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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)

TITLE: "Work?! As in Pick-up-a-shovel-and-dig type of work?!"
By Matthew Vivian
07/27/06


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“Work?! As Pick-up-a-shovel-and-dig kind of work!!”


There comes a time in every boy’s life when he must learn to work. Now, for someone who has not reached this wonderful stage of boyhood this may seem like a totally harmless and sublime concept and one that will certainly never happen to him. However, it has been my experience that boys like those are the first to fall on the faces and collapse in a pile of dust after having to weed the garden.
It is much the chagrin that I must admit that I, at one time, was one of those boys. Like all boys I had the usual daily tasks like: taking out the garbage. I preformed these tasks with reasonable quality; however speed was a different matter. It seems that for the first 15 years of my life I was on a completely different time and space continuum than my mother! I had time system likes to that of God’s. As in, a thousand years is like a day. I believe that most young men share my former views on time.
The summer of my 15th year was the summer I would learn to work. It came about somewhat like this. I had recently gotten into the art of paintball, a seemingly violent sport which cost a small fortune to play. I had been invited to play at a friend’s house and had asked my dad for some money. He said, “No”
Confused, I answered, “Well how am I supposed to get any money!?”
He said, “Why don’t you work for it?”
Have you ever been completely dumbstruck? Horrible experience, never try it. After the sense of stupidity and fear left me I said, “Work! You mean like pick-up-a-shovel-and-dig kind of work!”
My father shrugged and said, “Welcome to the real world”

I began to look for work. A couple of weeks later I was hired by a friend’s dad to work at his dog kennel. The job paid the usual “summer job to a minor” wage of five dollars an hour. I arrive on my first day late, tired, and hungry. I will never forget my first assignment. My boss, he leaned down and he said, “Pick a hoe and go weed” That would be the only task I would be given for the next 2 months.

Do you know what it is like to weed for 6 hours, every single day! My mom says she like to weed, says it peaceful, narcotic, and way of release. I say it cruel and unusual punishment. There is one incident I will never forget. I had been out weeding for a few hours when my fellow employee came down to weed with me. It wasn’t long before that garden was turned into the battle field of World War 3. We were lobbing grenades, setting minds, throwing dirt, knocking over flowers, getting dirty we were having a wonderful time. When all of a sudden we see a shadow standing over us. Have you ever been half killed?

That one experience was the beginning of a lesson that would teach me one of the most important skills of my life. How to work, and work well. Not to mention how to weed. God says those who don’t work don’t eat. I guess that stage in our life of learning how to work is for our good.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 08/03/06
This is a nice piece! I really enjoyed the humor you injected into it! I found it a bit unfocused (if your final paragraph was meant to be the message of the piece, the action above didn't build up to it - in my opinion, anyway!), but I could definitely relate! (I think we all could!) Keep writing!
william price08/04/06
"Welcome to the real world." I heard that as a young man myself, and it probably would have made a good title for your entry, though yours did get my attention. Thanks for sharing.
God Bless.
Sandra Petersen 08/09/06
Your title intrigued me, and your humor kept me reading.

One suggestion I learned from the veterans of FW: put white space (double space) between each paragraph. Your piece becomes easier to read when you do this.

Another suggestion is to read the piece out loud even if only to yourself. Believe me, I've done this each time I write an article and caught many an awkward sounding sentence, incorrect verb usage, or typo. It works!

Like I said, I like the humor you injected into your article, and look forward to reading more!