Part of my personal philosophy on teaching and learning is that they are somewhat interchangeable: most of the time, I will teach and students learn, but the opposite should also happen frequently as well. And although I want to provide models, sometimes it’s nice to explore with them.

In my writing elective, we’re studying short fiction, and I wanted my students to write some microfiction pieces, 200 words or less. I gave some examples from a blog that is run by some friends of mine (it’s good stuff) and let the students go, joining them in writing a couple of microfiction pieces as well. The ones that the students shared were quite good: some funny, others serious, with some other variations as well.

But for a moment, I’m going to take the spotlight and share my own writing. Keep in mind that these pieces are unedited from the original writing – and I wanted to keep them that way.

I know the most sickeningly patriotic person, that kind of freak who is competitively patriotic. His birthday is the Fourth. He dyes his hair red and wears blue contact lenses. If you ask, he’s thought this was the best country on earth longer than you have.

So I confess that I had to take a picture when I caught him sunbathing in what can only be described as a desecration of our flag.

Boy, that Facebook page is going to be fun to make.

He sits at the cherry coffeetable in their front room, watching his seven-year-old son crunch numbers with increasing frustration.

“That’s an error. Check your work again.”

He received a sour seven-year-old snarl, remembering that these were the good years. Just wait until algebra.

Hopefully I can continue to explore my own writing with the students. Yesterday was one of our best class periods of the semester, not entirely because of my sharing – but I like to think that it didn’t hurt.

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