Monday, March 30, 2009

Story Weaving.

"I have a feeling that no matter where we end up, we'll be together."

Do you ever hear snippets of conversations while walking down the street -- or walking anywhere, really -- and wish you could hear more of their context? It's rather nosy, I know, but sometimes certain bits of information are simply too intriguing to abandon.

I heard the words above while walking across campus earlier. Spoken by some random boy, probably 17 or 18 years old, who I'll probably never see again. Yet for a moment, I had insight into his life as he spoke to his companion. And this single sentence -- so simply yet elegantly spoken -- inspired his life story in my mind.

He's likely about to graduate and fears leaving the person he loves; maybe their individual goals diverge in opposite directions across the city, or the country, or perhaps even the world. Maybe their goals aren't even formulated yet, but the idea of the unknown makes them hesitant and uneasy. The idea of being apart makes them fear the future even as they crave its exciting embrace.

But no. They won't be apart. They don't know this. But he feels it. Somehow he believes; it's intuitive. And this innocent faith inspires his honest comment, and his honest comment inspires my weaving of his story, which may be completely inaccurate. I'll never know. But if I've spun it correctly...? Oh, how I hope they'll end up together.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Academic Paper Writing

Sometimes I think that the longer and more frustrating the writing task, the better it feels to finally reach a point where an answer seems within reach. For easy writing assignments, there's really not much struggle: you read the question, an answer automatically pops into your mind, you write it, maybe proofread, and then that's it. But for longer, more complex and challenging questions, you have to really delve into the material and the language and find ways not only to answer the prompt, but to use language in a sophisticated and nuanced manner.

Over the past two days, I've enjoyed a few moments of "wow, I can't believe I wrote that." Amid hours of angst, those moments seem small. But they're powerful.