Note: In Pod Twenty, Grammy reads three final poems, and Grammy and Eli talk with Eli’s father, Tommy, about karate and also discipline—how you learn it, and why we need it. The final activity is for children to inspire yourselves and think about what to do that will be creative. Click here to start at the beginning of the Poem Pod series.
Grammy: Hi everyone, Eli and I are here, bringing you our very last Poem Pod.
Eli: Fun poems and fun stories and ideas for fun people. We have a guest who is very special to me today. I can’t wait to interview him!
Grammy: I know it’s going to be exciting. But first, today I wanted to talk about how hard it can sometimes be to get projects done. I have mentioned I’m working on some children’s books, featuring poems like the ones in Poem Pods, but I’m also working on a memoir and some other books too. It can be hard to make the time to get the work done. It’s sometimes tough to push myself to do it. Writing isn’t easy and sometimes it’s more fun to go on a walk or a boat ride than to sit at my desk.
Eli: You have to be disciplined, Grammy.
Grammy: Yes, that’s right, Eli! Discipline! That’s what our guest is going to talk about today! What is discipline, how do you learn it, and why do we need it? Kids who are teenagers need discipline too, so that’s a good segue to today’s poems. Do you remember what segue means, Eli?
Eli: Yes, it means it’s a link from one topic to another, so it’s like seamless and not a fast or abrupt way to change the conversation!
Grammy: Exactly, it’s just something you kind of slide in there. You are a smartie pants. The first poem today is called:
Tough, I think
Is the age of thirteen
When a person is both
Betwixt and between.
Childhood near ended;
adulthood not far.
In between Barbies
and driving the car.
I hope it goes quickly.
I wish it goes slow.
One thing is sure:
More, you will grow.
After a few years pass, then you are:
At your desk you sit and sit.
The clock goes slow.
Tick, tick, tick, tick.
The teacher’s voice drones on and on.
The notes you pass get long, long, long.
What’s the point of science and weather?
At fifteen, it’s about friends and getting together.
And then, in a few more years, you are:
The name of a teeny-bopper magazine.
Seventeen is hope.
Seventeen is fear.
Seventeen is learning how to care.
Grammy: I really like writing poems about these different ages in a person’s life because you can change so much when you’re young, from one year to the next. I’m enjoying writing them, but as I said, I need to stay focused and disciplined! I have a lot more ages to go.
Eli: And that is a segue to our next guest: My dad, Tommy!
Grammy: Ah. Your dad!
Eli: Dad, come on into our social distancing studio and have a seat! You can sit near me too. I live with you!
Tommy: Hi, Bud!
Grammy: Hi, Tommy!
Tommy: How are you?
Grammy: Good! Thanks for coming on Poem Pods.
Tommy: Thanks for having me on your last segment.
Grammy: We’re excited. We’ve been talking a lot about inspiration, but you don’t just need inspiration to be a writer. Right, Eli? What else do you need?
Eli: You need discipline.
Grammy: Right, you need discipline, and Eli’s going to interview you, Tommy, on how you learned to be disciplined!
Eli: So, dad, how DID you learn to be disciplined?
Tommy: Well, discipline is something I feel you learn as you do it. The result of being disciplined actually fuels you to want to do it more. You learn it by just doing it over and over again, and realizing that what you get out of it—the result of discipline, whether it’s practicing baseball or karate or writing or this podcast—anything gets better as you do it and as you invest more time into it.
Eli: Why is discipline important in karate?
Tommy: Discipline is important in karate because karate can be very difficult, and it can be very frustrating at times, and you need discipline in order to learn it. You have to stay with it and get through the days when you’re tired and really don’t want to do it—days where the sensei is doing something that wasn’t as fun as the last class. So, that discipline of getting through the stuff that’s not as fun, that’s what’s going to make you better.
Eli: Was it difficult to become disciplined?
Tommy: Yes, yes it is. It’s something you continue to work at, and the more disciplined you become, the more you continue to work at it because you see how good it is in other aspects of life, not just in karate. Discipline is very beneficial.
Eli: Why is discipline important in a person’s life—not just in karate?
Tommy: Discipline will keep you going to work, every day on time. It will keep you paying your bills on time and keeping your word to other people. If you are disciplined, and you say you’re going to help someone do something, then you should help them. That’s very important to keep that going. Discipline will help you with everything.
Eli: What do you do for work?
Tommy: I work with complex electronics.
Eli: Do you need discipline at work?
Tommy: Yes, you do because there’s times where I can’t figure out a problem, and I get very frustrated, and I don’t want to do it anymore. But I need to really count on discipline to keep my mind focused and keep thinking methodically, so I can figure out the problem.
Eli: Well, thanks, Dad. Dad, I’m proud of you for being disciplined! It’s great!
Tommy: Thank you, Bud. I’m very proud of everything that you’ve been doing and for being disciplined on this podcast as well.
Grammy: He’s been very disciplined. So, this is our very last Poem Pod episode. It’s almost over, and I feel kind of sad about that! So, it’s been very fun. It’s been fun to do these with Eli! He’s a pretty great co-host.
Eli: Thanks, Grammy, you’re okay too!
Grammy: Thanks, kid. Thanks, Little Buddy. Kids, on this last day, Eli and I challenge you to inspire yourselves and think of your own activity today! What can you do that will be creative? What might you think about or write or draw?
Eli: Please be creative and share your thoughts or your work on my Grammy’s website.
Grammy: Share the link for this podcast with someone else and see if you can inspire them! You could be the inspiration!
Eli and Grammy: Well, that’s the end of the twentieth and final Poem Pod. We’ve had a great time bringing you poems and stories and guest speakers from writers to kids to an air traffic controller. Have a fabulous summer. Wear your mask and keep yourself and others safe, and smile under that mask, and when you have set it aside! Bye-bye. Happy summer! Stay in touch, and if you want more, tell us!