Four Bar Friday


Source: Will Hardesty

Will Hardesty

  Fridays are weird days to be in school. Everyone is fired up and excited for the weekend but students want to get class over with so they can have a good start to their hopefully stress-free weekend.

   Every Friday in Mr. Schmidt’s English class, students always have a fun activity called “Four Bar Fridays” to look forward to. At the beginning of class, Mr. Schmidt passes out index cards and plays everyone’s favorite Student News show: CNN10, hosted by Carl Azuz. During and after the show, students write a four bar rap, usually about the current events displayed on CNN10. 

   “Four bar Friday is a great way to incorporate poetry into every week. It’s a funny way to get students interested in learning about a different kind of writing. I like seeing the creativity and the competition between some students. I think it allows them to express themselves but it also shows that they’re paying attention to current events,” Schmidt said.

   Four Bar Fridays were created by NBA Star Damian Lillard before the start of the 2013-14 season, to challenge his followers and fellow NBA players to show off their MC skills once a week on Instagram.

   Mr. Schmidt even joins in on the fun, writing his own four-bar friday every week to present to his classes.

   When Senior Mar Walker was asked about Four-Bar Friday he had a lot to say.

   “In a lot of classes, they tell you what to do and they give you little opportunity for creativity, but with this you can do whatever you want. Obviously they have to be appropriate but other than that it really gives you a big opportunity to be creative,” Walker said.

   On special occasions, Mr. Schmidt will give his students special requirements. For example, on Halloween, the four bars had to be spooky themed. Mr. Schmidt also ties literary elements to his requirements.

   In March, Mr. Schmidt puts on a “March Madness” style bracket, where students go head to head each week, with a new theme each round. The themes are as follows: Play-in games have to be two-bar couplets, first round matchups are written as a regular Four-Bar,  second round matchups have to be written as a “Brag Rap”, where students brag about themselves in four bars, third round matchups are written as a Honey Roast, where students compliment their opponent in a rap and the championship round has to be written in Iambic Pentameter.

   Although it may seem hard to come up with a four bar rap about current events, some students love the challenge.

   “You have to think of things on the fly and come up with something good,” sophomore Noah Neijna said.

   At the end of each Friday, Mr. Schmidt reads all of the Four Bar Fridays submitted by his students, and puts the best ones on the “Wall of Flame,” displayed outside of his classroom every week. Stop by Mr. Schmidt’s room if you want to see some examples on the Wall of Flame.