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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Body Language (11/25/10)

TITLE: Assessment of Silent Communication
By The Masked Truelovers


“Okay, so everyone understands the assignment?” asked professor Jenkins. He scrolled his eyes around at the 26 young college students in his Communication 201 classroom. He saw a few blank expressions, a nod here and there…

“Donna,” he spoke to one of his brightest students in the class, “can you please explain aloud what you think the assignment is…once again, just so everyone is sure they know what to be doing over the weekend?”

“Sure, Mr. Jenkins. We are each supposed to find two subjects…two people – that would seem to be a couple, and observe everything that they do together. They have to be someone we don’t know. We’re not supposed to pay attention to anything that they say…only what they do. We take notes on every gesture they make with their body towards the other and make an assessment of how close their relationship is based on how they communicate with body language. Does that about sum it up?”

“Perfect. Thank you, Donna. I want your completed assignments on my desk Monday morning. I will choose a top seven papers from the Assessment of Silent Communication project. On Tuesday, the students who will have written my top picks will read their papers aloud in class. Then we will discuss them. Class dismissed.”

Saturday afternoon, Donna Willis went to the Blue Water Mall. She sat down on a bench inside one of the main entrances. With pen and pad in hand, she waited for just the right couple to come along. She had already decided that her “subjects” were going to be in a good relationship. Donna had been through two failed relationships between high school and college and she wanted to figure out what kind of body language might accompany a couple who she could assess as having a successful relationship. That was her plan.

Most of the couples she observed walking into the mall – at least she assumed they were couples – were not holding hands when they entered. They might have been talking, smiling or laughing. Others walked in like they just got done arguing in the car on the way over. Over a forty-five minute period, she saw about five couples enter hand-in-hand. Holding hands, she had decided, would be her first qualifier. But those couples didn’t quite appeal to her as subjects. Something was missing.

Finally, Donna noticed a thirty-something couple approaching the outside glass doors, walking hand-in-hand. The man opened the door for her. She returned the favor with the second set of doors. Note: Mutual Respect.

As soon as the content-looking couple entered the mall area through the second set of glass doors, their hands clasped on to each other once again – automatically…like it was a regular ritual for them. Natural. Note: They like to stay connected.

Donna followed behind them as they ventured through the mall. They didn’t seem in a hurry. They strolled along, looking at the different stores as they went along. One time, she nudged him to go into a women’s clothing store. After picking out her favorite combinations, they paid for the clothes and walked out – her arm around his waist and his arm around her neck. After a few minutes, the woman followed her lover into a leather store. After they left with a new bag in hand, he clasped onto her right hand once again with his free palm. Note: Patience and Yielding to each other.

The couple was on the second level of the mall. They stopped and leaned against the railing overlooking the first floor. They grabbed each other around the waist, drew near to each other with gleaming eye contact, and kissed, pressing hard. Note: Physically affectionate – and not embarrassed about it.

Donna followed them into the Red Lobster. Ohhh, that is so sweet, she thought to herself when they sat next to each other in their booth – instead of at opposite sides of the table. At different times during the meal, they would feed each other food and kiss some more. At one point, she saw him wink at his partner. She blinked back at him. Was that one of their secret love codes too? Note: They are romantic, intimate, in love. They have something special.


On Tuesday, Donna stood up in front of class. “In my assessment, I have discovered the silent language of true love.”

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This article has been read 442 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 12/02/10
I like your creative setting as class assignment, which reminded me of an old poem...
"There's a simple sign;
You can tell with ease:
The younger the couple,
The tighter the squeeze!"
Well done.
Lollie Hofer12/03/10
I really like your take on the topic and I like your mc's observations. This was a well-written story which kept my interest from beginning to end.
Lillian Rhoades 12/03/10
Your ending was absolutely stunning. What a great message! I got a little bogged down in the beginning, but the paced picked up with a really great grand finale.
Gregory Kane12/04/10
All very romantic. It might have been an idea to start your story off right in the mall and to fill in the context as the story progressed. The section in the mall was a lot more fun and it would have been great to devote some more space to it.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/05/10
This would be an excellent and fun assignment to complete. You really drew me into your characters. I felt like I could have been following my parents when they were in their 30s.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/09/10
Congratulations for placing 6th in your level and 19th overall!