[DR]: Democracy

by Avi (’15)

Democracy.  It isn’t what you participate in on the first Tuesday in November. Nor is it a system of government through elected officials (thank you Google).  It means to raise your hand and vote!

Today in Creative Writing we closed our eyes, covered our heads, and raised our hands high to vote for the theme of the show we liked the best.

And after the results were in, and ALL tallies were counted, we found our answer, our result, our president: The Yet to be Titled Show Involving Aliens and Cruise Ships!

It took some discussion, it took some frustration, it took some back-tracking, but like a green alien, it finally came to us… in a UFO containing Jules’ brain (what a wonderful genius he is, what a shame he isn’t taking Calculus.)

After voting on whether or not we should choose our script-writing groups, we divided ourselves and began the arduous process of writing our scripts— excuse me, interludes (as skits are FAR too elementary, get with the program.)

For those of you non-Creative Writers reading the blog, you should be— need to be— worried, confused and most importantly, excited. Preferably feel all of these emotions at the same time.  Just know that the aliens of planted CDub are coming to a stage near you… if you live in San Francisco.  Sorry Grandma and Grandpa, you will need to fly out, no C-Dub wants to perform in fifteen feet of snow in suburban Minnesota.

About Birds

by Avi Hoen (’15)
From the Sarah Fontaine Unit

Picture 28

The world is stupid.  No it’s not.  Well it kind of is.  It sucks sometimes.  When you’re on top of it, it feels awesome.  Not awesome as in “new pair of shades,” but awesome as in, “a bird just gave birth to an elephant.”  That kind of awesome.  But it’s only “elephant-birthing awesome” some days.  Most days, it’s “bird birthing cockroach” awesome.  Not very awesome.

Today the world birthed a bird and that bird birthed another bird so it isn’t very special today.  There are a lot of birds being birthed in the world.  Some birds are awesome and some birds just shit on your car.  A year is like birds.  Each day is an egg.  From each egg you don’t know what kind of bird is going to hatch.  Today could be a “white-throated kingfisher” day, or today’s egg could be scrambled and stuck to the frying pan.  As I said you never know what kind of day it will be.

Birds live on the world, usually they don’t live on top of.  Birds get the short end of the feather.  But know that some bird out there had an amazing day.  Be sure to know it had a great time eating berries and shitting on your car.  The world is full of chain reactions like this.  Bird eats.  Bird shits.  Shit on you.  Bird is happy.  You feel like shit.  You shit on someone.  You feel happy.  Someone feels like shit.  The world is one happy piece of crap.  Get used to it.

I got used to this bird eat bird world when I was little.  I always knew I was an insignificant little red berry, soon to make it into a bigger birds stomach.  Maybe that bird would be Big Bird.  Big Bird taught me the world.  Elmo has one messed up world.  I hope a bird shits on Mr. Noodle.  I take that back, I didn’t watch much TV as a child, probably because most kids shows were like that.  A three-year-old shouldn’t be filling their head with singing cloth puppets.  A three-year-old should be filling their minds with enlightening thoughts, such as Icarus and how trying to be something you’re not is just a stupid waste of time because we are all gonna die and melt away when we get to close to reality.  Sorry, those would be horrible thoughts for a toddler.  Maybe they should keep their minds on T.V. and birds.

When I was little I had a bird feeder.  It hung from the tree.  Then one night a raccoon came and ate all the bird seed.  As I said, birds always get the short end of the branch.  It’s the circle of life though.  Actually it isn’t.  Hardware Store Brand bird seed has no place in something as significant as life.  Except it does.  I eat food from a grocery store too.  I do not partake in the natural circle of things.  Therefor I am a bird.

Life sucks for birds, some days.  Life sucks for me, some days.  It depends what kind of eggs I buy at the grocery store.  Free-Range, Organic, Cage Free.  Life is full of options.  I also have the option of buying the Caged eggs.  Funny how they don’t specify on those packages that the chicken never saw the outside light.  Of course when I shop at the Costco I have all these options and more, but the assumption is made that I am going to feed the entire flock with 18 dozen eggs.  That probably stems to the idea of cannibalism.  It would be a bad idea to feed eggs to birds.  I feel bad for chickens, their young is always sold off, and what isn’t eaten by the humans is given to the pigeons who don’t know what they are eating.  Pigeons truly are “chicken-brained,” I don’t blame them for being content with their stupidity, I wouldn’t want to know if I was eating monkey fetus.  Makes it seem like pigeons have a pretty good life.

