Different Views

By | August 9, 2011


At the end of our third class, Brendan asked everyone present to write “three-word stories.” The first word an adjective describing the writer’s emotions at the moment. The second an item that the writer would rescue if their house were to burn down. The third, the writer’s favorite type of weather. What was most surprising was what each person wrote for the first word. As I saw the page reading “frustrated, overwhelmed, nostalgic, optimistic, disoriented, joyful, fear, frustrated (again), and confused” I was a little overwhelmed and disoriented myself! Why were there so many words with negative connotations? Brendan stated the same concerns, but we went to writing anyway.

After about twenty minutes writing, Mary read her story, which served as a response to our bewilderment.

Mary Pop-in



You thought that this is a negative thought. No it isn’t!

I’m grateful to be overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed with people to have conversation with

Overwhelmed with all my books I didn’t read yet

(I like books. Books are my friends)

Overwhelmed at the places I have not visited

(Some I of which I really don’t want to go)

Overwhelmed at the emails I didn’t answer

(So glad you have my email address!)

Overwhelmed with the love I have to give

Overwhelmed at the things I need to organize

Overwhelmed with the goals not completed

Overwhelmed with having so many hats!

How many hats can you imagine? I love hats!

Overwhelmed with so many bags

What is in the bags? Informative resources!

Overwhelmed with joy, happiness, caring, and sharing.

I’m just not a writer, but I enjoy using my pen.

Overwhelmed with too much stuff.

Thank God for letting me be overwhelmed!

It is a positive!

What a delightful surprise! And it was a surprise. Whenever I hear a word like “overwhelmed,” I am programmed to think of my nights overwhelmed with essays that I procrastinated writing. But Mary’s story really got me thinking, wouldn’t it be worse to not be overwhelmed even just a little bit? That staggering kind of boredom is exactly why I see that overwhelmed is a good feeling for Mary.

This second story written by Adeola is another example how something can seem completely different based on how one reads it. You’ll know what I mean when you get to the end:

Adeola James


Weird Trip

I knew a young lady, she was around twenty three years of age, lively, adventurous, and always trying things out. For example, she would jump on a train in Paris and since the fare can take you anywhere, she would stay on the train until it reached its final stop. When she got out of the train, she would find herself in the country area with nobody in sight. She would just walk around until she found a quiet place, stay there for a while, enjoying the silence and the beauty, later she would pack her bag and jump on the train t return to her student abode in the St. Antony student quarters.

That young lady had many lucky breaks, visiting many places that way. But one day her luck almost ran out. She had the weirdest trip of her life. She was traveling by train from Edinburg to London. She had to change train in York, an old English city where the Romans built a wall that encircled the city. Since Janet has about six hours wait for her next train, she decided to walk around the city on the Roman wall. How crazy can you be!

She started one mile, two, three miles. It was a dull day and it was getting towards evening. Each mile took her further away from the city center into remote areas. Then all of a sudden, from nowhere at all, appeared a man who greeted her, told her he was a photographer and would like to take her photograph if she would just pose for him. She was fearful as no one was within sight and the wall was high, jumping down was not an option. So she had no choice but to agree. The unexpected happened, this gentleman started to unbutton her top attire. The young woman began to beg him; he took out a knife from his pocket. The young woman did not cease to beg. Then she looked down and saw two police officers. This rascal might have noticed them, but suddenly he took flight. There are angels all around, indeed. Disoriented, this young woman said her prayers and continued walking until she reached a safe place to get off the wall.

How do we get to know about life? Would you consider this young woman brave or stupid or simply crazy? Or just young and trusting? I leave you to judge. She had a narrow escape that day which still makes her shiver whenever she thinks of that experience.

Adeola’s story of a young girl really does force the brain to think! If one reads the story thinking Janet was brave, stupid, crazy, or young and trusting, it really does change it greatly.

This class was great because it really left me in a very contemplative mood. So I leave you to further contemplate on your own. (Add a comment, if you’d like!) And remember, Everything is not as it seems.

Magritte's classic painting


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