ENG 1141: Intro to Creative Writing, Fall 2020

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  • Participation Activity: Specimen Days
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    Jennifer Sears

    Read the Instructions on the To Do List and in the video lecture and write 2-3 paragraphs in response.
    Have fun with this! Read the posts of your peers! With your “specimen days” recordings, you are creating descriptions of what you observe, which are specific to you.



    Since Friday my days have been pretty much laid back. Unfortunately, I had to perform surgery on my right arm and I have been on bed rest ever since. Yesterday felt pretty dreary, Typically I wake up around 9:00 am and spend about twenty minutes scrolling through Instagram, watching cooking videos on vegan prep, and watching Jennelle Eliana who is a YouTuber that lives in this really cool van with her pet snack alfredo. Soon after I realize that I have to wake up and start my morning routine I take at least 10mins to painfully walk to the bathroom then I brush my teeth, shower, and detaining my curly hair which if you know how time-consuming that is you understand my pain and annoyance especially when it with my left hand. Soon after I order breakfast and watch America’s next top model.

    Once I get my food and finish it I make sure to pull out my MacBook to see what assignments I have due for the week. I complete my psychology homework and exams, I would say maybe after two hours my friend calls me; I must say that had to be the most exciting part of the day. After the call I went back to being bored and feeling lonely; I have been staying in my room with the curtains down so the room constantly feels dark. Laying in my bed with my green lightbulb to add color which was intended to reduce my stress only that could help me but so much. Sometimes I would find myself online shopping to give myself something to look forward to or staring at the dark ceiling thinking about things I would do if I wasn’t stuck to my bed. I believe my journal relates to the “Implacable I” Joan Didion writes about is because anyone that reads my experiences from yesterday would feel the emotion so much that they could possibly visualize themselves in my place.
    I write how lonely I feel being stuck to my bed all day and the only excitement I had was talking to a friend from a phonecall. I express my boredom through the use of the letter “I”.



    I woke up at 5:00 am and my friend and I decided to go for a jog around the neighborhood. We had never done this before however, we decided it was time for us to lose all the weight we gained during quarantine. I was wearing my black sweat pants and paired it with my black hoodie. As I was walking out the house I tripped on my untied Nike shoelaces, while my keys and water bottle all fell to the floor. I bent down to grab the items when my friend called me and said she was outside. I quickly took my belongings, and ran out the house. It was so dark out, with no one in sight it looked like a ghost town. The time was 5:45 am when we started to jog, my friend was wearing her pink joggers, pink hoodie and black running shoes. She tied her hair back into a ponytail and braided the ends. I felt so alive, the air felt fresh, there was no usual traffic and no kids running around their usual spot. I placed my air pods into both ears and blasted some music. I listen to all types of music and don’t have a favorite artist in particular.
    It wasn’t bright out, the sun would rise around 7 am, there was still almost 30 minutes till then. The sky looked purplish blue and people were starting to come out their houses. Some were going to work while others going for a run. We jogged over to a nearby Dunkin Donuts and ordered a medium coffee light and sweet. I had to go to work at 9 am and it was now a little past 7 am. I asked “are you hungry” hoping that my friend would say yes but she quickly replied with “no I’m on a diet” I wanted to get a turkey bacon, egg and cheese sandwich but I didn’t want her to judge me. I mean we did start jogging in order to lose weight, and so I also did not eat. This relates to Joan Didions “Implacable I” because this was from my point of view and if it were my friends she probably would have mentioned things in either a similar or different way from mine.



    The most recent course of events that I can remember Is from Friday. Friday felt really busy and hectic. It was a day where I’m thinking of getting all of my work done for the week. I attended my physical therapy that afternoon, which really relaxed my body and mind. As I got home I went upstairs to do my own personal bible devotional study. The sun is already starting to set and the atmosphere is quiet and peaceful.

    As the sun sets, I sit down and get my mind ready to read a topic for the night that Is meaningful to me in that present moment. I look through my book of topics and decide to read about priorities. I realize that I put a lot more on my plate than needs to be. So therefore I think it is good to remind myself spiritually what my priorities are with God. If I do not recognize that then I will be even more stressed out, anxious, and frustrated.

    One feeling that I remember is trying to tap into my spiritual mindset. I am in my bedroom at this point on my bed where it’s quiet, warm. I close my eyes, take deep breaths and pray, and relax. Next, I open the book and read, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes of my time. This is just a moment of what I can remember of what I did that Friday night before I went to sleep. I can see that In a description like this, sometimes it can be hard to get every detail down that I normally do not think about. I see the importance of adding in each feeling and thought and action that took place.

