The WordUp meeting after the Louder Than A Bomb semi-finals on March 19 was a relaxing time of reflection for the students and the tutors to discuss how they felt and what they learned.
With donuts for comfort and a beach ball for some fun, Elese Daniels wanted the kids to feel comfortable and relaxed as they reflected on their experience at the semi-finals.
WordPlay co-founder Libby Hunter stopped by to see the students and to have them all sign one of the Louder Than A Bomb posters.
“I’m so proud of what these kids accomplished,” Hunter said.
For this meeting, Daniels wrote a few questions on a beach ball and the students sat in a circle and passed the ball around and who ever caught the ball had to answer the question their thumb touched.
“What would you have done different?” was the questions Micayla Jordan landed on.
“I guess, try not to get nervous,” Micayla said. “Every time someone went up, I felt nervous…and then when I got up on stage, I felt like I was going to throw up.”
Daniels said, “I feel like it’s hard not to get butterflies.”
She then brought up something one of the other tutors, Zohair Hussain, had said earlier.
“Use that nervousness and put it through in your poem when you actually read it out loud,” Daniels said. “Use all those nerves and energy that you feel and apply it to how you sound.”
Da’sia Clendenning answered the question, “What was the most challenging aspect of the slam?”
“Getting up there and sounding confident and making you believe I know what I’m talking about,” Da’sia said.
“You went up twice,” Daniels said.
“Yes…I think I was more nervous on the first performance than I was on the second performance,” Da’sia said, “because on the second performance, I was able to speak louder and I was able to sell it, but I was still nervous.”
They answered other questions but one issue some of the students brought up was if the seniors who are graduating this year would be able to participate again next year.
Tutor Zohair Hussain said, “You can really find poetry event everywhere.”
“I think the only thing that got me through college was doing open mics at houses, at coffee shops and I met most of my friends there…so you guys should be able to find something.”
Still, nearly all of the students said they would want to participate in Louder Than A Bomb again.
Tutor Sam Foulkes said before he had to leave, “I’m really, really proud of all you guys.”
“I probably would have fainted if I had to get up on that stage and read something that had came from inside,” Foulkes said, “but a big congrats to you all.”
Daniels reminded the students that they should feel proud of what they were able to accomplish and even though they didn’t advance as a team, Lacy did earn the highest individual score and the rest of the students all performed well.
“I think everybody should go to the finals,” Daniels said as they were finishing up their meeting, “since we have three, well, four people performing from our clubs…Lacy as a finalist and the others as opening acts.”
“It’s April 18, inside the Freedom Center,” Daniels said.