Monday, February 13, 2012

Repeat after me: Chicken liberation stories do not an essay make

There's one thing I know for a fact. When I stuff up, oh ye gods, do I stuff up - Big time.

We had to do some writing in school. The topic was that keeping animals in cages is cruel. It was supposed to be an essay.. I say 'supposed to be' because that fact only occurred to me after I handed in my personal chicken experience story.

Instead of a serious essay on the right or wrongs of caged animals, I wrote all about my real life rehabilitation of four battery hens.

Ah yes, you might cringe now, but it only gets worse...

Whilst everyone else was scribbling away about the pros and cons, legalities and moral bankruptcy of keeping live animals caged up, I was waxing lyrical about my four hens and how they faced life's challenges outside the battery cages they were imprisoned in.

I even spent a few minutes wondering if I should give the reader their real names or just replace them with pseudonyms eg: chicken 1, chicken 2 etc..  At last (mercifully), I realised that I should keep it more professional and not name them at all.

Yep.. Cringe away.

I was just getting to the point in my writing about having to teach an anonymous Henny Penny to perch (these birds had NO chicken skills what-so-ever, because they'd never set claw on soil before) when the teacher announces there's only five minutes left for editing...

editing?? good god... how about a total rewrite?

I'm sure my teacher's going to think I've been smoking weed, or dropping acid, or drinking red wine out of bottles in plain paper bags during my break...

Well, on the up-side (yes I'm optimistic enough to try and find an up-side) I suppose I'm a pretty unique individual. My writing is at 3rd grade level, but it's unique.

I sometimes (OK I admit.. often..) wonder why my brain is being so uncooperative in my adult life. Is it all the years I've spent out of school (29)? So many precious synapses lost to alcohol consumption? Is it the migraine preventer medication that leaves my brain a forgetful mash? Is it just that I'm not that smart? Is it that I just don't know what they want from me (besides a tear jerking chicken story)?

Maybe it's all that.. and more.

It's hard not to be harsh on yourself when you've stuffed up so bad - but as Deb pointed out, I learned a lesson about what I should have done. I should've written an argument featuring both sides of animal treatment and kept my own chickens out of it.

Ah well. As I carry on in my job of making other people feel good about their own stuff ups in life, I'll try to remember that I'm a unique soul with a different way of looking at things...

And then I'll keep it all inside and definitely not write about it.

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