Two years ago Coop senior Sarah Farquharson went for a CAT scan for stomach pains and almost died under the machine.
Farquharson (pictured) had an allergic reaction to the iodine that was pumped into her veins as part of the procedure. She went into anaphylactic shock. She began dying.
“My throat was closing up faster than they were giving the medicine,” Farquharson recalled. “I recited the 23rd Psalm the entire time, and I believe that’s what saved me.”
Farquharson’s near death experience inspired her poem “Saved.” Dressed in a T-shirt featuring “black female legends” like Rosa Parks and Sojourner Truth (“I keep my ladies with me,” she said,” Farquharson performed the poem Friday at Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School’s annual spring creative writing showcase.
Out of the 96 students in the writing department, 38 read works. Three dancers performed to spoken-word pieces.
Farquharson’s poem began:
Before you dream of me tonight
you must first know
I am not my face value
because I am just a number
at the tip of my spine
embedded in my cerebellum
being the mechanics in my movement
call me 17
17 the number of years
my heart has beaten
my fingers have bled
the mount of time I fell down
and repeated the same process
of finding who I am ...
The department holds two showcases, one in the fall and the other in the spring. “The best writing is at the end of the year,” stated teacher Judith Katz.
Co-op seniors Eddie Sam and Tyler Hueffman performed a humorous piece about zombies that had the audience laughing at the end. The piece, entitled “Halloween,” had been in the works since Sam’s freshman year. “I knew a performance was coming up for my senior year, so I thought to revisit my freshman year work to see my development,” said Sam, who will study computer information technology starting this coming fall at Southern New Hampshire University .
Co-op displays the writing students’ works in progress on the walls, including mark-ups and corrections.
“I like the corrections on the wall because it shows we are human. It shows we refine ourselves and that we are passionate,” said Farquharson, who will attend Emmanuel College in Boston. She plans to study biology and English, and hopes to become a pediatric surgeon or an English professor. Meanwhile, there’s a poem to keep improving.