W2, #4: VISUAL VOCAB STORY

Set-Up: Every week you will be given a series of random images and 10 new vocabulary words (to prepare you for an upcoming quiz) that will require you be able to use the words ‘in context’ or to use them to write a short story.

Vocab for the Week of 9/2:

  • apathy – lack or caring; indifference
  • curtail – to cut short
  • elicit – to draw out by discussion
  • haughty- behaving in a superior way
  • impede – to hinder or block
  • indolent – lazy
  • meticulous – extremely careful
  • penchant – strong inclination; liking
  • plethora – excess or abundance
  • relish – to enjoy greatly

Challenge:

  • pick (1) of the (3) images found below
  • write a paragraph+ description (or story) based on it using all 10 of the words on the list
  • add the part of speech in parenthesis [note: you have to look this up based on the definition]
  • make sure all words are used so that the definition is understood/implied

Length: There is no set length, but make sure that you use all 10 words. You are free to write sentences that do not include any of the word to help you develop the overall description/story.

Hint: Go with the image that a) either grabbed your eyes first or b) seems to have a hidden story in it.

Note: Please review words from last week; they will also show up on the next vocab quiz (on Tues). All vocab words (once studied) will be in future quizzes.

Image #1 (link: http://tinyurl.com/6ad88y)

Image #2 (link: http://tinyurl.com/6agtju)

Image #3 (link: http://tinyurl.com/5hlec9)

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25 responses to “W2, #4: VISUAL VOCAB STORY

  1. NOTE: This is a true story. I do not want credit for a ‘wonderful creative mind’ when I did not invent the plot or any of the characters.

    I know a dead person.
    That is, I know a person who was once alive. It’s scary to think about, really. That you’ve touched someone, talked to someone, seen someone who is now lying, as they say, 6 feet under.
    This isn’t my grandpa. Or my grandma, or my dad’s great aunt, or my mom’s third cousin twice removed. This is someone I cared very much about–a friend.
    We met in softball. She was a sophmore, I was an eighth grader. Sharing a blanket and a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos in the pouring rain, watching a hopeless game, laughing and talking. Me and Andrea Evans.
    I never thought of her as “AN-dri-a.” I never saw her name in writing. She told me, “it’s ahn-DREH-a.” I’d never heard that before. She was funny and likable. I felt a penchant (adjective) for her immediately.
    She was so different from anyone else in my school. They were all white, serious, and conscious of their self-image. Drea, as she was called, was half-black, always laughing, and seemed almost to relish (verb) being different. One time her brother’s cell phone went off in silent study hall (grades 7-12 were all in one room). Instead of being bashful, and handing it in to a teacher right away, he picked it up and began talking. Then, as everyone watched, he crossed the room to his sister and said quite clearly, “It’s for you.” And what did Drea do? She took it and began talking into it right away. No one knew what to think.
    It’s not that Drea had apathy (noun) about her self-image. She just didn’t stress over it. She was short–shorter than me, and I was the shortest in my grade. She had bright purple glasses, and she always wore a green lanyard around her neck to hold her keys. I’d seen her around school, but had never actually known her till softball.
    Softball.
    Drea did not originally care for the game. She actually played because of a bet in a card game. She lost, so she had to play softball. But contrary to how most people would have acted, Drea was true to her word, and, after a year, loved softball a lot. I wasn’t on her team that year, being on the middle school team, but a few times the varsity called me up to play for them. Naturally, I didn’t end up playing a single inning. I sat on the bench with Becca (a really funny girl a year older than me) and Drea. We all sat and talked and laughed and ate Cheetos to pass the time. Thus, when my freshman year came around, I looked forward to playing softball.
    Our high school team did not have a plethora (adjective) of players. In fact, only 13 girls came out for the team (naturally, we all made varsity). My sister was a senior, and she was on the team as well, which made it somewhat fun and somewhat strange.
    Drea was the life and soul of the team. She could scream louder than any other girl in our conference, and she let them know it. She would scream and yell and stomp her feet and make up cheers and holler till her throat was sore (which, oddly, never seemed to happen). One girl on our team stuck up her nose. Her name was Norah, and she was one of the captains, along with my sister and another girl. Norah always had a haughty (adjective) air about her that seemed to say, “Drea, stop being a weirdo!” But Drea never noticed. And oddly enough, Norah was her idol. Norah was one of them best players on the team, but seemed to consider herself superior to the rest of us solely based on the fact that she was a senior and she was a good player, and she made it clear that unless we were good, we could consider ourselves shunned. There was a very quiet freshman girl named Rose, and this was her first year playing. She did fine, but I never saw Norah even talk to her once.
    Norah considered Drea, Rose, and even my sister to be below her. My sister, Natalie, was a phenomenal player, and I say that in all objectivity. She was fast, she was a good hitter, and she routinely made diving catches. She also loved being enthusiastic and encouraging her teammates, and was often partners with Rose, to help her. Norah treated my sister inferiorly. Not openly, and not to her face, but in subtle ways: the rolling of the eyes, the glances at her friends, the raising of eyebrows. She also did this to Drea.
    Drea.
    Drea, the happiest person I’ve ever known.
    The season ended happily, however: Drea received an award (most improved player). She beamed, and I beamed watching her. She had the biggest smile in the world. And the thing was, she smiled like that all the time, especially when she saw people she knew. In the hallways she would yank my ponytail from behind, and I’d glance down to see her laughing so loud that everyone stared.
    That’s why it hit me so hard.
    It was June 26th. My sister and I got out of the car laughing. We’d just gotten back from my little sister’s birthday party at the roller skating rink. I lumbered into the house and indolently (adjective) sat down in front of the computer. I logged onto Gmail and noticed Ashley, a girl from my softball team, was online. Her status though, said, “God be with the Ev…” so I held my mouse over it. The full status read, “God be with the Evans family. May Drea rest in peace.”
    You cannot, simply cannot know the feeling I had. I’ve felt it before, but never to this degree. Meanwhile Natalie was checking the messages on our phone. “Mrs. Gaworski called,” she said. Mrs. Gaworski was the receptionist at our school, and the mother of a girl on the softball team. I told her what Ashley’s status said. We looked at each other, both of us thinking the same thing.
    She called Ashley.
    Ashley picked up almost immediately. I stood to the side, nervously clenching my fists while Natalie spoke to her. Maybe it was a joke. Maybe Ashley and Drea were laughing right now. But suddenly I knew. I knew because Natalie started screaming and sobbing, yelling Drea’s name. My eyes were as big as dinner plates when she finally hung up and relayed the whole story before collapsing on the floor. Drea had been at church camp. She had gone into the water with the other girls and had bent down to wash her hair.
    She tripped and fell in, and the current began sweeping her away.
    Her counselor tried to grab Drea’s hand, to impede (verb) Drea’s journey to a series of waterfalls, but she herself was pulled by the ferocious current. Drea and her counselor went over a few waterfalls before floating in the water at the bottom.
    Witnesses tried to revive them.
    But couldn’t.
    I couldn’t cry. Not right away, anyways. I simply sat there and thought, What? Is this a joke? What? Dear God, tell me this is a joke! But nothing came to me. I sat and could not, simply could not believe it.
    I’ve read stories in which people had friends or parents who died, and they kept saying, No, it can’t be real, it isn’t real, and I scoffed. But now from experience I can tell you that’s exactly what was going through my mind that day. Simple phrases, like Oh my God and this is a joke. I ran outside, if only to get away, as if running could bring her back.
    I slowed to a walk. I passed my neighbors’ houses, sobbing and snuffling, sounding remotely like a pig but not caring. Only getting away.
    One of my neighbors was getting out of his car, and I think he knew I was crying. He certainly looked concerned, but I hurried on.
    I started yelling. “WHY?” I screamed. “WHY? She was so happy, God–why did you want her? She was going to be a senior! She was so full of life! She was so happy! God, WHY?” I yelled these words at the sky. Thankfully I didn’t meet anyone else along the way. I think my face was the reddest it’s ever been. My mom tried consoling me, my dad comforted me, but I felt numb. Walking up and down the streets, the world was black and white. Color was not an option. I couldn’t be happy, because it would mean betraying Drea.
    Almost immediately we had to go on a trip to Chicago which we’d planned for a long time. The whole trip my relatives noticed that I was quiet, antisocial, melancholy. We went to a Cubs/Sox game. I tried to enjoy it. But whenever I began to have fun, I’d remember, and I would quietly tell myself to stop being happy. I felt like I shouldn’t be happy. Ever, ever again. My grandma tried to help me. She’d lost her sister to the water when she was a little girl. She knew how I felt, sort of. But I still could not get over it.
    Finally we came home.
    I didn’t want to go to the wake. I thought I’d cry too hard, seeing her lying in a coffin, an image that I knew would haunt me forever. But my mom and sister wanted me to, so I went grudgingly and a little afraid of what we’d see and what my reaction would be.
    In the car I thought, Wow, I’ll be able to hold this in. But the instant we walked in and I saw my softball teammates, I lost it. Tears started to form and fell as quiet as death down my face. Then my friends were there, friends who hadn’t known Drea but were there to support her and her family. I hugged them and bawled for all I was worth. Their faces were sad, sympathetic, and I enjoyed their comfort, but I thought jealously, angrily almost, They never knew her. I didn’t know why I felt such things.
    We walked around, looking at pictures of Drea. Some of them had been taken by my sister. I was in a few. I sincerely tried to stop crying, but my tears would not be curtailed (verb). They flowed as fiercely as the current that swept her away.
    Going up to the coffin was especially hard. I walked up slowly, meticulously (adverb), tears still streaming, and when I saw her I knew I couldn’t look any longer. Her face was grey and pale, and…it wasn’t Drea. It didn’t look anything like her. How…that isn’t her… I thought. The Drea I knew was full of life.
    Later we went to a candle-light vigil in her honor at my school. Even there, I knew that many of the people hadn’t actually known Drea, and again I felt anger against them. Who were they to come in here and pretend sorrow? They didn’t know her–they don’t miss her like I do! We elicited (verb) Drea’s life with us, remembering when we met her, things she did or said, and what we loved and missed about her.
    I felt like I could never be happy again, because if I was, it would somehow be an insult to Drea. She’s dead, I thought. How can you ever be happy again? I thought this at the funeral as well, which was worse because Norah was there. I sat in a row with the other softball players and we all hugged and cried and just couldn’t believe it. We watched the coffin lid be put on, and we knew we’d never see Drea again…at least, in this life. That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to face–that I will not see Drea ever again (after all, who know what happens after we die?).
    It wasn’t until a while later, after thinking and thinking about it, that I realized I was wrong about several things.
    First, the people who came to the funeral. They were only trying to support a grieving family. I knew that even though they hadn’t known her too well, nobody can sit there and be apathetic to the loss of a human life. They were just trying to help.
    Second, and more importantly, happiness.
    Drea was the happiest person I’d ever known. Would she want me to mope about, all for her?
    No.
    Besides, I believed that I would see her again. I think she’s up there, sitting on a cloud, laughing boisterously. Drea would never want me to be sad for the rest of my life. Though I loved her, and sorely missed her, I couldn’t hide forever. I began to see her in bright flowers, to hear her in the whisper of reeds, even to feel her in the souls of other people. She would want me to live in color, not among the shadows of black and white. This I know.

