CHICAGO TROLLEY RIDE
(Touch) I step on cautiously. The trolley is unknown and unfamiliar. Sitting down on the seats, I have to sit up straight because of the stiff backs. It feels hard, cold, and sturdy. There is no way to relax, no cushion to sit upon, and no place to rest my head. I reach for my camera. It feels cold and flat, like a new, fresh dollar bill; all straight and smooth. I snap a picture.
(Sight) I look around inside the trolley. I see people I have never seen before, surrounding me. Some of them are silent, almost frozen, with thin smiles and serious expressions on their faces. Others are louder, shouting and pointing out things as we drive around the city. When I look out the window, I see cars racing past us, as if they want to get away from everything, or perhaps they’re just late for something. Advertising signs beg me to stop for a while, to come and see them. I try to ignore them. I look at the beautiful golden-green colored trees on the sidewalk instead. They rustle and shake as the wind blows on them. I look back inside the trolley.
(Sound) I have no choice but to listen as our tour guide drones on and on. I try to pick up on what the other people are saying, things like “I’ve been there before” or “look how beautiful that building is.”
(Taste.) My stomach begins to growl and my mouth starts to water. I take out the small sandwich I have packed in my bag. It tastes moist and chewy, while the peanut butter sticks to the roof of my mouth. It tastes too good. I swallow the whole sandwich down. Our trolley turns to the corner where we will get off. It drives slow and steady, with a few speed bumps here and there. As the trolley halts to an end, I think about all the new and exciting experiences I’ve just captured in my mind. I get off the trolley, and walk on. Ready for new adventures, but the trolley ride stays stuck in mind. It always will. Forever.
- Grace Kennedy
I never thought I’d have a guest author on my blog. However, my daughter wrote two essays for her sixth grade language arts that I liked so much that I asked her if I could publish them on my blog. She agreed to let me do so. This one is her favorite.
I like the essays for many reasons. They are just good and read so well. There is a strong sense of “voice.” They also illustrate the wonderful way her teachers, in this case Kevin Navarro, have developed to teach writing at The College School in Webster Groves, Missouri. One of the tools they are using this year is something called the 6 + 1 Trait Writing Framework, which I want to start using for my own writing. I also think that it is great that these essays each went through at least four drafts, with distinct improvements in each draft.
We are so pleased with The College School and its unique approach to education. One example is the amazing sixth grade wilderness trip. Make a visit to the school’s website and, if you are in a position to help the school out, financially, through technology donations or otherwise, please consider doing so. It’s a wonderful place.