STARTING 4/8/17: Six Word Saturday is now being hosted by the lovely Debbie at Travel With Intent. If you aren't already following Debbie, please visit her blog for Six Word Saturday and her beautiful photos. I'll continue to participate from time to time but please go to Debbie's for the official posts.
If you aren't receiving email replies to your comments, please see this post.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The assignment: Find and interview someone who lived through WWII. Write a paper about their experience.
The actuality: I interviewed a really sweet lady that was basically untouched by the war. Nobody she knew was in the military. She lived on a self-sufficient farm out in the boonies so did not struggle any more than usual to get by. I sat down to write the paper and it was so boring I couldn't stand it. Especially hearing some of my classmates talk about their interviews.
So, I did what any good creative-type would do. I wrote a new paper. A completely fictional paper. I told the fascinating story of my grandfather and his sister. He was sick and turned away when he tried to enlist. His sister, however, went off to war as a nurse, leaving him behind. Everyone in town mocked him for sitting at home while his sister went on to be a hero. Unfortunately, his sister was killed by enemy fire just before she was to return home. My grandfather was never the same after that and my parents named me, the first grandchild, after his sister the nurse.
The day papers were returned, Mr. G didn't hand mine back. Instead, he told me to please see him during lunch. I spent the entire morning terrified that I was going to fail because he must've realized it was a work of fiction. When I entered his classroom, he asked me to wait while he read my paper one last time. As he finished, he wiped at his eyes and I swear he was crying.
"This," he said, "is such a beautiful story. I'm so glad I assigned this paper so you could preserve this bit of your family history. Absolutely wonderful."
He then handed back my A+ paper and I went on my way.
Lesson learned? Creative writing is preferable to the boring truth in situations where you won't be found out. It was a lesson I was happy to learn early in high school and it served me well throughout my college years. And sometimes beyond. Too bad that's not the lesson the Mr. G was trying to teach.