Brick Burdens


Caylee Caldwell, Staff Writer

With a raging war cry, the freshman hurled her yellow painted brick across the grass, smiling in satisfaction when it landed, flipped, and came to a rest near the soccer field fence. She rid herself of the burden that plagued her, leaving it to be forgotten while she joins her newly burden free friends near the fire.

It’s the annual brick assignment for Coach Winn’s freshman students, a time when poor souls are seen dragging decorated bricks through the halls and to their classes. However, although just bricks to passing bystanders, these hunks of cement represent something much deeper. To each freshman in Winn’s language arts class, these bricks represent their burdens.

Each student is tasked with choosing a burden, something that weighs them down, a problem they deal with day after day. They must write these burdens on a sheet of paper, folding and stapling them closed so that they remain private. Here comes the fun part… students must then take a brick, decorated or otherwise, and they must carry it with them everywhere until the assignment ends. A physical manifestation of the burdens they must carry with them every minute of every day. Each person had their own experiences in carrying around their burden bricks, questions and odd looks. Some, like Grace Haws, even had two hour long conversations with complete strangers.

“It kind of made me realize that my burdens can affect others too, in a way,” Haws said.

To the grocery store, restaurants, or sports meets, these bricks never leave the students sides. Then, after a long, burden heavy, few days, each person can finally let their burdens go… but not without a little yelling and some fire.

Heaving their bricks through the air, each person gets to release every pent up feeling and each frustration, all accompanied by a war cry.

“There’s something very therapeutic about it all,” Haws said.

After each brick is thrown, the students gather around a small fire to burn their stapled burden papers, releasing their problems and freeing themselves from their troubles.

“I think this will help me deal with my burdens in the future,” Sid Vasquez said.

Each student learned the way their burdens affected them, changed them, guided them, and each agreed that this lesson will stick with them throughout their futures.