Friday, June 13, 2014

Six-Word Memoirs: 6th Period

Our six-word memoirs were inspired by this NPR article and Smith Magazine's Six-Word Memoir project. This year's six-word memoirs are posted along side last year's outside of room 203.

"What I learned in school? Formulas."

"Singing when no one is looking."

"Reciting integral rules in my sleep."

"Truthfully, I belong in the '60's."

"Fashionably late...well, actually, extremely late."

"Could permanently reside on the beach!"

"At least my puns entertain me."

"Voice cracks, but I sing anyway."

"First, you have to love yourself."

"Pepper Spray for protection...sprayed myself."

"Speak softly. Can't find big stick."

"Extremely gay- yes, both definitions included."

"Gasoline-soaked backpack. Broken taillight."

Six-Word Memoirs: 5th Period

Our six-word memoirs were inspired by this NPR article and Smith Magazine's Six-Word Memoir project. This year's six-word memoirs are posted along side last year's outside of room 203.

"Sharp Tongue, Dulled Consideration for Consequences."

"I've got curves. The bad kind."

"Risk the now, sore joints later."

"Overanalyzing anything that can be overanalyzed."

"Introverted narcissists. They really do exist."

"Little brother. Two words: devil child."

"Happy birthday! More unneeded art supplies."

"Running from responsibilities to stay active."

"Five minutes without my phone: painful."

"Got A's. Never tried. Now what?"

"Two working eyes; two working heads."

"Wasting time staring at the clock..."

"Strict parents raised a better liar."

"Always trying to prepare. Never enough."

"Give a raft, I'll still swim."

"Tragic news received in comic sans."

"Started watching yesterday. Season two already."

Friday, June 6, 2014

"The Colors of my Life" by Ann Onimous

Red is my war paint
The nail polish I wear
When I mean business.

Orange is the juice
I only have when on trips
No one else likes it.

Yellow is the sun
That taught me the lesson that
What you love can hurt.

Green is my back yard
Lush with clovers and hastas
And our maple tree.

Blue are the oceans
Atlantic and Pacific
I will cross again.

Purple is the bruise
From when I ran and I tripped
Remember caution.

Pink is the flower,
My hibiscus, which reminds
Me of Hawaii.

Brown is the chocolate
That fills my mouth with sweetness
As I share with friends.

Black is my old life
Faded away to nothing
With the girl I was.

White is my future
Nothing but a blank canvas

Waiting for colors.

"Baby Steps" by Wesley Meeks

This whole experience is scary new.
Your life is changing and you’re not sure what to expect.
She’s small swaddled in pink and staring at you
And you know raising her will be your hardest test.

Now she can walk and talk and sing
She’s getting bigger and growing all the time.
You’re her hero, her best friend, her everything
But someday it won’t just be all nursery rhymes

Years go by and you’re always there
You teach her right from wrong.
Her burdens aren’t just hers to bear
And you nurture her and make her strong.

You comfort her in times of hardship
And rejoice in her success.
You instill in her patience, independence, and leadership
And assure her she is perfect even if she feels like a mess.

She’s now a young lady.
Under your guidance she came into her own.
She’s no longer just a baby
Just look at how much she has grown.

Her senior year has finally arrived.
Acceptance letters trickle in one by one.
High school is almost over now; she survived
And you are so proud of all she’s done.

But now it’s the day you’ve been dreading
 It has finally appeared.
All along this is where her life’s been heading.
She’s ready to leave home just like you’ve feared.

Leaving her is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do
And you try not to let that show.
You are scared to say goodbye – she is too.

But it’s time to let her go.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

