I could not sense anything around me other than the video that was playing on the screen in front of me. Such powerful words were spoken in sadness, yet disguised in anger and frustration. “He had the audacity to tell me ‘get over it’”, said beautifully in Shane Koyczan’s poem To This Day.

     Audacity: the willingness to take bold risks, or, rude and disrespectful behavior. Since I discovered this word freshman year of highschool, I use it quite a lot. Sometimes when I am venting about people that get on my nerves, but mostly when I am acting like a typical highschool girl that blows everything out of proportion. I quickly learned that this word, when applied to the right sentence, can either make it sound really tragic, or make it sound almost nagging and comical. For example, the sentence used in Koyczan’s poem showed gravity to the word; adding heaviness to the meaning of what it feels like to get bullied. Yet, if you said “She had the audacity to tell me leopard print went out of style last year”, flavoring it with a high pitched voice and enunciation of the words,  it sounds almost comedic to put such a word in a first world problem like that. If “audacity” is taken out of the sentence, it’s still a stab in the back to anyone wearing leopard print, but it’s hard to tell if anyone was offended with no context.

     Senior year of highschool, I find myself in the same classroom, watching the same video I did four years before. I watch, still amazed by the use of crescendos and decrescendos he makes his words travel, but it doesn’t compare to the first time. After some time has passed, I look to my left, breaking back into reality, and find someone with the audacity to sleep during the entire duration of the poem.




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