Thursday, March 22, 2007

English class exercises

My English teacher wants us to write one crisp, descriptive, "shining" paragraph about our lives every day for the next five days. Here is my first one; I might post the others as I write them. This one is about a violence-prevention program I teach to middle schoolers called Take Ten.

My face furrows in a frown in the midst of a lecture on Carl Shmitt (he was a Nazi, you know, but his logic is everywhere in the speeches of the most unlikely politicians). I have let my thoughts escape the classroom and dwell upon the events looming in my schedule. A commitment has just resurfaced in my memory, and I grieve for the time that it will consume. I perform time management calculus in my head. Because of the lost three hours, my homework load will anchor me to my desk and keep me from another lecture I had hoped to attend tonight, on a topic far more interesting to me than political theory. But there is no escaping it; my afternoon is destined to be spent in a room full of children, trying to read, sing, and laugh my way into their hearts, so that they might accept the message I have to offer. I want to show them (not tell them) that no matter what their role models might do, engaging in violence and intolerance is no way to live a life (after all, we only have one life to live). My frown now is directed at the clock, whose hands are keeping me from giggles and shouts, proudly-held jaws and folded arms.


  1. Oh my gosh, I am so impressed. Beautiful paragraph. It really does "shine".

  2. That's a fabulous concept, and I think you really captured a great moment in your paragraph.

    I'd love to see the rest this class has to offer you. You know that writing is ultimately grapho-therapy! what a cool way to get insight into yourself.