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Monday, June 16, 2014

Transition period (plus Challenge 68 take)

I think I'm going through a transition period. I'm not writing much, waiting for my new book to be published by someone else other than me and I feel like I'm in no man's land. I'm not impressed with my work on 'Torn', my new idea, and I'm waiting for the next to appear. I'm also continuously ill...
Anyway, here's my take on Challenge 68, it took a while to come out - a variation of Woolf's 'Mark on the Wall' :-)

Challenge 68 - The Hole in the Wall

(elements, rock, paper, scissors, shaving cream)

What exactly did we ever do in those school breaks, those thousands of endless breaks between lessons? It seems such a waste now, all that running around, playing football, picking on the weak kid, playing kiss chase, inventing some stupid game which involved a tennis ball and large empty wall, and basically talking rubbish throughout. Why didn’t we study, why didn’t we try to better ourselves when we had the chance? Why didn’t we listen when the teacher asked us to study for the test, do the project, or stop throwing paper at each other? Now look at us, stuck in deadend jobs, paying the bills, breeding more fodder for the system to chew on and spit out.
There was one teacher, I remember now, only one, who tried to wake us up. But one wasn’t enough. He gave us an opportunity to think, to have an opinion, to question things around us, both close to home and globally. No tests every other lesson, no punishment for late homework, only bad marks if we didn’t do right. He used to let us play, too, but in what he called an educational way. One game I really didn’t like back then was ’rock, paper, scissors’. What the hell was that all about? He told us it originated in China way back, and has been used to settle small trivial arguments ever since. I didn’t get it then and, as he always encouraged us to do, I questioned its logic. Sure, rock blunts scissors, and scissors cuts paper, but paper covers rock? No, I wasn’t having that. I even tried to show him that paper doesn’t stop a flying rock with a few ill fated experiments. His point was that it covered the rock. I then said you might as well cover it with shaving cream or some kind of foam, or a box, maybe. He said that a box was made of cardboard, which is paper, but he liked my idea of shaving cream. He opened it up to the class, that if paper changed to shaving cream, what could the other two objects be? Razor was easy as a substitute for scissors but the others got stumped on the rock. Looking at the teacher, it came to me in a flash. His face. The silence in the classroom was broken by the teacher’s laughter. Yes, razor scrapped away shaving cream, shaving cream covered his face, and his face blunted the razor. He gave me a good mark for that one, but he then asked me how I was going to represent them…that’s when the idea fell apart.
I wonder what ever became of that teacher? Last thing I heard was that he’d written a book and got it published, though I don’t think he was famous or anything. And what about all of us, the thinkers, the opinionated argumentatives? Menial jobs, most of us, but I did learn one thing. The pen is mightier than the sword. Paper covers rock.

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