    This relates to ” implacable I ” because it shows the incomparable description of me and my story and what I felt and did throughout the day.


    Andy Escobedo

    Act 1 Thoughts
    Hey, as I experience another episode of insomnia I’ll figure I’d vent on here. In case I’m not here for tomorrow, pleading to borrow a speak of mind. I find my self here for what’s essential, I comprehend that my mental state isn’t the greatest shape. I look up to these endless stairs case pitch black, I ponder where did my Happiness go? Who am I to be? Begging to be loved but treason with self proclaim demons. Pondering with every step I see a doorway in the distance I entered.

    Act 2 Head trauma
    I find a chair similar to the chair found in my living room and began to sit down, this sensation I know I never forget oozing from my head. I put my hand to spot what gushing out looking at my bloody hands as I stared beaten up I feel the blood dripping out my head.my face reflected from the blood puddle In confusion I looked at my brother and mother crying hopelessly I wonder did they seek their forgiveness I truly wonder. I closed my eyes.

    Act3 Insomnia
    with a pause my eyes open, I find myself in my bathroom perplexed looking at my self through the mirror. I see a face that reeks of a dead man with the skin pale but not to the extent that it seems I’m dying but to the level that people would think I’m tired. what conveys me, and only me are my dead fish eyes.I’m not talking about the eyes of a dead fish but the eyes that show the rottenness and the emptiness of despair. My weak self constantly pondering these endless battles of oneself I keep fighting strifes of trouble in my life.

    Sorry to be sentimental just wanted to vent some pent up stress from recent events and the dreadful quarantine. However, fear not as im feeling amazing and doing fine I was working this task around 4 am. furthermore act 1 is the thoughts on how I felt act 2 is the head trauma I experienced, and act 3 is the effect of my insomnia since the beginning of quarantine I develop a bad habit of not sleeping so I looked dead, hahaha but im just really tired.



    At 4:30 am, my 3 years old daughter woke up and kept saying that “Mamma wake up, wake up”. First, I was mad at her, why she keeps calling me? I looked at the watch, it was 4:30 am. I requested her, please mamma try to sleep, it’s midnight, we don’t need to wake up early, today’s mamma’s off day. But she didn’t want to listen to me. She was screaming that she doesn’t want to sleep anymore. I felt so exhausted because I’m pregnant. I wished someone could help me. My husband works at night shift. So, he was outside. I took her to the bathroom and brush her teeth. At that time, I was thinking, I wish could go back to sleep. But there was nothing to do. I combed her hair, changed her dress, and feed her water. after I freshened up, I went to the kitchen and made breakfast for her.

    I usually have morning sickness because of pregnancy. I feel dizziness and nausea in the morning. So, I just drunk water. after feeding her, we went outside. We enjoyed the sunrise which is one of the most beautiful sights of nature. The morning was so beautiful. the nature seemed so fresh and innocent as most of the people and vehicles were not awake yet. The rising sun illumined the buildings, the tress, and the streets. The fresh air made me feel healthy and happy. It purged my mind of all sorrows, bitterness, and tiredness. We walked for about an hour. When I came home, I felt optimistic and my daughter was so cheerful. After a few minutes, she falling sleep and I also took a short nap during that time.

    I think this can relate to the “implacable I” by Joan Didion because it explains my feelings, how I start my day and what I felt in the morning, and how I fight against my morning sickness during this situation.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by fahamida.


    Friday had been having a random dream about waking up in one of my random economy class from few semesters ago, thinking about a test, and woke up suddenly early at 6:00 just enough to get ready to help for my cousins engagement party in our backyard.
    It was small and almost everyone was watching through zoom about 60/70 people. We decorated everything ourselves and we noticed that it might rain so fixed a tarp above our heads to make sure we are save from the rain. Everything went good i took care of the zoom call and making sure everyone was able to see the whole event and afterwards had to clean up everything before it rained and that was the friday


    Ray-Ana W.