"Espionage" by Naomi Jean Lewis

I skulked into the library, checking carefully over my shoulder to ensure that I had not been followed from my safe place above the auditorium, where I like to spend my free period. As far as I knew, I was the only one who frequented that spot. It created a safe place for me to think, without being in danger of being discovered. If anyone knew the things I had seen, it would ruin everything. I slipped my pass silently into the drop box and ducked down next to the counter. The librarian hummed absently as she picked up my pass. I don’t think she saw me, but I didn’t stand until I heard her walk away. I quickly scanned the library for threats. There were three other students. Two were seated next to each other on the threadbare couch and one was perusing the nonfiction section. She pulled out a book labelled only “BIRDS” and read over the back cover. I filed that piece of information away in my head for later analysis: Miranda Solomon was researching birds. I double checked the exits- the back door by the computers was clear, as was the main entrance. I like to always be aware of my surroundings and map any escape routes necessary, should someone surprise me and attempt to neutralize me. I dive-rolled to the fiction section. My superior had communicated with me via cloud writing during the first period of the day and commanded me to check one of our rendezvous spots for further instructions. I rolled again through a short stack of books, landing in a crouch and glancing back over my shoulder to cover my tracks. I stood swiftly when I reached the three walls of fiction and pretended to search for a title while really using my phone to search for any residual heat signatures. I reached the section where our book was located- a novel entitled Secrets that we had planted to keep an anonymous place in the school to exchange notes. I glanced down at my phone again- a heat signature matching the size of my superior had indeed been here hours earlier, among various other figures who had simply meandered through the stacks. I reached out for the book-
My hand groped through the empty air and my nails scrabbled against the back of the shelves in a futile attempt to find something. The book was gone. I looked up in surprise and my stomach shot through the floor at what I saw. Every single book was gone. There was not so much as a shred of paper left on the shelves. I felt sick. My identity could be compromised. All of my secrets, every scrap of information I had collected since my first year as an underground agent, were all out in the open. Who knew who now possessed my true name? Names have power. Mine belies my background. I have been going as an alias for three years, and all for naught. We normally have a “no public interactions” agreement, but I knew I needed to find my superior officer and let her know what was happening. I patted the shelf again in an attempt to look casual, and strolled out of the library. On my way out, I noticed that the librarian and an administrator were talking tersely behind the check-out counter. Their body language indicated to me that they did not want to be overheard. I heard the word, “Football field” and filed that information to tell my superior. I did my best to keep my pace even and controlled, but it was difficult for even an experienced undercover agent like myself. I escaped the library without harm, but I still feared for my life.

On the inside, my heart was pounding and my mind was whirling, but on the outside I was as cool as a cucumber. I have been trained for years to deal with this sort of situation. This is DEFCON 1: the worst possible outcome. I could be shot down by enemy snipers at any moment. The weight of the security of the American government was crushing my shoulders, but I did my best to bear my burden with grace. A girl fell into step with me and slung an arm over my shoulder. The white cotton of her t-shirt brushed against my face as she pulled me close to her. This, of course, was my superior. Everything I did was done under her command.
“As I speak, laugh like I’m telling you a funny story,” she breathed into my ear. I giggled. “Good. Now, as I figure that you know by now, all the fiction books are gone. I’ve found them, though. They are on the football field.” Alarm bells rang in my head. The teachers were planning something. “There is some sort of activity going on. All students are required to pick a book and find a spot to sit down and read. Our book is there. I have planted a trap to ensure that our identities and true missions are never revealed. The school board cannot know that we are here. Do not worry about what I have done, but you are coming with me.” I chuckled.
“Oh my god, that’s so funny!” I smiled. She smiled back at me, teeth shining viciously under the bright fluorescent lights. She leaned in close again, pulling my ear against her mouth.
“My parking spot is number 287. I drive a green truck. Take this key,” here I felt her slide something into the front pocket of my jeans, “and get into the passenger seat. Put the key in the ignition and wait for me. I will meet you there.” I laughed again and slung my arm around her hips.
“I’ll catch up with you later!” I smiled again, and broke away from her to head down the hallway to her parking spot. She smiled tightly at me and strode down the hallway in the opposite direction, towards the football field.

I had only been in the car for five minutes when she flung open the door and leapt in.
“We’re leaving,” she snarled, and turned the key in the ignition. The engine roared to life- it sounded far more powerful than the rusty green body of the truck implied. She reversed into the parking lot and sped out, disobeying every law of the school and flying over a speed bump.
“What did you do?” I asked. I had never before asked her a direct question, but we had never before been in this situation.
“Turn around,” she bit off, speeding down the entrance road of the school at nearly double the speed limit. I whirled in my seat, staring out the rear windshield. There was a fire on the football field; it was an inferno reaching to high heavens. It was mesmerizing and horrifying and the petite blonde girl driving beside me had caused it. We turned left onto the main parkway as three fire trucks pulled in from the left. I sat back heavily in my seat.
“I locked the students in the building. No one was outside. There will be no casualties. We will not be revealed, but we cannot go back. We have to go underground until we are forgotten.”
She stared straight ahead as she drove.
We wouldn’t stop driving for a long, long time. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

"...Huh?" by Casanova

Note: This piece is based on Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style. Writers were given a very basic plot and then asked to tell a story in a certain style. Casanova has chosen to write a "confused" story.

