How to Make an “M”

How to Make an “M”

by Zak Jensen

  1. With a pen, draw one line straight down; another line starting from the same point, descending slightly to the right and ending at the same latitude as the first; a third line mirroring the second line, meeting at its terminus; and a fourth line starting at the same point as the third line and ending at the same latitude as the other three lines.

  2. Where you live, chart the low and high temperatures for three nights and two days.

  3. On a piece of paper, draw the letter “W” and then turn the paper upside down.

  4. Looking at an alphabet that has it, find the letter “V” and give it two legs for stability.

  5. Starting in Hammond, Louisiana, drive north to Jackson, Mississippi, then southeast to Hattiesburg, northeast to Meridian, and south to Mobile, Alabama.

  6. In a snowy parking lot, take ten steps forward, turn 135º to the right, take five steps forward, turn 90º to the left, take five steps forward, turn 135º to the right, take ten steps forward and stop.

  7. In the Western Kakshaal Too mountains of Kyrgyzstan, try climbing a peak from two different sides and in both cases descending toward the middle.

  8. On the Amazon River, float between Belo Horizonte and Retiro.

  9. With your hands in front of you, fingers together and thumbs slightly out, bring the ends of your thumbs together.

  10. Using any device capable of generating a continuous audible tone, create two consecutive tones of three time units, each with one time unit between them.

  11. Looking at the night sky, connect four stars.

  12. Holding up one hand, bring your fingers into your palm, with your thumb going under the first three and over your pinky finger.

  13. With an electrocardiogram monitoring your heart, experience a left bundle branch block.

  14. With your mouth closed and lips together, make noise by vibrating your vocal cords.
A drawing of the letter "M", with instructional arrows on how to draw one.
Lettering instructions from Speedball Textbook for Pen and Brush Lettering (lettering by Raymond DaBoll), 1972.
A route on Google Maps through different cities in the southeast, the blue route making an "M" shape.
Map showing part of the southern United States, from Google, 2022.
A snowy mountain peak annotated with routes up and down the mountain, which make an "M" shape.
Ascent and descent routes of a mountain peak in Kyrgyzstan, from The American Alpine Journal Vol. 53, 2011.
A satellite view of a brown river snaking through a green countryside, in an "M" shape.
Aerial image of a section of the Amazon River, from Google Earth, 2022.
Someone places their hands on another person's face in an act of gentle massage....the hands form an "M" shape.
Instructions for stimulating facial areas, from Barefoot Shiatsu by Shizuko Yamamoto, 1979.
An "M" written on a piece of paper, with two long dashes beneath it.
Guide to Morse Code, from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1992.
Four bright stars are connected in the sky with a blue line, the line forming an "M" shape.
Photo-diagram of the constellation Cassiopeia (turned upside-down), from NASA, 2015.
An illustrated hand forming an ASL "M."
Illustration of the letter “m” in American Sign Language, from Signing for Kids by Micky Flodin, 1991.
A black line on graph paper charting heart activity, with a big spike in the middle.
Detail of an electrocardiogram monitoring heart activity, from, 2022.
An illustration of a human head in profile, with different parts of the mouth and windpipe labeled with letters and symbols.
Illustration of “The Vocal Apparatus and It’s Functioning,” from Course in General Linguistics by Ferdinand de Saussure, 1959.