[Episode 2] “Tune Out” with Kate Thomas


Meagan: Hi, this is the Poetry Podcast. Will you please state your name, your grade, and your pronouns.

Kate: I’m Kate Thomas. I’m in twelfth grade and I use she/her pronouns.

Meagan: So I know that you have a little bit of a background story on your poem so will you please recite that first.

Kate: Yeah so, I’ve found I spend a lot of my life waiting for time to pass. Some of this seems unavoidable: sitting in meetings, in lectures, in church services, in conversations. I quickly become uninterested, and shut down, nodding or uh-huh-ing my way through my social and school life. I find myself wondering how I ended up there, sitting in that class and talking to that person or whether there’s anything I even want to do more – or what the whole point of this living business is. At that point, the other person has moved on to someone else. Depressing, I know. Or should I say, “a step in the wrong direction?”

My grandma told me the other day (in a completely different context), “You always have a choice.” This from a woman who wound up a single mother by 21 – at a time when the world was very anti pro-choice. And instead of saying she was forced into a tough situation, she calls it a choice. For a few days I wondered if she was just trying to be controversial with that statement.

Now I realize it’s something to live by, what she said is that you always have a choice, not that you always have every option. Even if you don’t have the money to do what you want, you can always change something. You can always make a step in the right direction, no matter how small. Yeah, making decisions is exhausting. Whether you do it or not – your choice.

So here’s a poem about choosing to tune out:

If you

can blue the voices around you

and concentrate only on the head ache

in your brain,


the weight of your pen




from one side of you hand

to the other,

class goes by much faster.

Meagan: Awesome, so I can see a little bit of what inspired you to write it. What would you say that you want people to take away from this poem?

Kate: Definitely the idea that you have a choice and that if there is something in your life that you don’t like, it’s up to you to change it. But also the fact that like yeah we don’t sometimes want to be places, and even if you don’t going out, maybe that’s the best option.

Meagan: Thank you so much.