Sunday, May 11, 2014
Be careful what you wish for! (Another writing prompt)
For one of the short oral presentations in my speech class, I have students go to an online history site, look up their birth date, and present the information to the class regarding what happened on that day in history. I thought it would be a fun writing prompt, as well, to try to write a short story about one of the events. So I went to History.com to make sure that information was still available, and found some interesting history about Mother’s Day, which I have paraphrased here:
Ann Reeves Jarvis, who, by the way, never married or had children, wanted to honor her mother after her death in 1905. She believed that most holidays were biased towards male achievements, and wanted to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children.
She began a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and politicians, and by 1912 many states and communities had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
According to History.com, Jarvis’ wanted to honor mothers by having them wear a white carnation as a badge, and visit one’s mother or attend church services. But when Mother’s Day became a national holiday, florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity, and the commercialization disgusted Jarvis. Although she originally worked with the floral industry to help raise awareness, she eventually urged people to stop buying cards, flowers and candy, and disowned the holiday altogether by the time of her death in 1948.
So with this writing prompt, you have three choices. The first choice is my original idea to look up your own birth date and write about one of the events that happened on that day in history. The second option is to write about someone who wants something or someone so badly that he or she will do anything to get it, but add a twist, however, by creating an outcome that has a completely negative consequence. The third choice is to answer the question, “If you could create a new holiday, what would it be, and why?”