    Yesterday was like any other Sunday my grandmother made breakfast, first thing in the morning. The morning menu consisted of fried dumplings with ackee and saltfish. I leisurely passed the day by reading novels online and checking my emails. The environment and place I was in was my house and the other people there including my mother and my siblings who were running and making a lot of noise. My little cousin came over from his mom’s house to visit and he was a handful putting it nicely. Having all these little children around was eventful but overall it was a happy occasion since they are just so adorable. I think the color that best describes my overall feeling that day is a bright neon pink. I choose this because being around family brings happiness and although they can be a little stressful they are always there for you and are irreplaceable. The dialogue that stands out to me that day the most was when I was greeted by my cousin when he came to my house. He is three and is talking but his words are not completely clear but if you listen you know what he is conveying to you. He saw me as he walking in and screaming “Hi Rayana” the best he could try to annunciate all the letters losing some at the end. His enthusiasm to see me and attempt to say my name was so loving it was grouped as one of my favorite memories. I believe this relates to Joan Didion “Implacable I” because it centers around my world how I perceived it. Each emotion I shared was explored in a way no one but I would be able to tell. It is who I am and the reader is able to see and understand who I am on a deeper level.

    The person I choose to listen to my story was my younger sister. She still young and she told me It was a good report. The part that stood out to my sister was the section of the day when my cousin came over. She does remember him coming but she to was too wrapped up in seeing him and getting excited to notice our interaction. My sister liked it soo much she gave it 3 stars. She especially liked the color I chose for my feeling. However, I think that was due to pink benign her favorite color. Although unlike an older person she didn’t give critic. Even so, just to see and listen to her version and implacable I on my paragraph was entertaining.


    Hernan Marquez

    A day I rememberer very well is last Saturday. The time I woke up was 8:30am, and quickly started to put my workout clothes. These past months I have been waking up around 11 am so I was not used to opening my eyes too early. The hardest part of that morning was putting on my contacts since my eyes were hurting from not getting enough rest. It was a great day to be productive and start my morning with a hot coffee. As I was enjoying my coffee, my friend was on his way to have a quick jog and weight training session with me at a large field or park five minutes away from my house. When my friend was outside my house I quickly walked out and could feel the fresh air on my face which sort of gave me motivation. When we got to the field, there was a few people jogging and a few dogs running around which brightened up my morning. The day was bright with green trees around us and a blue vivid sky, it made me feel free and peaceful. Me and my friend started off by jogging ten laps around the field. As soon as we completed the laps we laid on the grass and talked about life and how we feel about online classes for the rest of the year. Once we had a good break we picked up the weights and did a few sets of bicep curls. I find that being productive or just excersing in general makes me forget about my issues and eases my mind.
    My experience relates to to the “implacable I” by Joan Didion because it shows a description of my day or my perspective, in a form that no one but myself can explain to the readers.


    Alex Cheung

    Yesterday, I woke up at 2:00 pm because my sleep schedule is messed up and went to bed at 7:30 am. After waking up at 2:00 pm, I made myself a bowl of spicy instant ramen. It wasn’t much but it was delicious. After eating, I turned on my computer, hopped on discord to play some games with my friends. This went on until 7:00 pm because I still had unfinished assignments due either at midnight or midnight tomorrow. After that, it was time to eat dinner and to take a shower, and I’m back on my computer until 5 in the morning. While playing games with my friends, I felt happy because if I wasn’t playing with them I don’t know what else I would be doing. The color that would best describe the feeling I experienced would be bright blue.

    This can relate to the “Implacable I” because I recorded the events that happened to me the day before. This perspective is particular to me because it describes the events that occurred to me on that day and while others might have similar events that occurred, there is always something that makes it unique.


    Steven Bachoo

    I’ve been waking up at around 9:00 in the morning because every night I’m always doing work late at night. I always check my assignments on Blackboard to see what is due and what I have to get started on. I would wake up every morning and eat my breakfast and drink coffee. After that I relax a bit and then start to do my work for my other classes. I’m always up finishing my assignments that are done for next week or the week after. That’s how I start off my day when I’m at home and when I wake up every morning. There are times where I get together with my friends to finish up on work with them and also to hangout when we are at school.

    That is mostly what my day is like when I get up every morning and to also help my mom and dad around in the house when I have to help them with something. After I finish doing my homework I take a break and watch TV. I watch Forensic Files when I’m done doing my homework or when I need to take a break. This relates to Joan Didion’s “Implacable I” because this is what I do when I get up every morning and how I start off my day when I’m at home.



    Sunday wasn’t anything special. It was kinda forgettable like any other day, but it left me to write a few interesting things. I don’t recall much, but with all I can remember is 3 events. Me studying Spanish with my father on the computer, Drawing on my book, and going back on my computer to play some video games. Nothing more than that.

    When I was studying with my dad. I was gaining more of an understanding of different slangs of Spanish from different countries, which made it more difficult for the both of us who speaks the Dominican version of Spanish than Mexican. Through the trouble though, it helped us bond with each other more and helped me understand my father more, since he speaks more Spanish than me. It built our relationship some more as we helped each other out. I thanked him so much for helping me understand my family’s language more and he was happy too.

