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Exercise #541

Exercise #541: Self Knowledge
Posted 10/18/13

What’s the last thing that surprised you? Show us the situation and if you can, show us why it surprised you.

Puzzled on how to do this one? Here’s a quick one of mine (if SUBbing it I would flesh it out better and show rather than tell). At work, most of our employees walk during breaks. A trip around the buildings is just under a mile, if you go all the way to the street. During spring and summer, we have a lot of pill bugs ( These little guys are always out walking, too. Sometimes they get turned over, sprawled upside down, their many legs waving. If I see one, I stop and gently turn it over. My various walking companions stop with me and continue talking. Most don’t comment. One or two have asked me why I do it. Then one Thursday morning, the person I was walking with stopped and turned one right side up! I was surprised because she is one of the people who have not commented or asked, and yet here she was, taking on the role herself. Was the pill bug grateful? I don’t know; he refused to be interviewed.

You may show a character tackling this exercise instead.

Critiquers, you might choose to answer these questions for critiquing the piece:
     * Did you catch any spelling errors or other standard proofreading items? If so, note them for the author.
     * Did you find this surprising? Why or why not?

Word limit: 1200
Please use the subject line:
             SUB: Exercise #541/yourname

Why this is a self-knowledge exercise: What surprises us may tell us something about ourselves, and sometimes it’s not the what, it’s the why. Figuring out why you are surprised may teach you something valuable.

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