It was winter, and there was a thick coating of snow on the ground. I was at school, though it didn't look like my college at all. For one thing, I live in Georgia, where snow rarely falls. For another, all the classrooms were on one level, causing the place to look like an elementary school.
Everyone in the school was given the same assignment. It was a photography project: we were supposed to take pictures of as many Corvettes as we could find. The photos were supposed to be as "artsy" as possible.
So I went outside. Before long, though, I'd forgotten that I was supposed to be taking pictures of Corvettes. Instead, I was taking pictures of nearly evreything else: trees, the snow, buildings, the sky, and even my sister. I don't know where she had come from, but pretty soon she was at my side as I trudged through the snow with my camera. We sat down for a minute and began talking, and something I said made her start laughing hysterically. I took a picture of her while she was laughing, and I thought it would make a pretty great shot. When I looked into the viewfinder of my camera, everything I saw was black and white. I figured I would shoot in black and white because my pictures would look more dramatic that way. When my sister and I were walking again, she saw a tree next to some barbed wire, and she said that it would make a very nice picture. I agreed, and was very excited after I'd taken it. The two of us headed back to the school building; once we had finished our pictures we had to get in a long line to speak with an instructor. The instructor was going to decide whether our pictures were "approved" or not. As long as we were approved, we could continue taking classes. The person with the best pictures would win an award.
When I arrived at the school building, I discovered that many students had gotten there hours before I had. One girl was presenting an instructor with her paintings of Corvettes. I wondered why I hadn't thought to be so creative, even though I knew that the assignment had been to photograph instead of paint.
By the time I reached the front of the line, it was nighttime. The instructor who reviewed my pictures said they were pretty good but that I needed twenty-six more. I said that I had been out in the cold for hours getting those pictures. She told me that the only way she would approve me is if I took more pictures.
For some reason, not being "approved" also meant not having any money. All my financial aid was cut off because I hadn't been approved yet. My parents arrived at the school, and we all realized we had no place to stay. We tried to make the lobby of the school our home for the night, but we were quickly kicked out. We ventured out into the snow. I snapped a few more pictures. Then my sister found a piece of sheet metal and bent it until it was in the shape of a triangle. Underneath the piece of metal were a bunch of my and my sister's old dolls and stuffed animals.
"We can all sleep under here," my sister said, even though there was barely enough room for one of us.
We all tried to fit under the sheet metal. No one thought to remove the stuffed animals.