Note: In Pod Ten, Grammy talks about reviewing picture books for the newspaper. Grammy and Eli talk about bad moods, snitfits, and feeling vulnerable. Eli interviews an EMT, Amanda Roberts, who talks about her work and what it’s like to wear a mask all day! The activity is to write about a time when you felt sad or mad. That’s a lot harder than writing about when you were happy! Click here to start at the beginning of the Poem Pod series.
Grammy: Hi everyone. Eli and I are here, bringing you Poem Pods—fun poems for fun people. While we are still smiling under our masks, our guest today is sometimes not smiling, and later, when we bring her on, she’ll tell you why.
Eli: Ooh, I think I know why!
Grammy: Shhh. They’ll find out soon enough.
Grammy: One thing that made me smile a long time ago, when mom and Auntie were small was one of my favorite newspaper assignments. I got to read and review children’s books. Imagine that, Eli? I got paid to read and write about what I was reading.
Eli: That’s a score, Grammy.
Grammy: I reviewed the Harry Potter books, and the books by Lemony Snicket. What were they called?
Eli: A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Grammy: Yes, and they were sooo unfortunate! Once, I got to interview Jan Brett. Do you know who she is?
Grammy: She’s a really amazing children’s illustrator, and her drawings are so intricate. You can study each page for an hour, looking at what she has hidden in and around.
Eli: We have one of her books. The Night Before Christmas. We read it every Christmas Eve.
Grammy: Yes, she sent it to me after I interviewed her, and she even signed it. Well, today’s poems Eli, they’re kind of sad, so brace yourself. The first one is so sad, it’s called:
Tears drip down the cheeks
Of the unhappy clown.
His red nose, it droops.
His face, set in a frown.
We’ll never hear about
The sorrow he bears,
For he speaks not at all
About his sad, clown-ish cares.
Grammy: We don’t usually hear about sad clowns.
Eli: Yeah, I guess you’re right.
Grammy: Mostly clowns are happy. The next poem is about a person who is angry. It’s called:
Once I was mad.
Got in a snit.
For sure, I had
A hearty fit.
I stamped my feet.
I hollered loud.
Let them hear me,
Up on that cloud.
My heart was mended.
As quick as it started,
My snitfit, it ended.
Grammy: Have you ever had a bad day, Eli? Feel like crying? Stamping your feet?
Eli: No, I’ve never had a bad day before.
Grammy: Oh, I think that’s sarcasm. But I hear you. You have had a bad day—like all of us! Well, now it’s time to bring on our guest. Her name is Amanda Roberts, and she is an EMT.
Eli: Great. Amanda is nice.
Amanda: Hi everyone.
Eli and Grammy: Hi Amanda.
Eli: Amanda, so, how come you aren’t smiling under your mask?
Amanda: Just because it’s so hot under here and having to wear it all the time. But don’t worry, I always smile even though you can’t see it.
Eli: What do you do for work?
Amanda: I work as an EMT for a town called Weymouth, Massachusetts, which is right outside of Boston.
Eli: Is it scary?
Amanda: No, I actually enjoy what I do, but for other people it could be scary.
Grammy: Do you drive an ambulance, Amanda?
Amanda: I do! I love it.
Grammy: That’s so cool.
Eli: What is hard about your job as an EMT?
Amanda: What can be hard is when you’re dealing with people who are so uncooperative with you. They call for your help, and then they don’t want it, so that can be a little frustrating at times.
Eli: Have you helped people with COVID-19?
Amanda: Yes, I have. That seems to be the new normal these days. We pick up people from their homes, and we’ll bring them to the hospital, and we also take people from the hospital and take them to, kind of the stepping stone to where they can get better at a rehab or skilled nursing facility before they go home, so they have some more strength and they’re not having any more symptoms.
Grammy: Thank you for helping all those people.
Amanda: Of course!
Eli: What do you love about your job?
Amanda: I love working with all different types of people. I think the best part is working with little kiddos who are just so pure and innocent and are so fun to be around. They always make me smile. And I also like working at the opposite end with people who are older. They always seem to have so much wisdom and insight on life and I love hearing their stories and just talking in general, which can help destress from the job.
Grammy: I bet they really love when you’re the one who’s there, helping them.
Amanda: I like to think so, too.
Grammy: Because you’re a nice person.
Eli: Well, thanks, Amanda. Thanks for coming on the Poem Pod show!
Amanda: Thanks for having me, Eli and Janice!
Eli and Grammy: Thanks for taking good care of people, Amanda! Have a nice day.
Amanda: Of course. Thank you, you as well!
Grammy: Eli, what’s today’s activity?
Eli: Well, I was thinking, maybe it’s about writing down a story about a time when you felt sad or mad. That’s a lot harder than writing about when you are happy. It makes you feel kind of vulnerable.
Grammy: Hey, vulnerable. That’s a good word. That means it makes you feel like everyone might be staring at you or wondering about you. It’s kind of the opposite of inspired. But sometimes, everybody feels vulnerable.
Eli: So, go ahead and tell a story that might feel hard.
Grammy: Please share your stories with Eli and I on my blog or Facebook page. We’ll respond and say nice things to you to make you feel better.
Eli and Grammy: That’s the end of the tenth Poem Pod. We’re halfway to the end. Remember… We are smiling under our masks, and we hope you are too! But let’s remember people like Amanda, who have to wear their masks all day or all night, and sometimes both. Let’s make sure we thank them well.