OriginalCulture: “No Time”

In 2013, OriginalTitle will be presenting her interpretations of contemporary short stories in whatever way such interpretations happen to emerge at Writer’sClubKL

This week’s featured short story is “Our Education by Lincoln Michel and can be read here at Electric Literature

Below is an excerpt from OriginalTitle’s biweekly column on Writer’s Club KL.  Read the whole column here: Writer’sClubKL

“We don’t talk to our teachers in school.  We suffer through numbing one-sided lectures in which we are face-to-face with an ancient dragon breathing coffee-breath out of lips dripping in Revlon’s fire-engine red.  The creature’s wiry grey-blue curls don’t even wobble, having been hair sprayed into submission, as she talks too fast for us to comprehend, twittering in a desperate attempt to squeeze vast quantities of knowledge into a concise thirty minutes.  We know not to raise our hand anymore.  A few of us lost one and Billy lost both to her pearly whites when she chewed us out for interrupting.  Our questions are too abrupt and too time-consuming to answer.  When the exhausted beast finishes the regurgitation of knowledge she relearned the night before, she slumps down behind the fortress of her desk, face lit by the blue screen of the online attendance system.


In “Our Education,” by Lincoln Michel, such memories from a not-so-distant schoolhood are brought forth from the reader’s mind through the perspective of a teacherless student.  With his classmates, he’s trapped inside construction-paper covered windows and cellblock concrete where bells no longer signal recognizable blocks of time.  The students are left to fend for themselves with no means of escape.  In reading the story, one is thrown back behind the desk, into the cafeteria and amidst piles of gym mats.  In a spiral, the familiar adolescent tension of unsteady alliances and cut-throat social survival are uncomfortably remembered [….]”

I highly recommend, as Electric Literature did, “Our Education,” by Lincoln Michel and I look forward to reading his other works as I hope you will too.  Let’s start a dialogue about the story and what it brings to mind for you.  Comment below with any thoughts you have. 

About OriginalTitle: In addition writing her blog and contributing to Writer’s Club, OriginalTitle is also writing a novel and her work has been featured in Fanzine and most recently in Comb Magazine.

A soundtrack to supplement your reading:

Wait” M83

Echoes of Mine” M83



2 responses to “OriginalCulture: “No Time”

  1. Reading back through your archives is like getting two treats for the price of one: a short story I might not have otherwise been exposed to and your interpretive responses, which make me think so much about how influence works in creating textual webs of connections.

    I’m always excited by the opportunity to read both!

    • It was definitely a fun activity. I highly recommend subscribing to Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading. I’m rarely disappointed in the short stories they send out and it’s free! In these, I was using the stories as inspiration, but I found upon re-reading that I was really just using that inspiration as a vessel for a different idea. I’m going back now to see if I can distance myself from the original inspiration but still write the idea I wanted to get out there. They were kind of like a writing prompt for me-good for practice to see what would come out of my head. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment! I don’t think many people read both stories!

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