Maybe I’m a pigeon and I can peck morsels of Doritos from the sidewalk cracks.  No roses, just chips.  Did you hear about the pigeon that grew from the crack in the concrete.  You probably didn’t because it didn’t actually happen.

A lot of things in life don’t actually happen.  In fact most of the world doesn’t actually happen.  It’s a whole sea of thought, full of fish getting eaten by birds.  What actually happens is just bird shit.  Damn.  Oceans seem pretty bleak now.  I’m sorry for blowing your mind in depressing amazement.

I read some bad rhyming poetry in a book that went “A geek with a beak will have a life that is bleak, don’t be a geek and speak what you think.”  I never actually read that.  I don’t need to cite a source.  Birds probably don’t use quotes, or MLA 7 or APA, or EasyBib.  If I am a bird I can sing my own songs, that I make up in my bird brain and sing them from the branches of the world.  No citation needed.  Unless… do mockingbirds cite what they sing.  No, they probably don’t.  The way they find love is a whole lot of bird shit.  The way people find love is pretty stupid too.  As I said earlier, I am a bird, therefore people are birds, and the world makes the same amount of sense as a fresh splatter of bird shit on the sidewalk.

Birds should probably be recognized because they are related to dinosaur ancestors.  Which is pretty cool.  That’s only if you like dinosaurs.  When I was little I told people Rumpelstiltskin was my great-grandfather.  No one believed me.  I didn’t believe me.  A bird might have trusted my statement for a minute, but even a bird brain is smarter than a  lie.  Besides, birds are related to dinosaurs, that has to count for something.

OK, it probably doesn’t count for much.  I mean, look at how we treat dinosaurs.   When we find a dead one we display it, and when we find a decomposed one, we drive cars.  It might be a double standard.  One day, birds will be the source of petroleum gasoline, and also petroleum jelly.

You know what’s crazy, is that during the oil spill, the birds ancestors, the dinosaurs, killed the birds with their decomposed fossil fuel!  Talk about a great way to avenge your death.  So I guess having dinosaur ancestors is a double-edged sword.

My guess is that birds have a hate-love relationship with swords.  Actually, they probably just hate them.  Swords are only good to kill birds, birds would need opposable thumbs to use them properly.  Video games lie.

As Peter Griffin agrees, “the bird is the word.”  I’m not sure if this has any relevancy to birds and the world, but words are also the world.  Words are the sword that the birds can’t use.  Blue Jays can’t say great words like “hootenanny,” “cautious” or my personal favorite “cooties.”  Despite birds not speaking words, they communicate in their ways.  This enables them to be functional members of society.  Just like you and me.  In fact, I would go so far to say that they are more functional in society then the average human being.  After all, they understand the defiance of gravity.  And if life has taught me anything it’s that gravity brings you down.  Unless you are on the moon.

Scratch that, birds don’t teach us diddly-shit, except what shit is.  WAIT! So, basically if the world is shitty, and birds are the all-mighty creators of shit, then technically speaking birds are god. HOLY SHIT!

School End Wisdom

by Avi (’15)

As the school dwindles to the last weeks, I can sense a feeling of despair in the eyes of my classmates. It’s funny how when the end is so close, it seems so far away. With this despair can come the lack of enthusiasm, or the feeling that “class doesn’t matter anymore, I only have two more actual weeks anyways.” This is not true. These last few weeks are what can bring that B to either an A, or a C.  These weeks are the time to put in the most effort.

Right now, I am right alongside my classmates. In some subjects, I straight up don’t care anymore. I tell myself, “When am I going to need to know what kind of bonding occurs between hydrogen and fluorine?  Probably never.” I tell myself, “Why do I care about (excuse my language, but it’s the correct term) bullshitting my way to a higher grade with more WebQuests and cookies.”  These mantras  do not help my enthusiasm for school.

