In honor of the recent graduation of two of our columnists, I decided to take a look back at some of the assignments that made my own graduation possible. I realized three things about myself: I have terrible handwriting, I can’t seem to take anything seriously, and I’m stupid.
(This first selection was written for an English class after we were assigned to wear our own Scarlet Letters for a day, Hester Pryne style.)
I have battled all my life with sin. The guilt, like winds long past, has eroded my soul, leaving only an immense chasm where emotion used to dwell. I commit my greatest sin under no accord of my own, but because some creator has bestowed it upon me. Every waking day I am cursed with “awesomeness”. People often become jealous when I tell them of how awesome I am and they sometimes stop speaking to me. My sin has caused me to be an outsider in society for years.
On the day of the wearing of the letter, many a students would guess the meanings one another’s symbols. My cobalt A hung loosely around my neck as I walked into the room and quickly demand the same attention others were receiving for their letters. My closest friends, in an attempt to pretend not to notice my greatest fault, guessed it stood for words such as “arrogant” and “annoying”. I am lucky to have such friends but I quickly saw through their vain attempts to comfort me, just as bartenders see through the town drunk’s promise to pay his bar tab, and became all the more self-conscious about my transgression.
As the day progressed, I became more embarrassed of my awesomeness. When peers would ask me what my letter stood for, I would, instead of explaining the significance and symbolism of the letter, ignore them. This was easy for me because that is my usual protocol for dealing with those whose awesome level is not on par with mine. My plan to avoid being ostracized began to backfire when people turned the tables and started ignoring me. If I was not successful in reversing my fortune soon, I might be forced to sit in the dreaded enclosed cafeteria. The wearing of the letter day, which was supposed to help me escape the lower levels of the high school hierarchy, was solidifying my place in them.
At lunchtime, during my daily routine of standing in the bathroom for thirty minutes so I would not have to sit alone at a table, I had an epiphany. It was possible others were beginning to ignore me more because I was not being true to myself. I had to learn to accept myself, even my dreaded awesomeness.
Before the wearing of the letter, I had always felt like Jim Henson. Everyone knew my of my awesomeness, my Muppets, but few truly knew me. I barely knew myself, but the letter exercise has helped me to find who I am. I now realize I have been given the gift of awesomeness not as burden, but as shinning beacon of hope for the less awesome. I have learnt to accept myself, even my faults which include my awesomeness, my intellectual capacity, and my dashing good looks.
(I know of no circumstance in which turning in the following assignment would have been a decision let alone a good one. But I do know that I got a 90! Huzzah!)
This is a screenplay:
Guys 1 and 2 are sitting on a couch
Guy 1: Would you rather have octopus tentacles or crab claws?
Guy 2: Claws so I can crush an insurrection. You?
Guy 1: Tentacles so I can strangle an insurrection!
Guys 1 and 2: Good Answer 5!
R2-D2: Beep Beep Boop
Oh yeah, R2-D2 was there too. That guy is rad
Guy 1: R2-D2 is right. We should go get pizza.
Guy 2: Let’s fly there!
Guys 1 and 2, and R2-D2 jump out the window and begin to fly to the pizza store
Guy 2: Hey Guy 1 can you remind me again how we got the ability to fly?
Guy 1: We won it in a game of Would You Rather. The other choice was a lobotomy so the decision was a no-brainer.
Guy 2: Hahaha. Whoever wrote that joke is hilarious and probably good looking.
Guy 1: True!
Guy 2: Look up ahead Guy 1. It’s the pizza store.
Guy 1: We should go in and buy pizza. It’s a no-brainer.
Guy 2: Stop that saying that.
The gang lands and orders a cheese pizza
Guy 1: This is a delicious cheese pizza.
Guy 2: Oxymoron 5!
Guy 1: That’s not an oxymoron. This is an oxymoron: a cool R2-D2
R2-D2: (depressed) Boop
Guy 2: R2-D2’s self esteem fell faster than the Mets playoff dreams.
Guy 1: Metaphor 5!
Guy 2: Actually it’s a simile because I used the word like.
Guy 1: Remember when I thought you said a metaphor.
Guy 2: Yeah.
Guy 1: I think that really brought us closer as friends.
(Seriously, what the hell was this for?)