Free Writes #1: English 9 Mini

Periodically, students in English 9 Mini are asked to write their thoughts to a writing prompt, a constraint, or a visual cue. In the span of only five minutes, students are challenged to write and later share with the class their compositions.

Below are two submissions that were inspired by a visual of child hunger, in recognition of Free the Children’s We Scare Hunger campaign at McNair:

Thigh gap. A flat stomach. Collar bones. Affected by the image of perfect people, teenagers and young adults begin to worry about their bodies. Society has chosen a mental picture for everyone to look like. Girls all wish to have tall lean figures, a golden-brown tan, long blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes; boys desire to be muscular with defined jaw lines and a blue-ribbon worthy smile. No one will ever be perfect, but why do people aim to be this way? There is a certain level of ambition to be flawless. It is disconsolate to see people starve themselves and hurt their bodies to look like those suffering children in Africa, when in reality, those children would give their left leg to be in our positions. We cry about losing soccer games, and mourn over not receiving the newest iPhone, yet these are not real issues. The biggest problems are happening all around us, and we neglect the hardships others face because we are so concerned about ourselves. Society has made us selfish beings and though people are raised to believe there is something out there–better than what we have now–the amount of damage the world has will be nearly visionary to fix.

Bionca C.

I am a young child who lives in poverty. I have not eaten for days, and must walk miles to find food and water to stay alive; that is just one of the many struggles I face every minute of my life. I rely on donations that bring food to my friends and me. I don’t even have a family. They all died when I was two, and ever since I have had to fend for myself. I have to work to stay alive. When is it really worth it? I want you to think about all that you have: food, a shelter that covers you from rain and cold winter nights, and a family. Then look over at me. I am crumpled inside and out. I don’t know how much longer I have to be on this world, but then I think, “Do I really want to be here?” I wish I didn’t have to live this way, but will my life ever change before it is too late?

Madison G.

It is another torturous day. No food, no water, no family. I think to myself, “Please, please end my life right here and right now. I would rather die than go through this.” All around me I see children just like myself, bloated and hungry, begging for just a sip of water. I stare down at my body, taking in its unhealthy state of brittle bones and thin, dry skin. In a number of hours, I will be beaten and forgotten in the harvest fields, getting paid two cents per hour. Nobody knows the pain and struggle I endure every single day. It is sad to think that somewhere in the world, people are starving themselves, trying to become skinny. If I had the chance to become like them, with meat on their bones and food in their stomachs, I would not hesitate to trade places. This is not just some temporary phase of poverty and starvation: this is my life.

Isabela S.

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