Trust Jody Feldman, (2k8’s queen of puzzles,) to give us a game for today’s blog! Can anyone figure out which is the truth and which is the lie?
1. From my first homework assignment through my last college project, I could not study if it was quiet. I would read with the radio on or answer social studies questions in front of the TV. If you had asked me what song had just played or what show had just aired, I couldn’t have told you unless I had happened to take a break at that time. If a band had marched through with cymbals crashing near my ears, I may have looked up, but I would have continued with the science text or with my math problems. However, if two people were in the room carrying on even the quietest of conversations, I couldn’t concentrate. Today, I don’t need noise when I write or revise, but I often listen to music or have the TV playing in the next room. Some things never change, though. If another person is in my house, not even talking to anyone, it’s hard for me to put two words together.
2. When I was 10 years old, I went to the same sleep-away summer camp that my 11-year-old cousin was attending. It might have been great except for the fact that she was signed up for the two-week session and I was only allowed to go for one week. When I got there, my worst fears were confirmed. Not only was I in a different cabin, she’d made all sorts of friends without me. Don’t get me wrong, she did her 11-year-old best to include me, but while I was trying to keep up, the other girls in my own cabin were forming friendships. Now, one week isn’t a lot of time unless you’re a shy, homesick kid who doesn’t know how to jump right in. Thank goodness there are snakes in wooded areas. (Snakes, she said? Yeah, snakes.) The second morning there, I bounded out of bed at the sound of an ear-piercing shriek before I even knew I was awake. One of my cabin mates had gone to the bathroom, and when she came back inside, she’d let a little green snake slither in. It was just a garter snake, and I’d seen many in our yard at home. With all the other girls huddled in the top bunks, I picked the snake up right behind its head, carried it down the path (the other girls were now following me), and I let it loose near the boys’ village. As the newfound hero and resident snake police, well, let’s just call this a happily ever after.
3. All writers know that endings are hard. I discovered that early in 7th grade. We were to turn in a piece of writing that told something about ourselves and our lives. As a girl who’d been blessed with a white-picket-fence existence, who was little traveled and who had no extraordinary experiences that would lend ink to two full pages (wide-lined paper, hand written), I turned to the most exciting thing in my life right then – our pumpkin vines. My brothers and I had saved seeds from the last year’s jack-o-lantern. Late in the winter we’d planted the seeds indoors and when the threat of frost was gone, we’d transplanted the seedlings to a small plot of garden in our backyard. Pumpkin plants don’t understand the confines of a garden. They proceeded to conquer the yard with their spiraling vines and occasional orange flowers. For my assignment, I wrote that story in great detail and ended by explaining that the vines produced two large pumpkins and four small ones. I was just glad to turn in the paper and be done with it, as lame as it felt. The teacher, however, was quite enthralled by my description, but she minced no words in describing her disappointment by the abrupt and weak ending. That’s how the story ended, though. What else did she want? I’ll never know. I didn’t ask. It was that innocent paper, however, that made me keenly aware of endings in books and movies and stories of all kinds. And it’s what drives me, this day, to strive for strong endings, ones that won’t disappoint that teacher.
Can you guess which one is the lie? And while you're waiting for the truth to be revealed in tomorrow's blog you can read more about Jody here.