Saturday, February 22, 2014

Like a handicapped mosquito sucked in by a vacuum...I love student writing. #metaphors

Every time I read a collection of student work, there is always one line that sticks with me and today it was, "I felt like a handicapped mosquito being sucked in by a vacuum."

There's a couple of things that strike me about this simile: why a handicapped mosquito? How is this different than a normal mosquito being sucked in by a Hoover? Where on earth does a kid come up with such a line and is it bad? If it is, why have I had it on my mind all day? When things are horrible and inevitable, as the young man was alluding to in his writing, I suppose that is how he was feeling...but what made him think of that image?

The good news is that others, like me, collect and contemplate such craft from student writers. Here's a few I found upon a quick perusal across cyberspace:

  • Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
  • She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.
  • Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
  • John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
  • She grew on him like she was a colony of E.Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

They are creative and keep humored. I say to my self, "Yes. I bet it was a lot like that." Then I wonder, are they really bad? They get their point across and the image stick in my brain, so they obviously accomplished their writerly craft.

I don't know. I'm sort of feeling like a confused teacher lost by, you know, confusing things: finding time to accomplish everything, James Joyce'sUlysses , and how we could ever go back to flushing a toilet now that someone has invented toilets that flush themselves.

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