Jacob Marley was dead.

Wait. Stop. That is not the beginning of our story. It's not even Christmas, that was months ago. Why would Christmas Charol come to mind? Anyway...

Now, which way was the library again? Take a right, then a right, then a right, then a right, then a left, right? Right.

Ah the library, it smells like the cafeteria. No, that's the gym. The library smells like books, but also a bit like dirty feet.

Charles is here to check out a biography on... no not a biography, it was book on penguins. Or was it a fiction? Yes, that was it, a fiction.

Oh, this is Charles, by the way. He likes to narrate life in his head. Especially his own life. He's doing it right now in fact. He talks in the third person in his head, but first person when talking. Or is it the other way around? No that one was right. For once.

But what's this? The fiction section is half full! Or is it half empty? I suppose it depends on how you look at the glass. No, no, no. Looking at the other shelves the fiction section is surely empty. This isn't just the common daze that Charles usually falls into, the shelves were nothing but metal... wait that's the public library, this school library has wooden shelves. A very common mistake.

Two students were standing by the shelves, conversing in hushed tones. One had white hair, wore large very large fashionable glasses from the 80’s, and was balding a bit. Perhaps the stress had deteriorated him. Oh, wait. That could be Mr. Andrews, a school administrator. Charles thought perhaps it was Leonard, the elderly man who had returned to high school to finally finish his education. Though that could be a television character and not a student at this school. The other student was not a student at all, but the school librarian, who looked a bit like J.K. Rowling, but also a bit like Ernest Hemingway. Or was it Gwyneth Paltrow and Morgan Freeman? Charles wasn’t sure. He didn’t even know who those people were, or who the school librarian was. Perhaps there was more than one librarian.

Charles decided to stay in the library. No, that’s not right. Charles decided to leave the library. He had no purpose there if the biographical section was empty, or was it the fiction section? No matter, Charles was illiterate and didn’t intent to read anyhow. Or maybe he was lactose intolerant. Thick skull or weak bones? He’d find out later, there were more pressing matters to attend to like ice cream in the cafeteria. Charles knew they’d have milky fudge pops, the sign on the door said so.

But before Charles could get to the hot… no, frozen fudge goodness, his friend Matt had news for him. Or was it his friend Ken? Were Ken and Charles even friends? Yes, of course they were friends, otherwise Ken wouldn’t say “I hate you.” so often. But Charles was fairly sure this was Matt.

Matt told Charles of a pie eating contest on the football field. Mmm, delicious apple pie. Oh, wait there were no pies. It was very clearly an animal sacrifice. This week they had an old goat. Oh, no that was that horror movie that Charles had watched last month, or maybe it was a scarring memory from his childhood, but he was pretty sure it was a movie. The football field had a bonfire going on. They were burning the fiction section. Or was it the biographies? Darn, Charles had to do research on the school librarian for a project… or was it Ernest Hemingway?

The doctor stopped Charles in this retelling of his story. “Charles do you honestly believe they were burning the fiction section?”

Charles was confused. “Of course! What else could have happened?”

The doctor continued, “Charles you fell off the bleachers at the school bonfire. You suffered pretty severe head trauma. The books in the fiction section were removed due to water damage from the pipe in the bathroom above bursting.”

Charles looked down, he was in a hospital bed. “Are you sure, everything seems hazy.”

The doctor smiled, “I know Charles, but soon enough your memory will return and everything will be back to normal. We’re going to run a few more tests, but right now I’m sure your family wants to see you. Your brother Ken has been waiting outside for hours. I’ll send him in.”

“Thank you.” said Charles, relaxing in his bed as he stared up at the floor.

Or was it the ceiling?