Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Story By The Numbers – Introduction

Filed under: Musings on Being a Writer — Laura Moncur @ 10:45 am

Fri 11/08/02 7:35 am

To: Mrs. Apgood, Kennedy Junior High School

My name is Laura Lund Moncur. I was in your eighth grade Honors English class in the 1982-1983 school year. I don’t know if you still do this, but you gave us a creative writing assignment called something like, Story By The Numbers. You made us choose three random scenarios that we had to include in a story. I can only remember two of the three random items I had chosen for my story. My story was supposed to have a mailman as a character and have someone be told that they were going to die. I was at a loss. I tried to write that story, but it was the only assignment that I never turned in during the entire year for your class.

Unlike the many assignments that I blew off during my scholastic career, this one haunts me. I have thought of this assignment many times over the last twenty years (My God, has it been that long!). Twenty years have past and I’m still thinking about my unfinished Story By The Numbers.

There is a cartoon show called Daria which used to play on MTV, but now plays on Noggin. I watched an episode of it last month and Daria’s English teacher, Mr. O’Neill, assigned her a special project where she had to write a story using characters that she knew in real life. She was having trouble, so she went back to him. He told her that sometimes boundaries paradoxically free our minds. The limitation that he put on her story was that there had to be a card game. I immediately flashed back to my unfinished assignment.

In an effort to exorcise the demon of The Story By The Numbers, I finally wrote it. I threw in the card game limitation because I couldn’t remember my third random bit. I’m sure I could have written this and felt relief if I hadn’t turned it in to you, but I thought that you might like to hear from a former student. Ironically, I married Mike Moncur (another one of your students from the same year). We’ve talked about that assignment together several times. He has no demons because he turned his in and promptly forgot it.

I’ve attached my Story By Numbers as a Word document to this email. May you have a wonderful life. Thank you for being in mine. Say hi to Miss Cooper for me.

Laura Lund Moncur

How fun to hear from you!!! I can’t believe it was that long ago that you were here at Kennedy. I remember you so vividly. You were so cute…..and always smiling. I remember Mike, also. He was such a good kid. I hope he still is!!! I think when you have a catchy name like Laura Lund (both names starting with the same letter…..alliteration, remember?!) and Mike Moncur we tend to remember them easier.

Your story is great!!! It is so well written…..story line, sentence structure, punctuation, everything! You grew up good….and smart!! You get an A+ on it!! (Ask Mike if I ever gave him an A+ on an assignment!!!)

Thank you so much for contacting me! It was so fun to hear from you. I will tell Ms. Cooper about you. Good luck with all your endeavors. Tell Mike to behave himself and always mind you!!!

Mrs. Apgood


1 Comment »

  1. I thought this was a great story. Imagine if we got assignments from our students years later. We might have even forgotten assigning it!

    Comment by Pat — 2/15/2008 @ 9:13 am

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