Tag Archives: writing groups

Newest Abcedarian Story: “The Ant and The Bee” (as Written by Chung Dahm Students)

Thursday was the last night for my Comp. 100 class, and as is often my habit, I had my students write an “abcedarian” story (though abcedarian is usually a poetry exercise  rather than a short story exercise). Each student begins a story by writing a sentence beginning with the letter “a.” The paper is then passed to the next student, whose next, somewhat cohesive sentence, should begin with the letter “b,” and so forth until either time runs out or the letter “z” is reached. Sometimes a letter or two may get skipped until all the students get the hang of it, but generally they catch on pretty quick.  I also like to sit in on the circle and add a few sentences. Stories are titled after they are written.

It’s always interesting to see how students approach this exercise.  Last term’s Comp. 100 class really labored over each and every sentence and were  genuinely amused by the results. This term’s students, while no less serious, seemed to approach the exercise with efficiency. As a result, their stories were a little longer (we got to “v” this term while last term we only got to “t”), but no less amusing.

Here is this term’s winning story (based on student votes):

“The Ant and the Bee”

An ant is moving up a hill. But the ant wanted to fly to the sky when it went to the top of a hill. Carelessly, he jumped, flapping his arms. Directly, he jumped to another hill, where he found another ant trying to fly. Elephants could be seen in the distance.

“Failure isn’t in my dictionary!” he cried out before he fell into the middle of the forest.

Gorilla was searching for food in the forest, saw the ant flying toward him and shouted “flying ant!” Horrified, the gorilla ran away screaming “I’ve never seen a jumping ant…I must be crazy!”

I don’t know why that gorilla is running away”  the ant said. “Just because of little old me?” the ant wondered. Knowing that his energy was consumed, the ant decided to explore the jungle, but he heard people shouting about jelly and eggs.

Lovely…I want to taste them a little…should I?” the ant wondered. Mostly without thinking one more second about it, the ant followed the smell.

“No!” someone shouted  quickly, “it is trap of humans!”

On top of the flower, there was something small saying something.

“Please, please, someone help me!” a bee said.

Quite down so I can concentrate…how can I get up this flower?” the ant said.

Really easy! Fly!” the bee kept suggesting.

Something caught up in his mind. “To me to fly? No. I can’t, it was just a jump” the ant said honestly.Unless…what can I do?”

Vanity never gets you anywhere.

Letter from Anyang, South Korea: February 8th, 2010

Walk to Work 4It’s gray outside and the sky looks as if it holds rain. The temperatures hover around the 40 degree F. mark, which feels positively balmy after weeks of below freezing temperatures.  I can hear chainsaws in the distance and know this to mean there are crews working in Pyeongchon Central Park, trimming trees around the perimeter and clearing dead or fallen limbs. There are always people working in the park to keep it tidy and beautiful with newly planted bedding plants, bushes, and flower, making it a pleasant place to linger any time of the day or night. I look forward to marking progress and change I walk through on my way to Hagwonga and Chung Dahm, where I teach, later today.

There have been two interruptions this morning: First, Fed-ex came to the door with a package addressed to me from Kansas City – a box of mail and Valentines gifts from my mother. Second, the pesticide lady, who comes around about once a month or so and sprays something odorless around the nooks and crannies of our officetel.

Yesterday I held a small-scale writers workshop for a few of the newly arrived instructors interested in same. We found a spot at the local Paris Baguette, a Korean bakery chain, near Holly’s coffee shop her in Pyeongchon and spent about two hours working from writing prompts for poetry, fiction and memoir. Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience, generated workable drafts, and are eager for our next meeting in two week. After our workshop, our party of six walked a couple of streets over to Chicken and Beer, or Chimaek, (a pairing of chicken and beer served as dinner or anju) for dinner. I’ve never had such wonderful fried chicken, so crisp and flavorful, and the owner provided us with lots of extras, also known her as “service.” It was delicious and a fitting conclusion to wonderful afternoon away from teaching.