Friday, July 9, 2010

Testing and Cockroaches by Charlie Days

Introductions. I’ve never really found the right one. I believe the perfect introduction should be a preview, a foreshadowing summary of what is about to be presented. This unfortunately is my introduction, lame I know, or at least that’s how I feel about it. Now, who am I you may ask? Well I’ll give you this; I am a Barrio Writer, one of the many authors featured in the book that derives its name from the said program. Which Barrio Writer am I?

I’ll never tell!

To put it frankly, I wish to stay anonymous. A name is not needed; what I plan to share with you will be entirely me. I assure you that every facet of my mind, heart, and soul will be intentionally and unintentionally displayed before you here. But if you lovely people do require a name to be put on this phantom, you can call me Days . . . Charles Days. A fitting pseudonym, don’t you think. As I implied, I will be posting sporadically on this blog. Key word here is sporadically. I’m still in school, which means I’m busy most of the time. But I got to keep the creative juices going somehow and summer is around the corner, so expect some serious venting coming your way. We’re going to have fun, trust me.

Yours truly,
Charlie Days

Testing and Cockroaches

Last week I had three days of CST testing. I can say I was glad it was only three days. Back in the old days when I was in elementary school, I had to go though two grueling weeks of testing. It was ten long days of filling in the little circle for the right answer. And being such a neurotic little kid (still kinda am), I had to make sure that no stray marks escaped that damn circle; and if a stray mark did happen to cross the boundary, oh boy. It would take me about an hour to move on to the next problem. I would go through three erasers a day trying to get those atom sized stray marks, seriously it was sad.

These days I don’t really worry about that anymore. I am still meticulous at filling in the circle, but if I get a stray mark, I erase it, immediately forget about it, and move on. I like to think of my reasoning as a proverb; it’s a waste of time trying to erase stray marks that aren’t even there. There, try and get whatever philosophical meaning you can out of that.

Returning from the stray mark tangent- I had to take my CST tests in my 2nd period class. For second period I have Trig and Stats, my favorite . . . not really. My assigned seat is located at the corner of the class. In this corner, my math teacher has, piled up on each other, old poster projects he used have up on the wall. Some still have the tape he used to stick them up there. Going off on another tangent-

Now my school, not for the sake of bad mouthing it but for the sake of telling the truth, is infested with legions of cockroaches. I kid you not, last year for extra credit in my Algebra 2 class I tried to kill about a good fifty of them in my teacher’s cupboard. I attempted everything, moving the box they were hiding behind up against a wall in order to crush them, getting a ruler and trying to cut them in half individually, nothing worked. They would just crunch and then go wriggle behind some small, unreachable crack. The whole experience was quite revolting, considering that I just tried to kill dozens of cockroaches in horrible ways and that I only received some of the badly needed extra credit.

And what in the devil does this have to do with some forgotten posters in a corner? Well I’ll tell you. For some strange reason, whether because they are attracted to it or they walk over it accidently, there are always clumps of cockroaches stuck on the pieces of tape behind the posters. From what I’ve heard and from what I’ve experienced, cockroaches are resilient as hell. They stay there for days, without sustenance, slowly withering away, while they try to pull themselves from the tape.

Their efforts are truly . . . commendable. Though they are doomed, they don’t know it. All they know is that they must fight to survive. It’s so natural and simple and true. They’re lowly creatures but yet they have this innate will to live. In my first day of CST testing, I took the English portion. It had its share of poetry and during one of the testing breaks, I was inspired to immortalize the plight of the cockroach into the aesthetic confines of a poem.

And so here it is, my tribute to the six-legged arthropod.

“Of a Cockroach Stuck on a Piece Tape Behind a Poster Board”

Or simply.

“Ode to a Taped Cockroach”

The poor taped cockroach
Trapped by the adhesiveness of man’s ingenuity
Feels the cold grasp of death encroach

As it shuffles and shambles in futility
Its jet black exoskeleton reflects the fluorescent light
Flashing its distress and anguish for all to see

Compared to God it is a joke, but with all its insect might
It instinctually struggles and strives to break free

So bravo cockroach. Kudos to you and all of your other friends. May the memory of your persistence live on in these lines of words. Life is precious, even if you’re a cockroach stuck on a piece of tape.

Brought to you by a much larger cockroach,
Charlie Days