IMAGINATION STRETCHER: The Crying Clown

Stretch your imagination and come up with some lines to go with this writing prompt:

The clown, who had been smiling and making people laugh in the big tent, entered his dressing room and began to weep. Why?

(You can also write your response in the form of a comic strip created at MakeBeliefsComix.com)

Retrieving A Memory

In a hidden, dark building there is a special room, number 4512, where people go to retrieve their memories. You want to visit this room because there is a particular memory you want to recall. What is that memory? Why is it important to you?

How Do You Feel About the Protests Over the Death of George Floyd?

After George Floyd, an African-American man, died in policy custody in Minneapolis, protests have mounted throughout the nation as people express their grief and frustration about police brutality. What are your own thoughts about what is happening? What do you think of efforts by the police to keep order in the community? What have been your own experiences with the police? What should be done to prevent such deaths in the future.

Acts of Courage During the Pandemic

In India, Jyoti Kumari, a 15-year-old cycled over 700 miles from New Delhi to her family’s village, transporting her father, an injured migrant laborer who could barely walk, on the back of the bicycle.

Jyoti transported her father to his home after Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a lockdown of India’s 1.3 billion citizens to fight the spread of the coronavirus, urging people to distance themselves socially and work from home. The lockdown led to one of the biggest migrations in India’s modern history. Hundreds of thousands of migrant laborers made long journeys to get home, having been rendered homeless and jobless.

So Jyoti told her dad: Let me take you home. He thought the idea was crazy but went along with it. She then jumped on a $20 purple bike bought with the last of their savings. With her dad perched on the rear, she pedaled from the outskirts of New Delhi to their home village, 700 miles away.

“Don’t worry, mummy,” she reassured her mother along the way, using borrowed cellphones. “I will get Papa home good.” Which she did!

What acts of heroism and generosity — big or small — have you seen or heard about or experienced in your community or anywhere else in which someone has helped others during the coronavirus crisis? Could you have done what Jyoti did?

What’s the craziest thing you did as a kid?

The question in the headline above is asked by New York Times Learning Network staff editor Jeremy Engles in writing about a five year-old driving a car on a highway headed for California.

The young driver of the SUV swerved on the freeway at about 32 miles per hour when a trooper for the Utah Highway Patrol spotted and pulled him over.The trooper said the boy was sitting on the front edge of the seat “so that he could reach the brake pedal.” It was not clear how well he could see through the windshield. The trooper helped the child to put the car into park position and to shut it down. The boy explained that he left home after an argument with his mother, according to the Highway Patrol.

“She told him she would not buy him a Lamborghini,” the Highway Patrol said in a tweet. “He decided to take the car and go to California to buy one himself.”

Engles of The Times asks his readers to think about this question (and so do we ask of you):
“”What’s the craziest thing you did as a kid? Vividly describe what happened, including what you were thinking — or not thinking — at the time. Were you aware at the time how crazy, risky or dangerous your actions were? How did your parents or guardians react? Did you get caught or get in trouble? Tell us your story.”