Visting Author Sarah Ghazal Ali Visits English Classes

BMOS English students read Sarah’s poem “Elegy with New England Roadkill” and had the opportunity to ask their questions about the poem to the poet herself. Students asked about repetition they noticed, color imagery, and whether the poem, a reflection on animal roadkill, was inspired by a specific event in the poet’s life. Students also asked a range of questions about writing; Sarah offered advice for managing writer’s block and taught students about one of her favorite poetic forms (and, incidentally, her namesake), the  “ghazal.” The discussion with Sarah brought the course unit on poetry to a close and prompted students to extend their thinking about empathy, the theme of the course, to include humans’ responsibility to other forms of life. 

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Meet Mallory Pladus

English Teacher

Where do you live?
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

What do you like about teaching online?
I like the small school environment, the ambitious students BMOS attracts, and the flexibility learning and teaching online affords students and faculty.

What do you like to do when you’re NOT in school?
Hike, travel, play frisbee, and spend time on the Jersey Shore.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Japan. My dad is half Japanese, and there is a rumor in our family that he and my aunt relinquished property rights to a small portion of a mountain in Japan. I’d like to go see that mountain.

Best way to spend a Saturday?
Reading outside.

What do you want students to remember about you?
I want them to remember that I did my best to make literature open up for them in surprising, intriguing ways and that I cared about their ideas.

Personal catchphrase?
“Let’s reflect on this.”

Who inspires you?
Writers I love: James Baldwin, Marilynne Robinson, Louise Erdrich, to name a few.

What activity/class have you enjoyed the most through BMOS (and why)?
The poet Sarah Ali visited our English 9 and 10 classes to discuss her poem about animal roadkill. The students asked great questions, and she gave thoughtful answers. We broached a topic that often feels too intractable to talk about.