I’m sitting at the end of a long table, looking down at a blank notebook. There are other people at this same table, looking down at their own notebooks. An older woman is walking around the table, peering over each of our shoulders, saying nothing. She then smacks her hand down on the table and yells out, “LOOK AT THE FUCKING PROMPT!” This directs our attention to a large projector screen. On this screen is a completely nonsensical writing prompt. It reads, “a Lord of the Rings advertisement on the side of a bus.” We’re expected to write an essay about this topic, and any other topic that comes on screen, but it can’t be too long, or we’ll get in trouble.
I struggle to come up with an idea about how to write about a bus ad, but I try anyway. After jotting down two illegible sentences, my pencil breaks. I pull out another pencil and get back to writing, but as soon as I put the lead to the paper, it breaks again. The woman checking everyone’s work is now glaring at me. I pull out another pencil (I seem to have an endless supply of them), but it breaks as soon as I start writing again. I’m really beginning to stress out over this.
The screen changes prompts. It is now a drawing of a large monster made out of molten lava with the words, “Law and Order: SVU is really great” written across its chest. When I begin writing on this topic, the pencil doesn’t break, and I get out at least a paragraph of words that I still can’t read. The standing woman is no longer glaring at me, to my relief.
Another prompt: Political Cartoons Are Shit And Fuck You Too. I write down one sentence, “well you know something unfgolg hsjfeju slfor bosnia is fucking shit.” As I write this, I have a realization. I stand up, look the older woman in the eye and yell out, “I ALREADY GRADUATED I DON’T NEED THIS SHIT FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING BITCH.”