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?