1000 Awesome Things Project
After viewing Neil Pasricha’sTEDx talk “1,000 Awesome Things” and visiting his website
to read examples, you are ready to complete your very own awesomeness assignment.
Part One: “The Awesome List”Due: November 27th
Neil made a list of 1,000 awesome things over the course of a few years; your awesome
list does not need to be as long as his, but should include at least 20 items. This list will
be used in class on November 27th for a figurative writing activity as well as in the
Part Two: “3 Awesome Things: Essay” Due December 9th
After creating your Top 20 list, choose 3 items to expand upon. For each item you will
Have at least two paragraphs
Use similes, metaphors and sensory details (be very descriptive)
At your discretion, use humor
Have at least two pictures per “awesome thing”
Make at least two words per item bold (to fit Neil’s style)
As always, use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
You will also need to write an introduction and conclusion that tie your items together,
thus creating one 8-paragraph essay when done.
Part Three: Essay PresentationDecember 9th and 10th
In class on December 9th and December 10th all students will read their essay to the
class. Students will be graded not only on their presentation of the material but also on
the notes they take during the other student presentations.
Edit & Revise
From Neil Pasricha’s website “1,000 Awesome Things” (Note, this is not an example essay, but
rather an example of Neil’s writing style)
#935 Eating Cookies Like Cookie Monster
It sure is a sign of gluttonous satisfaction when you find yourself home alone,
slouching on the couch in front of the TV with your eyes half open, a steady trail of cookie crumbs
dripping from your mouth onto your shirt and pants, chocolate smears on your lips and fingers,
and the telltale cookie package laying beside you, the plastic tray peeled all the way out of the
bag, entire rows laying vacant except for a bit of brown dust and maybe a rogue chocolate chip
or two. Yes, it’s satisfying all right, because many delicious cookies were eaten, without
witnesses, in a very quick and steady stream, by shoving them into your mouth, chewing a few
times, and then swallowing quickly to make room for the next one. You’re a cookie monster and
you love it.
Eating cookies like Cookie Monster is great because, more than anything, it represents
freedom. Yes, free thought takes you to the pantry, free will makes you grab that cookie package
and sit down on the couch, and free Wonder Years reruns keep you company while you sit down
and enjoy. You’re the Executive Chef in your personal Dessert Kitchen here. Just tell me that’s
not liberating. I mean, sure, we all know it’s not the greatest idea to eat a pile of cookies just
before bed, but that’s not the point. The point is: you can do it. Yes, you’ve come a long way
from the portion-controlled cookie snacks you got when you were a kid, that maybe two or three
cookies in a small plate with a tall glass of milk that just whet your appetite for more. Now it’s all
you all the time, baby. Nobody is going to stop you, except you. You can eat a whole row. You
can eat two whole rows. You can plough them in there. You can savor them slowly. The point is,
it’s such a great feeling to scarf cookies without abandon like Cookie Monster.
Truly, he was the role model for us all.
#853 When Your Microwave Pops Microwave Popcorn Perfectly
We’ve all been there. Staring nervously into the microglow at the fat, puffed up bag of popcorn
calmly spiraling in the center of the dish like no big deal. But it is a big deal, and you know it’s a
big deal, because despite the puffbag’sstraight face, there’s a minute left, the bag looks full
already, the pops are slowing down already, and you just don’t know when to pull the plug.
Stop too soon and you’ll enjoy some well-popped corn, but be left with a few handfuls of
greasy, unpoppedkernels at the bottom of the bag. Your stomach will rumble and you’ll either
remain hungry or pop a second bag and overeat. Not cool. Stop too late and you’ll enjoy some
well-popped corn, but many kernels will be black and burnt, the bag will be smoky, and your fire
alarm could have a fit. Not cool, either. Yes, that’s why it’s so great when your microwave pops
microwave popcorn perfectly. Either you grow to trust your dependable Popcorn Button or you
slowly master the perfect time yourself, after a few bad bags. But either way — how does it feel
when you pull out that perfect, steaming bag? AWESOME!
#361 The First Snowfall of the Season
Crystal flakes form in space before floating down from cloudy skies. Soon blankets of
white coat sidewalks like icing and frosty corners freeze in shady yards by the shed. Scarves
twist tightly around necks, noses sniffle and turn red, and everyone walks the streets with wide
eyes and snowy lashes. Boots slip and slide on the sidewalk, mittens swipe seats in the park,
and branches glow under a silent new moonlit world.
Sometimes the first snowfall gets your bones excited about everything the season brings
— family moments, quiet times, holiday shopping, and grandma’s cooking. It’s a symbol of
venturing out into a new world and bunkering into an old one. When the snow flies down for the
first time everything slows down around you and nostalgia bombs burst in your brain … of slipsliding to school on sidewalks, slushy snowball fights in the park, and sticky mittens rolling
snowmen on the front lawn… AWESOME!