Sharing a classroom experience 300 words at a time

This month in my English III class, we worked on 300 word essays. We could pick any topic, but it was supposed to be a descriptive essay. We were to think of something that could happen over and over, and we were like a fly on the wall describing what is going on.

When we were assigned this, there were audible groans and sighs from around the room, but I was looking forward to it. I knew keeping it within 300 words would be a challenge for me because I tend to go on and on, but it was good for me to write something that was concise and to get to the point. I thought I would share my essay so people can see what goes on in the class room. I titled the essay “Jitters.”

She’s walking down the hallway to the gym, and she can already hear the rumbling of the crowd. She smells the combination of sweat from the players and popcorn from the concession stand.

Beads of sweat form on the palms of her hands. She feels her heart pounding through her chest.

A senior shouldn’t be feeling this way she thought. She’s been a cheerleader for four years now. She shouldn’t be nervous for a home game.

She had sat in her room before arriving at the school, gazing at her reflection in the mirror. She’d put on the same uniform as always, done her hair and makeup. She thinks, “Do I look good enough?”

She steps through the doorway to the gym, there are kids running and laughing, parents impatiently sitting in the stands, nervous for their kids. Players warming up on the court.

As she meets up with her team, the other girls are giggling and dancing to the music blaring over the speakers.

She and the team begin to warm up their stunts, and in a strange way she starts to feel calmer now, even though she feels the blood in her veins rushing faster as she gets set. She knows how to do this, it’s muscle memory. Her arms and legs tense as she lifts her teammate up, feeling accomplished when she successfully goes up and then down.

The buzzer rings and she knows it’s time to go out on the floor as the names of the starters are called. The knot in her stomach is twisting and turning, thinking of the gazes of the whole crowd lying on her.

But as soon as she’s in front of the crowd, her body wakes up. A smile grows on her face, and all her muscles relax as the crowd joins in.