Similarities Gwen Landis

No Talking in Math Class

I always bring a cheese sandwich for lunch and Amanda always brings a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Meghan always buys lunch so instead today she has a big salad in a container. Because she couldn’t buy lunch because Mrs. Johnson wanted eat lunch with us. Because we didn’t answer questions in math class she said. She knows we’re all very smart and good at math class so why don’t we talk?

I wanted to talk then even less than I did in math class. I don’t want to talk in math class. I don’t know why I need to talk in class if I’m already getting the answers right.

She looked at us like she always does like she’s not gonna say anything until we say something first. She seems mad and annoyed and disappointed. But we all ate our lunches so we didn’t have to say something first. None of us want to talk. She said you all work in groups and talk and get right answers why won’t you answer questions in class?

I don’t want to talk in any class at all or right now. No talking, no talking, no talking but she’s asking more questions. I hate being put on the spot and my eyes feel like they might try to cry but that would make it worse. I feel sick like I want to hide but I can’t because I’m eating a cheese sandwich with Mrs. Johnson. She says alright, if you have nothing to say you can go to recess, but I expect participation in class. I don’t like her questions and I don’t like math questions and I don’t like math and I don’t like this and I want to leave right now please. And we don’t give her an answer to these questions, or to her math questions in class.

All the Blues

All of our eyes are very blue. But all of our eyes are very different blues. The only way I know how to describe my eyes is by comparing them to others. My mum’s are gray-er, and sometimes blue-er then mine. Clean like a reflection of the sky, and noticeable. They are organized and happy eyes. My dad’s are a little brighter and a little more saturated, but smaller behind his eyebrows, and more crinkly on the edges. I think they change depending on his mood.

His brother’s eyes are almost the same but seem like they spent more time outside, and are a deeper more subdued blue. They are very thoughtful eyes, older than mine. His oldest brother has the most piercing blue eyes that are bright enough to speak for themselves, because he doesn’t talk that much. They have a lot to say. They are like my grandfather’s eyes. One aunt has very pale blue eyes, like baby blue with a little bit of gray. If her’s are like Nantucket’s fog, mine are the bay on a clear day. My cousins the same eyes, pale-ish blue but much greener than anyone else's.

My dad’s half sister has blue eyes that are large, and like the ocean because they’re blue with green and gray. Her blue eyes are unusual because her mother is Greek, and most Greeks have brown eyes, but she has very gray- blue eyes like clouds, much lighter than mine.

All of our eyes are very different blues. I used to think that if brown eyes were better adapted to the sun, blue eyes must be better at seeing in the dark, but that’s not true.

The Lonely One and Only

Gweneth; derived from Welsh and Celtic; blessed, fair, happy, and pure. I mean that’s nice but it seems a little too princess-y and not very practical. I might like something more lively and focused. Or to just be ‘alive’, like my parent’s other option, Zoe.

The name Gwen isn’t that unusual, but is always hard for people to pronounce when I travel. I’ve been called Guan, Gen, Gwin, Jen, Wendy, and anything else that sounds kinda similar and is about one syllable long. After awhile, I got tired of having to go back and forth, saying my name over and over again, just to have them repeat back another variation of it. If they say it wrong the first time I’ll just nod and smile.

I used to think that no one else in the entire world was named Gweneth. Not even Gwendolyn, Guinevere, or any other variation. I thought I was the one and only Gwen, which was cool until it got kinda lonely. Then I figured out that I was actually not the one person in the world named Gwen. There are famous people, and there are family friends, and there are people that I’ve met who all share my name.

My most recent interaction with my name was at a wedding when a little girl and I accidentally sat in the wrong seats because we saw a name tag, and assumed we were the only Gwen. Later, I met her and then it was her turn to be happy because she had thought that she was the lonely one and only ever Gwen, but now we both know that neither of us are.


Created with images by the tinz - "Doorway, Nantucket" • justine warrington - "school" • mecredis - "Sugimoto-esque" • The Kufi Smacker - "gwen"

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