a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Overexposure [I’ll let you decide if I mean the sun or the students]

“Ms. Rush, did you get a sunburn?” 

I was expecting the question, so I was ready, “Yes, but only on this side of my face [insert sweeping gesture over right side of face here].”  I figured if I said it first, I would avoid being told that my sun exposure was unbalanced. 

“Where did you go this weekend?”

“My backyard.”

 [insert perplexed teenage facial expression here]

“Yes, the sun shines in my backyard.  I am pretty sure it shines in your backyard as well.”

“How long were you out there?”

“Not all that long.  It doesn’t take much for my pale skin to burn.”

“Why is only one side of your face red?”

“I guess it is the way I was sitting.”

“Why did you sit that way?”

[insert annoyed “Really?” teacher facial expression here]  Gotta love 8th graders at the end of the school year.  They are so…raw and, well, honest.


  1. The comments in the brackets really add to the humor of this piece. You've got to love these kids.

  2. Ha! Great slice. Thanks for reminding me about 8th graders. You don't get by with anything do you?

  3. I just love middle schoolers! I will never forget the time I was incredibly sunburnt, but none of my students could figure out the cause of my redness. Many of them had never experienced/noticed a sunburn before!

  4. Love the insertions in the brackets. What a neat writing trick. I'll have to try that.

  5. Like you decided to sit that way.
    Like you wanted to be burned on one side.
    Like you wanted them to notice.
    It had to have been a conscious decision. Right?
    Great slice.

  6. You made me miss my middle schoolers! I love that age and you captured them wonderfully--love the details in brackets!

  7. Hmm...sounds like a conversation that could happen with first graders as well! :)