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

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.

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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!
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 »)

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
zadiekatie23 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 5:46 pm
Hey, this was a great article; I loved reading it because I could connect to the absentminded thoughts that were at the same time deep and focused. Great job, once again, I enjoyed reading this!
Brin11 said...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm
I agree, there were so many contradictions and metaphors it made it seem like you were actually looking into his thoughts. I like the way he thinks- kind of absent  minded and philisophical all at the same time.
awesomeaugust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm
your style is strong! and I love the fact that you've created a whole persona in this shoud make something longer out of this!
Lola_Black said...
Aug. 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm
Nice! Very good descriptions of what goes on in the character's head! And as for the second to last paragraph, yes I do know!
Harebelle This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm
You have a really great voice! I like how you describe the character's mind wandering to all sorts of random things!
LifeWrite This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm
I love this! The writing was great--it has this rhythm, this voice--and that is just how I feel in math!!!
TAR11 said...
Jul. 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm
Cool story please check out mine, Sean Flynn, if you get the chance thanks! 
Randum said...
Jul. 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm
Really good. Thats how I feel in math.
blueandorange This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 3, 2011 at 3:07 pm
Very Good!
Curly_Sue said...
Jun. 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm
Cute. Awesome. Really liked it. Really interesting. Something anyone can connect with. Especially me. Math is rather boring. At least I think so. Great article. Great read. (And my thoughts do swirl lol)
DisicpleofChristandJesusEnthusiast said...
Jun. 11, 2011 at 9:06 am
OH MY GOSH! This is AMAZING! This is my FAVORITE Piece EVER on Teenink! GREAT JOB!!
Krikette This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 11, 2011 at 12:31 am



Aamna said...
Apr. 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm
I really enjoyed this piece. the idea of the thumbtacks is genius!! I tottally understand this person's dislike for math :)  please check out my story called Precarious pursuit
RockGirl182 said...
Apr. 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm
Really good, today i think i fell asleep in math soo i really liked this. good job, nice word choice :)
InvisibleNerdGirl said...
Mar. 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm
This is awesome! :D I was feeling EXACTLY like this in math class today. Only my thoughts aren't really like thumbtacks, they're more like clouds or perhaps birds... or maybe cars in those commercials where the fine print reads "CLOSED COURSE. DO NOT ATTEMPT..."
skyblue95 said...
Mar. 15, 2011 at 12:20 pm
I loved your use of imagery in this! You're an awesome writer, and I wish I could be that good. Could you check out some of my stuff please? Thanks and keep writing!
WritesforJesus said...
Feb. 21, 2011 at 9:34 pm
I love this,I think a lot of people on here can relate to it considering Math and English/writing are opposite sides of the brain lol Great job!
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