    ***

    Mr. Long: While the story certainly would work and impact your audience outside of the vocab list, thank you for managing to weave the list of words into such a powerful/personal story. Quite impressive.

    Your friend’s memory and impact has been beautifully honored here. I adored this combination of lines in terms of gaining a vision of the type of human being she was, and why she became someone that was so important in your life: “Drea did not originally care for the game. She actually played because of a bet in a card game. She lost, so she had to play softball. But contrary to how most people would have acted, Drea was true to her word, and, after a year, loved softball a lot.” Seems we could all learn from someone’s example like Drea’s.

    And without trying to take anything away from you, I know — from my own experiences — the raw power of this: “Their faces were sad, sympathetic, and I enjoyed their comfort, but I thought jealously, angrily almost, They never knew her. I didn’t know why I felt such things.” I think many of your classmates will, too.

    As a writer, you have much to be proud of…and the rest of us have some key strategies to pick up on. Most striking are the transitions, esp. as you grab the reader’s gut/heart at various points in the story. Simple, short sentences with tremendous punch. Wow. We often add and add and add, when perhaps we stand to evolve as a writer by realizing what a short sentence at just the right moment can do. You show this time and time again.

    Finally, I’ve read a lot of student stories that come from real life. This ending will remain with me for a long, long time: “Though I loved her, and sorely missed her, I couldn’t hide forever. I began to see her in bright flowers, to hear her in the whisper of reeds, even to feel her in the souls of other people. She would want me to live in color, not among the shadows of black and white. This I know.” Perhaps that’s because I recall one of my closest friends dying unexpectedly during my 10th grade year, a kid who was the very epitome of life, energy, humor, and joy — for the entire school, and recognized as such by everyone — who went home one afternoon sick, never came back to school the next day, and died of a rare virus by lunch the following day. It’s been 23 years. I still feel an emptiness at losing Brad. But the only memories I have of him continue to shape the way I see the world…and shape the human being I hope to be one day. Time manages to do both: keep your emotions close as well as inspire you along the way.

  2. No one can see her. She is not visible to the indolent (adj) eye, glazing over the crowd, pondering the previous day’s events, the shopping list, relationships, problems, solutions, and various more ‘important’ topics. She is lost at a sea of anonymity, among others who matter, and don’t care to notice what her story is. The world, constantly filled with apathy (n) has no interest in a girl with no name, no hold in society. Others are climbers who aspire to the top of the mountain of celebrity, ones who pose as not caring for the climb, but use their cynicism to propel themselves, or those who sit comfortably at the top, impeding (v) those who make it to the summit, trembling and weary, intent upon keeping the elitist attitude a constant, but the unknown made fear for them all. She was a drifter, a one in a million, unique in her monotony, her comfort and lack of desire for ambition. She was different in more ways than one. She relished (v) the conversations of others, listening to each and smiling in contentment as though they were a delicious chocolate. She was silent, an unknown, meticulous (adv) in her quest to stay invisible and unnoticed, taking as many measures as needed and more. She did her job listening to those who she knew she should, but found a guilty pleasure in indulging in the average thinker. These people had no idea how wonderful it was to be so alive, so prominent. They took this for granted, save a few who knew of the unknown and accepted her. Disappearing was her job, and she did as she was told, even though it curtailed (v) her visits through the lives of others. Being the way she was, she couldn’t help but listen to the lives of those she contacted with, eliciting (v) each sentence, making enough to ponder until her next encounter. The journey was reaching a climax for those she saw, some haughty (adj) as though they believed they could avoid the unknown, but upon meeting her, all became humble and spun their tales. The variety of the people was undeniable, seeming to almost be chosen by random. The plethora (n) of this group was depressing, the group of those who slow down was massive. She would shadow each, walking behind and although they never truly noticed or were ignoring her, they felt themselves walking with a burden that was unknown. She had a penchant (n) for giving clues, feeling much better afterwards, leaving small notes with those she saw, giving them a little less of a surprise of the unknown coming closer. Leading them slowly, unknown was more present in their lives, showing them how they couldn’t bear to waste time, and needed to have a story to tell her. The unknown wasn’t cruel in her approach, but she guided all by listening while making their way. The unknown is the absence of everything we have been previously exposed to. The unknown is new. She is forever old. The unknown knows all and she doesn’t prejudice who she walks with. The unknown takes all.

    Replace ‘the unknown’ and ‘she’ with death.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Interesting to see the hint at the end! Also, I love the opening of this story. Razor sharp way to keep the reader on her/his toes.

    Clearly you know what you’re doing in terms of personification; well done. This piece might work quite well — after some editing — as a poem. Just a thought. Might allow you to explore the idea even further.

  3. I woke up feeling indolent (adj.); I staggered to the window to catch a fresh breath of air hoping some of this laziness would go away. The early morning air felt crisp and clean. I saw some movement on the still water. I was not quite sure because the tree was right in the middle impeding (v.) my view. I moved to my closet window to get a better view of whatever it was I saw. To my surprise, I relished (v.) the sight I saw. I was in awe. What is he doing?!!? Is he somersaulting?! On water?!? Or doing a headstand?!?!? Hmmm…too many choices at this time of the day. I finally elicited (v.) an answer to all my questions. He was very meticulously doing back flips while being wary (word from last week’s vocab) not to disturb the stillness of the water. He was haughty (adj.) and impressing all the early morning cyclists and joggers as they were passing by. Some slowed down to admire his skill on water while others showed apathy (n.). To curtail (v), I conclude that this young boy definitely had penchant (n) for water. On the other hand if you disliked water, you would be too scared to try these stunts. As he finished his routine, he walked away exuberating a plethora (n) of joy and peace around him. It was a good way to start the day for me. I was no longer indolent, but energetic to begin my day.

    ***

    Mr. Long: While I sometimes thing that students rush to write out questions in their formal essays, delaying the real need (to offer an opinion/answer), the same strategy works quite nicely here in this short story. The reason is the case is because the questions subtly allow the reader to be the narrator in the story. Sometimes this is very effective.

    Do me a favor: double-check your use of “exhuberating”. Not 100% sure its accurate.

  4. Another day in the small town of Jericho begins, uneventful as usual. I was relishing (verb) in the glory of the early birds chirping and the few others out for an indolent (adj.) stroll as was I. Finally, I thought, this was beginning to be a relaxing vacation. I was beginning to become rather penchant (noun) about this small French town. When I first arrived I found myself rather bored, but now I realize there is a plethora (noun) of things to do. You can check out all the neat little shops, talk with the locals, visit their not very well known but amazing art museum, or go out to one of the night clubs for some amazing music. Many have the impression that the French are haughty (adj.) but that is most certainly not true. I have found them to be very friendly and have elicited (verb) their personalities in the short while I have been here. Oh I completely forgot to introduce myself, I’m Jaclyn Smithson, and I’m actually from Atlanta, Georgia. I guess you are pretty much up to date on what has happened so far on my trip so you can just follow me on the rest of my journey. Oh if you’ll excuse me my phone is ringing.
    “Hello… hey Megan how are you sis?”
    “Well Jaclyn, I kind of have some bad news…. about Doug.”
    “What happened, is our brother alright?”
    “There was an accident, and he is in the intensive care unit at the hospital. It’s not looking very good right now. The doctor said he has about a 50/50 chance of survival.”
    “Well I am coming home immediately.”
    “No don’t curtail (verb) your trip, you never go anywhere”
    “And this is why. I can’t leave my baby brother there to die; I need to be there for him.”
    “He’s my brother too! And I love him just as much as you do! Stop acting so apathetic (adj.) about your trip. You deserve a break for once.”
    “Yeah but the point of this trip was to relax, and I can’t do that if I know he’s in the ICU. There’s nothing you can do to impede (verb) me from coming home! I’m going to pack and catch the next flight home. I will call you when I get to the airport.”
    And I hung up before Meg could get a word in.
    I’m very sorry to leave you now but I’m very meticulous (adj.) about packing and I must hurry. I have to catch the next flight out and I have so much to do. I enjoyed our conversation and I wish we had more time to talk. Maybe we shall meet again someday.

