Monday, May 16, 2011

A Writing Assignment

I was cleaning up some files on my laptop and came across this assignment from an online writing class I took about a year and a half ago. We had a two part assignment: we were to write about what we remembered and what we didn't remember. It was a free form exercise. We weren't supposed to worry about punctuation or spelling, just let our minds prompt our fingers as we typed. I thought you might find it interesting to see my mind at work....oh boy.

It's funny that the assignment is called "I Remember" because it is a family joke that my memory is so poor. I have a hard time remembering things from years ago and from seconds ago. Memory just isn't my strong suit. things that trigger memories for me are smells and sounds. i can smell a certain kind of perfume and think about a first boyfriend. i can hear someone's voice and think that they sound like someone from my past. I remember being at Nanny and Poppa's and lounging on that chaise in the back bedroom. I loved that so many of us slept in one room. I remember sleeping out in the yard when it was hot. I remember the stemmed glasses with the circles etched in them and those awful metal glasses that made anything you drank taste like metal. i remember going to the pump and pumping water. i remember sitting on the tractor in a big cow pie. i remember playing slapjack with Nanny and thinking that we were so daring. I remember getting that cool blue dress at Christmas that had the hat and pink polka dot tie. i remember playing with cousins in the yard around the old tree with red paint. i remember the pretend horse that was really just a big stump with a saddle on it. i remember riding the runaway pony and ending up on the porch. I remember locking a couple of boys in the outhouse and laughing as we ran away. I remember the spot on the rug where Poppa poured the Vitalis into his hands and slicked down his hair. I remember. Hey, I remember!


I don't remember that we lived with Nanny and Poppa one summer but everyone says we did. I don't remember grandpa jernigan. I don't remember christmas time until we were living in Idaho. i don't remember anything about the kitchen or living room in our house behind the church on Frank street. i don't remember how can you write what you don't remember i don't remember it so i can't write it i don't remember the names of most of the people i went to church with at clovis i don't remember much about being pregnant with Blair i don't remember planning my wedding i don't remember celebrating anniversaries in the first 20 years or so of our marriage i don't remember ever hugging Uncle raymond or Uncle Palmer but I remember hugging uncle joe and uncle beryl. i don't remember when dennis and i decided we were going to get married because it was never asked and answered.


Riley said...

Not sure what you were you hoping readers would see in this post, or IF you were hoping anything at all, but I think it's just beautiful. Taking a moment every now and again to name what we remember or to name the things outside of our memory's limits, no matter how seemingly insignificant, connects us with our story in a way nothing else really can. We think of things like prayer or study or fasting as spiritual disciplines, but remembering ought to be on our lists, as well.

Essay said...

Getting an assignment right, and in accordance with the demands of the professor is a daunting task. Good writing assignments always start with a clear goal that the teacher can express, usually on the assignment sheet so that students understand the goal as well.

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