My Paper Is Like an Onion This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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The obnoxious green lights blink at me, laughing at my expense – all too delighted that I have only three hours left to turn in my English paper. I’ve lost track of how long I have been relentlessly rewording the same sentence. The cursor stunts my ideas, making them more insignificant with each mocking flash. I just can’t force the words to come, although a little Houdini word magic would be nice. Until they ­decide to make an appearance, I’m engrossed in an intense game of Internet Mahjong. Unfortunately, I’ve never been skilled at matching tiles.

My game is terminated after a pitiful three minutes and 42 seconds, and my attention turns to the camera on my silver monitor. Using its many features, I take 35 pictures of myself with a flaming head. My computer records my voice, playing it back with various ­effects: robot, kid, old man. My favorite is the munchkin. I spend hours doing a solo reenactment of “The Wizard of Oz.”

My dad was nervous about buying me a fancy new computer. He thought it would make me lose my focus. It doesn’t. It just serves as entertainment while I wait for the right words to come.

Writing papers is a most tedious business – like peeling an onion. I really want the perfectly peeled center, but I have to go through innumerable layers that seem excessively tedious. I’ll start to peel a layer or two: thesis and introductory paragraph. Soon I have to stop because the scent of the onion thoroughly permeates the membranes of my poor eyeballs, causing my tears to momentarily blind me. My brain is bereft of all will to continue.

How can I work if I can’t think properly? Inevitably, I take a break for a few hours to regain full motor capability, then return to the kitchen and my computer to peel a few more layers. After hours of agony, I have an onion peeled to exquisite perfection. However, in the hours spent trying to peel the onion, I have wasted precious moments of my life. Instead, if I were to let a professional chef peel it, and then give me the onion I desired, my time and efforts would not be wasted.

So why must I be forced to waste my life writing papers about the Mississippi River in the rhetorical style, when I could just as easily ­enjoy an essay already written? Whoever coined the phrase “The journey is more valuable than the final destination” was a Schmuck. With a capital S. Destination always trumps journey, unless the ­destination is someplace weird. Like my uncle’s manure farm. I’ve never been a fan of that particular destination.

In any case, I have an essay due in three hours. I still don’t know what to write about.

I hate onions.

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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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

Fattymcspanky said...
Jan. 13, 2009 at 7:00 pm
I thought you did very well.



I know i would have never been able to write this paper but it took long enough just to think of this comment
 
tweedle dee said...
Dec. 18, 2008 at 2:48 am
ha ha ha i love it it's great!!! felt that way before!
 
Hannah said...
Dec. 12, 2008 at 1:59 am
Ha-Ha I love it! Onions!
 
bakerchick said...
Nov. 23, 2008 at 1:32 am
wow. that is all i have to say and i hope it sums up my amazement that some one could write something so well, WOW. great job jasline you dont know me just in case you were wondering
 
aubrey_the_author said...
Oct. 21, 2008 at 12:11 am
OMG!! This is SO amazing! I love your style of writing; not too many big words, but enough vocabulary to make it interesting and a reading level that teenagers can enjoy. I think the paper and the onion is a great metaphor; and it actually makes sense! This story really kept my interst. And it's really not a story, but more of an... explanation, I guess you could put it. It's saying how boring this essay is. I've been in that situation before. Speaking of which, it's relative to real life, and... (more »)
 
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