The Curse of Creative Block

When an extreme case of creative block zooms through Stuyvesant students, The Spectator finds their latest issue empty of good articles, and teachers find themselves looking at rows of missing homework and classwork assignments from students.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in our world, something bigger has struck Stuyvesant High School. Creative block.

Think of that as a mix of writer's block, artist’s block, and whatever other block might exist (even cobbler’s block, which is a nasty one). Ever had those days when you can’t do anything productive, can’t make even a sentence’s headway into an English essay, and lack the energy to talk to your friends? Feeling like you suddenly want to scream bloody murder and listen to horror stories late at night instead of being productive? Those are the early symptoms of creative block—among many others. While the school was still busy preparing for blended learning, this new problem threw them off balance. Well… more than just off-balance. It completely flipped them into the air and launched them face-first into a humongous pile of mud.

Meanwhile, The Spectator was dealing with more issues. Can you imagine writing when you’ve been struck with a case of creative block? Nope, not happening. Even harder than trying to get a thread through the hole on the head of the needle at night without any light source. At least the hole is still there. But how do you expect people to write without inspiration? You can’t!

So the writers each decided to write random gibberish, and when the latest issue was released, it left the rest of the students, as well as the faculty, utterly confused as to what code the paper was writing in. Perhaps it was a conspiracy happening between all of the Spec writers that no one else was aware of. They’ve insisted it’s some sort of social commentary—but they’re probably just covering their asses.

It seemed that the students were the only ones who were under this curse. The teachers were all perfectly fine though they were a lot more annoyed than usual, which was to be expected given what was happening in the school, but what could they do about it? Nothing. All they could do was look at their list of assignments and find that no one had submitted anything worth grading. Some did submit an empty doc with an image of a loading screen, hoping that the teachers would be too lazy to wait for it to load and just give an easy A+. Just like what people did on TikTok. But our instructors knew these tricks. After all, they also scroll through TikTok for countless hours instead of grading past assignments, or whatever else teachers do.

None of the faculty seemed to understand what was going on. Principal Yu continued to send his uplifting emails every morning, which no longer proved so motivational. The counselors hurriedly organized get-together meetings with their respective homerooms, but when the meetings came around, no one turned on their cameras or unmuted themselves. No one even bothered to make up excuses as to how their mics didn’t work, or that their camera broke, like they normally do in class.

Why was this virus so picky, targeting only us poor students? Now we’re stuck lamenting our terrible fate, going to school, and passively listening to our teachers ramble on and on about this and that. I bet we would all much rather lay in bed and sleep. And eat. And repeat. No need for thinking.

If there was one upside to this horrendous event, it was that for the first time in memory, or perhaps in history, Talos managed to stay online for more than an hour at a time due to the lack of student activity.