"Okay, now I want you to write a nonfiction piece titled 'A Vacation from Myself'." Ah, I'd just bought myself another 20 minutes. Pen-poised and ready to write, the students went to work, most writing with enthusiasm. I checked my cell phone, looked over the grade book, flipped through some errant papers in my bag. Finally, I picked up my own pen and wrote the following piece:
"A vacation from myself would involve hitting the snooze button of my brain. Thoughts would slowly dissipate and a flood of new feelings would emerge - emotions, perhaps, that I might not have experienced while inhabiting myself. I wouldn't want to prepare for this vacation. I would want to jump right in - submerge into the unknown like canonballing from a high dive into a freezing pool. I would probably seize at first, unclear how to manage the flood of emotions, but I would acclimate. I always do. This vacation would be free, of course, but at what expense? Could my brain go to mush from lack of use? Or would it use the time to replenish and reboot - grateful to just be a brain in a skull, resting comfortably. Meanwhile, I'd flap around like some sort of puppet released from its strings - foolish, perhaps, but I wouldn't think to care."