Posted in Writing Prompts

A Philosophy of Completion

Jan 8 Writing Prompt: Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

The following is fiction:

I began my freshman year in high school with an attitude of indifference. I did not care if I was in school or not, but my parents said I had to graduate, so I shrugged my shoulders and I went. study

It wasn’t that I hated school and I had always been a good student. I had lost interest in being one of those people who followed along and adopted the way of life of everyone else. I loved to read. I started reading early in life and I had been voracious in my reading habits. I had already experienced the false history taught in elementary and middle school.  The idea of “proper” grammar had changed three times by the time I left junior high. Math was the one subject in which I did not excel.

Looking back, I would describe myself as a philosophical person. My philosophy toward math beyond the basics was that it was unnecessary for anyone who did not pursue a career that involved math.

I trudged into my first class on the first day of school with the determination to do the work as I had been instructed to do. Halfway through the first chapter of my science book, I began to daydream. My daydreams were much more interesting than the classification of insects. So I turned the page in my notebook and instead of taking science notes, I filled the page with brainstorming about the ridiculous nature of the educational system.

And the teacher caught me.  Yes, I was indifferent to school, but the last thing I wanted was to be in trouble. My teacher saw the horror on my face and let me off easy.

Instead of notifying my parents or ordering detention, she demanded that I write an essay based on the notes I had taken on the state of education. I had to do it over the weekend. That was the one thing that I must accomplish to keep her from telling my mother.

What did my brainstorms have to do with science? I never figured it out.

She caught me several times more during that year and I was given an assignment for each and every one of what she called my “independent studies”. My assignments included two essays, two slideshow presentations, a five minute video,  and a full demographic chart.

That was 15 years ago. Today, I am recording my thoughts on my notepad while riding in a taxi on my way to work.  

I am a successful movie producer, and as far as I’m concerned, I would not be where I am today if it were not for a science teacher who pushed me to explore my thoughts, find solutions to problems, and explain them in a variety of ways.

One science teacher made all the difference.

Posted in fiction, Writing Prompts

And the Earth is Consumed

January 5 “Call Me Ishmael” – Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.

At first I was unsure of where to go with this prompt. First I realized that I don’t own my favorite book anymore and then when I picked out my favorite among those I do have, the first sentence looked nothing like I would write in a typical post. So I went with it.

The first sentence comes from The Collection Short Fiction of C.J. Cherryh

On the whole land surface of the Earth and on much of the seas, humankind had lived and died. After the great poles had melted into the oceans, water had flooded the trade cities and had continued to push onto the land until only small parts of major continents remained. Much of the population was spared from drowning as volcanoes erupted, and lava had poured out, burning and smothering thousands. The earth had rumbled and broken, swallowing up more cities, towns, villages, forests, and deserts. Then the water had rushed in and to any being looking upon the earth, it appeared as a ball of water. The Koralians referred to the earth as the water world. The Koralian people peered through their glass, watching in wonder as the world continued to spin, its fire star continued to shine a dull light on the waters, and the moon lit up the darkness.

Their place was of a whole other dimension. The inhabitants of Koralia were entranced by the universe on the other side. Their eyes were drawn to the Earth and they peered in fascination as it had formed and been covered with all manner of living things. Of all they had seen, it was humans that had drawn their curiosity the most. Why would a people who had been given so much destroy their own world with gases and smoke until the land cried out and the atmosphere dwindled?

 In the last days, the few who had remained huddled together in small parts of the world. The beasts they kept starved. Some of the people had taken to eating the rotting corpses of the animals and after that meat was gone, consumed their own until the rest expired in agony. The Koralians continued to watch as souls drifted out and melted into oblivion.

The scientists believed life on the water world would begin anew. Until then, they turned their eyes to another world. The world of rings and storms had calmed. Life on the ring world was just beginning. They held their breath in anticipation.