We Didn't Start the Fire (1999)

This is the first entry into what will become a series of retrospectives based on classwork and homework that I've kept over the years.  I recently found a whole cache of these documents that I kept for one reason or another, and I want to share them in all their… *ahem*… glory.

In 1999, I was in Mr. Miranda's junior English class at Leilehua High School in Wahiawa, Hawaii.  Mr. Miranda integrated pop culture and history into his English lessons, and I loved him for that.  It shows the impact he had on me as a student that his is the only teacher's name I remember from Leilehua.  One of the things he did was introduce us to songs and ask us to discuss them as part of class.  I can only remember two of the songs we discussed: "Pink" by Aerosmith, and "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel.  For the latter, Mr. Miranda arranged us into groups, told us to list pop-cultural and historical events, and then write our own sequel to the original song.  I apparently had a big influence on the project because Mr. Miranda wrote on the paper, "good job, Daniel.  You saved the team!  (smiley)".  We scored a 100%.

The song follows a syllabic pattern of 8-7-8-5, 8-7-8-5, with rhyming happening in a pattern of A-A-X-B, C-C-X-B (where the Xs have no rhyming).  I think we did a pretty good job of structure and rhyming, though in hindsight it doesn't feel as though we did a great job of picking the most noteworthy events of history.

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