    To Be Continued….

    ***

    Mr. Long: A very logical and solidly constructed tale that quite naturally weaves in the vocab selections. Of course I’m curious if the story will be continued in a future week’s entry, or if its just a nod to the television shows that leave a cliff-hanger at the end.

  5. Swimming was the only thing that impeded (verb) my depression at the orphanage. The feeling of freedom and protection as I landed in the water was amazing. I myself had been trapped in St. Anthony’s Orphanage and School since I was three months old. My mother had left me on the doorstep without anymore words than “I’m sorry, Dylan”. The affect that my abandonment had on me was typical. When of an age to comprehend the fact that my mother wasn’t coming back, I began to blame myself for my isolation and only furthered my segregation with the other children.

    The only person that understood me was the only person who made an attempt. After accepting that I was a lost cause, most decided that apathy (noun) was the way to deal with my existence. Her name was Mia. Ironically, I met her at Scoperta Lake, my sole place of serenity and peace where I spent my indolent (adjective) hours of the day. My temporary haven of silence was curtailed (verb), Mia was an extremely garrulous person. She made a point to introduce herself within seconds of seeing me.

    She was a year younger than me, 15, and she had transferred north because her previous Orphanage had been destroyed by a pyro-happy six-year-old. She had been deserted at the age of five, yet she still embraced life with a plethora (noun) of wonder and possibility. Mia had the opportunity to know her parents and then she was forced out of a loving family because they believed she could have a better life elsewhere. She inspired me to take on life as an experience, not a burden. I had taken a penchant (noun) in Mia.

    After that day Mia became my closest and only friend. I never understood why she ever bothered to spend her time with me, she was the type of person who could get along with anyone with her outgoing personality. She had confidence without being haughty (adjective). I was meticulous (adjective) not become a pain to her after realizing that she could replace me with a plethora (noun) of friends at any given time. It was then when she asked what was wrong with me. I told her of my fears and she laughed a confusingly contagious laugh. It was hard for me not to have a smile on my face when Mia was done laughing. She told me that I underestimate myself, and to just be Dylan, because that’s why she loved me. Evidently I had something to offer.

    I relished (verb) every second that I spent with Mia, and she with me. We would both elicit (verb) our time doing chores until after hours, just to spend more time together. Mia was my other half. She was outgoing, I was quiet. She was creative and artistic, I was rational and frank. She was everything I wasn’t. She made me feel free and protected, just as the lake had before. She was my “scoperta”.

    Not part of the story:
    If you haven’t noticed already, this story is a LOT different than my last one. I have never taken writing this seriously before so I hadn’t realized how much I enjoy doing it. I’m trying to experiment with different styles and genres of writing because I haven’t defined myself as a writer yet. I don’t think that you understand how big of an effect this class has had on me already and I wanted to thank you.

    To answer a previous blog prompt, I would like to be able to write without taking so much time (this story took over 2 hours). Am I thinking too much about my story or is it just because I haven’t developed much as a writer yet? Or is this a normal amount of time?

    Mr. Long: I was already impressed with this story of yours long before I reached the last part where you began to talk about the style/genre…and the amount of time it took you. Let me first say that I’m really humbled by the amount of time you took to do this assignment and that it’s a ‘great read’, too.

    Needless to say, I never want anyone to feel forced to spend hours on a single entry. Every one of you has a million things to juggle every day/night and this blog is still just one part of one class.

    That being said, if you — or anyone — begins to feel a writer’s instinct develop, if the idea of a story needs to be explored, drafted, shared, then I also want to support that. The key, however, is to find a balance between doing ‘the minimum’ (so you can get everything else done in your busy schedule) and trusting your instincts as a writer (which you did this time).

    And yes, I did notice it was different…but that each style is valuable. There is real power/emotion and attention to detail in this story. A very impressive piece of writing, esp. for just a blog entry.

    Finally, I think it took you this long because you really ‘cared’ for this story and you wanted to make sure it was something special before you sent it to the blog. And as you develop as a writer you’ll be able to trust your typing/brainstorming. The long part of writing, however, lies in the multiple drafts that occur in time. I think you’re on your way to discovering something really special about yourself as a writer this year (and beyond).

  6. Mobility.

    This somewhat cold term continuously flashed across the 10-year-old’s mind every moment of his life. Though this word was spat off in random conversations among his piers, as if it held no weight he knew the truth. This young boy knew the true weight of this word because it was his burden to bear. A burden that became somewhat heavier every moment, especially moments that refused to pass.

    Such a moment began as he watched his best friend jump off the edge and flip into the lake, stopping in mid air. The action of course continued for all others but not for the boy as he slipped into his own reality. The apathy (n) of the other children towards this situation could not have been more evident, for they did not even look up. This oblivion did not affect the young boy because he was feeling every possible emotion rush through him. Though this simple flip was just a way for his haughty (a) best friend to receive his daily ego boost this moment was gold for the boy. This 10-year-old felt admiration, jealousy, and extreme anger towards the boy who referred to their relationship as a prime example of “opposites attract.”

    When questioned about this title, the boy claimed, that the reason was obvious in that he was the cool one and his friend was the smart one. This cemented their brotherhood in the eyes of the stationary young boy because they were opposites due to their level of “coolness” and not due to his friend’s ability to stand. This recollection caused the boy to wince as everything continued to stand still, for how could they have a healthy friendship when the boy felt so much jealousy?

    As the moment approached common reality once again the child attempted to cling to his previous moment of departure. The boy began to feel a plethora(a) of guilt, due to the negative thoughts he had experienced concerning his friend. However, time passed quickly and the child realized that perhaps moments of jealousy were allowed in his situation.

    As the young boy sat through his rigorous physical therapy, he pondered his previous assumption concerning jealousy. Though his breathing continuously increased with each new exercise the child attempted to be constant with his thoughts. These thoughts forced the child to realize that of course he would face different challenges then his friends, but that did not mean he was exempt from moral conduct. The boy acknowledge that he had not committed any major offense, but he decided that he was going to impede(v.t.) his desires to wallow in self pity and anger once and for all.

    The following afternoon the boy attended school and attempted to truly act on his vow of positivity. These attempts, however, were curtailed (v) when he caught sight of his girl. Though she was not truly his girl, or even an acquaintance, in his second reality they had a deep connection. As she passed she did not even glance in his direction nor did she realize the true consequence of her oblivion. Following this encounter, or lack there of, the boy felt optimism slip from his grasp and his indolent (a) conscience made no effort to chase it down. The child then continued to go through his daily motions conversing with his friend, all the while failing at any attempts to truly relish (v) and enjoy his existence. As the child was escorted to the school guidance counselor for his weekly “chat” he knew no resolution would ever come. This was true because he was not willing to be at peace with himself or to truly accept reality.

    The young boy sat in his normal seat with his regular counselor and waited for some sort of internal epiphany. Though every aspect of the conversation was elicit (a) in that every feeling was analyzed, this child was still so confused. Following the close to his school day the 10-year old once again attended his physical therapy. The boy had no true penchant (n) towards this daily activity but occasionally it lifted his spirits. As he went through his daily exercises he began to observe an individual across the room. This individual was a teenage boy who oddly did not seem weighed down by burden or lack of ability as the boy often did. This teenager was actually smiling and seemed very content with his position in life. The child watched in awe as the teenager began to laugh at his flaws in the exercises and at himself. Laughter was often a very meticulous (a) action when the young boy or any or his friends living with disabilities were present. This was true because no individual wanted their laughter to seem as though it was directed towards someone with a disability. This fact was a sad reminder that individuals truly care a great deal about if they are being perceived as a good person but they tend not to worry if they actually are a good person or just an imposter. Once again time froze in the boy’s reality as he stared at the single most content individual he’d ever laid eyes on. He began to smile and even laugh as he finally received an overdue epiphany. This was not an epiphany concerning the depths of his soul or the true content of his character but something much more important. This realization gave him happiness and contentment, and relived him of a burden he never truly had to bear. In all truth he was not faced with a disability, but simply a different characteristic not shared by many of his piers. He had been given so much opportunity in his life and to not act on his feelings towards his girl or a guidance meeting meant to better him was wasteful. In all his attempts to understand life and his position he had been way too analytical.

