Becca Wilhite Blog

September 28, 2016

Strange Places for Chatting

Filed under: rambles,silliness — becca @ 10:30 am

I was walking down the hall to the faculty room today – to refill my water bottle from the yummy water dispenser as opposed to the yucky drinking fountain that’s practically outside my door – and I passed by the restrooms. This is normal. The restrooms are in the hallway. But weirdness ensued when I heard a full-voiced conversation happening between at least two unknown (to me) young men. I didn’t hear much, because I didn’t actually stop walking to listen (shame on me?), but I heard this:

“Not necessarily. You can’t make that kind of rash judgment.”

“I’m pretty sure I can make any kind of judgment I want.”

Which, in itself, isn’t the weirdest conversation. In fact, it’s kind of charming and nerdy and self-aware, and I like it. But the location. The location is … odd.

Do all teenage boys take a buddy into the bathroom and have a chat about judgment? And was this weird because they’re boys? I’m going to say no. I think I would have found it equally weird if girls were having the same chat in the same place, because I think most people, male or female, who go inside a bathroom stall, would like to pretend that they’re not doing whatever it is they’re in there doing. As opposed to – in a manner of speaking – inviting someone in to chat.

Which leads me to ponder upon the places that are strange conversational venues.

And mostly I think about public restrooms. For instance, when a person is simultaneously using, say, a movie theater bathroom stall and a cell phone, I always flush many more times than necessary. I feel honor-bound to give the person on the other side of that phone call a heads up about where the chat is taking place. Because IT’S WEIRD TO TALK ON THE PHONE WHILE YOU’RE DOING RESTROOM FUNCTIONS. It’s just weird.

And I wonder where else it’s weird. Because in general, I’m a fan of spontaneous conversation. I may have been known to strike up a grocery market chat over the merits of one brand of ice cream over another, or the joy that is freezer-aisle cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting in little plastic bags. I talk to people about clothes in clothing stores. I talk to clerks at every conceivable check-out register. I stop people walking past me at high school football games to tell them I like their hair.

But not in the bathroom.

Not in the bathroom stall.

September 22, 2016

Eavesdropping — A Dialog-Writing Exercise

Filed under: kids,lists,research,school,silliness,writing,writing process — becca @ 12:36 pm

So yesterday in my Novel Writing class, I sent the kids into the commons for the last 20 ¬†minutes of class, which happens to correspond with the lunch they don’t have. The commons was full of teenage humans. I instructed mine to sit down somewhere and start eavesdropping. They were to write down random lines of dialog that they heard people say. They turned in their 5 favorite lines. I laughed a lot. Their overheard lines were weird. Funny. Awesome.

Today I had them pick their favorite one or two and put them up on the board. I had made columns for them to place the lines in, and after they’d all put up their best lines, I revealed the ¬†topics heading each column. So now there are 5 or more lines of dialog – totally unrelated – under each of the following topics: Song Lyrics, Polygraph Machine, Job Interview, Explain Earth to the Aliens, Break-up, Babysitter Report, Newspaper Interview, and Love Letter. Now they’re furiously writing scenes that use at least one of the lines in whatever category it fell. I love watching them grin while they’re working.

Here are some of the overheard lines:

“It’s more than just a hat.”
“I’ve been drinking your blood and tears.”
“No. He doesn’t want them on because of his bug bites.”
“She’s literally like the spawn of Satan.”
“Babe. He doesn’t like the shirt.”
“Do you want your socks on?”
“I’m the whitest white girl here.”
“I seriously almost hit someone in the parking lot.”
“There was a guy who shipped two whales to Utah and kept them.”
“It’s free real estate.”
“Don’t write that down.”
“There’s a drink called the Hissy Fit?”
“Get out a marker and write YES on the goldfish.”
“He underwent intensive psychotherapy.”
“Something magical is about to happen.”
“Just buy a hose, you freak!”
“My mom was like, ‘Did you put on makeup? You know there’s guy makeup, right?'”

Clever little eavesdroppers. I can’t wait to see what they’ve made from their spoils.

September 12, 2016

Dr. PimplePopper

Filed under: Uncategorized — becca @ 1:12 pm

This is a thing. I wish it were a thing I made up myself, because DR. PIMPLEPOPPER. But, in fact, my Kid 3 showed it to me last night.

Let us go back.

There is a truth universally believed but partially unacknowledged that there are few more satisfying feelings than getting rid of a zit. Am I right? The grossness factor adds to the overall satisfaction, I’m pretty sure. This is a thing that my kids and I have discussed.

So Kid 3 climbs into my bed last night and says, “I know you’ve had a bad day. This should help.” And she hands me her phone. Pulled up to Instagram. And I proceed to watch video after video after video (after video) of this dermatologist … wait for it … popping zits. Apparently she’s gotten past the HIPA laws because she wears a camera on her head and FILMS THE POPPING OF THE GOOEYS.

It’s horrifying.

And I can’t look away.

It’s so awesome. My life is forever changed.

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