    Once he walked off, I started to draw on my sketchbook. Drawing is a different element. To get me rolling with ideas, I usually have music and music sets the mood for what I’m drawing or what I’m going to draw. I cracked my fingers and entered a black and white world of ink and graphite and was already drawing the scene. Once the music starts, my hand goes with the flow and the vision starts to show. Then I was done and took my break by going back to my PC and play some video games.

    The game I started to play wasn’t the best looking, but it hit me for some reason. The cold and empty environments with nothing but yourself, a gun, a few bullets, and robots around every corner of empty hallways, boiler rooms, soulless apartments and dark and cold rooftops. With a view of a city in the distance, blue and orange to simulate he night city skylines that says “you’re not alone” and a tape recorder to guide you on your way towards… Ascension. It was was weird game, but the openness of the rooftops at night and take in that view felt like freedom. It was the most recent thing that made me felt free because after the lock down, I never left home. All these events all happened in my room and nowhere else.

    All of these all relate to me because, 1: I love my parents and want to find ways to stay with them. 2:Drawing is my specialty. I’m an artist after all, and 3: I play alot of video games, and it’s my “go to” for entertainment and be immersed while having fun.


    Orion McCaine

    I went back to my old neighborhood yesterday. I swear, every time I go back, it’s like stepping into a time machine and revisiting an alternate past. So many things are the same- the same people standing at the entrance to the walkway, the same stores on the block, the same, the bus stop I used to take uptown. The scent of chicken wings from the Chinese restaurant hits me, a smell that takes me back to being in my room during the first 20 years of my life, where so many times that smell has wafted through the window and incited in me a desire to get some for myself. I almost succumb to that smell again, but there’s no time and I have to stop at the supermarket.
    I get out of my car and am reminded of the changes that have taken place in my absence- the scaffolding wrapped around the building, the new school across the street that’s under construction, the candy shop that has been repurposed into some kind of office. One day, I’ll try to find out what that office is. Maybe. There’s no time! There’s never time; I have to go to the supermarket.
    The layout is mostly how I remember it- produce as soon as you walk in, meats in the back, deli to the left. They’ve made some cosmetic upgrades and put measures in place to enforce social distancing, but under all of it, it’s the same place. This benefits me on this day because I’m able to move through the aisles with a fluidity that was honed over years of doing my grocery shopping there. I’m singing as I pick up what I need, they always have had a good music playlist there. Suddenly, I feel 15 years younger. I’m me, but the high school version of myself, reaching to pull something from the shelf. I allow this nostalgia to wash over me, and in a flash, I’m back in the present. I remind myself that there’s no time to daydream and I go to the checkout line.
    I believe my story relates to Didion’s “Implacable I” in that it is told from my perspective and is based solely on my experiences.



    It was a Sunday night. I was sitting on my chair, reclining against thin air, my back pressing against the soft fabric that feels like a massage. In front of me was the bright clear screen of my desktop monitor. It was only when disinterested that the screen would be an eyesore. A physics web page was present, showing lots of math formulas that looked like a new foreign language to me. A plate of rice with a good amount of ground beef was on my side. The taste, along with the combination of food, gives my tongue a sense of warmth, wonder, and familiarity. I would enjoy it more if I didn’t have more homework to do.

    Math is partially finished. English and COM are not even done yet, and Physics is in progress. Two of them are due on Tuesday. It’s days like these when I wish that it was still summer, where the pandemic never happened. I could go and take a good walk out, and collect my thoughts, an action almost impossible in today’s climate. Doing my homework felt like a bit of a chore, it took a construction worker’s willpower to try and take my pencil, and continue to study.

    The “I” relates to me because I’m a very procrastinating person, and this describes the struggle that I have with it.


    Jamyl Capellan

    Yesterday, I went out with a couple of friends to a restaurant for brunch. I was happy to finally be going out with my friends because the only time I was going out was to go to work. I remember sitting down and seeing all the smiles on each others faces as we were enjoying each others company. Everything felt brighter at that moment, I remember seeing a lots of white. from the tablecloth to light reflecting of the windows. We were all sitting around the table laughing in the middle of the street people were walking passed us. at one point throughout the day I remember feeling this sense of happiness wash over the table and I could tell I was not the only one that noticed, not a single dull moment. KInda cliche to say but it was like time stopped as we were eating, as though we were the only ones in the restaurant. I loved these moments because it made me feel so mature, like I wasn’t a kid anymore.

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