    Yes, life was about being a good person and living up to your morale responsibilities but childhood was about joy. As children if we do not learn how to acquire joy and laughter we will not have them in adulthood. This was the conclusion of the young child who now found admiration where his jealousy had once thrived and contentment where his confusion had once loomed. Finally he had found his happiness and acceptance not within his ongoing conscience analysis but within his ability to laugh and be a child.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Fascinating how you were able to explore the issue of analyzing behaviors and observations while also describing a ‘simple’ photo.

    Powerful ending: “As children if we do not learn how to acquire joy and laughter we will not have them in adulthood. This was the conclusion of the young child who now found admiration where his jealousy had once thrived and contentment where his confusion had once loomed. Finally he had found his happiness and acceptance not within his ongoing conscience analysis but within his ability to laugh and be a child.”

    I’m going to use this story as an example for you/your classmates as we move into future essays, etc. Throughout the year, I’ll refer to ‘abstract’ vs ‘concrete’ descriptive language. Ultimately, even when we use philosophical language, our goal as writers is to allow our reader to ‘see’ what we mean. In other words, we try our best to “show, not tell” as a writer.

    Typically, very smart young writers (describing all of you) tend to over-due ‘abstract’ language because it carries with it an assumption of intelligence. And while the vocab can imply intelligence, it can also confuse the reader. Our ultimate goal — always — is to ensure that the reader can follow our ideas/descriptions precisely.

    Now, you’ve written a very solid piece and show a dexterity with language that deserves a compliment. Even better, you’ve written a piece that has layers of complexity even if the photo seems straight-forward.

    I only want to bring up the issue of ‘abstract’ vs. ‘concrete’ language since you talked about something very similar. Thanks for the nudge!

  7. Anon Student Voice

    Even thought I did not write a vocab story this week, student #1 I just wanted to say that your story most definitely brought tears to my eyes. It was beautifully written and it hit home for me because I know EXACTLY what that feels like. I too lost someone really really close to me and it was completely unexpected. It’s nice to know sometimes that other people have been through similar experiences, no matter how tough. Thanks for sharing that.

  8. She is amongst all the others in the street who wonder without a purpose, without a sense of direction or time. These people do not relish(noun) at the excitements that most people would take for granite. These people indolent(adj) around as if there was no set place for anyone. Nowhere to go, no one to see, time to kill away. There is no meticulous(adj) way to wonder through the plethora(noun) of people. Just the straight road that lies ahead, or to curtail(verb) for the easy road.The penchant(noun) for the color and adventure in life is long gone through the years of erosion. Along with the personalities and adventure in life that has eroded with time, also the apathy(noun) people feel for one another has slowly faded. This women is amongst these people, slowly and surely becoming one of them. She is becoming one of them even just through association. In years before, she stood out amongst the people of her kind. She had a haughty(adj) type of personality that no one could impede(verb). But through years and through influence this unique individual elicited(verb) to slip into the cookie cutter lifestyle along with all the others.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Striking opening line. Pulls the reader’s imagination in, along with their curiosity. Your piece has a very poetic sense about, as well as being a great character study.

  9. Ruth wrapped the leather jacket tightly around her. It was cold.

    The thin sheet of snow crunched under her shoes as she walked, and an icy mist escaped from her mouth as she exhaled every breath. Her arms were crossed; the fingers in her gloves clutched her forearms for warmth. The curbs were lined with cars, impeding (verb) almost the entire street, and everyone was walking; it was a Sunday morning, and the weather was not really helping the people who were trying to drive. They were all paranoid and meticulous (adjective) about losing control in the three-inch layer of snow they had received in early October.

    “Hah. We get three inches of snow and everyone panics,” Ruth scoffed under her breath.
    But Ruth herself was panicked as well; her comment was quite hypocritical. She herself was walking because she had been too terrified to pull out of the slick driveway this morning, even IF it was only covered with a few inches of snow. Snowing in the state of Arizona was unheard of for most people, regardless of location. People like Ruth, for example. She had spent her entire life in the south; it had rarely snowed in her childhood, and this was the first time she had ever seen it.

    Crunch, crunch, crunch. She continued to walk at a brisk pace, the crisp crackling of the ice increasing steadily now. It was interesting, this snow. Ruth couldn’t deny that. In fact, she secretly relished (verb) the cold and the fluffy whiteness that covered the landscape. Or maybe David was making her crazy in the literal sense of the word.

    Ruth had met David only a few weeks ago. She was an author in prose and literature, and it was the annual poetic authors’ conference. It was a seemingly boring, normal day for Ruth. The hall buzzed with chatter, compliments, and criticism between the people. When Ruth stood at the podium and began the opening lecture for the conference, her speech was curtailed (verb) when her eyes passed over David. To anyone else, he may have seemed like any other face in the sea of people before them. But to Ruth, he shone. She felt the room divide, and break, into pieces: it was him, and only him. The light had danced around them, like stars flashing brilliantly; she was entranced, lost in time. “C’est lamour.” Only those two words could have possibly described that moment.

    Ruth had never seen David before, obviously, and the first thing that came to her mind was “ridiculous”. She had laid eyes on this person, and the sight of him flipped her stomach upside down and switched her brain with her liver. It was like love at first sight. Ridiculous. And cliché.

    She recovered from her stumble. People had noticed her long hesitation, and she had attempted to apathetically (adjective) work her way out of it. Her tongue had been working thereon after, shaping words, talking of poetry type and syntax and wording, but her brain processed them as incoherent. It was running through thoughts of that man in the audience, the one that seemed to flash brilliance from every angle.

    Somehow, Ruth had managed to catch him after the conference; her goal had been to elicit (verb) an invitation for an outing at lunch with her to “discuss” the art of poetry. She had been, as she claimed, a fan of his works. He had accepted her invitation; and here they were, a few weeks later, blossoming in an early romance. Ruth had a penchant (noun) for his optimistic personality. It radiated joviality and was highly contagious. Maybe that was why, when looking at the snow today, she was able to smile and be thankful for its presence. Yes, David’s plethora (noun) of appreciative optimism was definitely rubbing off on her. Most people she had passed were grimacing with murderously shaped thoughts about the weather. It was plainly etched in their expressions. You would have thought their dog had been run over if you had seen their faces.

    Ruth rounded the corner and reached her destination: The Le Bon Coffee Shop. Grasping the brass handle clumsily with her gloved fingers, she pulled the door open. The warmth hit her immediately like a fuzzy wrecking ball. It was brown and cozy inside: the walls had been painted a light chestnut, and the floor tiled with mahogany squares. Small, plain tables were arranged neatly into rows, behind them were terracotta colored loveseats arranged around a burning fire in the corner of the shop. The atmosphere radiated an aura of coziness and indolence (noun).

    Ruth made her way the counter towards a lady with heavily padded eyelashes and studded square glasses. The woman pursed her lips smartly, emphasizing haughtiness (noun) with every expression that crossed her face. She looked at Ruth, who was windswept and wet with snow, like someone had just stuck their hand in a vat of bird droppings. Ruth, immersed deep in thought and barely conscious of the world around her, did not notice the cashier’s disapproving frown. Ruth ordered a cappuccino, and took the hot beverage from the counter to a table in the corner. It had seats for two.

    Ruth stirred her cappuccino, playing with the cream on top, and watched the surface steam and swirl thickly. Butterflies were in her stomach as she thought about David. They had only known each other for a few weeks, yet she truly felt alive when she was with him. She loved him. It wasn’t a question or an opinion. She knew she couldn’t contradict this fact, and she had helplessly flung herself into it.

    But what about him? Did he feel the same way?

    His presence set her free. She wanted to do the same for him; to be his epitome of perfection, his inner release. “Am I crazy?” she thought, furrowing her brow as she took a sip of the hot drink. Ruth had asked herself this question so many times, and she still didn’t know the answer. David had called her crazy before, though in a playful and admiring tone. She had agreed with him though. Ruth was crazy because she loved him so much, and it WAS crazy, and not normal, to feel this way about someone.

    Ruth brought her hands to her temples and massaged them, and realized at that point it didn’t really matter IF he loved her as much as she did. They were together, and happy, and that was all that really mattered. There were no ifs. They didn’t exist.

    Ruth had fallen for David. Had he fallen for her? “But sometimes, the one you fall for isn’t ready to catch you,” she whispered, reciting a line from her favorite and best poem. “With every piece of my beating heart, I hope he will catch me. And I will always be waiting here with open arms, waiting for him to fall.”

    Ruth looked up as the bell on the door tinkled, signifying someone’s entrance. David framed the doorway, his hair dripping and disheveled by the wet snow.

    Everything was okay; he was here now.

    Ruth stirred her cappuccino. She smiled.

