Monday, March 3, 2008

Writers Week XIV: Going for an A?

Writers Week XIV was truly one of the greatest in school experiences that I have ever had. Previously, I rarely had the opportunity to attend the full writers week schedule in my english classes, and never looked forward much to the writers that were to come. I found myself getting lost in the words coming out of the speaker's mouths, but this year everything changed with a new perspective that I had in mind. With returning writers week legends such as Billy Lombardo and Marc Kelly, I knew we had something special in store during the great week. The first day of writers week--friday wasn't what i call spectacular. Upon looking at the writers week pamphlet, i expected to see Bill Kelly present to us a movie script in progress, or even read to us a piece from enchanted (since some us had not seen it). I was disappointed with the presentation this hollywood movie script writer gave us. With the writer of "premonition," "blast from the past," and "enchanted" in front of me just conducting a Q and A session, I dozed off to the "hiya" he gave with each raised hand. I will admit that it was an honor to have the writer of an acclaimed movie in front of me, someone who grew up in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. He also gave off quite a few memorable zingers or answers to the various questions. For example, "Yes, Patrick Dempsey is as sexy as they say he is in person." This quote gave quite a few laughs. Also, he gave us an inspiration message. "IT doesnt matter who you are, where youre from, you can do anything if you want to make it happen....Dont wait for permission...JUST DO IT" He made his dream happen, and thats what inspired me.

Monday was another great day for me as Billy Lombardo was to appear in front of us. His poems included a myriad of deep thoughts, enough to make a person come to tears, and remain awestruck by the true meaning behind the text. The poems involved a variety of everyday life situations, and it made me wonder how a person who claimed, "I love violent movies, but i find no sadness in my life" would have the ability to come up with the successful pieces that he had written. The first couple stories such as "The logic of a rose," "my first punch", and "how to remember a day with your son" was extremely sad and touching. The lines i remember from "my first punch" is "you will feel the blackness....and as you wonder how long it takes for a black eye to go away...shed a tear." The story held a cold, but deep meaning as it introduced the idea that such events can happen, and do happen, even to the children. Continuing on with the child related pieces, I found "how to remember a day with your son" very lifelike and enjoyable. The scene i remember most from this piece was the child standing in front of the father about to come to tears after the father rose a fist to almost punch the child after he had lost the father's keys. That scene really stuck to me. THe white sox excerpt was just as great, as a lighter mood was created. I believe that Billy Lombardo has the amazing skills of both writing and reading, as he never made me doze off or daydream.

Definitely one of the best performances of the week in my opinions was "Speed Dating" the musical presented by Mr.Scott Woldman and Co. I simply could not stop laughing, and was in a frenzy to get down the memorable quotes. I noticed that they were continuing on from where they left of from period 7, which was just as hilarious. Through the depiction of a speed dating scenario, with the highly trained metropolis actors taking up a character that anyone could fall in love with, a wonderful play was made. From the scared-of-girls guy, sci-fi girl, insecure guy, overconfident jerk, "fat problem," comic guy" and the teacher, each depicted their character oh too well. "oh my...thats an aqkward question to ask Eric...I like it in the butt!!!!" Definitely the highlight of the play. Some more zingers i recall included "will you will you will you will you sleep with me??" and "I have red licorice.....oh be still my heart!" I hope that Mr. Woldman returns next year with another amazing musical.

Daphne Willis and Co. was another great part of the week. Through her band's musical talent and catchy songs such as "pull tight," I thought it was a memorable experience. Although personally the style of music isnt what i would typically listen to, i could see without a doubt that the group had talent and was capable of hitting it big. The fact that Daphne Willis came out of Fremd and followed her dream was inspirational. I will always welcome them for future writer's weeks. "We keep it light and friendly"

Last but not least, the incredible Marc Smith gave his classic and legendary performance to conclude Writer's Week. I looked forward to him like none other as i recalled him walking up the banister, singing "money makes the world go round", memorizing over 350 poems, founding Poetry Slam, and going from shy man to incredible entertainer. He told us that "performing is just a craft" and that"if you feel like there is destiny within you...there is." I did not think that he was the shy boy he said he used to be, but then again, he is Marc Smith. Pretty much everything he said was an inspiration to me, and i cannot help but to look up at him as a great person. I recall him saying in a poem, "I wear my fathers coat...and it seems to me this is how we make our acquaintances." Although i didnt clearly understand this quotation, i think that it only makes him greater to see that he can memorize poems we have never really seen. "Im a socialist!" Upon going up to him afterwords, I was met with a smile and a "hello young man, what is your name?" When i asked him for an autograph and a message, he wrote this, "Here's a message for you Justin...So What???"

In conclusion, this years Writer's Week was incredible. Although i didnt have the courage to read in front of the congregation this year, I feel a growing courage to present my writings in the future. I wasnt able to see anyone from my classes, but just hearing their appraisals made me feel happy for them. I am really glad that fremd high school offers such a great week, and I cant wait for next years.

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