by Brooke Hemingway, Age 12, US
The September drama prompt was “education.”
ANNA, MOM, and JOSEPH are outside of the school building, talking, as hordes of kids exit the building in swarms. ANNA is reading a math textbook, and JOSEPH is playing on his phone.
MOM: So guys, how was the first day of school?
JOSEPH: Without looking up. Horrible.
MOM: It can’t be that bad! St. Peter is an excellent school. The best in the city, actually. Beat. And it’s only the first day; you can’t judge it after a measly seven hours here! She stops walking, and so do ANNA and JOSEPH. What’s the problem? Can I help you?
JOSEPH: Puts away phone in pocket. You can’t help me, Mom, unless you know how to change the school’s philosophy. Kicks a rock on the ground. They told everyone this morning that video games rot your brain and to only play on the computer for one hour a day. Looks at Mom. I can’t do that!
MOM: Starts walking. JOSEPH and ANNA follow. Well, I for one think that philosophy is a great idea! Looks at JOSEPH. And you can certainly survive learning without video games, Joseph.
JOSEPH: No, I can’t! The classes are so boring and pointless. I mean, to be a video game designer, who cares when Columbus sailed the ocean blue or what x equals? Video games are really all I care about, besides family. And you can learn great reflexes and eye-hand coordination. Looks up at MOM. I have an idea; what if I just stay home all day? I can do games and learn plenty. What do you say?
MOM: Nice try, Joseph, but not going to happen. Turns to ANNA. So Anna, how was your day?
Anna: Puts math textbook away and smiles. I love our new school! The philosophy that Joseph has spent all day complaining about is perfect for me! No Minecraft in Language Arts class in this school.
Joseph: You’re just saying that because they gave you a C on that assignment.
Anna: Please put your brooding self elsewhere, Joseph. Turns to Mom. It’s a bit old-fashioned, the way they teach, but I think it is a fantastic experience. They have three labs, and a photo-developing class. I’m really excited to start doing some experiments in there.
Mom: That’s great, Anna. Your father and I looked very hard for a good private school, and I think this was the right choice.
Joseph: Takes his phone out of his pocket. Speak for yourself.
ANNA continues reading, JOSEPH plays on his phone, and MOM continues walking with them. Exit stage.
Brooke says, “Writing is what makes up the soul inside of me; nothing is better then putting pencil to paper.”