Trivia

Trivia

A Story by Laura Marie
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I'm using this story for my Harvard School of Creative Writing Application and I need feedback.

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Trivia 


“Quiet! Honestly you guys, you all should be happy I am even letting you play this trivia game,” said Mr. Blisk frustrated, his fingers combing through his hair as he rolled his eyes at our fourth hour history class for what seemed to be the seventh time since the bell rang five minutes ago. My classmates slowly started to acknowledge our teacher’s presence and the loud, meaningless babble that had dominated the first five minutes of class faded away. 

Mr. Blisk stood at the front of the classroom behind the podium, which acted as a barrier between him and all of us rowdy juniors. He looked exceptionally tired today.

 “Okay, so we will just go around the room. You know the drill, I will ask you a trivia question. You get one guess. If you get it right you will receive ten extra credit points on the test you all basically bombed yesterday, but if you get it wrong, well, too bad. Mary, we will start with you.”

Mary stood up with a groan.

“Why do I always have to start? God, Mr. Blisk, why do you hate me?” Mary whined. 

I really did not understand why Mary Collins was in AP History. Everyday she came into class and sat in her desk whining about how stupid history is and how much she hates it. From what I could tell, Mary maybe did her homework once every two weeks, maybe.

“Who proposed The Fourteen Points at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919?” Mr. Blisk asked Mary, completely ignoring her whining.


Easy. Woodrow Wilson. 


“What kind of question is that? I don’t know who,” Mary complained, plopping down in her desk as sign off defeat.

“Not even a guess, Mary?” Mr. Blisk’s question went unanswered as Mary turned her back to talk to Maggie, another girl whose attitude towards AP History mirrored Mary’s. “Alright then. The answer is Woodrow Wilson, president of the United States in 1919. If you don’t already know that, you should. Ben, you’re up.”

Ben Kissle stood up. Everyone quieted down to pay attention because the odds of Ben saying something ridiculous were pretty high. Ben was a funny guy, at least according to seventeen-year-olds.

“Okay Ben, what caused the hyper-inflation in Germany in 1925?” Mr. Blisk asked.


It was a result of the German government’s reaction to the Ruhr Crisis. We had to read about it last quarter.


I could tell Ben was taking his time answering. He wanted everyone to be listening to him. He always wanted everyone to be listening to him. After a few moments he looked Mr. Blisk in the eye and fired out his answer.

“Prostitutes,” Ben said with a smile. The classroom burst into laughter and Ben did a little bow before taking his seat again. I didn’t laugh though. His answer didn’t even make sense.

Mr. Blisk rolled his eyes for the eighth time and ran his fingers through his hair. “Inappropriate, Ben. No more. Chris, stand up.”

Chris Powel was sleeping, of course, and Mr. Blisk’s words startled him.

“Huh?” Chris muttered, raising his head from the desk and wiping his mouth for possible drool. He literally slept through class everyday.

“If you had been paying attention like you were supposed to, Mr. Powel, you would know. Now stand up already,” Mr. Blisk said exasperated.

Chris slowly rose from his desk, looking bored. He really didn’t put effort into anything besides hockey.

Mr. Blisk flipped through his trivia cards, probably looking for an easy question to ask Chris.

“In what year did World War I break out?,” Mr. Blisk asked.


1914. Jeez, Chris did get an easy question.


Chris stood at his desk, his hands inside the pocket of his baggy sweatshirt. He stared blankly at Mr. Blisk.

“How the hell should I know?” Chris challenged. A few snickers came from my classmates and Chris took his seat.

Mr. Blisk just ignored Chris, which strangely bothered me. It’s Mr. Blisk’s classroom. He shouldn’t have to put up with kids like Chris. Or Mary and Ben for that matter. 

“Ava, you’re up,” Mr. Blisk said looking at his notes, searching for a question.

I suddenly got very nervous, my stomach plunging into my seat. I hated public speaking, but I was getting better by working with my speech therapist.


See, say, sigh, sew, sue. Whistle, missile, pistol, tinsel.


I rose from my seat and felt the eyes of my classmates on my back. They were waiting to hear me stutter. I could feel it. I lifted my head to meet Mr. Blisk’s eyes. 

“Okay Ava,” Mr. Blisk said, looking at me with a kind smile. “Who represented Italy at the Peace Talks?” 


I know this. Vittorio Orlando

.

All I had to do was say his name, but suddenly my mouth froze. I could feel my tongue becoming the tongue that couldn’t produce words; the effective tongue I had trained was slipping away.


Vittorio Orlando.


Kids began snickering and I could feel my face starting to heat up. I looked down at my feet, then up at Mr. Blisk. I could tell he was craving a correct answer and I really did not want to let him down. He looked so sad today. 


Vittorio Orlando. That’s all you have to say, Ava. Just say it right. 


“Vi-tor-tor-tor-io Or-or-lando,” I said, my tongue failing me. My classmates immediately burst out laughing and I automatically blushed. I quickly took my seat as tears started welling up in my eyes.

“Quiet! All of you! Now!” Mr. Blisk shouted, attempting to tame the roaring laughter still erupting from the classroom. “Unlike the rest of you, Ava was correct!”

“W-w-was sh-sh-she?” said, Ben cruelly. His comment resulted in another wave of roaring laughter, making the tears harder to hold in. Thankfully the bell rang to save me from further embarrassment. My classmates began to file out of Mr. Blisk’s classroom, still laughing at me, eager to tell their friends what just happened. I waited until I was the last one in the classroom. I whipped my eyes and gathered my things. As I walked past Mr. Blisk to finally leave history and go to lunch he gently grabbed my arm, stopping me.

“You truly are a bright girl, Ava. It’s just such a shame that your classmates can’t recognize true intelligence. It’s just high school, Ava, I hope you realize that.”

“I know,” I said. “It’s just trivia.”  



© 2013 Laura Marie



Author's Note

Laura Marie
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Featured Review

nice story and easy to read. i feel sorry for Ava, she tried her hardest :) just keep an eye out for little mistakes. if its for an application, spelling and grammar are important, but also don't overlook little details. such as 'am evening letting you play this trivia game' on the first line. not sure if it was meant to be there, if so... confusing. but all in all i enjoyed it!!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.



The first mistake
A band of soldiers finds diplomacy in the dreg forest comes with consequences.
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Reviews

nice story and easy to read. i feel sorry for Ava, she tried her hardest :) just keep an eye out for little mistakes. if its for an application, spelling and grammar are important, but also don't overlook little details. such as 'am evening letting you play this trivia game' on the first line. not sure if it was meant to be there, if so... confusing. but all in all i enjoyed it!!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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122 Views
1 Review
Added on January 3, 2013
Last Updated on January 5, 2013
Tags: high school, trivia, lessons, stutter, hope, life, meaning

Author

Laura Marie
Laura Marie

New Port, CA



Writing
Trivia Trivia

A Story by Laura Marie


Trivia Trivia

A Story by Laura Marie





Andrew Nelson Stewart Andrew Nelson Stewart
In poetry and to find answers of who we are while walking the ephemeral road upon cracks of pain signs leading you.