  10. It was a foggy day in December. Christmas was three weeks away so the normal hustle and bustle of downtown was trippled. I was not like most of these people, I wasn’t Christmas shopping. I honestly was just walking around, watching the frantic citizens of New York do their shopping. I relished(V) in alone time, for that was the only time I could be sane. My family and I don’t really get along too well. Ever since my older brother ran off, eloped, and moved to France around this time last year, my parents had been emotionally absent. Hopefully they were still in shock, that this would change, but I was too indolent (Adj) to keep hoping this. My brother was their pride and joy, the shining star of the family. I had always been the average invisible girl. It was understandabe why they didn’t really care what I did or where I went. I was a loner by nature anyway, I always have been. Their apathy (N) towards me didn’t phase me at all, which was honestly the sad part. I looked at my watch, 7:30 on the nose. hmmm. What should I do now? I asked myself. I decided to walk to a more lesser known part of town. The buildings were tall, and there were still people around, but definetly not as much as down town. I had been walking a while in the cold darkness when I stumbled apon an old abandoned building. The Windows were boarded up and the building itself was empty and in shambles. The building could be no less than twenty floors. I looked at it and recalled what the old timey structure was. It was an office building that was shut down for money laundering over ten years ago, no one has been in since. I knocked down the plywood that was impeding (V) the entrance, and went in. I was meticulous (Adj) in climbing the stairs. They looked like they could give way any minute now. With each step the stairs moaned and wailed, I was surprised no one outside could hear them screaming. Every step I took I was aware of a ‘diffrent’ feeling in the air. I knew in my mind something someway was going to change. These thoughts were curtailed (V) as I came to the end of the stairwell. I saw a door marked ROOF ACCESS and opened it. I took in a deep breath as I looked at the view. I could stay here all night, thats how beautiful it was. I was definetly the type to lose myself in a good view. There was a plethora (N) of lights, people, and noises in the distance. Then again this was New York, it was always noisy and crowded. As I sat watching the cars drive by, I heard a voice from behind me. I swear I almost fell off the twenty story roof. I swirled around to see a girl who looked to be only a year or two older than me. She looked about nineteen.
    “Oh my goodness you scared me,” I started.
    “What are you doing up here?” She asked me.
    “Well I’m avoiding my family,” I answered.
    “Thats weird,” she began “Not even I do that.”
    To me, it wasn’t like she was being haughty (Adj) it was more ike she was being truthful.
    “Ha I’m just kidding. So…Youv’e done your Christmas shopping?” She asked.
    “No,” I awnsered simply.
    She looked at me.
    “You know, your not helping this whole ‘trying to start a conversation’ thing,”
    I smiled. I had a unique immediate pentchance (N) towards her. Something about her was very diffrent.
    “Sorry. So What are YOU doing here?”
    “Me?” She asked. “Well I like to come up here. The view is phenomanal isn’t it?”
    “It is,” I agreed.
    “So what’s rong with you anyways?”
    “Me?” I asked mocking her. “Why nothing.”
    “Fine. Don’t tell me.”
    Yes this girl was definetly diffrent. I had never met her before yet she was already asking about my personal life. When I said nothing, she proceeded to tell me about her family and how she misses them and never sees them because they live in Belgium.
    “At least you talk to your parents,” I said.
    She was a tricky one. She had elicited (V) this out of me by talking about her parents. She waited for more. Fine, whatever I thought. I told her about my family and brother and their apathy towards me.
    “Consider yourself lucky,” She said. “Some kids don’t even have parents.”
    “Neither do I,” I replied. “Speaking of, I gotta go.”
    As I started out the door I heard her say “Oh yea. By the way my name is Marian.”

    It had been about two weeks since I had seen Marian. I had looked for her a couple times, but could never seem to find her. Christmas Eve was tomorrow and I was not looking forward to seeing my crazy grandpa and my grandma, who was constantly saying
    “Your too skinny, do you even eat?”
    “J. can wa speak to you?” I heard my father say in his usual monotone voice from down the hall.
    I went in to the study and took a seat.
    My mother started.
    “We would like to discuss with you our up coming plans. You are seventeen now and perfectly capable of taking care of yourself. Me and your father are very much considering moving to Florida. We want you to remain here to finish out your last highschool year. Then you may proceed to go to any college you wish providing you pay for a quarter of the tuition.”
    “Wait wait wait,” I began. “Let me get this straight. You are moving to Florida, without me? Is that legal?”
    “Technically yes.”
    “Fine. Whatever. Move. Leave me here.”
    “We will tell you our final decision by tomorrow evening before our relatives arrive,” My dad announced.
    “Whatever.” I got up and left the study silently, but broken hearted.
    The next day I was consumed by my troubles. My parents couldn’t seriously be leaving me.
    When they told me their decision, I was dumbfounded.
    “Your really leaving?” I asked trying to replace the emotion in my voice for sarcasm.
    When they nodded,I left the house abruptly so they wouldn’t see my tears.
    I walked down to the familiar path I had walked down weeks before, to the building with the amazing view.
    When I walked onto the roof and saw Marian standing on the edge.
    “Marian, what are you doing?” I asked a little paniced.
    “You know what would be really cool?” She asked. “To be able to fly. Ive always wanted to be able to fly.”
    I was confused.
    She stepped down. Thank goodness.
    “Were you you going to jump?” I asked.
    “No. I was just seeing how it would look to be falling.”
    Oh so Marian was a crazy person, that makes sense.
    She noticed my sniffles and watery eyes and took on the, what I like to call ‘more normal Marian’ role.
    In that short time together she made me reevaluate myself and my self worth. That girl I met only once before reminded me that no one can tell me what I am, not even my parents. That it only matters what I think of myself. Its amazing to me how this girl who doesn’t even know me could know me so well. Maybe she had the same problem of self doubt, but probably not. Whether or not they said it, my parents were expecting me. Afterall it was Christmas Eve. I didn’t go though, I stayed right where I was with someone who I barely knew but cared more about me than my ‘family’ ever will. So instead of being home with my ‘family’ I sat down on the roof with Marian and just watched the snow fall.

    I remember that night where everything changed like a dream. My parents did actually leave me me for Florida but I was alright. After that night on the roof with Marian, I never saw her again. The following year a report came on the news saying a body was found and identified as a Marian Yarger. It was never discovered how she died. I didn’t even know if it was my Marian. All I knew was that if it was, I hope the many ways she helped me in the long run gave her the weightlessness and wings to fly.

  11. Student #9 (follow-up)

    And yes I am quite aware of my spelling errors. I admit, I forgot to proof read.

  12. On Saturday Sally woke up to the sound of the city. She would be spending the summer in the city with her aunt Gloria. Sally had decided right then and there that even though she had a penchant (n) for the country and loved it more than anything that she would relish(n) her time in the city and have fun! Although the sounds and sights were going to be different she was looking forward to this summer. Sally lay in her bed trying to convince herself to get out of bed before 9 and not be indolent (adj) her first day in the city. Just then a knock came to her door. It was Aunt Gloria. “Sally you must get up someone is coming over to see you in an hour.” Her aunt said. So Sally went to her suitcase and set about looking for the perfect outfit. She did not know who the person was that was coming over but she still wanted to make a good impression. Finally she decided on an outfit that would not impede (v) or block her true personality. Then moments later another knock on the door. Gloria came in and rushed Sally down to the kitchen to meet the mysterious guest. “Sally this is Tod he is going to show you around the city today.” Said Gloria. So without another word Gloria rushed the two of them out the front door. As they turned onto the main street Sally noticed a plethora (n) of things everywhere! There were many people, cars, stores, sidewalk salesmen……not to mention gum on the sidewalk. As the two of them walked Sally wondered about how someone could survive in the city with all the chaos. Just then her thoughts were curtailed (v) by Tod who interrupted her thinking to say something since the first time they walked out of the house. Tod said they were going to go into the art museum and that he would tell her about each and every painting. He said he knew the art better than most city people and even more than the museum people who wrote the description of the piece. When Tod said this Sally immediately felt he was a very haughty (adj) person and thought of himself better than all others. However she held her tongue and tried not to elicit (v) the conversation as she did not want him to keep discussing how he was better than everyone else. When they got to the museum Sally’s excitement returned. The outside of the building was a piece of art in itself. Sally wanted to stay outside a moment and admire the building but Tod rushed her inside. She decided right then and there that Tod had no apathy (n) and could care less about others feelings and wants. Tod led her to a hall of paintings and photographs. Sally looked at each picture meticulously (adj) careful not to miss a single detail. And as Tod blathered on about the pictures she went into her own dream world imagining all the scenes of the pictures in her head. The browsed the museum for hours looking at each painting the same way….looking at every detail…enjoying every moment of it. When they had looked at every painting in the museum the two headed out. By the end of Tod’s tour of the museum she had changed her mind about him. She decided that he was merely eager to show off his favorite place in the city and wanted to show her how much he cared about the history of the art. And Sally appreciated this. As they walked home Sally thanked Tod for showing her the wonderful museum and apologized for not giving him a chance. Tod said he had had fun too and would love to show her more of the city tomorrow. Sally agreed and they decided they would go downtown the next day. As Sally went inside she found Aunt Gloria. Sally thanked Aunt Gloria for asking Tod to show her the city and went up to her room. As sally sat in her room she reflected on the day and wrote down each and every thing just as meticulously ( adj) and carefully as she had before when she looked at the pictures. As she turned out her light to go to sleep Sally thought this summer would be alright after all. And time away from the country would’nt be as bad as she had anticipated!

