ENG 162 Fall 2013

ENG 162 at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor ME, taught by John A. (Don't ever, ever ask!) Goldfine johngoldfine@gmail.com

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Week 6 Prompts: Place

Week Six. Prompts 26-29. Place. React to three of these prompts on your blogs. You're using these as springboards to write about place.

26. You haven't been there since you were little. Now you go back....

27. The safest place in the world....

28. A picture postcard view and you hate it, because postcards belong to anyone with the money to buy one. If the tourists ever got past the obvious, they'd see what you see....

29. When you finally arrived, it was nothing like you imagined....

15 Comments:

Blogger Samantha said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Monday, February 27, 2012 7:44:00 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

My wooden sandals clicked on the cement as I walked down Spring Garden Drive in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I clumsily weaved in and around the swarm of people, mostly students arriving for the start of the school year. It was hot, the sun was burning in the clear blue sky late and even though it was late in the afternoon there was no relief; I was too far from the ocean to feel the salty breeze. Sticky and sweaty, my cotton sundress stuck to my legs as I explored my new home.


The foot traffic was surprisingly heavy; few people drove. People in khaki shorts and brightly colored polo shirts laughed with their friends as they strolled down the brick sidewalk. They gazed into storefront windows looking at bright pieces of local art and jewelry, scarves, and second-hand clothes. They stopped to read menus displayed on the front door of restaurants, looked at the long lines of people waiting for an outdoor patio seat and walked on, envious of the people sitting outside in black metal chairs drinking pitchers of beer and eating wings.


I stopped at the intersection and pressed the “walk” button. Cars sped past me, up the narrow hill, in a hurry to get where they were going. Across the street, a man in a white and red striped tee-shirt had set up a hotdog cart. His sliding glass window was open and a line of ten hungry people wrapped around his small but lucrative business. His patrons waited patiently for their thick hotdogs and greedily topped them with sauerkraut, mustard, ketchup, and fried onions. Some spooned hot chili on theirs; my stomach growled.


The light turned green and sign told me to walk. I walked in the crosswalk across four lanes of traffic and down a block crammed with tall, cement buildings; apartment complexes with balconies in each one. Coming to another intersection, I was intoxicated by the smell of greasy pizza, blinded by bright fluorescent lights. Each corner was packed with people going in and out of the pizza joints. Large pieces of pizza spun in circles in their warmers and each shop advertised its own unique flavor. A young boy with long blonde hair squeezed by me carrying the largest piece of pizza I’d ever seen in one hand and a white, creamy sauce in the other. I had found Pizza Corner.


I continued down the surprisingly vibrant street until I found a lush flower garden on my left. A bride in white silk and lace stood facing her husband in front of a white gazebo, surrounded by family and friends. Her smile was contagious, the tears in her eyes genuine as she kissed her husband and everybody, strangers and invited wedding guests alike, clapped. Smiling, I strolled downhill towards the ocean as a kid on a bike sped past me. School girls dressed in identical plaid uniforms and shiny black Mary Janes filed down the steps of a stone Catholic church to meet their parents. The street was filled with excitement, of positivity. Impeccably clean with trash cans labeled either “trash” or “recycling”, there was no litter on the sidewalk to ruin the beauty and perfection of the day.

Monday, February 27, 2012 7:49:00 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

When you stand less than a foot off the ground and your only defenses are sharp claws and a deceptively vicious hiss, it’s important to have a safe place. Easily accessible but private enough to hide from threats like the roaring vacuum cleaner or the prissy cat that infuriates you when she slowly creeps by you, tail held high. For Peekah, her safe-haven is in a grey plastic tote in the bathroom. Sitting in the back of the linen closet behind a door that never latches, she is sure she can always get in with only the flick of her white paw. She easily darts past the ceramic heater and the large drafty window. In two seconds, Peekah is in the closet, crouched behind a pile of worn pink and green towels, safe. So safe in fact, she feels comfortable enough to curl up in a ball, close her old burnt orange eyes, and purr herself to sleep. There are too many obstacles to worry about the distant loud noises or the other cat’s nasty glares. Bags of bottles are piled on top of each other like unstable Jenga blocks, ready to fall in an instant. An open drawer, three feet long makes it impossible to step inside of the closet and a dozen coats for all four seasons hang on a wooden rod. An old broom leans against the back wall behind the tote and Peekah dreams happily without a worry in the world.

Monday, February 27, 2012 8:37:00 PM  
Blogger Ariela said...

I could see my cat in this description. With her fear of the vacuum and her peculiar choice of "safe places".

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 7:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ariela said...

27. The safest place in the world....

I used to think memory, is a safe place, a place to crawl back to and retrieve warm and fuzzy pictures of people and things. I believed it will always be there, loyal and waiting and no one will be able take it away. Not even time.
How wrong.
It turned out that my imagined safe place is more like a gathering of soap bubbles floating in the air. And while not always as colorful it is just as fragile and likely to dissolve leaving me with empty hands and a slight taste of soap in my mouth.
I used to think it is mine and being weightless I can carry it with me everywhere I go. Like a magic memory box or a cherished album.
Wrong again,
I learned that not only it is not really mine, it’s an arbitrary collection of stories sloppily glued together that keep changing depending on who I talk to.
So memory, I now know, cannot be trusted. Like a chameleon it keeps changing colors and like the bits of glass pieces in a kaleidoscope it is forever shifting to create new illusions.
Time, hypothetically my ally, turned out to be the biggest deserter of them all. Like a flawless quivering desert mirage it seemed always within reach, until alas, I sent my hand to hold on to it and brought it back empty.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 8:27:00 AM  
Blogger Biddix said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Biddix said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Biddix said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Biddix said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Shit, sorry, biddix, samantha, ariela--those are old instructions that should have been updated.

If you could transfer this material to your blogs, I will comment there as usual.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 6:11:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

I've revised the instructions to reflect current realities. Sorry again.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 6:13:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

And remember--these are prompts, springboards, not test questions to be answered correctly.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 6:14:00 PM  
Blogger Biddix said...

Yeah...I realize that these aren't questions. I honestly do. But with what little space I believed us to have when I was under the impression that we do them here, that was the easiest way to treat the "prompts." However, I'm afraid that I still see things much the same way as the first time I looked at them, which probably doesn't bode well for my writing. I feel as if a lot of them are very cliche and cardboard, which doesn't really reflect poorly on you...I understand that you have to generalize when working with a bunch of people that have varying degrees of talent, education and style. I guess I'm just saying that the prompts for this week will likely come out wacky for me, as I don't really have any real inspiration to draw from. And that, unfortunately, means that I will have to lean more toward "creative" than "nonfiction."

Saturday, March 03, 2012 5:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Clipperuwqp said...

Shit, sorry, biddix, samantha, ariela--those are old instructions that should have been updated. If you could transfer this material to your blogs, I will comment there as usual.

Sunday, October 28, 2012 4:48:00 AM  
Blogger appu said...


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RRB NTPC Result 2016
SSC CGL 2016 Result
Happy New Year 2017 Wishes
IBPS PO Result 2016
GCSE Results 2016
SBI PO Result 2016
NEET 2016 Result
New Year 2017 Wallpaper
Good Morning Quotes
Merry Christmas wishes Christmas wishes

Tuesday, July 05, 2016 12:10:00 PM  

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