Awesome idea with the icebreaker questions! Reminds me of my recent experience volunteering in middle and high schools these past few semesters. For what it's worth: that is also is one of more rememberable work experiences. Throughout the course of of my volunteer hours, I have gained a greater appreciation for building relationships through informal questions that aim to find out crucial details about people that are oftentimes overlooked. For me, when I need musical motivation, I can always turn to The Roots. Currently, my anthem of choice is Walk Alone.
Regarding Question #4: After reading Levine's What Work Is, I would describe the image that the speaker conveys as distinctly Detroit and, as a result, Americana in all it's splendid glory. Whereas Whitman's Song of Myself delivers what I believe is the image of New York, I believe that Levine's poem illustrates America through the cultural eye of the heartland of the United States.
After perusing through the suggested photos, the following two images stood out for me:
For me, what these images represent is something that neither Walt or Levine has been able to convey to me in any of the poems that I have read thus far: the despair and sense of being a part of the history of a nation that continues to overlook and misrepresent you. Similar handwriting can been seen scribbled on the walls of buildings in images following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana. "God has left Detroit" is the poem that captures the essence of the images. As of last year, during my last visit, I can only assume that whomever the god is that whomever the speaker was referring to still hasn't returned based strictly on my observations. So what does it all mean? Honestly, I don't know. Here is a link of one of my favorite poets lamenting on Detroit following a series of accidents at nuclear power plants in the heartland of the United States.