It’s Thursday Quick-Write day on Teachers Write, and your guest author is the fabulous Mike Jung. Mike is the author of GEEKS, GIRLS, AND SECRET IDENTITIES, UNIDENTIFIED SUBURBAN OBJECT, and the forthcoming THE BOYS IN THE BACK ROW. He’s also contributed essays to the anthologies DEAR TEEN ME, BREAK THESE RULES, 59 REASONS TO WRITE, and the forthcoming (DON’T) CALL ME CRAZY. Mike is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books™, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family.
I’ve spent my share of time in waiting rooms, as has anyone with the resources and good fortune to have access to health care, and they’re places with a distinctly complex blend of emotions relating to the past, present, and future all at once. A child waits for her very first dental appointment, knowing that her teeth were just on every previous day, thank you very much, not really liking the animated movie that’s showing on the TV screen up in a corner of the ceiling, and feeling nervous that her immediate future might include some drilling; a couple with matching white gold bands on their fingers sits on the edge of a waiting room couch, feeling the aches in their joints, clutching a bouquet of orchids in a long box and an oversized teddy bear, visibly impatient to meet their new granddaughter; a college student slumps in a hard plastic waiting room chair, staring blankly at his phone, hating his father for refusing to give up the cigarettes that gave him lung cancer, and drowning in guilt for feeling that hatred when his father’s on the verge of death.
Your Assignment: Think up a situation in which a character is waiting in such a room. Are they there for an appointment or an emergency? Are they there alone? If not, did they bring someone there, or are they arriving to see someone who’s already there? What might happen once they leave the waiting room? And here’s the pot of gold: when they sit down in that waiting room and start to wait in earnest, what’s the very first thought that goes through their mind? Spend a little time writing in response to this prompt, and then feel free to share a snippet of your writing for today in the comments if you’d like!