BLOOMINGTON – On Thursday, Feb. 21, Emily Bobo, Ph.D., professor of English and department chair of Fine Arts & Humanities at Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus, participated in opening comments at Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton’s State of the City address. The convocation featured live music as well as a poetry reading by Dr. Bobo which was inspired by the writings of her students at Ivy Tech.

Dr. Bobo is an author and has published a series of books that raises funds for local non-profit organizations, including Monroe County Community School Corporation’s free and reduced lunch program.

Dr. Bobo’s Remarks:

“We are living in extraordinary times. But what can we do? We are just ordinary people. It can be overwhelming. It can be easy to slip into fear and despair. But my students remind me to hope, too. Students like Danny, a laid-off auto-worker, undergoing chemo, who never missed a class or turned in a late assignment, because he was dying and he recognized the importance of telling his story. Students like Billy, who said the bravest thing she ever did was walk through the door and enroll at Ivy Tech Community College, because who was she to think she was college material? Students whose courage I admire. Incorrigible students with gumption and grit. Students who remind me that with just a little extra, we can all be extraordinary. With just a little gumption, we can be brave enough to tell our story, to better ourselves, our community, and our world. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to the words of my current, extraordinary students in a poem I have written from their responses to an introductory writing assignment on the first day of class.”

Intro to Poetry, Spring Semester 2019

Like shoelaces, we are tied in knots,
still hiding behind our mom.
We come from books and nowhere,
from the place where
breath curls inside
a comma and ambition smells like
gasoline. The smallest things we carry
are ego and failure. Trees surround our memories
of home and laughter, of grass and overalls.
Out Here On [Our] Own, dreams feel
slippery, like paper,
and joy sounds like a bird
on the wind. We are most inspired
by tragedy and our mother. Crowds are outside
our comfort zone, and white
has become the scariest
color. The largest thing we carry is
doubt—is the weight of the world’s hate. – Dr. Emily Bobo

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.