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English 10: Teacher Writing   November 1, 2000

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Teacher Writing Samples:
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Autumn Goals Paragraph
A Difficult Freedom
Essay on Teaching and Learning
Boilerplate Sample
Folktale: The Refusal
"If I'd Been on the Train"
A Foolish Language Learner
Keeping Burglars Away (Essay)
Life Without TV (Essay)
More Sample Essays
On Freedom
Persuasive Writing
A Real Jam
Sample Standard  Essay
Short Short: The Bike
Solving Student Cheating
The Senses: Walking on Autumn Days
Solving School Cheating
A Summer Lesson
Two Essays in Revision
Using Past Unreal: The Witch
Writing a Mood: Lingkuan Gorge
Writing: Using Gerunds


The following is a short short story written according to a set assignment, using the story, "The Trout," as an example. The first draft follows. Additions or changes are bolded. See the Guided Revision worksheet.

The Bike

The day, like most that summer, dawned bright and hot. Children moved slowly, spending time in the shade as much as possible. The forecast called for another week in the high 30's and, without air conditioning, many people were finding it difficult to sleep. John, who had turned ten in the spring, was looking for something to do, something that didn't require too much movement.

The idea occurred to him that a good book, one suitable for reading under the backyard maple, would be just the thing. John loved to read, imagining himself a knight in shining armour, or a prince who rescues the fairy princess. He went to see his mother, who was in the kitchen, kneading the bread dough on the table, her hands moving in an easy rhythm.

"Mom, can I ride my bike over to the library to get a book?"

"Are you sure?" It's awfully hot out today. You know how hot and sweaty you get when you ride your bike."

"Yeah, Mom, but I'm so bored I just have to find a book."

"Okay, then, be back in time for lunch. The bread will be out of the oven by then!"

As he wheeled his bicycle out of the driveway, he heard his mom call out, "Don't forget to lock it!" She was such a worrier he thought to himself. Really, what could happen at that little library in his small prairie town?

As he rode, sweat trickled down until his shirt stuck fast to his back. When he arrived at the library, he leaned his bike against the railing and, ignoring his mother's advice, didn't bother to lock it. He'd only be a minute, he reasoned, and so he could avoid standing in the hot sun, fiddling with the combination lock, trying to thread the chain through the railing.

The library was deliciously cool, filled with the distinct odour of books. Lost in the stacks, John spent longer than he'd imagined choosing just the right book for that backyard tree. He waited patiently for his turn, and watched as the librarian fed his card through the Recordak machine.

As he passed out the door, he saw his bike moving down the sidewalk. Walking beside it was an older boy, perhaps fifteen years old.

"Hey! That's my bike! What do you think you're doing?"

"It's mine. It's my bike. It's mine."

It became clear to John that this boy, although large, was a simple lad, one of those boys who went to the special class at school, who he had laughed at with his friends on the playground.

"Give it back! It's not yours. Please. . .?"

He felt angry with this boy and his unreasonable assertion that the bike was his own. What could he do? He wasn't at all sure how to deal with him.

"Tell me, where did you get that bike?"

"I'm not telling! You can't make me tell you, so there!"

"No, if that bike's yours, you can tell me where you got it."

The older boy considered this for a moment, but still held tightly to the handlebars. At that, John surprised himself. Taking a step toward the boy, he grabbed hold of his bike.

"This bike is mine. You'll have to give it back to me."

Surprised by this show of authority, the other boy let go. With that John jumped on and rode as home as quickly as he dared. When he arrived, to the sweet smell of freshly baked bread, his mother asked him if he'd found a good book. John answered, of course he had, but didn't mention the incident with the boy at all. He felt strangely important, however, and a bit older somehow, but he couldn't quite put his finger on why.

Word count: 630 (42 more than draft 1)

Paragraphs: 21 (corrected for dialogue)

Written by Brad Hyde, November 1, 2000 Back to top

The Bike

The day, like most that summer, dawned bright and hot. Children moved slowly, spending time in the shade as much as possible. John, who had turned ten in the spring, was looking for something to do, something that didn’t require too much movement. The idea occurred to him that a good book, one suitable for reading under the backyard maple, would be just the thing. John loved to read, imagining himself in the story, especially if it involved a hero or some other strong character. His mother was in the kitchen, kneading the bread dough on the table, her hands moving in an easy rhythm.

“Mom, can I ride my bike over to the library to get a book?” 

“Are you sure?” “It’s awfully hot out today.” 

“Yeah, Mom, I’m so bored I just have to find a book”

 “Okay, then, be back in time for lunch.” “The bread will be out of the oven by then!”

As he wheeled his bicycle out of the driveway, he heard his mom call out, “Don’t forget to lock it!” She was such a worrier he thought to himself. Really, what could happen at that little library in his small prairie town?

As he rode, sweat trickled down until his shirt stuck fast to his back. When he arrived at the library, he leaned his bike against the railing and, ignoring his mother’s advice, didn’t bother to lock it. He’d only be a minute, he reasoned, and so he could avoid standing in the hot sun, fiddling with the combination lock, trying to thread the chain through the railing.

The library was deliciously cool, filled with the distinct odour of books. Lost in the stacks, John spent longer than he’d imagined choosing just the right book for that backyard tree. He waited patiently for his turn, and watched as the librarian fed his card through the Recordak machine.

As he passed out the door, he saw his bike moving down the sidewalk. Walking beside it was an older boy, perhaps fifteen years old.

“Hey! That’s my bike! What do you think you’re doing?”

 “It’s mine. It’s my bike. It’s mine.”

It became clear to John that this boy, although large, was a simple lad, one of those boys who went to the special class at school, who he had laughed at with his friends on the playground.

“Give it back! It’s not yours. Please. . .?”

He felt angry with this boy and his unreasonable assertion that the bike was his own. What could he do? He wasn’t at all sure how to deal with him.

“Tell me, where did you get that bike?” “I’m not telling!”
 “No, if that bike’s yours, you can tell me where you got it.”

The older boy considered this for a moment, but still held tightly to the handlebars. At that, John surprised himself. Taking a step toward the boy, he grabbed hold of his bike.

“This bike is mine. You’ll have to give it back to me.”

Surprised by this show of authority, the other boy let go. With that John jumped on and rode home as quickly as he dared. When he arrived, to the sweet smell of freshly baked bread, his mother asked him if he’d found a good book. John answered, of course he had, but didn’t mention the incident with the boy at all. He felt strangely important, however, and a bit older somehow, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on why.

Word count: 582

Paragraphs: 13

Written on October 26, 2000 by Brad Hyde (in class; first draft writing) Back to top

 

 

 

 

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