I. In the following paragraph look for the 40 different items describing the setting in the intermediate school courtyard. Put these 40 items into the following categories
Once everyone relaxed into their positions throughout the courtyard, I chose a central bench to document the world around me. Planted a few steps in front of me was multicolored playground flooring. This material was obviously chosen for its spongy texture than its visual appearance. The planned randomness was an eyesore. Orange rectangles, brown hills, blue sky, yellow stars merged together and stole every onlooker's attention.
As I continue to write, a breeze gains power in a nearby corridor. By the time it reaches me, it has stirred up the thinner leaves and distracted many of my students from their task at hand. To my left, coming down a flight of stairs, a class of munchkins footsteps can be heard. Their mouselike voices constrast significantly from the deep tones I hear from my own kids. Two sets of girls walk with hands interlocked while singing songs known more for their rhymes than their substance.
Situated in the middle of the multicolored mosaic flooring stands a plastic contraption. Standing alone, this "jungle gym" lack of sharp edges will definitely protect the precious little angels from injury. My own young adults have contorted their bodies to fit in/on any section. It still amazes me these children who try so hard to be old truly enjoy the simple pleasures of their life. Out of the top of the scarlet slide two tennis shoes dangle like Santa Claus caught in a chimney. At the base of this same slide, another boy is cradled with his feet overhanging. Unfortunately, their elongated bodies just don't fit into this equipment the way it used to. Scanning through the "gym" I see that a majority of my students have congregated in this spot. One girl has separated herself from the masses and lies horizontally on the nearby grass. Her straw colored hair rests casually on the grass, while she props her head up with her left hand.
It is difficult to maintain a thought as I feel my lower back and arms fill with moisture. In retrospect, the white undershirt might not have been the best idea. The more I think of the heat, the worse the sensation rises. I look up and down the corridor hoping to be saved by my friend, Mr. Wind.
In the distance, I hear what might be an airplane. Looking up to the sky, a mass of blue contrasts strongly with the red brick and yellow walls of the school. However, no sight matches the sound filling my ears. Finally, a helicopter appears, proving my original plane assumption wrong. Why would a helicopter be flying over an elementary school?
Two new figures join my field of vision. One man grabs my attention with a swishing sound of a broom. As I turn to my right I see a tiny, older man pushing water off the sidewalk. Clearing water off the sidewalk is one position full of job security in this tropical climate. A mom passes me trying not to make eye contact. As she passes, she turns her head to the other side. I know if I threw out a "Hello" she would respond, but this was not the type of woman to initiate conversation. Her black shoes "click-clack" along the passageway begging for spectators to check out her painted toenails.
Beside me, three clear tupperware containers lied patiently, waiting for their owner to return. I could smell the decaying chicken through one of the grease-stained paper bags. The thought of lunch brought back my own meal only hours earlier. The fried rice and mashed potatoes combination definitely didn't sit well. I'll definitely have to set up an appointment with Scope before I go talking to any of my friends.
Finally, a breeze stirs in the distance. Slowly my sleeves fill with the welcom visitor. As the cool rush fills my shirt, I'm reminded how fortunate I am to have air conditioning. Glancing down at my clock I realize our time in this oasis of peace is up. Time to return to our hectic lives in the land of middle school.