Z Sits Down to Write

Z said he has to write a 100 word piece about “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst.

Z sits down to write. The cell phone buzzes.

K: Let me see that story. I always wanted to read it.

Z taps away on the cell phone keyboard.

Z: Mom, this is actually difficult. I can’t think of anything to write about.

K: If you get off that phone you can.

Z throws the phone on the futon.

K: “The Scarlet Ibis” is brutal. (She had just read the part when the narrator said he wanted to kill his baby brother.)

Z: (Laughs.) I know.

K: You have to edit.

Z: Aw, mom. It’s only 100 words.

K: I don’t care if you write 5 words. Read it and check to make sure it’s written clearly and it’s free of errors.

Z: Mom, we all cheered about the 100 words, but it’s actually tough. Once you get started you need more words. I think it’s OK to go over a little bit.

K: Maybe.

Z prints the piece without editing it, but K makes him go back and edit it. He has to read it aloud to her and make changes as he goes.

Z: What you think, mom?

K: Sounds good. Hope you’ve checked for proper punctuation and spelling. (K never looks at the piece because she wants to focus on the content of the piece and let him deal with the conventions alone.)

Z: Do you like the story, mom?

K: Yes.

Z: I do too. It’s the best one the teacher assigned.