Monday, November 21, 2005

The word gazelle made Casey uncomfortable, even somewhat nervous. There wasn't any reason for him to write it down on paper this time but it could come up later in the 3 hour-exam time and throw off his carefully planned schedule. 3 essay questons -- 3 hours -- a half an hour for the first question, an hour and a half for the 2nd and the remaining hour for the third. Generally he found that there was usually 15-20 minutes left over for him to check over and read his work, making a few minor changes here and there but only if he could finish an exam without coming to one of those words. Casey doesn't remember when he created the list of 7 forbidden words. It could've have gone as far back as childhood because they just seemed to be there forever. Moving to a new city was strange in that he had to bring the list with him -- a crumpled up folded piece of paper always kept in the top drawer of a desk. If there was no desk it was always kept inside the dictionary his grandfather gave him, slipped in between the title page and not the front cover. People looked for things in the front covers of books and Casey knew this. The first question asked him to compare and contrast the differences between the main characters in two Dickens. Easy enough Casey though since he was a pretty big fan of Dickens, which was a strange thought in itself because really who was a fan of Dickens. But Casey admired his use of words in such a pragmatic way. The sheer fact that Dickens knew he was paid by the word and decided in order to amass enough money to make a living solely writing that he would decribe everything in great detail down to the dust motes in the corner of an old Victorian mansion. That awareness of the power of words really inspired Casey. The hall echoed with the scritching sounds of pens to paper. Casey stopped and looked around at everyone dilligently writing, with a few people starting at the ceiling and shaking their heads.

Gazelle was one of the words, vivisection was another. Both probably safe on this question. Casey continued to write making comparisons, parallells and juxtopostions between two made up people in two books written over a hundred years ago. He stopped for a moment, checked his watch and saw he was well ahead of schedule right now. Things were looking good and at this point nothing would stand in his way to finish this mini essay. Although question 2 was right around the corner.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ian Wineberg said...

I want to know more about how the forbidden words came to be. And what happens when they're used.

Curious though, my ears are perked up...

9:49 AM  

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