More than thirty years ago at the beginning of my career, I had lunch with a well-established newspaper syndicator who told me the following story: Ernest Hemingway was lunching at the Algonquin, sitting at the famous “round table” with several writers, claiming he could write a six-word-long short story. The other writers balked. Hemingway told them to ante up ten dollars each. If he was wrong, he would match it; if he was right, he would keep the pot. He quickly wrote six words on a napkin and passed it around. The words were: “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Papa won the bet: His short story was complete. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end!
Longed for him. Got him. Shit.- Margaret Atwood
The baby's blood type? Human, mostly. - Orson Scott Card
Bush told the truth. Hell froze.- William Gibson
Don't marry her. Buy a house. - Stephen R. Donaldson
Easy. Just touch the match to - Ursula K. Le Guin
The six-word memoirs published by Smith include one from TV chef Mario Batali ("Brought it to a boil, often"); another from an anonymous student ("Deferred all math homework to Dad"), and this from a long-suffering English teacher: "Grading AP essays, I crave Tolstoy."
Here’s the specific question Teacher magazine used:
If you were writing a mini-memoir of your teaching life, what would your six words be? Your memoir might be funny, inspirational, profound, mundane, deeply true. Want to play? Mull it over, doodle with pen and napkin or your favorite digital tool, and post your memoir for all of us to read.
They asked. I listened. We learned. (Majorie)
Life on the bell curve's edge. (Amy B)
Every day is a new adventure. (Amy E)
Reading creates new worlds—let's go! (David)
Exercised the muscle of the mind. (Nancy D)
Please, don't ask me for more! (Kim after a hard year)
No growth, no life. Struggling, soaring. (George)