Monday, August 15, 2011

A Writing Exercise--The Mini-Memoir

I knew I could trust him.  His grizzled, graying beard, corduroy pants, and woolen vest, all spoke of a trustworthy mentor.  As I stood there, that cold November morning, I knew that whatever I said would be understood and taken in the strictest of confidence.  He walked up to me, his hands in his pockets, shuffling his feet across the wet grass.  A waft of air came up from behind him sending a smell of coffee and Old Spice my way.  When he got to where I was standing, he leaned against the hood of my car and asked, "So, what's up?"

I hesitated, but then felt the warmth of his brown blazer brush up against my arm.  The jolt of his familiar presence erased any fear I had.

I spoke.

The words came smooth and uninterrupted.  I could see that he was listening, really listening.  His brown eyes fixed on me. He didn't stare, but took in my whole presence.  Occasionally, he would not or smile when I made a joke, but the whole time, he listened.

When he finally spoke, his warm voice melted across my face.


This was a writing exercise I did with my students.  They had to choose a poster in my room, specifically a character from the poster, and write a descriptive mini-memoir.  We all had to then guess which poster/character they chose.  Can you guess mine?

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