By Hosanna (’14)
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Shanghai proved to be a kinetic collage of the high and low, old and new, and clean and dirty–with a drivers exercising complete anarchy, whether behind the wheel of cars, buses, electric motorbikes (sneaky and soundless), or bicycles. One ventures out into the street only in large groups of pedestrians; drivers stop for nothing less than critical mass. Vehicles muscle in on one other in a honking, endless game of chicken (any mention of “chicken” excites My Favorite Chicken so please do not speak the word aloud in his presence, but rather spell it out. Fortunately, he reads at about first-grade level–for now). My Favorite Chicken has now demanded brothers and sisters, and, since I have taken him away from the bosom of his plastic brood I have begun the process of locating twenty-three suitable siblings. Once they begin doing small group work their reading levels will quickly improve, especially with literature such as Fowlkner’s The Sound and the Chicken, or Shakespeare’s immortal Romeo and Chickilet. And what about Chronicle of a Chicken Foretold? I can see it now, teenagers and chickens, learning together, from the epic Sumerian Gilgachicken to Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, Animal Farm, revised edition twelve (as in a dozen), where the chickens vanquish the pigs by relentless egging them.
But I digress. With My Favorite Chicken this is so easy to do! I knew San Francisco would be good for him. In Shanghai I constantly had to keep my eye on him or he would try to cadge a puff from any nearby smoker. He is a wily one. And vain. Unmoved by my assertions that he would soon burn holes in his squawker, I warned that he would lose his looks if he continued. I could tell he was reconsidering. Plastic chickens think they will remain young and live forever. I don’t know how old they are when their frontal lobes finish developing. I fear he may not have one. But, as My Favorite Chicken will tell you, who needs brains when you are (and this is a happy coincidence with Creative Writing) the pure yellow of enlightenment. You see, My Favorite Chicken believes that his kind came from the Great Sun Chicken, who shed heavenly golden plastic on The Formerly Beige and Naked Fowl, bestowing upon them their undeniable, mass-produced originality. Has plastic ever been wrought so wonderously? Has any a squawk more charmed? Can you imagine my ninth grade students’ excitement when, while reading creation myths this morning, I slyly asked, would you like to see a real mythic hero?
What. If. I. Had. ONE. RIGHTBEHINDMYBACK! SQUAWKSQUAWKSQUAWKSQUAWKSQUAWKSQUAWKSQUAWKSQUAWK!
Pandemonium, I assure you. I almost felt as though I were back in Shanghai trying to cross the street. I held My Favorite Chicken aloft and shouted above the fray, “Remain calm! Return to your seats! My Favorite Chicken will receive each one in his turn!”
Stick that in your chariot, Phaeton.
I digress again. Yes, I have returned from Shanghai.
“As you all know, I am going to Shanghai.”
“No, Heather, you only told your 4th period English class that.”
“Well, anyways I’m going to Shanghai!”
There you have it folks. Heather is off to Shanghai! This means that Isaiah will be in charge of all Creative Writing affairs for the next few days. Does this new leader mean that we will have more freedom? Will we get to reassign our seats? Will we be able to eat in class? Stay tuned to learn what will come of our nation under our new god.
In other news, CWs were assigned new seats. This met many groans and, yes, a few “sighs.” Giorgia will no longer sit next to her beloved Abigail. And poor Lizzie, no longer seated besides the best man CW has to offer. The freshmen are now dispersed throughout the room. Oh dear, it feels as though everyone is lost at sea!
Creative Writing is now divided into two political factions; the conservatives who wish to resist the change of seating which has been so rudely imposed on them, and the radicals who are open to this new arrangement. Personally I think that change can be good. I am quite enjoying sitting next to Jules and Emma Bernstein. But I feel as though I may be at odds with the department.
Only time will tell if these seating arrangements remain under the rule of our noble Isaiah.
Until then, this has been your daily report by Avi Hoen.
Dank doop, and you are velcro!
8th Grade Creative Writing Portfolio Workshop
Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 // 10 am – 1 pm
Creative Writing classroom on the SOTA Campus (555 Portola Drive)
Free, registration required by Thursday 11/21.
If you’re in eighth grade and want to assemble a strong portfolio of creative writing that highlights your unique voice, this workshop is for you. 826 Valencia is teaming up with SOTA’s Creative Writing department to offer a class that will help you refine a portfolio that you can use for applying to SOTA or other schools or summer programs. The deadline for the SOTA application is December 6, so this class arrives just in time to offer you feedback on your work, answer your questions about the application process, and help you get through any writer’s block or feeling stuck. Two current SOTA seniors, Giorgia Peckman and Frances Saux, and Writer-in-Residence Maia Ipp will lead the class with 826′s Molly Parent and a crew of SOTA 10th-12th graders. To learn more about SOTA’s Creative Writing department, including the application process, check out http://sotacw.org/.
What to bring to the Portfolio Workshop: a portfolio of your writing that you’d like to share and receive feedback about–if you plan to apply to SOTA for Creative Writing, this would include 3 short stories; 10 poems; and a 5-10 page one-act play. Bring as many pieces of writing as you have ready for feedback (in any draft stage)! We don’t expect you to arrive with a complete portfolio.
One-on-one Portfolio Help With Creative Writing Students and Staff
Tuesday 11/19 & Thursday 11/21 // 6 – 8 pm both nights
@ 826 Valencia St
Free, registration required
We’re offering one-on-one portfolio help during 826′s regular evening tutoring hours. We’ll have tutors who are current students in Creative Writing there who know the portfolio process inside and out, because they’ve done it before! If you want to stay for a half hour, one hour, or two hours, that’s fine — the help is on hand!
What to bring: One or two pieces of writing for your portfolio on which you’d like feedback. You can bring them as hard copies, on a thumb drive, or in an email to yourself.
Fish is like writing— it can be raw, but it’s not necessarily fresh.
—Mykel Mogg (’14)
Inspired by the tireless effort of Jules Cunningham in convincing freshman that math class is really not a big deal, and itching to create something new for the website, the CW Blog Team presents to you “You Don’t Have To Go To Math Class: A CW Short.” It will be the effort of the team to produce more CW Shorts in the coming years! Check back for more, and have a swell summer.
by Sabrina Brady