“Poem In Your Pocket Game” concludes with confusion


photo by Matthew Rabinowitz

Seventh-grader Sean Levitan, the “Poem In Your Pocket Game” champion, was awarded with a 40 dollar Barnes and Noble gift certificate and two “rhyming prizes” that were based on rhyming words. Levitan won because he was the only middle schooler remaining when the game ended due to time constraints.

The “Poem In Your Pocket Game” ended with slight confusion: some students wondered if seventh-grader Sean Levitan, the competition’s champion, was awarded first place fairly. However, the competition was an overall success due to its large turnout, paving the way for a new one next year.

“I thought it was good; it was a nice thing that they were doing,” Levitan said. “I sort of wish that more people had taken part in it because I think it would have been more fun if there had been a lot of people.”

Per Assistant Library Media Specialist Mirele Kessous’ decree, Levitan became champion after the six remaining high schoolers and one remaining teacher failed to eliminate each other before the spring break deadline.

Kessous crowned Levitan the champion because he was the only middle school student left in the competition, but she wishes that there was more of a concrete winner.

“I was pleased with the results because I think that Sean really deserved to be the grand champion. It’s sort of like he was the younger kid so he was the underdog in that sense,” Kessous said. “On the other hand, I was disappointed that we didn’t really have a definitive champion; I was hoping that people would really go after each other until we had one winner.”

Although she believed that the end of the competition could have ended more fairly, junior Davida Goldman, the high school runner-up, was happy with her “rhyming” prize of a Mickey-Mouse themed toaster and National Poetry Month poster.

“I really liked the prizes I got; that was honestly the best part … it was a very well-curated prize,” Goldman said.

Goldman struggled to eliminate her target, Levitan, due to their different schedules.

After discussing this setback with Kessous, Goldman was granted permission to eliminate Levitan if they were both in the Levitt Media Center at the same time, even if either one was in a class.

Goldman eventually eliminated Levitan in the Levitt Media Center while she was in a class work period and Levitan was in lunch. After Levitan complained, Kessous backtracked on what she had previously said and reinstated Levitan back into the game.

Although Kessous promised Goldman that she would receive a new target, she never did, making it easy for Levitan to avoid her attacks and ultimately win.

Even with these setbacks and the confusing end result, Kessous hopes that the competition will return next school year with new administrative improvements to streamline it.

“It gives me things to think about for next year. … Certain rules need to be clearer and the behind-the-scenes is going to run smoother,” Kessous said.

Kessous said that overall the competition was a success because “it went much better [than anticipated], more people participated than I expected.”