Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Light Bulb

Lightbulb by Susie Porisch
The other day I was digging through some boxes in the garage desperately trying to find some old photos when I can across a box with some very old Folio folders from my days back in high school. One particular folder caught my eye; it contained a stack of creative writing papers from my freshman year in high school. 

I started reading through the papers, getting lost in a time long ago. It was a pleasant trip back down memory lane. Some of the papers I remember writing, some not so much. I found it interesting (and also very entertaining) to read the grades and comments from my high school English teacher, Mrs. Walton. They all contained a reoccurring theme - great story, poor spelling and grammar.

One of the first papers I ever wrote in Mrs. Walton's class was entitled, The Light Bulb. At this point Mrs. Walton had very little exposure to my poor spelling and grammar, so her words were sweet, and so was my grade.

It read, "9.5/10 Good Job! Except for a couple of silly little errors."

As I continued to read through the papers, my grades got worse, and Mrs. Walton's sweet words began to wane. One of the later ones simply read in big read letters, "Get a dictionary!"

Mrs. Walton would be proud to learn that my grammar has improved (if only marginally so), but despite her best efforts, my spelling remains atrocious (<--- spell checked). Regardless, I am grateful for Mrs. Walton. She introduced me to creative writing, poetry, mythology, and always pushed me to my limits. Of course, like most high school students, I didn't appreciate it much back then. In fact, at times, I loathed it. But without her, without her fine tutelage and guidance, I would not be the writer that I am today.

So, in her honor, and in honor of all the other teachers out there that have inspired us beyond our imagination, give you The Light Bulb in its entirety. Only edited, as Mrs. Walton would have wanted it.

Thank you Mrs. Walton.

*   *   *   *   *

The Light Bulb

Once upon a time there was a light bulb named Sparky. Sparky was a very enlightened, energetic little fellow. Every day he shined like a morning star, lighting the halls, kitchen, and the walls; that is only during the daylight.

Yes, it was true, Sparky only shined during the lightness of the day. By night, darkness was his enemy. Every day when the day slowly turned into dusk, his trustworthy owner would turn his settings to the highest degree, for he knew what Sparky was up against.

"The Light Bulb" - the original copy
As the day turned to night, the room became darker and darker, leaving poor old Sparky alone to defend himself from the cold darkness of the night. Soon the room became dark as coal and every corner of the room was colored with black shadows.

No matter how hard Sparky tried, the blackness eventually overtook him. Only a small area around him remained untouched by the overwhelming power of the night. But Sparky hung in there, giving it his all, casting out every minute light wave inside his little round body. Almost instantly the darkness of the room illuminated with a soft glow of light, giving Sparky the encouragement to shine on.

Soon, the once darkened corners of the room became lit up with joyous shades of light. Sparky was relieved, for the battle was over and he had won, but only for now. Sparky knew deep down inside that it was not over. Today was a new day and tonight would be a new battle. 

Have any old writings that you have recently come across? Was there ever a particular teacher that inspired you?

Michael A. Walker
Defying Procrastination 

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WilyGuy said...

Oh I love it! Sparky is like the little light bulb that could!

I'll never forget a creative writing class I had in college, my teacher was appalled when on a particular assignment, I write about the biggest crap I had ever taken. True to my modern day writing, I used metaphor up until the end when I was brilliant and of course, only a few guys in the class would admit it so.

My mom actually always encouraged me to write. I can't say one particular school teacher because I didn't work much for them...


P.J. said...

The best selling part of this is scanning the original! That's awesome! It's fun to uncover old writing. Years ago, while in college, I wrote a screenplay. Odds are it will never been seen by many and I realized the dream of seeing it on the big screen will likely never happen. This screenplay, though still on my computer (and moves from computer to computer when I get a new one) and printed out ... it was originally written by hand.

I must have gone through two or three Cambridge yellow notebooks. I found them a month or two ago and was in awe that I actually wrote a whole screenplay by hand.

Very cool story here, though, I enjoyed!

Stephen Battey said...

I tend to find old writing of mine juvenile at best. Because I was juvenile, it would stand to reason that my writing would be as well.

As a result, I do not ever go back and look at old writing.

stephen Hayes said...

The Light Bulb is much better than anything I wrote in high school. It's sometimes painful to read old work but it does serve to show how much you've progressed. Nice post.

Ken said...

That's a pretty imaginative story Michael. I'm certain that nothing from my high school days exists anymore, in regards to writing.

While I didn't mind writing, I didn't give it much of a chance to blossom, as I was, without question, going to be a mechanic.

Funny how I never ended up pursuing being a mechanic, and am now trying to pass myself off as a writer of some sort?

Youngman Brown said...

What a bright story.

I went through many of my old papers a few months ago when I was moving into my apartment. I also found old pen pal letters from my friends. I don't think that I'll ever be brave enough to post some of my old writing, but I have been wanting to post some of the old pen pal letters, and perhaps a response to them.

Great stuff, man.

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The Light Bulb is much better than anything I wrote in high school. It's sometimes painful to read old work but it does serve to show how much you've progressed.
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