by J. Jordon
The Writing to Explore pieces have been the most enjoyable parts of this class.
|Writing to Explore 3: Personification
I chose this assignment because it allowed me to think creatively and really delve into the fictional register of writing.
I don't know how long it has been, but it's been awhile, it's not like anyone notifies me about the passage of time. I never sleep anyways, my eyes always open to see what's going on in the world and I don't really move much, I kinda let gravity take me where it wants to go, better that way anyways. Alright, I remember it all like it was yesterday. Maybe it was? No, no I don't think so. Anyways, I was hanging on a wall in a room. How I got there, how long I was hanging there, I don't remember, but I was suspended by some strange contraption attached to my back, my feet dangling. Now, I've always been a positive fellow, with a smile always on my face under my dashing, debonair mustache, sleek ears, and striking, curved nose. I tend to just roll with things and hope it turns out okay.
I was surrounded by those in similar garb as me, me in stylish yellow and indigo to the others wearing simple red and blue or green and blue, when "The Guy" picked me up rudely, observed me, thumbed my sizable nose and mustache, laughed in my face, & tossed me on a "commerce platform" nearby that had a strange, magical device that emitted sound when secret combinations were used by its operator. I can't tell you how long, but I've been watching these giants exchange green slips of paper for objects around me for awhile, I started thinking to myself, with all that around me being bartered for, am I too, for sale? I had an empty feeling in the pit of my soft, plushy stomach. I did not know, maybe I am, oh well. Now, The Guy is just one of I think a bazillion giants in the universe, well a giant compared to me. I went off on a tangent, anyways, I was looking straight up at him as The Guy a ran hand down the side of his leg and lickety split, he produced a strange looking piece of animal hide. I recall looking at my own gloved hands out of the corner of my eye, thinking I wish I had little holes in the sides of my trousers, but I digress, from inside the hide, The Guy retrieved some green slips of paper that had men's faces on them. He exchanged some green slips with another man over a counter who then gave him a white slip with some printed scribbling on it. I was then placed in a some sort of contraption meant to hold things these giants "purchase", yes that is the word the man said. I was trapped inside of this bag until I recall being placed on a soft platform inside a strange device filled with all sorts of weird looking dials, gauges, and levels, most notably one with a large circle. Peeking over the trapping device, I spied that The Guy was beside me on my left, The Guy, had taken some interestingly fashioned twine, and pulled it across his chest, placed a curious shiny object into a puzzle shaped hole. He turned his wrist and suddenly I felt the ground moving.
After a time, it stopped and he picked up the gray trapping device with me in it. I was being carried. Still peeking out of the bag, my head shifted up and I saw... heaven. It must be the biggest room ever. It was blue, with the largest light bulb I've ever seen. I recall in the room I was in they talked about how much "lights", I think that was the word cost. I thought to myself at the time, it must cost a king's ransom to light this endless blue room, but quickly as I saw it, I walked inside of a smaller room. I was taken outside of the gray trapping device, The Guy called it a bag, if I recall correctly, and manhandled me directly. He maybe big, but I managed to barely fit into his humongous palm. He was moving, walking, and I was being taken to this little, mini-giant. Not as large at The Guy, but still always more sizable than me. The mini-giant had more rounded features and longer hair. It spoke with a squeaky voice, that grated even my nerves. Upon reaching an agreed upon distance, I was presented unceremoniously to the mini-giant. The mini-giant's face quickly became perturbed, and it shook it's at head me from side to side. I was sat down quickly on another platform as other things were presented to her. They were approved, with me being the sole rejection. I was kinda distraught from the whole experience. I was placed back into the gray trapping device and carried into heaven back to the "ground mover". As the surface rumbled underneath me, I was violently picked up by The Guy's mighty hand, and was about to be tossed outside into heaven, my smiling face facing the strange currents that lashed my face and dashing moustache. But for a moment before I met the rumbling surface, The Guy looked upon me and had a strange look upon his grimace. I believe it was pity and I was set down on the soft surface to his right. I continued to smile, because that's what I do, but for the first time I think in relief. When the earth cease to move, I was taken once more into heaven and them quickly removed from it. I was placed upon another surface, surrounded by magical devices, large contraptions filled with white paper, and from here I have usually remained. I have watched, no stared, at The Guy as he grows older, taller still. We have changed locations a number of times. Perhaps, when he has more time, I would like to regale you my tales and adventures. This one time I staring danger in the face, another, I recall the time I escaped a very hot location, were I was kissed by darkness, heat and fog. Or the other time in which a ferocious beast tried to eat me.. Well, more my nose than anything and I beat him off me with my soft, plushy hands. Oh, and The Guy helped too. However, I am still saddened that my nose never truly healed from that savage attack, a sizable scarring upon my once blemish nose left as a reminder.
After years of silence, I find it quite amusing that The Guy (he never tells me his name nor does he ask for mine) finally asked me to tell my story, to be preserved for prosperity on one of those magical devices I mentioned earlier. Perhaps I can persuade him to tell him of the things I've seen, people I have smiled at, and my philosophy of just going with the flow and letting life happen. If this tale touches you in anyway, then it was not written in vain and my smile is not lost upon you, even though you cannot see it. Good day, be seeing you.
---As told to J. Jordon
Writing to Explore 5: Memorable Moments
This is just how it happened, however, I was on the phone with my brother who decided to remind me of this situation one Thursday evening and I had the assignment queued on my computer screen and it just went from that thought to here. I thought it fit well with the writing theme, perhaps even a little too well.