  13. She was walking down the street on a Monday morning. The sky was dark and gloomy. It was never this gloomy. There was a time that the city was colorful and prosperous. The previous ruler had been meticulous with money, knowing how much he spent every time he bought something. Due to his meticulousness, there was an plethora, a over-sufficient supply, of money. He was a hardworking leader, eliciting peace treaties with other countries by his diplomacy. Everyone relished their leader and their lives. The leader later died, ending his rule. A new ruler took over the country. Many people were not ready for this new leader. They had a penchant for their old leader, liking him for his accomplishments as a great ruler. This new leader was a very haughty ruler when he came into office. He behaved like a king, spending away the money for himself. He was a very indolent(adj) leader, not working to help the country, but to leave in shambles. He had an apathy(noun) for the country, while everone else cared and loved the country. At talks, he interrupted and pissed off other leaders. This brought a war upon the people of the bad leader. Although the people won, the war totally used up the moey saved from the previous leader. The state was curtailed. Its life was reduced by a lot. The citizens of the country, living in a dark world, hope that someday, a leader like the leader before will come, to help them out of this depression, this dark world, into a vivid world.

  14. Matt was not someone that you would call a jumpy person. He had after all fought in Vietnam and had spent 10 years in politics. He had had more then his share of fear in his life, and was well respected for the way he stood up for the little guy. So when his wife found him one morning, in the living room, crying in fear she was very alarmed. She had never seen him so scared. She called 911 and soon the paramedics arrived. The dog, not knowing what was going on, attempted to impede (verb) them but they knocked him out of their way. Matt’s wife held his hand all the way to the hospital. On the way he gibbered about how the shadows wouldn’t leave him alone and how they creeped toward him. When the ambulance arrived at the hospital, the doctors meticulously (verb) questioned his wife while the psychologists looked at him. No matter what they tried they couldn’t figure out why a perfectly healthy man would wake up one day and go insane. They press, of course, had a plethora (n) of enjoyment from the whole thing. Matt lived in a very small town and he was a somewhat prominent member of the community. While they relished (verb) writing the article entitled “spontaneous insanity” Matt himself was having nightmares and had to be restrained. His wife was in hysterics and by now the children had arrived in town. They decided that since Matt was not himself and their mother was about to have a nervous breakdown, they had no choice but to lock up Matt and take their mother someplace relaxing. So that was what happened. Matt was locked up in the local nut-house and his wife spent the next 5 years in the Bahamas. She never had a very strong composition and her husband going insane had driven her off the edge. So she spent the next 5 years growing increasingly indolent off coconut milk, which she developed a penchant (adj.) for. All the while Matt grew increasingly disturbed, Screaming and throwing tantrums one minute and laughing and clapping the next. The one ting that stayed the same was that he was always afraid of shadows. Over the years, however, he started to regain a bit of his sanity. It was a dark sanity though, and when the guards weren’t looking he would be drawing maps of the nut-house (he had helped to build it) and thinking of ways to escape. He decided it would be best to try to lure a guard to open his door and then knock him out and take the key and clothes. He executed the plan with a efficiency that he thought would have made his old commander proud. He escaped the nut-house without the alarm going off. Once he was out, he decided to curtail (verb) his wife’s vacation. He had become something of a psychopath since he had seen the thing that had made him go insane and he blamed all his bad fortune on his wife and decided that she needed to die. Now Matt was a master of eliciting (verb) information out of people if he needed to and was suprised to find, after visiting a few old army friends that his wife had remarried and gotten rich off the other guys hard-work. This made Matt very mad indeed. He decided to confront his wife and either demand to have all his money and house back or to kill her if she refused. When he found her house he rang the door bell and was greeted by a haughty (adj) housemaid. She asked him to wait for a moment and she went inside to get his wife. When she arrived she was terrified to see that the man she had apparently abandoned, alive and well and not rotting in a cell in a nut-house. She was not afraid of him however because he was still wearing the clothes he had broken out in and looked kind of like a hobo. She had a very unhealthy apathy (adj.) for hobos and thought they all should be shot. When she told Matt htis however he went into a very dark and explosive rage. He came out of it a few minutes later but when he did he realized that he had murdered his ex-wife. In grief he got back into the car that he had stolen to get to the house, and drove away. They found him, dead, crashed into a lamppost.

  15. “One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.”
    Delilah counted her steps on the sidewalk. Four steps in each square, no more, no less. She was very meticulous(adj) about mostly everything. “One, two-” She almost ran into the sign pointing to the Greyhound bus station. Shaking her head to wake herself up, she walked briskly toward the doors. She had already bought her ticket and rushed to find her bus. She was not late, but she wanted to make sure she got her own pair of seats. She didn’t take well to other people and did not intend to sit next to anyone.
    She saw the sign for her station and made a bee line for it. But Delilah kept getting cut off and impeded(v) by the plethora(n) of people trying to find their destination. Delilah had no patience for anybody, and pushed and shoved those who blocked her out of the way as she got to the bus door. She had but a small bag, and swung herself on. Third person here. Not bad.
    Ten minutes passed and the Greyhound had filled up significantly since her arrival. Several people asked if she could scoot over one so they could have the seat next to her, and at first she bluntly said no, but then she just started to ignore them because she had become quite indolent(adj) over the past ten minutes. After a little more time had passed, there were only a few seats left. A very small, very shaky old man slowly got himself onto the bus. He carried only a small paper bag and a cane with a bow around it. He searched for somewhere to sit. Delilah rolled her eyes and scooted over one. She was rude and portrayed herself like her only trait was apathy(n), but she wasn’t heartless. The man grinned with a smile that seemed to be too big for his small frame to hold up. Delilah couldn’t help but smile back. “Good morning young lady.” he said. “Hello.”
    The bus soon lurched off and turned, getting the sun out of their faces. Delilah laid her head on the window and tried to sleep, but the old seemed to want to talk to her, “So. Indiana, eh?” Delilah’s head snapped up, “How could you possibly know that?” He smiled again and winked at her, “I have a way. What are you looking for?” She was taken aback. How did he know where she was going and how did he know she was going there to look for something? She wanted to yell at him, tell him that he had no right to ask her such questions, and to stay out of her life, to find a new seat. But she didn’t yell. In fact, she felt an odd trust for this man even though she suspected he could be stalking her. “I’m looking for my mother.” she said uncharacteristically, “I just lived with my father, but then he passed away. I want to find her, but all I know is what she looks like, and that she lives in Indiana.” The man leaned back and laughed a little. It wasn’t a mocking laugh, but a laugh that had come out of joy. When he calmed down, he spoke, “Ah family. I think that’s fantastic. I have a very large family myself. I have many many children, and I love them all dearly. No grandchildren though.” “How many children do you have?” He laughed again, “More than you can count, my dear. I’m actually going to visit one now. He’s a shepherd, actually. As odd as that may sound, I’m very proud of him. He loves his sheep, and he treats every single one of them with kindness and love, even when they run away. How can you not be proud of somebody that compassionate?” She agreed. The old man had a point, and he seemed to relish(v) his children. “I’m an only child. That’s part of the reason I’m going to find my mom. I’ve felt so alone since my father died, and it’ll be nice to have a companion. I don’t know, I guess I’m really mad at God, or the universe, or whatever. Whatever force is out there really curtailed(v) my dad’s life. He wasn’t ready to go, he had so much to live for and to see and do… I simply cannot fathom the reason that he was stolen away from me.” The old man became somber, and put his head down and thought for a good three minutes. Then he sat up and looked at Delilah, “Everything is for a reason. I know you may not see it or even believe it, but I promise you it’s true. The world requires great strategy to run. The smallest detail can start something huge. For instance, you getting on this bus led to you meeting me, and you meeting me led me to give you this.” The man carefully unfolded his paper bag and pulled out the most beautiful necklace that Delilah had ever seen. She had an instant penchant(n) for it, and her eyes widened in wonder. “Why would you give that to me? It looks expensive, and it’s not like it’s going to give me a miracle or bring my dad back to life or make me live another day.” At this the man just chuckled, “Miracles! How many times a day do my children talk to me about miracles? They say they never happen but they do! Everyday! A miracle doesn’t have to be large or extravagant like a cane turning into a snake or the sea parting in two. They can be little, but make all the difference, like I said before. Miracles usually aren’t even seen when they happen, but if you look back and find them and acknowledge them, they’ll shine as bright as the sun.” With that, he dropped the necklace into her lap. He sat back and swayed his cane back and forth, looking out the window on the opposite side. Delilah put the necklace on, trusting him wholeheartedly. He was very wise, but he wasn’t haughty(adj) about it, he was not rude or malicious or uncaring. He was genuine and full of love for somebody he didn’t even know.
    After a few hours of silence, she looked at him and said, “Why is there a bow on your cane?” He looked up, “To remind me.” For once Delilah thought she might have to elicit(v) an answer out of him. “What do you mean?” “Well you see, I carry this cain around, even though I have another at home that is much more abel.” “Well if the other cane is more able, why don’t you use that?” “You didn’t let me finish. Both canes were gifts to me from two of my sons. The one who gave me this one was jealous, and ruined the other one. So I guess that other one wasn’t so useful after all. But the point is, is that I love my son anyway, and I keep the original bow on it to remind me that it was a gift, and I’ll carry it around until it is as useless as the other one.” Before Delilah had time to respond, he got up, “This is my stop.” He winked in her direction and hobbled off the bus, and was left in a cloud of dust and fog as the bus drove away.
    When Delilah finally got off in Indiana, she had no idea where to start. She turned left and just started walking. After a mile or so, a man pushed her against the wall and ripped her necklace off of her neck, and began sprinting in the other direction. The necklace shouldn’t have meant much to her, but she had an uncontrollable urge to retrieve it. She ran after the man for what seemed like forever, until he gave up and dropped the necklace on a stoop and ran away. She picked it up and put it back on. She was absolutely exhausted. She decided to ring the doorbell of the house she was sitting in front of. Maybe the resident would give her some water, and maybe they would know her mother. She pressed the doorbell, and the door opened shortly. Delilah’s eyes filled with tears, and she started sobbing with happiness as she stared at the beautiful face of her mother. Her mother knew her too, and they embraced warmly. “Thank God.” They both said. Her mother pulled away and held her daughter’s face in her hands, “I’ve been hoping so much that you’d find me, I wanted to see you but your father-” “I know.” Delilah said, and she hugged her mother again, who was hysterical, “I can’t believe you’re here! At my house! On my porch!”
    “Yeah.” Delilah replied, “It’s quite the miracle.”

