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Slice of Life

Favorite word

Today I needed a bit of a boost to write. I ended up looking at the NYTimes Learning Network, and checking out some of their writing prompts. I have used these with students, most often with my media journalism students since the Times has some great opinion prompts that lead into argumentative writing or editorials.

For my purposes with today’s SOL, I looked at their prompts for creative writing. One dealt with favorite words.

My favorite word used to be surreal. I honestly loved it, the sense of imagination, perhaps an odd beauty, maybe a sci-fi tinge…it just conjured up all sorts of images for me, every time I heard or saw that word.

Then, 2016 made my attitude towards the word sour a bit.

And now, well, it is surreal isn’t it? Living with social distancing, trying to manage teaching online only to discover that the same kids who ask in class, “wait what are we doing?” are now emailing me to ask what to do. And the same kids who interrupt with loud comments, are now posting silly comments online.

It could perhaps be a funny sitcom, if it wasn’t so upsetting, to wonder each day, what will happen next.

So…surreal, it is still a wonderful word, but I just don’t want to live in its universe too much longer.

By Suzanne Richardson

Avid reader, middle school teacher, mom, wife, daughter, sister, newly writing after decades of fantasizing a writing life.

5 replies on “Favorite word”

Thanks for sharing about the NY Times. I loved reading about your word. After I finished, I started wondering which wins – 2016 surreal or 2020 surreal? I hate that we have to live through both moments. By the way – when the reader keeps thinking about what was read long after they finished reading, it is a sign of strong writing!!

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The world has certainly changed. I still hoping and praying that we learn so much from this experience. We are all having an out-of-body experience.

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Fun to read about how you got to this slice and your favorite word. It has been a surreal time, both then and now!

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