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Did Ya? by Matt Tracy I wonder if anyone ever thought of any of the stuff I propose? [597 words]
Turning Fifty by Danny I. Spitler The author takes a reflective look at reaching the half century mark. [999 words]
The Morning Shower by Danny I. Spitler Does anyone else suffer these issues associated with the morning shower? [940 words]
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The Demented Monologue Of A Downright Imbecile by Crazy Clown Another display of foolishness and inanity, from the one who can... [1,246 words]
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Dragonball Z - Akira Toryama's Drug Trip? by Crazy Clown An essay worthy of the label of Crazy Clown, about the sheer ludicrou... [989 words]
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Bruce Willis: One Of The Sexiest Men Alive by L Chapman - [176 words]
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Screw Common Sense
Food Stamp Day by L Chapman - [247 words]
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Screw Common Sense
It's a college essay thingy. I was just reading some sample essays and got an urge to write my own. dunno why. hope you enjoy it.
[993 words]
Michael Hunter
I'm half Korean, I love music, composing and performing. I play basketball in my spare time, and love to write. I especially love the fantasy genre, but I write and read in other areas too.
[April 2000]
[email protected]
3 Riddles (Poetry) I wrote these riddles for my Medieval Literature class. I was only supposed to do one, but I had so much fun that I decided to do two more. The second riddle is the only one that relates to medieval... [180 words]
I Am You (Poetry) I dunno. you figure it out. I'm tired. [36 words] [Psychology]
Invisible (Poetry) A little something I wrote on a bad day. Any comments would be welcome. [196 words]
Late Night Ranter (Short Stories) Haven't written here in 4 years. Suddenly felt this urge to write. Maybe cause I have homework to do.. [314 words]
Perfection (Essays) Another "college essay". These things are starting to tick me off. Anyway, I decided to go a different route and tried a philosophical angle, which I've never really done before. So if you start ge... [452 words]
Ramblings Of A Crazy Dude (Essays) hee hee. I can write whatever I want in here! bwa ha. Unfortunately, I can't think of anything clever to say. damn. [629 words] [Humor]
Stop Your Complaining (Poetry) This doesn't strike me as a particularly novel idea, still, after another day of listening to almost all my friends' gripings I felt the need to write. It just seems that everything nowadays is a soa... [151 words]
The Beginning Of A Hero (Short Stories) Well, it's in the fantasy genre. Hum. It's pretty much self-explanatory, it's the prologue to a novel I'm beginning to write. I just wanted to get some opinions on what needs improvement. I know i... [894 words]
Screw Common Sense
Michael Hunter

I am not an especially outspoken person. I spend time with my friends and participate in class, but I tend to be more quiet than most of my friends. So when I was completely surrounded by strangers at the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in Boston, I was practically mute. But strangely enough, when our faculty advisor, Tamra, asked if any of us wanted to represent the Spock Group at a talent show on Friday, I found myself slowly raising my hand. “Oh, great Mike,” she said smiling, “what are you going to do for the talent show?” Suddenly I found the entire Spock group looking directly at me. Smiling nervously, I mumbled, “I guess I’ll play the violin.” Everyone gave me this sort of quizzical look, as if to say “who the heck are you, and when did you join our group?” I just sort of slid back in my chair, waiting to disappear into comfortable darkness of anonymity again.

I hadn’t actually brought my violin with me to the Forum, but luckily my parents were picking up my sister from Brown and said they could bring it while they were in the area. However, I had a small problem: I hadn’t been able to practice for the past five days. The only piece anywhere near performance level at the time was the Tchaikowsky Violin Concerto, which is widely considered by the musical community to be one of the hardest violin concertos of all time. Even before I had left the Forum, the concerto was far from perfect. So I was faced with a dilemma, to play an incredibly hard piece after not having practiced for five days, or to change my name and move to Mexico. Every bit of my common sense was urging me just to drop it and relax in my relative obscurity.