  16. The first image is what it would look like when the world started to turn inside out. The person would be swimming (meticulously) until an unseen force would (impede) his ability to move forward. Some people would think Earth is getting very (indolent) and developing (apathy) for the laws of physics. Other people would think that the Gods were feeling a (penchant) towards evil and would (relish) watching the world crumble. The (plethora) of people with their theorys would act (haughty) towards eachother and start to (elicit) an arguement only to be (curtailed) by falling towards the sky along with the rest of the world.

  17. The man walked out into the cold, dead world he lived in. His boring, colorless live was meaningless but stressful, he lived fast as light and as slow as death. The winter air chilled him to the bone, the streets were filled with light snow and dark cars, the people all around him barely registered as objects. He was surrounded be concrete and brick. Daily he tread upon it, entombed himself in it, and worshipped it as a symbol of man. He walked the hard, artificial streets of his world with a complete apathy towards the world outside the collection of concrete boxes that pertained his life. His paper proclaimed scandal, war, crime, his brain felt fear, his heart nothing, he cared about everything and nothing. The horse-less carriages, flame-less lanterns, and plethora of other engineering marvels that surrounded him elicited no response from his jaded perception. His world ridiculed, in its haughty, modern way any that bear some small remaining bit of wonder. He curtailed his human emotions, knowing they impede his “success.” An abundance of signs lined the streets, advertising the indulgences of a modern world; someone to cook your food, cut your hair, make your clothes. The man stepped into a store advertising electronics. It was filled with machines of convenience and indulgence, the man had a penchant for the automatic, the high definition, the symbols of the progress of humanity. He relished as did many, the indolent aspects of his life. Just as he meticulously went about the monotonous, drudgery of his joyless work, he meticulously went about his pleasure. Using first the radio, then the toaster, then the microwave, then the dishwasher, then the television, then the video player, The man half smiled, his mouth quirking up at the prospect of a night of machinery, he considered the flashing lights and instant food the most enjoyable of his inalienable rights. The man walked out of the shop and back into the darkening street. The air had gotten even colder, he pulled his coat about his shoulders. He trudged through the snow, oblivious of the raging clouds overhead, he did not look up, he did not marvel at the snow and clouds. Lightning bolts crashed down as it began to snow. The man stared a hole in the snow ten feet in front of him. A pillar of light and heat miles high shot down and struck the man, engulfing his body. The man quivered, standing perfectly still. Soon his brain recovered; his beating heart quieted, he knew lots of people were struck by lightning, and most survived, there was nothing special about his encounter with ten thousand volts. The man swore quietly and hurried home, he did not look up, he did not marvel, he noticed nothing, he cared about nothing. The man was dead.

    I find the perenthesis are too distracting, so the words with their parts of speach are below.
    p.s. sorry for the sentences that are too long.

    apathy – adjective
    curtail – verb
    elicit – verb
    haughty- adjective
    impede – verb
    indolent – adjective
    meticulous – adjective
    penchant – noun
    plethora – adjective
    relish – verb

  18. The deserted fair grounds. This is always where I went when I had a plethora (noun) of problems or if I just wanted to get away. The place just fascinated me. The old carousel, the spinning rides that I know would make me barf if they still functioned, and especially the old swings. I relish (verb) the moments when I let my imagination get away from me and I can see every thing in its former glory. Sometimes I even see people riding the rides. It’s at these times when I wonder if all the craziness at home is really starting to get to me.

    Tonight just like any other night I came to get away from my father. My father is a haughty, (adj) indolent (adj) drunk who tends to take out everything on me. He constantly blames me for my mother leaving last year. He is meticulous (adj) about hitting me in places where the bruises will never show. Sometimes he does even worse things that I don’t have the courage to mention.

    When I got home from school I found him in the living room on his chair already drinking a beer. I tried to be quite in hopes he wouldn’t notice me. Report cards were sent home today and I know that I haven’t been doing so well in some of my classes. I was afraid of his reaction.

    It turned out that my hopes were in vain. Once he heard the door open he called “Alice! Get in here right now!” I could here that he was already drunk, this was not good. Angry and drunk are a lethal combination when it comes to my father. I know that if I didn’t go to him that he would find me and the punishment would be all the worse for it.

    “Yes father.” I said as I slowly walked into the room. He stood up and immediately punched me in the ribcage. I gasped, the pain was intense and I knew the beating had just started.

    “You failed English! How could you fail English you idiot! I mean you speak English don’t you?” My father screamed at me while I was still curled up in a ball from the pain.

    “Yes father.” I gasped. When it came to my father’s rages it was easier to always agree. That way he could not elicit (verb) the torture any longer than necessary. He slammed his foot into my stomach and again I gasped because of the pain.

    “Your mother would be so disappointed! Do you know it is your fault that she is gone, your fault that I will never see her again! You drove her away! You!” Every time he said the word you another punch landed on my body. Finally it was over as he said:

    “Get out of my site you filth.” With that I ran up to my room and locked the door. I decided that know was the time I had to get out. I quickly packed up some clothes and all the money that I had hidden away, about three hundred dollars, and climbed out my window. I was headed to my favorite place in the world, the old fair grounds.

    When I got there I let a slow smile spread across my face as I imagined the place the way it used to be, bright paint, glowing lights, and vendors everywhere. I let nothing impede (verb) my mind as I became absorbed in the hallucination.

    Suddenly I was no longer alone. Crowds swirled around me as the tidal wave of noise hit my ears. I also suddenly had a penchant (noun) to go eat a hot dog. I liked hot dogs so I went to fulfill this inclination. As I was walking and eating I passed my absolute favorite thing on the grounds, the old swings. I quickly finished my hot dog and strapped into the swing. I felt the air rushing passed my face as I spun around and around. I realized that I wanted nothing to interfere and curtail (verb) this hallucination or night or whatever it was. I wanted to feel this happy, this free forever. Then the ride started to slow and the hallucination started to slip away taking my new found happiness with it.

    I then found myself sitting on the old rusty swings with a feeling of apathy (adj) filling my body, even though I was now indifferent towards life I also knew that the next time I went home, if I ever did I knew that I could stand up to my father. The hallucination had showed me what it felt like to be happy. And in the pursuit of happiness I walked out of the fair grounds and towards a better life.

  19. My mom always said be careful when diving into water you don’t know how deep it is! Well that never stopped me. Hi I’m Tyler and I am a kid with a plethera(n) amount of energy. I love to be outside and play in the water. I have a penchant(n) to adventurous people like myself. Yet my mom always said to me if I would be a meticulous(adj) person I would live longer but I always went by live life on the edge and you have no regrets. My best friend was very opposite me she is very laid back and indolent(adj) she loves to lay around and relax than go out and climb a mountain. My favorite time to be outside was when nothing is stopping or impeding(v) the sun from shining on the world and the cool water I get to swim in. My older brother always used to try to have a haughty(adj) personalty like he was better than everyone, when really I was the cooler sibling!! When the day of play was finally over I would elicit(v) to keep the day from ending as long as I could! All my life I have looked at the world as being one big place where anything can happen. Some taking long periods of time and others that are curtail(v) or stopped to soon bc of lifes ups and downs. But as I dive into the water today I thank God for what he has blessed me with and how I relish(v) everything he does. Many people have an apathy(adj) or lack of concern for the world but to me it is the only place where one can achive goals and conquer challenges in such a short time period. I will always live my days as if it was my last, to the upmost it can be and the full potencial it can give.

  20. John elicited (vt) the idea of going swimming in the lake. John’s friends had a penchant (n) for apathy (n) when it came to decision making. John, being the haughty (adj) one in the group, convinced everyone that it would be enjoyable. He decided to jump in head first; he was being neither cautious nor meticulous (adj). In fact, he was quite intrepid. As they all relished (vt) in the soothing water of the lake, a law enforcement officer pulled his car to the side of the road. With sirens blaring, the swimmers became wary of the officer’s presence. Quickly the group of friends became quiet. The officer was determined to impede (vt) their fun. Officer Smith tried to sound erudite as he began to list a plethora (n) of laws that forbade swimming in / trespassing on private property. Actually, Smith was just a small town cop with nothing better to do on this 110 degree day. The officer demanded that the swimmers curtail (vt) their activities immediately. John didn’t understand why the officer was so adamant that they vacate the lake. For goodness sake, they weren’t bothering anyone – they were just having fun! John and his friends were not deliberately trying to break the law; they were innocently indolent (adj). They must have accidentally overlooked the sign that read, “Private Property – No Swimming!” John and his group of friends agreed to abide by the officer’s mandate. John tried to bolster the nearly-criminal swimmers’ spirits by suggesting they all go grab a burger and take a dip in his neighbor’s pool. Surely, his neighbor wouldn’t mind. They needed some form of relaxation that would ameliorate the seething rays of the sun and the thickness of the humidity.

