Friday, November 11, 2011

Write Run Think

I’ve felt the urge to write more lately. I’m not sure why. My students are working on essays currently. A day after I gave this assignment, my third hour class begged me to write the next essay with them. Not really with them, but they want me to write an essay response to the topic, too. They made a big deal and said that it had to be a good essay, and then they made me sign a contract promising that I’d do it. What they don’t know is that I love writing essays. I love the beauty of a good, quality attention grabber in the introduction and a solid thesis. I love tying outside references to literature and making a connection. Once I wrote a paper on Dracula and how he represents all parts of the human psyche, but especially the id—that part of us that wants only pleasure without caring about what it takes or about decency or morals. I was really proud of it. My professor wrote a note on the bottom that said, “You speak the truth… I’m a little jealous of Dracula, myself” and put a smiley face next to it. He gave me an A+. I miss that so much. My senior year of college, I took five English classes at once. At any given moment, I was working on an essay and I adored it. I had a post-it note on my computer with each essay and as I’d complete one, I’d cross it off and add a new one to the list. I managed a 4.0 that semester. No fluff classes, no field of studies unrelated to my major, just all 400 level English courses (I’m sure I had an education class in there, too). I miss it.

Last night I ran eight miles and when I run, I usually write essays in my head. It passes the time. I wish there was a brain to computer app where I could actually put these thoughts onto paper, because by the time I’m done they disappear.
It looked like this on most of my run, so my internal essay was about how weather sets the mood.

I was pelted by little balls of snow and ice. I stuck out my tongue and caught snowflakes and thought about how crazy it was to be running in it. I passed one man on a bicycle who was so bundled that I could hardly see his face, in stark contrast to my long-sleeved shirt and tights. I waved and he shouted, Keep it up! The next mile after that was the fastest mile of my run. Funny how an encouraging statement from a stranger can do that.

When I got to the sitter’s house to pick up the boys, Luke, Tommy, and the two other children there hid behind the couch. As I walked in, they all jumped out, yelling SURPRISE and came over and hugged me. I could write an entire essay about how sweet it was, but I’ll spare you. Their sitter asked if I saw the snow. I laughed and said I was running it. I told her how it started when I was four miles out and I was afraid it was going to start hailing. She said, Wait, how far are you running? I said, oh, I went eight miles today. She gasped and said, so you’re running running?! I’m not sure what she thought I was doing before this, but it made me laugh.

I could write an essay about the funny things people say to me in the course of a day, especially the days that I spent with 8th graders. Could I ever! I wonder how your thoughts form in your head? Are they haikus? Pictures? Or do you write in thesis statements and body paragraphs like me?

11 comments:

Adam said...

It's usually movies in my head. Dialogue-intensive movies with good soundtracks. And sometimes cartoons. And a lot of seriously messed up dream sequences.

Can we amend your contract with your students to include a "must post on this blog" clause? Please?

Laura Seymour said...

i do this all the time and have wished for the brain app.

weather absolutely sets the mood! when the sun isn't out and there are leaves all over the ground, i think about poe almost constantly.

essays are FUN.

we are nerds.

InTheFastLane said...

I wanted to be out running in those snowflakes yesterday.

And in a way, this is essay writing, that is what blogging is, right? You write, people comment and it is like a little A+ for the soul.

quicklikeabunny said...

I like that comment - an A+ for the soul...

I write in my head while I'm running too. Sometimes I'm creating compelling marketing copy; sometimes I'm composing long, rambling paragraphs and other times I too find myself writing reviews of the book I just finished or essays on some random topic.

I'm also good at writing grocery lists in my head.

Stephanie said...

I always think of blog posts in that time between waking and sleeping, and I'm always too tired to get up and write it down, but I wish I could. Or, I dream about writing and wish I could remember the great story I had written in my head. A brain to computer app - wouldn't that be amazing? Yes, I LOVE writing too. I once took four english classes in one semester of college, but they were mostly literature classes and, in the end, I was so sick of reading 400+ pages a night that I vowed never to take another literature course. But, I do remember how much I loved my creative writing and theology classes where I did nothing but write. I really do love putting together an essay too - there's something so thrilling in seeing it pieced so perfectly together and saying, "I wrote that!" :) Also, I SO wanted to be running this week too. Curse this stupid tendonitis - there is just something about running that makes me feel so free and burden-less. I can't wait to get back into a routine again.

Tonya said...

I was an accounting major in college, but even so, have written my fair share of essays. I remember specifically one essay I wrote for a philosophy class that I wrote in my head for days as I walked between classes. Fortunately, that essay stuck with me long enough for me to write it out for the class final. As for blog posts, I write in paragraphs in my head, mostly while nursing my little one, nowhere near a computer. Then, when I finally sit down to type, my mind goes blank. Where do all those words go? I would love to know.

E said...

Mine are a jumbled mess that make no sense. Random chaos, thanks to being 31 weeks pregnant and having a 2 year old! :) I wouldn't have it any other way.

Foursons said...

I write blog posts and FB statuses in my head ALL.THE.TIME. Sad? Maybe. But I like it.

Foursons said...

Oh, and the other day I didn't have a sub job and I went for a run at 10:30 in the morning. I smiled that whole run because I COULD go out and run at 10:30 in the morning in PERFECT weather. Such a blessing.

Carla said...

I actually do some of my best thinking in the shower. On days I'm really stressed it seems I take longer showers....same thing with cranky kids when the time allows. Some days it feels like the writing in my head is mostly sarcasm - especially when I'm at work. Seems not everyone appreciated that so much.

I am nit a runner, never have been but have always wanted to run a 5k. So starting tomorrow I'm beginning the couch25k program and see how it goes. 8 weeks ago I had my 2nd daughter and am ready to reclaim myself.

Crooked Eyebrow said...

when i read your (and others) blogs it makes me wish I could write well. I would love to capture all the weird, wacky and wonderful thoughts i have in my head on paper or blog.

Writing from the heart is really, really hard for me. Your talent makes me jealous.

and i love reading your words...

share the essay you share with your students!