What I need to tell myself is that I should try hard because I want to finish strong. In the words of Molly Bond, “[You should]… do… well…[in school because] Flannery O’Connor… [and grades].”  Besides Flannery O’Connor wanting me to do well, I’ll admit I’m doing most of my work now just to get good grades. This is a bad work ethic. It turns noble assignments into busy work.

Grades are no longer a result of doing good work, but the only incentive that keeps me from not doing it at all. I tell myself to look ahead into the foggy summer that San Francisco has to offer. However, this is hard to do but in the words of Kacey Musgraves, “If you’re gonna find a silver linin’/ It’s gotta be a cloudy day.”

My silver lining for the rest of school is Creative Writing. Creative Writing is what keeps me from completely giving up on school. So, you might see me with dull eyes, drooling over papers in all my other classes, but for the rest of the year in Creative Writing I’m going to try my best at showing enthusiasm. Besides, we are one very lucky group of kids to get to spend time with high quality artists-in-residence, and eating great food (Maia, I loved your tempeh!)

So, the moral of this post is, in the words of Andy Grammer, “[to] keep your head up, oh, and you can let your hair down, eh..”  Let’s finish this school year strong!  The finish line is just over the mountain!

(I Wanna Take You to a) Play (Bar)

‘Aight, here are the long-awaited behind-the-scenes photos.

The Girl Who Cried Tortoise

Now there’s a guy that looks good on his hands and knees.

Mommy Hazel with Hammer Baby

Maxine and Johnny (and Jonathan)

Constructive Criticism

My Favorite Raccoon

Raccoon ft. Giorgia

Raccoon ft. Giorgia

Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes videos, for an in-depth look at CW’s creative process and waffles.


The Bachelor

by Avi (’15)

The Bachelor’s
 new season premiers January Seventh at 8 o’clock on ABC Channel 7.  I will agree that this show can be at times over-dramatic, seemingly pointless, completely corrupted, trashy, not SF Bay Area, but don’t hate until you have watched a season or two, or possibly, maybe six.  Here is a brief synopsis of the show:

“The new Bachelor will get to know the 25 women in a series of fun, exciting and exotic dates that will elicit real and raw emotions. As in the past, women will continue to be eliminated each week, but if, at any point along the way, a woman should decide that she’s no longer interested in the Bachelor, she can reject his invitation to continue dating. Some lucky women will meet his family, and he will visit their hometowns for a slice of their life in an effort to determine the woman with whom he is most compatible.  At the end of the journey, the Bachelor may quite possibly have found true love. (http://www.tvrage.com/The_Bachelor)”

There is also The Bachelorette, which is essentially the same show but with 25 men.

The reason I watch this show is because there are some incredibly interesting characters, and while they mainly play off of stereotypes, some genuine, kind, marry-able people shine through.  In the last episode the fan base is invited for a Q&A and you’d be surprised how full the seats are, and for the many of you who like to be part of fandoms, The Bachelor has a fandom for you to follow!

The final reason, and possibly the most important reason, why I watch this show is because aren’t we all slightly “hopeless romantics” and don’t we all want a fairytale ending?  These fairytale endings almost never work out, as we find out in the tabloids while waiting in line at Mollie Stones, but it’s fun to be all up in someone else’s business (you know like you did in 3rd grade).

Whenever I tell people what I do on Monday nights, people glare at me and make unfair judgements, and while I am sure your productive night of homework was great and all, I can assure you that you missed out.

I am super excited for this new season!  One of the ex-bachelors is “The Bachelor,” and on the trailer there is a lot of drama, even siren noises, so you know this is gonna be good.

For those of you who missed the new episode you can view it on Hulu, it is important to watch the shows in order as people get eliminated each week.  I can’t wait for tonight’s episode, and the season finale where we find out who wins the prize of marriage!

Mapping Your Stories

by Avi (’15)

Ever wonder where your characters live? Where they walk their dog? What their neighborhood is like? Who their neighbors are?

