Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Chalkboard Scribbles This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
Scribbles on the chalkboard. That’s all that was really there, some shapes probably, numbers and some math symbols. He knew them all – not like it was a foreign language. It was just kind of pointless. It wasn’t even a chalkboard; it was a whiteboard. But chalkboards were more poetic. It flowed better, anyway. He let that thought swirl around his mind for a bit. Sort of like the mysterious liquid they gave you instead of wine on Thanksgiving when you were a kid.

Well not really, especially since he knew what the liquid was (sparkling cider) and thoughts don’t swirl. At least they didn’t for him. They just hung there, more like old rusty thumbtacks that hold up papers for a few days then pop out of the corkboard. Yeah, sort of like that. He let his thoughts drift. Considering they were rusty thumbtacks that were bound to pop anyway, he sort of let them hang for a bit then sink away somewhere. Oblivion perhaps.

Suddenly a hand touched his shoulder, he was half pulled out of his thoughts, staring at the whiteboard; he realized he hadn’t blinked in far too long. His eyes were watering.

“Zack, I would appreciate it if you’d pay attention,” the owner of the hand hissed. Oh yeah. Math. That’s right. Some variation of some useless formula was what the symbols and scribbles on the whiteboard were. He nodded, slightly, as if he didn’t really mean it. Because he didn’t mean it at all.

His mind was elsewhere, preoccupied with words, not numbers. Although he now seemed enraptured by the strange markings on the board, he didn’t actually care. He mentally laughed at his own thoughts, if he laughed in the physical sense, people would stare at him, probably snicker behind his back at some untold joke. Again, not that he cared, it was just kind of annoying, you know? No, you probably don’t.

He let his mind make the popping of rusty thumbtacks its priority. Did they make a sound? He’d have to figure it out, do some sort of scientific report on it or something. Win a Nobel Prize for it. What a clever little boy. No more snickering behind his back. He laughed, this time physically. Luckily the sound was drowned out by the fourth bell, the one that meant lunch. He snagged his iPod from his messenger bag and trotted, yeah, like a horse, off to the lunch room.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





Join the Discussion


This article has 125 comments. Post your own!

aduke9 said...
May 6, 2012 at 12:39 am:
I loved it! You are a wonderful writer.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
FreedomIsMyVirtue said...
Apr. 14, 2012 at 2:03 am:
I really like this piece and I think this is beautifully written. Although I kind of like Math, I like this article too. Good job!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
all.of.the.colors. said...
Mar. 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm:
The personality of character shines quite nicely in your story. :) Excellent work. 
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Lillie M. said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 11:06 am:
You really get a sense of who the character is from this piece, without you really having to say much at all. This is amazing.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
thebrighterparts said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:42 am:
At first I felt like the way it was written was a little strange, but when I reached the end it fit precisely. And just having been in a droning, boring math class in which I was drifting in and out of attentiveness, it is very fitting indeed.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Jamers_smile said...
Jan. 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm:
the way this was written... it's just too good for words. the tone is completely perfect and you can totally understand how uninterested he is in math. I love it. Simply love it. The character has so much depth to him in such a little space.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
SanGes said...
Jan. 7, 2012 at 8:36 am:
I'm going to see chalkboards and whiteboards from a different perspective now! U made them seem more interesting.
 
Bat-Mobile This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 17, 2012 at 4:41 am :
I love the way this is written, so airy and lackadaisical. Very much like one would feel in a boring math class.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Meaghan_Elise said...
Dec. 28, 2011 at 5:52 pm:
You're really an amazing author(: Your details and descriptiveness keep it very interesting. You write very well. I like it:D
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Micky21098 said...
Dec. 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm:
AMAZING!!! I love the way the character thinks, kind of like the way i do, but slightly different. Great job and i really love this story!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
lilirose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 22, 2011 at 8:45 am:
This is really good work. Well done, I liked it a lot :)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Emiri said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 10:02 am:
This shows honesty in teh things that we usually can't describe, so we don't. You know what I mean? I like it, anyhow.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Jappyalldayeveryday said...
Nov. 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm:
You have developed a really good character and you write so well! Please add a plot? Not trying to be mean, I just think it would be amazing with one.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
CaeCae97 said...
Oct. 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm:
I really like the sarcasm, also, and have felt like this at times. Keep writing!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Gingersnap777 said...
Oct. 21, 2011 at 8:46 am:
I really enjoyed the cynic/sarcastic attitude, I thought you brought that across very well, creating an airtight narration.  Your style is also very artistically executed; the "stream of consciousness" feel really drew me right into the mind of the narrator.  Great job!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
wisher14 said...
Sept. 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm:
I can definately relate to this article!  I am like this all of the time, actually, and its really cool to read a piece i can relate so much to since there is not many people who get this lost in thought and can understand what it's like.  I totally got what the character was going through and truely loved it!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Mickey_D said...
Sept. 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm:

When I read this, I thought of a second place prize dog that knows plenty of tricks, but can't feed itself or breathe.

 

I get the poetry, but I don't see the relevance, nor the meaning.

 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
heather_marie said...
Sept. 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm:
I love the way you desribed what he was thinking in the way most of us think. really good details a fav of mine!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
mercebeinyata said...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 9:45 pm:

I kind of enjoyed the blissful state that the boy was somewhat in. Even though I cannot relate to daydreaming in math class, I understand the pondering mentality that the boy is experiencng.

By the way, I am starting this new game called Big Words. You start by reading my short story called "Purple-face Tom" (sorry to latently advertise, but it gets better). Once you read my short story, you post one comment using a fancy word. Just put the fancy word that you use in bold so tha... (more »)

 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Kirsten L. said...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 7:59 pm:
I really like the character, and I understand how he feels about math. It's hard not to daydream in that class... XD
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback