On Wednesdays I have the pleasure of showcasing what a group of 8th grade students are working on in Lisa Herschberger's English class in Goshen, Indiana. We started by writing back and forth to each other about the books we are reading, but now the students are working on something called a "snapshot." It's a short piece that attemtps to give the reader a picture of a moment in that writer's life. I'm inspired after reading what the kids write, so I try and write a snapshot along with them in my post.
Today, we're talking about sports. Brady writes a suspenseful piece about a basketball shot that never was. It's a fun read. You'll be rooting for him as you read it, and laughing with him at the end.
"Here we go," I think to myself as Peter inbounds the ball. We are playing Northside, and there's seven seconds to go in the half. I sprint up court; I'm counting the seconds. The defender smells of sweat. His hand shoots out to try and take the ball. I cross over and keep on going, not much time left. The sweat is running down my face and into my mouth. My eyes are stinging from sweat and weariness. Three seconds. I have just passed half court. Another defender comes to take my ball, but he is too late. I jump and shoot it. The ball flies through the air, it is an orange blur.
Then everybody on our team, including the parents, busts out laughing, even some people from the other team. The ball landed in the bars that hold up the basketball hoop; about ten feet above the hoop. I say, "Sorry, next time I won't jump."
I look up at my dad to see that he is shaking his head and laughing, too.
Brady, my friend, my heart goes out to you. I've been there many times. Here's my snapshot:
I knocked my front tooth out playing softball when I was in fourth grade. My team, The Hornets, were tied with the other team whose name I can't remember. When it was my turn at bat, my teammates started cheering, "Callie! Callie! Callie!" What do they call the players that clean up in innings? Garbage men? Sweepers? Grocery clerks? Yea, well, that was me. I was a slugger. You could count on me to bring in runs. So it was no surprise when I hit one way out past center field.
The crowd went nuts and I took off running, winking at my parents as I rounded first base. It was going to be an easy home run, or so I thought. As I rounded third base and headed for home, the center fielder threw the ball to the second baseman, who threw it to the catcher. The ball was midway to the catcher as I ran to the plate. I knew I was going to have to slide if I stood a chance, so I took my last steps and flew into the air, headfirst into home. At the same time, the catcher jumped to make the catch, and we collided. My face hit her plastic knee pad and my tooth cracked right off. Lucky for me, though, our collision knocked the catcher off balance and she lost sight of the ball and fell over. I, on the other hand, landed safely at home, winning the game for the team.
None of that is true. I did get my tooth knocked out, and it was during a softball game, but I wasn't playing. I was sitting in the dugout writing my name in the dirt with my shoe. I did have my batting helmet on, however. When I realized what was happening, I jumped and cheered with the rest of my teammates even though I was kind of annoyed I didn't get a chance to finish writing my name in the dirt. Katie, the superstar of the day, ran into the dugout after jumping on home plate, and was bombarded with congratulations. I went to say "Great job" or whatever it is you say in these circumstances. For all I know it's, "Batter up!" Somehow I tripped and fell head first into Katie's batting helmet, thus cracking my front tooth. I should've just finished writing my name in the dirt.
If you'd like to try your hand at a snapshot, leave a comment on this post with your blog link so I can refer to it on next Wednesday's post.