Friday, January 11, 2013

five-sense Friday: one-sense edition

Today in my composition class we talked about writing anxiety and generating ideas. I read my dear, bright students some Bird by Bird (how could I not?) and then had them do a listing exercise, among others, from Bonni Goldberg's Room to Write. (Unfortunately, I accidentally stole this copy from my high school's writing center. I should probably make a donation, these many years later.)

Since the class is about food and faith, I had them write a list of tastes they associate with an event. One choice, if they couldn't think of a past story right away, was to imagine all the tastes in our classroom. I did the assignment right along with them, and here's a transcript of what I scrawled:
This room tastes like chalk dust, like antacid tablets and that curious, alkaline grit. It takes like lattes and bottled juices spilled all over the desks and dried in a glossy paisley on their surfaces. It tastes like metal, hard and cold and sour, from the table legs, and like wool and dust and fatigue. It tastes like shampoo that runs down your face to the corners of your mouth when you shower absentmindedly in the early morning before class. It tastes like paper pulp and the black ink covering pages, and pencil wood chewed between teeth (does anyone do that anymore?), and the orange paint chips that stay behind on your tongue. It tastes like plastic, and I imagine the salt tear taste of people who undoubtedly worked long and hard and without fair pay to make these objects. But it also tastes like electricity and ideas, that ozone lightness that comes when you bite into something new and true. 

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