Why Do We Say “Classrooms Can’t Make Men”

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Teach a man, he’ll conquer the world.
What if this man must conquer such world to be taught?
One child in a classroom.
One plus one does not equal two.
As his stomach grumbles with only remnants of last night’s frozen dinner.
“Something ain’t” not “something isn’t” right
As his deep, muddy eyes strain to see scrawlings on the not too distant chalkboard.
Lincoln was Martin Luther King Jr. on that morning at Gettysburg
As he tries to remember the winter morning he last saw his daddy
but can only see those flashing lights
The classroom bleeds onto the streets.
Teachers become brothers.
Grades are issued with the finality of a bullet.
Yet if only this young man could conquer the world.
A world that provides the lessons he must learn to survive.
Then maybe, just maybe the classroom would teach his brilliant mind

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More Than Conquerors

Teach a man, he’ll conquer the world.
What if this man must conquer such world to be taught?
For a child in a classroom.
One plus one does not always equal two.
As his stomach grumbles with only remnants of last night’s frozen dinner.
To that child “something ain’t” not “something isn’t” right
As his deep, muddy eyes desperate for assistance strain to see scrawlings on the not too distant chalkboard.
Lincoln might as well have been Martin Luther King Jr. on that morning at Gettysburg
As he tries to remember the winter morning he last saw his daddy
but can only see those red and white flashing lights
The streets bleed into the classroom
painting its once white walls red with innocent blood.
Brothers become the only true teacher.
Grades are issued with the finality of a bullet.
Yet if only this young man could conquer his world.
Then maybe, just maybe the world would actually teach him.