Junior Jackson Margolis (Photo by Jacqueline Chao)

BALLERINO BALLER: A mission that began with a book

This is an introduction to my weekly blog: Ballerino Baller. Unlike the posts to follow, this entry is not intended for comedic or serious purposes. Sorry. If you want just the Sparknoted version, scroll to the last three paragraphs. The rest is for just scholars to read in case I become famous.

It was a bad week. I had done poorly on a biology test, gotten into a fight with my brother and on top of all that, lost back-to-back chess matches to Garrett.

Not big things, but big-ish.

So when I noticed the inviting silver letters on the red-colored front of the “500 Writing Prompts” book on the front row of a shelf at Barnes and Noble, I felt I had found a solution to my very minor sadness.

If I ever felt down in the dumps or needed to speak my mind, I could just answer one of my prompts.

Heck, it would definitely help me get over things quickly because there’s no way I could go back and decipher what I had written down. Let’s just say we all have our strengths, and handwriting just isn’t mine.

Anyway, I flipped through a few of the pages and saw prompts that piqued my interest, such as “Have you ever considered giving something up?” or “What celebrity rubs you the wrong way?”

The wheels in my head started turning.

“Even though Chris Pratt gives me a weird vibe, at the end of the day, there’s something just off about Taylor,” I thought. “Wow, this is already getting me in a better mood.”

“Whatcha looking at, hun?” my mom asked.

I told her how much I wanted this book and how it could help me get some of my ideas down.

Maybe I’m just strict, but if I had a child ask me if he could buy a book for $12.99 with prompts he could just look up on the internet, I would’ve said no.

But my mother, in search of Christmas presents to buy for someone too old for Legos but too young to appreciate a sweater, saw this as an opportunity.

“I’ll get this,” she said. “But you can’t have it until Christmas.”

At first I was disappointed, but in the busyness of school and ballet, I soon forgot about this book, making it that much more special to open on Christmas Day.

That said, the book then sat on my desk for almost a month without a single (unreadable) word written in it.  

For some reason, I couldn’t get myself to start it.

And as each day passed, I found myself thinking less and less about the book, to the point where it fell to the bottom of a large stack of books I’d been using more regularly, like my biology and history textbooks.

However, as I was rearranging my desk, I saw the prompt book under a bunch of heavier books. It was slightly worn but still inspiring.

So I took it out and read the first prompt: “While at the beach you decide to write a message in a bottle. What would it say? Who would you like to find it?” And I realized that if I’m going to go ahead and write the answer, the world – or at least the Country Day community – might as well know.

Therefore, I have decided to publish a weekly blog going through as many of the 500 prompts as I can fit.

The posts will foremost try to comedically entertain but still have a thread of seriousnesses.

I hope you enjoy.

— By Jackson Margolis

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