Creased and Crippled

Creative: You are a belligerent student in Mr Gradgrind’s classroom. In a short, punchy paragraph tell Mr Gradgrind exactly what you think of his teaching methods.


“Facts and numbers, make me revolt! None of them matter, no! Not to me, no sir. I do not sit at home, counting the peas on my plate and working out the sum of calories I eat.  I don’t need hard facts, never! Look at your face, all stone and cold. Look how brittle it looks, worn down to the bone with facts; white, tired bone! Your books are full of sharp paper that chisel at your face. Look at your face! And look at mine, not yet scathed by paper cuts. Do I want to create cuts to crease and cripple my face in this… space? No sir, not at all! Our faces are too young to turn to the brittle paper sitting at our laps. Look at us! Our eyes are too new to stare any longer at these drab, depressing walls, or these drab, depressed blackboards. Mr Gradgrind why, why do you tell us to cut deep into ourselves, and poison our veins with drab facts? What is the rush, when factually, time ages us anyway! Let us live! Live alive! I want to imagine fairy tales and legends. I want to know what an ogre is up close! Let me get close to my imagination!


Hard facts are only ‘hard facts’ because they are brittle to force. They are brittle and weak! Facts are artefacts. Yes, they are important! But you know why? They tell a story of out…there. Look… through these dusty windows. I see people with brains full of facts, but fuller of images. Just imagine! Imagine collecting colourful concoctions as you open the windows, shake the dust over your still form and breath in the sweet, sweet air. Ah! So addicting, the world, out there! But in here, it’s poisonous, stale air. The dust on your aged books makes me sick! Tell me sir, what can I learn from a dead paper image of the Eiffel Tower, that I can’t at the Eiffel Tower? No more can I take these bars! Not a single more animal I shall name, or sum I shall solve. I do not wish to turn to the brittle paper that is your face. I want to revolt, revolt and remove myself from these bars! I know nothing of what you tell me, only of what I wish to learn. So, as a learner let me tell you that I, want to empty my plate of your pea sized facts, and harvest a mind full of experience and thought.”



Image of the Matilda Theatre Class Performing in their American Tour. Source: Accessed: 01/04/17




7 thoughts on “Creased and Crippled

  1. Love it Danielle! But be sure to give it a title and a rationale, so that your reader (whoever she or he is) will know immediately what you are representing here. Without that knowledge your reader might be confused. Overall excellent work so far in your blogs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Danielle, I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this blog entry!
    I was thoroughly engaged with the creativity of your writing and found the flavour of Dickens resonated within your words. I enjoyed the imagery of the paper cutting into the student and poisoning them directly through the vein. Whilst violent and intense, I found it suited the strong stance you/your persona has assumed on Mr Gradgrind’s beliefs about education.
    I must give particular praise to the line: “Let us live! Live alive!”, as it emphasized the idea Dickens seeks to portray within Hard Times; that none of the people of Coketown (or indeed England) are truly living. This point was delivered so strongly by you in just 5 short words. Well done! It was also followed up well with your detailed descriptions of the importance and power of imagination. A great echo of the opinions held by Dickens.
    There are just two negative remarks I must add to this review. The first, be sure to include the topic you choose to write about each week – I had to decode which it was as I was reading, rather than knowing from the outset what it was. Secondly, read over your work once complete as there were a few grammatical errors (which I’m sure were only the result of the passionate nature of your writing). Overall an excellent entry and I will be sure to keep watch on your future posts.  


  3. Dear Danielle,

    I absolutely loved reading your blog for this week. You have effectively captured the mind of a belligerent student in Mr Gradgrind’s and all of the frustration and anger that s/he felt towards his lessons. I like how you began your response with the repetition of no in ‘none, no, not’ to convey a sense of rebellion and hostility against Mr Gradgrind’s teaching methods. You have also provided powerful imagery throughout which allowed me to explore deeply into the thoughts of the student. I honestly don’t have much to criticise for your blog, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Outstanding work! Thank you!



  4. Hey there Danielle! It was an absolute delight to read your blog post. I must highly commend you on your colourful and unique, descriptive language. Your expression in attacking Mr. Gradgrind’s methods of teaching was filled with passion and determination, pointing out the great flaws in sticking strictly to “hard facts”. A standing ovation for your amazing creative writing piece, keep it up 🙂


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