Beach Road, Port Aransas Texas


5:30 p.m.

So, here I am — teaching pre-writing techniques to thirty freshmen. As usual, while they free-write, brainstorm, and cluster ideas at their computers, I’m doing the same. Ten minutes pass.

I wave my paper in the air.  “All right, time’s up! Who wants to share?”

Stultifying silence ensues.  Eyes drop to the floor. Throats clear. Well, at moments such as these, I am not above bribery.

“C’mon, everyone. Ten points to a daily grade?”

*rustle of  hands *

As I mill around from one student to the next, they share  everything:  favorite books such as  Harry Potter  and The Hunger Games. Favorite foods? Again, Mexican rules. And goals run the gamut — forensic pathology, criminal justice, pediatric nursing, marine biology, screenplay-writing.

After I give the volunteers a chance to read their writing,  I share mine:  vacation spots — Port Aransas, . San Clemente,  Stockholm, and New York City.

But when I lead them into the next technique — brainstorming — they really start clicking the computer keys.  So do I.

After they reel off their lists, so do I: the top ten items on my  “bucket list”. In true David Letterman fashion, I present them in reverse order:

10. Bungee-jumping (Hey, not like I’m going to do it!)

8. Drifting  above the clouds  in a hot-air balloon (with a snootful of Dramamine)

7. Acting in a soap-opera sex scene

( Collective sharp intake of breath… gasping…. giggling, as all thirty students imagine…well…whatever it is college students  imagine. At least they’re staying awake!)

6.Winning a million dollars on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (or at least enough to bank-roll items #5-2)

5.  Possessing either a baby-grand piano or a Mac laptop (either one, a win-win)

4.  Touring the world, stopping in Sweden  for Christmas

3.  Lolling, writing, and then lolling some more on a Port Aransas beach

2.  Publishing By Her Daughter’s Hands while I’m still sound of mind

And (drum roll, swell of orchestra)  number-one on my  list….. as if it’s any big surprise?

1.  Marrying my sweetheart  somewhere between Medicare and long-term care.

The room is quiet, again.  Some eyes are misty.  I wheel around and dab a tear from my own eye. Sharing….it’s  beautiful. In fact, I believe we’re  bonding.Sweden



  1. Kim Terry Adjunct Instructor of English Tarrant County College Southeast Campus ESEE 2302A 2100 Southeast Parkway, Arlington, TX 76018-3144 Ofc 817-515-3400 Here you go, sweetie. I copied you on the email from WordPress to me. Enjoy! I love you. xxxxxxxxx ________________________________

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