Monday, October 12, 2009

slaughter house

This weekend I've done some homework and done some extra curricular writing. The application date for study abroad (or at least where I want to go) is approaching very quickly.

The following is an excerpt from a chapter I am working on. The narrator here is around 10 years old.

"After lunch we had art class with Mrs. Arnold. She was a Native American and wore Native American jewelry and had a big cow skull on the classroom wall. She said she got it in Arizona and that some people would charge $200 for the skulls and some people would charge $100 for the skulls, but she only paid $25 because they were just left over from the nearby slaughter house and no one had any good use for them after they took all the meat from the cows. If you charge a lot of money for something or make something really hard to get, people will think it’s more special than it really is. Mrs. Arnold liked being called Native American and hated being called Indian. My parents and the other teachers used the word Indian though, so I didn’t see what the problem was. “I’m not from Indian, and my ancestors weren’t from India. I am Native America.” She would say.
One time me and a bunch of my friends went to Plymouth Plantation and saw Mrs. Arnold there. Plymouth Plantation is a tourist destination where people dress up like pilgrims and pretend it is the 1700's. Most of it was filled with European settlers in wooden houses and buckled hats but there was a small corner dedicated to the Indians. When our group came by, Mrs. Arnold pretended not to recognize us and just gave a short presentation on how to make beaded blankets. Unlike all of the white people there, who spoke very old fashioned all the time, the Indians just talked regular English and even wore t-shirts. This one guy was playing the role of William Brewster who was one of the most important people on the Mayflower. My dad said he was my ninth great grandfather so when I met him it was like meeting a celebrity. It was a little disappointing to meet him though because when we talked to him he didn’t say anything impressive about being a leader or living through the long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Instead he told us something boring about how they didn’t have any plumbing in the settlement and had to use outhouses. He even used the word shit, which was really surprising for me. The only time an adult had ever said swears was when they thought I wasn’t listening or when they forgot I was around.
In art class all we did was play with clay. I would build a little guy out of clay and make him talk and walk around the table. There were these dull knifes and cheese cutter wires and little scalpels that we were supposed to use to craft something intricate to take home and show our parents how artistic we were, but my friends and I usually just used the tools to dismember the little characters we made. Every day we did it I thought we might get yelled at but Mrs. Arnold never came by to check on what we were doing, especially on the days we played with clay. The animal I sculpted the most often was a rabbit. After I’d cut its tail off with the scalpel and saw its ears off and slice its torso down the middle, I’d pretend that he was sent to the hospital where I’d have to put him back together and fix him."

There's more but I'm still working on it. At the moment I have about 30 pages, most of which is random thoughts and ideas that will be integrated into an overall story. I don't know exactly where I am going to start the narrative but I have a really good ending that I'm looking forward to writing (I've heard that the ending is the hardest thing to come up with).

Speak easy,

Edit: This week in movies.
(1) Watched Away We Go and was sorely disappointed.
(2) New trailer for Toy Story 3!
(3) This decades Blair Witch type movie Paranormal Activity makes $7 mil on 160 screens. Which is hugely record breaking.

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