Another day at Club Boulevard Elementary School. It was supposed to be a day like any other. I was a plucky 7 year old boy sitting in Mrs. Wolfe's second grade class. Me being me, with a little time, by late October, I recall, I had it all figured out. Essentially to do well, but not get called on all the time like a criminal suspect and/or teacher's pet, all you had to do, if you were smart that is, was sit, be quiet, pinch yourself from the boredom, stare at the chalkboard, look like you were talking notes, and hope the end of the day would come real fast. I rode out most of the year like this. Unfortunately, one day, Mrs. Wolfe or some sort of divine force, got wise to all of our attentive reading, quizzes, tests, and writing. Apparent she decided to throw a monkey wrench in her own well-oiled machine. She decided to assign a class project, my very first project, a book report, on Charlotte's Web. However, in her mature age and seething anger from her divorce from Mr. Wolfe, she forgot to tell us how to do a book report.
Not knowing what to do I sought out my older brother, Roman. While Roman had taught me to read and write, I slowly began to realize over the years, what I call a "torment syndrome", began to afflict him something awful. Now, this "torment syndrome" caused him to cease assisting me and go deliberately out of his way to become a complete detriment. However, at this age, I was too young and X (insert one of the following: naive, stupid, trusting, or any synonym for these words). I asked Roman what was a book report, but failed to pick up on his non-verbal cues such as snickering, laughing, and the clasping then rubbing of his hands together while bent forward. With a grand smile that would even make a politician envious, he told me that a book report was when you copied a book in your own handwriting. I recall believing this was a snap, I couldn't believe how worked up I had gotten myself. However, I recall the book being nearly 200 pages! This was a sizable feat to a 7 year old boy. I was assigned the report on a Thursday with it due Monday. I spent that ENTIRE weekend writ--- copying the book. As Roman went outside to play basketball, ride bikes, visit his secret girlfriend, and do things normal to an 11 year old, I was hard at work copying, copying, transcribing, etc. Over that weekend, ever so often he would chuckle at my efforts. His girl, Summer, would also join in the maniacal chuckle. Steady, dutifully, I worked and around midnight I had managed to finish to make a complete copy of the book in my own handwriting. Albeit with some drool from falling asleep on it.
That Monday I was tired and beat. I turned in what looked like a manuscript. However, a sinking feeling had begun to swell in the pit of my stomach. I saw the other kids book reports and they were nowhere near what I had written. Upon speaking to the crabby Mrs. Wolfe, she looked at my "report" and gave it the kiss of death, the oft-used red Sharpie of Doom. Before it was a vogue Internet meme, she would actually write the word FAIL on the top of assignments (her system was as followed: FAILURE, DUNCE, COMPETENT, BETTER, AVERAGE.) that did not meet her approval. She also made a little spectacle of the matter making my assignment, the how-not-to-do example she continued to use throughout the rest of the year. It did not help that this was also my first 'F'.
Going home angry, when I spotted Roman, I erupted into a blind rage and pounced on him; all 69 lbs of me. It was a blood thirsty brawl that ended with a black eye for me and several lacerations for him. Grandmother did not have the strength to pull us apart but threw ice water on us both to cease the melee. Roman still got the last laugh by saying he wanted to show me what it was like to be a failure and to get bad grades as he commonly did. He never did do well in school past the 3rd grade always bordering flunking every time. I began to learn that failure is sometimes an option and at other times, the only option in some situations. Perhaps, this was an important lesson to learn? However, I am still debating this as of this date.
Writing to Explore 10: Make up your own prompt -- Writing Observations
I was not sure how this one was going to work out until I was done with the first draft. By the second and final draft, it had really morphed into the observational piece it became. I was quite proud of this one, if feel like a reflection on the various sections of the class we are exposed to and it, of course, fits well.
Make up your own prompt: Write a prompt that deals with something about reading or writing and then respond to it. Include your prompt in your assignment, maybe even explaining what lead you to think of this particular prompt. I wanted to develop a prompt that approached the various types of writing we commit to during the course of this class. Ponder the nuances of the various writing assignments of English 1103: Daybook, Reflections, Writing to Explore, Literacy Sponsor, and the Inquiry Sequence.
Daybook entries were the first writing forms I became acclimated with. These entries explore spontaneous prompts and pressure the writer to commit to non-stop writing in a short time period. Quite often, we are pressured in class to commit to writing an entry on a prompt either before or after a class activity giving our own perspective.
Writing to Explore, in my opinion, should be renamed Writing Out Of One's Comfort Zone, these prompts can take a student across an entire spectrum. A student is forced out of what maybe their "bread and butter" writing into examining that which is unfamiliar to them and to make an honest college try, an attempt at overcoming their own perceived limitations.
Reflection pieces examine the author or writer's perspective on issues. For most, this will be a look inward, examining one's own mind and how they perceive a task after its completion. For me, this is one of the toughest tasks, trying to commit to a constructive path and actually giving active thought to how a particular assignment or prompt, forcing me to grow ever so slightly.
The Literacy Sponsor forces the writer to examine how they were introduced into the world of reading and writing. The average person probably gives little thought to how they came to read and write. In contemporary times, this is thought to be a compulsory act. However, even as a little as maybe 50 or so years ago, reading and writing was not a guaranteed skill to obtain and even today, many people are illiterate on a wide variety of scales, left to be disadvantaged in an information age.
The Inquiry Sequence is a glimpse into advanced academic writing, for those wishing to move onto their master's or to some other terminal degree, this is perhaps the most important activity to which one can commit. As one rises above the level of mere information regurgitation and has to actually interject their own voice into argument based research, this sequence provides a step by step method for a proven path to adding their own questions and answers to the academic discourse.