By Azadeh Osanloo, Ph.D., Wendi Miller-Tomlinson, Ph.D., & Jennifer Haan, Ph.D. candidate
A triptych is a work of art (usually a panel painting) that is divided into three sections, or three carved panels that are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. The middle panel is typically the largest and it is flanked by two smaller related works, although there are triptychs of equal-sized panels.
We chose the concept of a triptych of poems to showcase the epistemological coexistence of connectedness and separateness. The concept of intersectionality unites us, while simultaneously renders us distinct. The triptych is connected, yet separate, much like our reactions to the election.
Through the three poems below we highlight the panels of before, immediately after, and the future of a Trump Presidency. Each of the three authors and educators embody unique forms of Otherness, yet our fear, trepidation, and concern unify us.
Oh my goodness! (heart palpitates with excitement)
A woman is finally going to be President! Hope!
A role model for “us,” – without the fetid Kardashian stink and slime.
Only months away!
Emails, more emails, and what the hell is going on with these emails.
This can’t be! (heart palpitates with concern)
The xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, narcissistic, anti-intellectual blowhard creeps closer
– and CLOSER
An invisible, imaginary horrid colorfully vermilion clown hiding under the bed. Coming to life.
Debate, debate, debate…bad hombre, blood coming out of her - everywhere, look at that face,
I’d date her is she weren’t my daughter, NASTY woman.
It’s happening. (heart skips a beat, tears fall)
Disgust. Hate is winning.
Shame. Hate wins.
Despair. Hate won.
Panel 2 – The After-Shock
With the next sun a new reality dawns.
People further divided by walls,
religion, race, who they love, who they are.
Mixed messages abound in the schoolhouse.
“Don’t bully,” “be kind to others,” “treat everyone the same”
“Build a wall,” “ban Muslims,” “just look at her”
Teachers hesitate at the door.
How to unite a class in a divided country?
Harassment, fear of deportation,
Hate speech, fear of losing rights
Specters of the past come into the light.
Panel 3 – Fear and the Future
From the divisions within a nation,
Emerge rumblings of implosion
“Alternative facts” about inauguration crowds
Executive Orders signed on the first day
Denying health care to all
Japanese American internment reframed as precedence
A registry for Muslims….and Mexicans…and “fill in the blank”
Exxon Oil shaping international policy
Brokering and siphoning the resources of Mother Earth
How will we fight back?
Do we heed the lessons of DAPL
Or Black Lives Matter?
Or The Women’s March
Do we imagine the worst
Prepare for the worst?
Please address all comments and questions to Azadeh Osanloo at email@example.com, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003
Azadeh Osanloo is an Associate Professor and the Stan Fulton Endowed Chair for the Improvement of Border and Rural Schools at New Mexico State University. Her research agenda focuses on issues of educational equity; educational leadership and policy; the philosophical foundations of education; diversity, multiculturalism, and human rights; bullying interventions; and social justice. Her interconnected lines of inquiry are underscored by three co-edited books that have come out in 2015 and one scheduled for release in 2016, which cover the topics of urban school leadership, diversity-based bullying interventions, student and parent perceptions of bullying, and international and national social justice work. In addition, she works to increase marginalized student representation in the STEM fields via school-community garden projects with K-12 students in low-income/under-resourced areas. She has won the Dean's Awards for her teaching and service and is a 2015 recipient of the American Graduate Champion Award – an award bestowed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Wendi Miller-Tomlinson is the Director of High School Instruction for the Las Cruces, New Mexico Public Schools and an adjunct professor in Educational Leadership and Administration at New Mexico State University. Dr. Miller-Tomlinson’s research considers how policy impacts schools, particularly how policy decisions can exclude some students from access to education or serve the goal of a more inclusive educational system. Her current book project focuses on how graduation exam policy in Texas ignored the deleterious effects of standardized testing on Latina/o students, perpetuating the marginalization of such students.
Jennifer M. Haan is currently a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership and Administration program at New Mexico State University. The focus of her studies is social justice leadership as related to the experiences of Asian American students in the K-12 public education system. Another research focus is addressing the ways in which educational leaders address a racialized opportunity gap. Jennifer has held various administrative positions in K-12 in California, New Mexico and Texas, including school site administrator and central office administrator.