After reading and discussing Chaucer's use of direct and indirect characterization in "The Prologue" to The Canterbury Tales, discuss the professions today that might be included by someone who was part of a group of travelers stranded or together for a long period of time. (a trip to Mars, a downed airplane, a long bus trip). After the list is made (letter carrier, computer geek, psychologist, nurse, electrician, plumber, bio-chemist, etc), assign the students to write a description of a "new" character for the trip. For the more advanced students, a poetic version; for the less talented, a prose version. The point is to understand Chaucer's mastery of character description.