Friday, June 4, 2010

Students Write Fiction - Or try to

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their
collections of actual similes and metaphors found in high school essays.
These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers
across the country:

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides
gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like
underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a
guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of
those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country
speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse
without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E.Coli, and he was
room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes
just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated
because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge
at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a
bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag
filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie,
surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and
Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m..

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you
fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across
the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having
left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka
at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences
that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had
also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the
East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only
one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are known to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil,
this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not
eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either,
but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land
mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg
behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with
power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as
if she were a garbage truck backing up.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Venus and Mars

Here's a prime example of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus". It is offered by an English professor from the University of Colorado as an actual class assignment:

A Creative Writing professor told his class one day: "Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting next to his or her desk.

As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to me. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.

Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:

Rebecca (PINK)
Bill (BLUE).

(first paragraph by Rebecca)

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

(second paragraph by
Bill )

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.


He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless
hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from
her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.

Bill )

Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized even poor, stupid Laurie.


This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.

Bill )

Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.
"Oh, shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F--KING TEA??? Oh no,
what am I to do? I'm such an air headed bimbo. I guess I've read too many Danielle Steele novels!"



Bill )




Bill )

In your dreams, Ho. Go drink some tea.


A+ - I really liked this one.