My parents arrived on the day of the talent show. They dropped off my violin and a few other essentials I had forgotten to bring (like soap). And while I was incredibly thankful that they had brought my violin, I found myself to be in a little bit of a jam. I had approximately twenty minutes before the show. That left precious little time to practice like I had planned, or to take a shower with actual soap (gasp!). So I quickly jumped in the shower, and then dashed off to the auditorium with my violin.

I arrived breathless, with hair soppy and wet and covered in a sheen of newly acquired sweat from my jog. I had just taken my violin from its case when one of the faculty advisors seemingly appeared out of nowhere and said “You’re on,” pushing me onto the stage with a grin.

When my eyes had finally adjusted to the glare of the stage lights, I was overcome with a sudden urge to curl up and die. The auditorium was absolutely filled to the brim. There were approximately 400 students who had gone to the forum, but I swear there were at least 600 people in that auditorium. I can only imagine what I looked like, hair all over the place, covered in sweat, holding an instrument that most kids nowadays would probably mistake for a shrunken guitar.

Summoning up my courage, I raised my voice and said, “I’m going to play the Tchaik-hrmp-, ‘scuse me, Tchaikowsky Violin Concerto”, with an audible crack in my voice. Someone in the back yelled “What’d you say?”, as a collective smattering of giggles rolled through the audience. “Uh, never mind,” I said, and trying to ignore my little blunder placed the bow on my violin and quickly started to play.

I closed my eyes, focused my mind, and gave what was probably, the single most horrible performance of my entire life. Every passage I had practiced at home, every note I had tried to play to perfection, came out to what sounded to me like a warbling screech. Halfway through this episode from a nightmare, just before a particularly difficult section, that little voice of “common sense” piped up from the back of my mind. “See, I told you so you big showoff, you’ll never be able to pull this piece off in public, you’ll never make it, just give up before you embarrass yourself anymore.” But I gritted my teeth, and managed to finish the rest of the piece without too many mistakes.

I had finally finished. It seemed that those nagging thoughts had plagued me throughout my entire performance, like “this piece is too long”, “they won’t like classical music”, “you’re giving off a very peculiar odor”, and “you need another shower”. When my bow left the violin for the last time, I looked up and for the briefest of instants, it seemed to me that they were so bored with my performance that they wouldn’t even applaud. But the moment vanished the instant the clapping started.

The clapping was so loud it actually hurt my ears, and as my eyes pierced the darkness of the auditorium I realized that absolutely everyone in the auditorium was on their feet cheering for me. I looked up to the balcony, and saw my Spock group on their feet, chanting “Spock rocks, Spock rocks!”. I bowed slowly, smiling from ear to ear, and walked off the stage to the congratulations of my fellow performers.

The next day, everyone knew my name. I spoke up confidently in class all the time, every time comfortable with my ideas and the knowledge that they would be received. I made some friends on that Forum that I will never, ever forget. But most important of all, I learned that sometimes it’s best to just ignore common sense and to have some fun.

If you have any comments or suggestions, don't hesitate to e-mail me. Unless they're mean. Or demeaning. Or criticize my work of art in any way whatsoever.




"Hm. You sound like a very interesting person, just by reading your most creative and unique short-bio. I almost didn't read your story, but I decided with a title like "Screw Common Sense" and an author with a gila moster as a dad or whatever, I finally decided if nothing else I would at LEAST get a smile out of the mess. But I was wrong, at least enough to admit it, I think. If this is a true story, it doesn't matter, because you had a semi-interesting story to begin with, well phrased sentences, good spelling, and even a few smiles (I usually never admit that). Good job." -- Kimberly De Liz.
"Michael, "You done good!" Both the essay and the violin (that's a tough piece) " -- Dick Koss.
"I too am a very shy person, and I have a tough time getting up infront of people. I understand the hardships of being a mute with no social skills. I thought your story was very inspiring to me because I am able to relate to your experience, and now maybe I can someday get the courage to speak or perform in front of other people. " -- Kelly McClain, Normal, IL, USA.


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© 2000 Michael Hunter
September 2000

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