I love the quote Anu Garg uses to jump start this week’s theme on Wordsmith.org:
The French writer and philosopher Albert Camus once said, ‘Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.’
Today’s word is:
nescient. adj. Lacking knowledge or awareness.
I tried different strategies to get my story going: word association, breaking down today’s word into others that might spark an idea, trying to come up with a character name using only the letters from “nescient” itself (if only I’d had one more decent consonant). Nothing worked like I had hoped. So, here’s to writing by the seat of your pants!
Knitting at Littleton Elementary
Joyce’s Dansko clogs squeaked as she turned from the clean black board and scanned the classroom. Twenty-four desks glistened from a long overdue date with a Clorox wipe. Each chair was pushed in snug against each desk. In the reading corner, books were lined up on the shelves in descending order according to height. The bulletin boards were de-cluttered, all those ridiculous xerox copies – of this rule and that rule – tossed in the trash.
Kids needed organization, structure, and only one rule. That’s what Joyce told Marcie after Marcie had gasped and stopped dead in her tracks during their morning walk.
“You signed up to do what?” Marcie’s face went pale.
“Knitting. I’ll be teaching knitting for one week to first through third graders. They’ll be making dishrags.” Joyce smiled confident.
“Joyce.” Marcie took her by both shoulders. “You’re an awesome knitter, but you don’t know squat about kids.”
Joyce took offense to Marcie’s comment. Sure, Joyce was older and never married, but she had nieces and nephews whom she saw twice a year. And, she observed enough bad parenting in the grocery stores. She knew all about how not to parent.
Marcie gestured wildly with her arms. “I know some of those third graders, Joyce. They’ll eat you alive.” She sighed, “what were you thinking?”
Marcie was young, that’s what Joyce was thinking. Just because they were neighbors and walking buddies didn’t mean Marcie knew Joyce that well. Joyce had a look that could make a chatty teenager sink down into the pew any Sunday morning. And, she had a stern voice that could freeze her cat in mid couch-pluck and send her flying under a bed three doors down.
“It’s only a week, Marcie, and I know plenty about kids. I’ll remind them of the Golden Rule, and they’ll behave like angels.” Joyce turned and started walking again.
The Recreation Department told Joyce that the kids loved knitting last year, but the woman who taught it said she was too busy with other projects to teach this year. The class maxed out at ten kids; all she had to do was teach them to cast on, knit, and cast off.
“Okay, but take my cell number in case you need help.” Marcie looked Joyce in the eye. ” And, you’d better bring candy.” Continue reading