A sense of place makes a story believable. Setting is immensely important; where a character lives greatly influences their actions and thoughts. I like to visualize the town where my characters are raised and where the characters live. I find it important to know where they go and get coffee on a rainy day.  Even if I don’t blatantly say, “Jake got coffee at Mary’s Marvelous Cafe on 4th Blvd.,”  in the story, knowing what coffee shop they go to and where it is help ground the story.

one map everyone's familiar withTo know where my characters live, I draw maps. A character who lives out in the suburbs in a townhouse is going to have a different outlook than the person living in the condo above their workplace. Even if you don’t go into your character’s daily life in your story– like their job, knowing how they get to work, where they work, where they live– understanding their life helps to develop them as a person. What does it say about a character who lives right above where they work? What does it say about a character who commutes 3 hours to get to work? Where your character lives helps you to understand why they live there, what they feel about where they live, and how where they live radiates into their personality. Where a character lives says a lot about who they are. For the next story you write, try mapping out the city and town in which they live/work/play, as well as where the story takes place.  If your story is set out in the country, and your character lives in the city, how does that affect them? Mapping your story will create a more realistic world for you and your reader.

More on Submissions

by Avi (’15)

It’s only unrequited on a good day.

In Creative Writing we are all familiar with the process of submitting. Also we are very familiar with that fill-in-the-blank rejection letter. When submitting work you must ask yourself, what am I submitting? Are you submitting a poem? What kind of poem? Who might be interested in this poem? Once you have decided upon your audience you must search for the publication place that has the audience that you think would enjoy this poem. For instance, your poem about unrequited love would not fit on a website focusing on humorous writing. There is a website called duotrope.com which allows you to apply filters, fiction or poetry, style of writing, and helps you find publications that have the audience your piece seeks. Your writing is more likely to be accepted at places that publish work similar to your style. There is a huge diversity of publications, and it is very likely that at least one of them will contain writing that interests you, and you will follow in the future, and will be an excellent place to showcase your work. This is your writing, and where it’s published matters. Read a the blog or publication, and then evaluate whether your work belongs on that site. The sites are lucky to get your work, do not be discouraged, when you are rejected it does not mean that your writing is not good, it just means that that website does not have the right audience for you.

Through Myth and Maps

by Bailey (’15)

Great things come in small packages. Avi, a sophomore in CW is a brilliant teacher and had no trouble at all holding the attention of the class. His lesson was relevant and helpful. I, for one, find creating realistic settings in my fiction difficult and looking a the whole social, geographical, anthropological, and economic systems to a city made the setting in my short story come alive, even though the whole system wasn’t explained in my story. I have to say, three cheers for Avi and I am hoping for an encore sometime in the future.

(Midori) Avi and Adrian Kane’s class definitely gave me a lot to think about. Everybody’s processes were different. Personally, I first sketched out a rough landscape and topography– what natural resources are available? To whom? From that point on, everything came naturally, gushing out in torrents I barely had time to draw or note down– who controlled the water, what kind of governmental system was my city, what effects did the resources have on not only the living style of the citizens, but also their ideology, religion, sacred lands…

Day two was even more interesting, in which the class was assigned groups to share our maps, and we were to write of a theoretical tour a citizen of our own city would take of another Cdub’s city. Everybody’s backstory and cities were so interesting, I wanted to visit them all, but we barely had time to go over everybody’s maps as it was. I sincerely hope– like Bailey– that we’ll get a chance to continue this project some more.

CW Potluck Exclusive

Our very own sophomore, the wonderful Avi Hoen, very graciously wrote a piece on the CW Potluck on Thursday.

CW Potluck!

Tonight in Creative Writing we had the most amazing spread of food for our annual potluck. Students and parents discussed the details, financial situation, and pure enjoyment of our wonderful department. Julie Glantz presented the merchandise that can be purchased– such as the chap books– and reported that CW made over $9,000 in front-of-house sales.  Jenna Schott and Erik Honda informed our group of fundraising opportunities so that CW may continue to have outstanding Artists-in-Residence.  Karen Saux encouraged parent involvement and Derek Schott along with Valeria Kumin spoke about the upcoming trip to Kirby Cove. This potluck brought the community together and showed how important of a role each parent and child plays in our extended family of Creative Writing.

For all the CDubs out there, Yes, submitting to the blog is now a 6-week requirement. Paragraphs like this are fantastic regarding different activities or events happening in Creative Writing. I will also take published poems or short stories to put under the Students’ Work page. Essentially, I am looking for a snippet of the Creative Writing life, told in the voice of a Creative Writer.

(That gives you a lot a lot a lot of leeway, loves. Don’t say I never did anything for you.)