This week’s prompts are at the bottom.
Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.
Bruce Dalrymple stopped outside the door to gather his wits before pushing into the classroom where he surveyed the rows of desks occupied by pubescent writing students.
He pauses to study them, and a single thought runs through his mind, “My God! What was I thinking?”
Gathering himself together he makes his way to the front of the room and sets his briefcase on the desk. The desk is small, but not as tiny as the ones the kids are sitting in. It looks as if the class is pretty evenly divided between boys and girls. All types are represented. There are tall kids, short kids, fat kids, skinny kids, long-haired and short-haired kids. Some of them seem to be preoccupied with one thing or another. They are searching through their backpacks, gazing out the windows, or fussing with their notebooks. Others are sitting primly, properly; with hands clasped on their desktops, eager looks on their faces; they look like suckups.
Bruce opens his briefcase and pushes the peanut butter and jelly sandwich to one side. He removes one of twelve gel pens that he had purchased at the stationery store a week ago. He’d saved 33% by buying the twelve-pack rather than buying them as singles. He clicked the pen several times, real fast and then did it again before spinning it between his index finger and thumb. He stands by the corner of his desk and clasps his hands behind his back, again surveying the class. He’s looking for signs of nervousness, unease, boredom, something like that. The kids just keep doing what they had been doing. No change.
After a time, Bruce turns his back to the kids and goes to the chalkboard; he admires the shiny black surface for a moment. He can tell that this blackboard was cleaned with a damp rag. No chalk dust clings anywhere on the surface. He smiles and destroys the pristine finish by chalking in all caps in the top right corner:
Returning to the desk, and clearing his throat loudly, he sits down, watches his class, studies the students. For the most part, they simply watch him back. Some get fidgety, some pass notes or turn around for a discreet whisper to a classmate sitting behind. On two occasions he has to point at someone who’s getting a bit too loud or becoming too much of a distraction but primarily, everyone remains sitting, quietly. Waiting. They wait for something to happen. The class is supposed to last for fifty-five minutes. Then the bell will ring giving the students five minutes to get to their next class.
At the fifty-three minute mark, Dalrymple rises and stands behind the desk. Some of his students have put their heads down on their desks, resting.
“I need to have everyone’s attention,” Dalrymple announces. It was the first thing he has said the entire period. “Your homework assignment is to write a story about today’s class. You can write about what you did. What you thought about. What you learned. You can investigate your impressions of the class or your instructor. You can write about your peers and classmates if you want. You simply need to write about today’s class. This is Creative Writing 101, Fourth Period, Room 107. It needs to be 750 words, minimum, I expect punctuation and grammar to be correct. Place it on my desk tomorrow when you come in, you should do so before you take your own seat.
The bell rings. The students seem eager to go to their next class. Dalrymple can’t blame them.
“Class dismissed,” he stifles a yawn.
This week’s prompts are:
- don’t get up gentlemen
- that’s not really my call
- she’s right handed but she uses her left to ___
Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need and, have fun!