  21. The crowded Parisian streets at night were a wonder by themselves. Odette wished she could take the beauty in. But the time she had didn’t allow. She must get to the theater and quickly, or another job would be lost. A crowd of people impeded (v) her way to her destination. They were enjoying the music played and sung by a young man. His guitar’s notes snaked their way into the ears and hearts of his listeners. It was a love song he sung without missing a beat and with the voice of an angel. Odette pulled her head into the collar of her gray trench coat, so the music wouldn’t tantalize her brain. The noise of her boots turned from a barely there noise to an ongoing song of clonks on the street. The theater wasn’t far away now. And in another two minutes she entered through the back entrance of the theater.

    “Where were you?!” Marie complained, as Odette stripped off her coat and threw on her catering wear. “The gala started five minutes ago. You are lucky the boss hasn’t noticed you missing, or else,” Marie drew a line across her neck with her index finger. Marie had worked in the theater for over 20 years now and it showed. She was now in her late forties; she had to start working after he husband left her with triplets.

    “Then let’s not let the boss ever find out,” Odette muttered over her shoulder, as she meticulously (adj) hoisted up a large silver platter laden with gourmet finger food. Tonight’s catering outfits consisted of black satin pants and some haute couture, misshapen jacket.

    When Odette stepped through the swinging double doors, it was as though going to an alien planet. Important, proper people in over priced gowns and tuxedos stood in neat little groups sipping on champagne and complimenting each other on their sparkling jewels. Odette weaved through the groups as cautiously as possible. Sometimes an old monsieur in a tux would pick up a treat and on a good day, would thank the caterer for it. Odette had learned through experience, that offering food to one of these elite mademoiselle was equivalent to taking a priceless dead sea scroll and using it to clean up public bathroom. In other words, you just didn’t do it.

    Before Odette had known that unwritten rule, she had offered the wife of the British ambassador a cracker if tuna on it. Lady McKinnett, her name was, started shouting down Odette with a haughty (adj) voice and accused Odette of not only being a malicious brat but also an attempt against the British crown. Unfortunately, Odette’s boss couldn’t miss the quarrel and stepped in and offered her ladyship a free show in the Royal Box at the theater. Later he asked Odette to step into his office and he too, shouted her to tears saying she was the stupidest and most indolent (adj) mistake he had ever hired. He said he would let it slide this time but only because Odette was pretty. At the end of that night, Odette walked past the front of the theater, only to see Lady McKinnett perform a whining fest to her husband saying Odette was an insolent brat for trying to destroy her couture plum gown and even said Odette tried to rip her diamonds of the her neck. When she had finally noticed Odette’s presence; the vulture eyes, over a large hooked nose, narrowed exuding only apathy (n) that Odette could have lost her job. What Odette elicited (v) from the dramatic act of Lady McKinnett to her husband, her husband believed her and also stared at Odette as though she was a rat from the sewer. Only after wife and husband left the theater in a black limousine, Odette’s anger came out and she shouted after the car; calling after Lady McKinnett saying: the plethora (n) of luxury she lived by was nothing but the sin of gluttony.

    Odette came back into the dimly lit back room with a half empty tray. The cooking staff had figured out that cooking as much as normally asked for was a waste of money and time, since no one ever ate. Odette sat down on the wooden chair, exhausted.

    “You shouldn’t be back here,” Marie was saying, as Odette threw off the designer frock. “You should be out there, partying and bullying us down and not be serving those”, Marie used a word that made the staff laugh. Even Odette smiled. Odette may look like a celebrity but she sure didn’t live like one. Her tiny apartment, sixty-seven blocks away, was shared with a stray cat Odette picked up a few years before. Odette didn’t own a car. Not even a bike. She had enough money to get through with what she had; she most likely would have had more, if her then boyfriend wouldn’t have gambled it all away without permission. Her looks gave her a lot of brownie points, especially with male bosses. Her blonde hair was always pulled up and her blue eyes shown. Odette looked around.

    Sixteen other caterers stood there, all ripping off their ridiculous oversized coats. Tonight had been curtailed (v) due to an early arrival, of a nine month pregnant guest. This was the part of her job that was worth it, sitting behind the party scene with people like her.

    “I really have to say, I penchant (v) this”, Marie noted and the rest agreed, as one of the other caterers handed out champagne glasses. Odette accepted hers with a smile and a thank you. Now she could sit back and relish (v).

  22. (Image #2) The detective was impatient. He is normally meticulous (adj) about carefully taking notes of the suspect’s description. Today, though, he felt apathy (noun) creeping through his tired legs. Instead of relishing (gerund) the chance to catch the suspect on the street, the detective simply walked through the street without feeling and without seeing. He knew his attitude would impede (verb) what was already difficult investigation. He needed to talk to someone to elicit (verb) critical information soon. His boss, haughty (adj) and arrogant, already threatened to take him off the case. The boss had a penchant (noun) for threats and screams for any or no reason at all. He called him an indolent (adj) fool for not chasing the suspect through the street yesterday. The detective had plethora (noun) of excuses that he could not even remember. He should curtail (verb) his smoking before he could even try to run after the young suspect. Until then, he will walk the street and hope to find the clue somewhere.

  23. Bill Ratliff had great apathy(v.) for work that particular friday. He knew that in twenty minutes he would have to talk to his supervisor about the week. But all he could think about was diving in to the lake the next day and relishing(v.) and ice cold brew. Bill intended to curtail(v.) the day and go to the lake that night. As Bill walked toward the exit his supervisor was impeding the exit. Bill knew this was a firehazard since he had volunteered at the firehouse last weekend. Bill was meticulous(v.) not to be seen as he walked toward the southern exit. He could now feel the cool south carolina breeze along with the smell of barbeque smoked brisket. His long desire to live indolently(adv.) was taking over his body and making sure he was getting out of that office. He made it to the exit only to see a plethora of children and yet again his supervisor. He knew that on monday there would be a not on his desk and that he would have to meet with the supervisor, but he didn’t care. He was ready to have long elicit(adj.) conversations about nascar and finally be relaxed. Bill had a penchant(v.) for relaxing and was against being so haughty(adj.) all the time like his coworkers. As Bill walked through the doors pulling his hawaiian shirt over his head he sensed it, this would be a great weekend.

  24. Image #2

    As I walked toward my family’s shop on Abram Street, I took in all of the sights and sounds around me. I loved the morning chill and sting of the cold morning air groping my face. I tried to ignore the fact that everyone else had not cared and their apathetic (adj.) lives would soon be full of regret. As I passed Mr. Durham’s Barber Shop, I saw his clock through the window and realized I would have to curtail (vb.) or cut short my leisurely walk and sprint to my shop. I find it absurd that I have to be the one to open up our family shop in the mornings, but after my first cup of coffee, I like to enjoy or relish (vb) the slow, indolent (adj) crowds of people walk by. I often create a story about a stranger walking by. Sometimes it takes me away into a world never known, because of how I elicit (vb) and draw out the story with every slightest detail. I find myself gliding through a plethora (n) of situations, characters, and relationships. I guess you can tell I have a penchant (n) and a love for creating stories. If my mother would let me, I would right all of my stories down. Boy would there be a lot. Oh, I wish… One night, I could not contain a story any more; I had to write it down. I laid in bed, listening to my little brother’s steady breathing, several times giving in to the sweet temptation of sleep that called my name. When I could not here my mother cleaning up anymore, and the shadows of the Sabbath candles that danced playfully on the wall outside our room had fallen, I slowly, meticulously (adverb) arose from my bed. I knew that the ancient floorboards that quaked under every step would hinder and impede (vb) my stealthy plan. I lit my candle, after fumbling around on my bed stand to find a match and my candle stand. I knew if I woke Daniel, his haughty (adj) attitude toward me would soon be heard by my mother, so I continued to be silent. I creped down the hallway and passed my parents’ room. I was almost into the family room, which was where our most priced treasure of the house was. I went towards the desk, my heart pacing as if I had been running from a soldier, and reached out to find the knob. As I did, a rush of wind blew over me, and the candle, my light, my guide, went black. I turned around to see what was happening, but I did not see a soul. I was panicked, and terrified, for at that moment, I realized that I would not be creating any more stories.

  25. LATE SUBMISSION

    The army of dark soldiers rappeled down the cement wall with meticulous(adj.) quiet. They all relished(verb), the opportunity to win such a great victory that it would elicit(verb) the enemy’s surrender. The wall of the fortress seemed endless, and it was hard not to become indolent(adj.). The enemy had a penchant(noun) for building strong fortifications to impede(verb) attacks. But the soldiers knew their so called impenitrable walls made them haughty,(adj.) with a great apathy(noun) towards watchfulness. Suddenly a spotlight shown on the wall, curtailing(verb) the soldiers descent. Immediately a soldeir was shot from his harness, the others let out a collective grown, there were a plethora(noun) of reinforcements, but suprise had been lost.

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