Megan McIntyre is a third year PhD student in the Rhetoric and Composition program at the University of South Florida. Her research interests include postpedagogy, material rhetorics, first year composition, and political rhetoric. Her dissertation will focus on the intersections between the postpedagogical work of Thomas Rickert and the material network theories of Bruno Latour and the other new materialists.

What I Remember

Silly poems that I read aloud to myself whenever my parents fought. I found this book so comforting when I was a child. I learned to read in the year before kindergarten, which coincides, incidentally, with my first memory of building a fort of stuffed animals to hide from my parents' fighting.

What Strikes Me Now

This text doesn't offer a narrative exactly; it's a collection of poems, some silly and some much more serious than I remember.

text of Shel Silverstein's 'Invitation'

My mom, who always told me I could do anything, that our circumstances didn't define me, that I would graduate from high school and go to college even though no one in our family have ever done the latter, bought me this book. I think she knew I was often too smart for my own good, even at 4.

The Land of Happy

Have you been to The Land of Happy,
Where everyone's happy all day,
Where they joke and they sing
Of the happiest things,
And everything's jolly and gay?
There's no one unhappy in Happy,
There's laughter and smiles galore.
I have been to The Land of Happy--
What a bore!

When I called to ask my mom when I learned to read, she chuckled. "It's hard to pinpoint, actually. I came to pick you up from day care one day around 3 1/2 and you were surrounded by books. You had taken literally every book in the room and made a fort." From then on, she says, I took a book ("or two or seven") everywhere. By the time I was 4 1/2, I was reading bedtime stories to her.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go were the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

I think she also knew that this book was going to matter for me. As always (or so she would tell you), my mom was right.

Listen to the Mustn'ts

Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me--
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.