Week 10 Assignment – Pain is a Teacher

Pain is the teacher who carefully lays out the lesson plan to fit every day of our lives. Her tiny cryptic scrawls cover the blackboard in white. As we file into our seats, the smell of chalks fills our nostrils and covers our tongues, and seeps into our skin.

Pain pop-quizzes us Monday mornings when we are slack with sleep at our desks. Do we really have to do this now? Our Trapper Keepers and textbooks slap closed and land on the floor with a satisfying thud.

Pain surprises us with last-minute room changes posted on our classroom door, two hours after the class ended. There is no room 5-B in our two-story building. As we sit in study hall, we sweat and ring our hands. Our stomachs clench and make us dizzy with anticipation. Did we fail?

Pain tests our critical thinking skills. Turn the wrong way and pain stops us with a smack of the ruler on our backsides, bringing our attention back to the beginning of the lesson plan. Extra credit assignments stack high and sway menacingly over us. Panic rips our guts apart. How will get through this? We pass notes when the teacher isn’t looking. The test paper answers change when we aren’t looking.

After high school, birthdays become our only progress chart. Blind to the future, we grope around in the dark, searching for the light switch but sticking our fingers in the sockets and getting shocked. Our hands stick to the plate from an ungrounded outlet. We pull away, only to be drawn back into the electrical center. Zap! Zot! Muscles tense hard. We pull away hard and try again. Nothing deters us. Into the sockets our fingers go. The intensity holds us hostage and we reflexively shout. Our senses are in sharpest focus. Pain courses through our blood and electrifies us into action. Our hearts or legs get broken.

After the power has been shut off, ee close our eyes hard and pretend our lesson isn’t there. Our discipline disintegrates. We pull out hair in frustration at our lack of learning. Don’t you wish it would end and we could get some peace? We cry: No fair! Our only answer is the squeak of a rusted door that is moved slowly back and forth by the wind.

Daily Object Writing- Catch Up

I needed a break from work and school for a couple of days so I fell behind on my class-required object writing.  I’m including the last 1.75 days worth of class-required object writing below.  This week’s prompts:

  • focus on WHERE, using location as the starting point for writing.
  • The POV is Direct Address, which uses both ‘I’ and ‘You’.
  • The verb tenses to use are any two forms, past, present, or future;
  • include questions & conditionals
  • Time limitations vary (5m, 10m, 90 sec)

Back Seat (10 minute)

You sat in the back seat of your family’s station wagon,  with your arms crossed and a scowl across your ten-year-old, suntanned face. Your mother reprimanded you for kicking the back of her seat in front of you. Now you sat sullen, tight-lipped, and anger punching the front of your stomach in protest. The sticky leather seat stuck to the back of your thighs because you insisted on wearing shorts. The air conditioning in the car has never worked, and you knew that the leather would stick. You pulled up your left thigh, feeling the skin get peeled back tightly from hot, sticky leather as you moved your leg up and down alternately. The open windows brought in the soiled stench of cheap gasoline and diesel. Hot winds nastily slapped your innocent cheeks. Your eyes slit closed against the air drying your eyes out. The grit of chastisement and pent fury stained and grated your tongue and created a sandpaper mouth. The swaying of the car turned your angry stomach sour with nausea. How much worse could the day get? You woke up bright and eager. Two fights with your mother, one about what to wear and the second about when to leave, hastened an inner tantrum that raged about being stuck in the car for two hours. Now here you were, bored with nothing to read, and a mother continuously complaining about your kicking the back of her seat from your own back seat. You turn your head to look out the window and relax. You let the wind fill your eardrums and your mind with white noise. After you get to the cabin, you will unpack your bathing suit, throw it on, and jump into the pool before your mother has time to punish you. Maybe you’ll stay down there; maybe you want to see how long you can hold your breath. How long can you hold it? Half a minute? One minute? Longer? What will your mother do without you, if you never come up?

Candy Shop (90 sec)

Candy shop sticky sweet. Carmel walls striping makes you think that you can lick the walls and you would taste Werther’s candies. Rows of black, white, dark, milk chocolates. The intense smell of sugar forcing a watering of Snickers and Almond Joy in Your mouth. The crinkling of the paper-plastic as you search for an opening. One bite, the sugar chocolate spreads warmth through your mouth, your taste buds relishing in the joy of sugar. Twirl! Yum! What next?

Frozen Pond (5m)

The frozen pond in the Boston Common, the Frog Pond, awaits us! Let us run down the frosty hill, slippin and sliding while we hold hands towards laughing children in colorful winter hats. Can you feel the the cold leather through your mittens as you struggle to pull on the well-worn rental ice skates? Let the excitement build in your chest as you finish tying your laces tight. Let’s jump up together, hold hands, chop our feet on the ice a couple of times, and go speeding across the pond. The wind will rip our cheeks and freeze our teeth. We will have to dodge parents picking up their toddlers off the frozen floor. The tears of children will not move us. Let us be joyful! Do you remember the time we came down to the pond in the middle of the night? Last year, we woke up at 2am, got dressed, snuck onto the Frog Pond, and ice skated for about 10 minutes before the cops told us to bugger off. You giggled madly as you tried to run away in your skates. Your face hitting the pavement and a bloody gash on your brow changed your tune. We spent the night in the ER instead of the clink. Now we are here together, legally. The world is our playground. Where will we go next?

Airport (10m)

You took the Blue Line from Government Center to Boston’s Logan Airport every time that you traveled. It was your contribution to saving the environment, you said. The grimy floors of the train’s cable car felt sticky under your Chucks, and it made you feel queasier than riding the rickety train. Your heavy carryon luggage dragged you, as if even your underwear did  not want to leave the haven of your hometown. Strange places made your stomach wiggle and your feet itch. Your lace-up boots became prison walls that prevented you from scratching that itch. But leave Boston you must, you told yourself, if you were  ever going to grow up. You flew the  US Airways shuttle to JFK airport, a 45 minute nonstop flight. You were vomited from the passenger plane into the underbelly of the fourth largest city on the planet. Massive waves of people seemed to follow you whichever step  you took. Dirt and oil seemed to permeate your skin, invade your nostrils, and sink deep into your lungs. Your unsteady walk, knees knocking, took you all the way to Gordon Hall at NYU. If anyone asked you, you were not have been able to tell them how you got here. You are bedraggled and beautiful. You lick your lips and I taste grapefruit. Your perfume faintly reaches my nose and I breathe in life. How will you know I am yours? You look into my eyes and my soul resonates with the knowledge that you know it, too. You smile and nod. If you say hello, I am yours. The greeter says your name, Heather. I hear a ballet of satin steps rising in time and tempo to the sweet rhythm of violins. The strings tremble with my heart and I sing to myself. You know it, too.  You straighten yourself up. Hello, you say. Hello, I say. Another smile and you are mine. Where will we go? Let us walk down West 4th Street together with

Dress Shop (90 sec)

You, bent over the sewing machine, eyes trained on lines, shiny needle in your left hand, fabric held down against its will in your right. It has no power over you. You weave your magic and essence in, the flow of your life becomes permanent. Your life in the shop gave you life. Now you create life. Where will the dress be worn? You do not know. Let us imagine parties, balls of which you are the bell, ringing in the joy, drinking champagne,