take off the masks…

[This piece continues to reveal the stories of the boys and the teacher.]

A working script of Judith Sloan’s solo performance Yo Miss! Teaching Inside The Cultural Divide is reprinted in Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship & Pedagogy, Volume XX. The theme of the book-length journal is ‘Teaching Performance.’ From Judith Sloan: In the summer of 2007, I began developing new pieces for radio and performance that grew out of twenty years of teaching teenagers, writing poetry, writing and performing characters for the stage, and producing works for radio. In the winter of 2008, I sent three of these audio pieces to the editors at the Third Coast International Audio Festival. They put two of the pieces together; Sweeping Statements and What’s Your Status as a feature on their website. My conversations with them gave me the idea to use the different pieces I had already written about teaching, as the seeds of a new project called Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide. This blossomed into a full theatrical performance work that incorporates character monologues, poetry, and music. As part of the process, the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Long Island City, Queens, gave me a space grant to test some of the work out in front of an audience in March 2009. Transformations published the work-in-progress which has since allowed me to hone and refine Yo Miss! into a work that explores the complexity of teaching— how over the years, our students stories stay with us and often leave their marks in ways we don’t realize until much later. Since the publication of this version of the script, some pieces have been edited out to make room for the ‘teacher’s’ journey. The final script was completed in March 2010: Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide Vol. 1. Many of the pieces that were edited out of the script will be included in Vol. 2. The script published here, though not the final one, is a snapshot of a work in progress, and I think, makes for a ‘transformative’ read.

Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship & Pedagogy
Volume XX theme: Teaching Performance
including work-in-progress script by Judith Sloan
Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide

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