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Memoirs

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by

Jennifer Mann

on 29 August 2012

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Transcript of Memoirs

An important characteristic of a memoir is to make the subject come alive. Synonyms: journal, recollections, reminiscences 1. A record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation. MEMOIR 2. An account of one's personal life and experiences; autobiography STRATEGIES: Well known authors get their ideas for stories from...

·Important people in their lives

·Places in their lives

·Objects in their lives ·Thinking of a place that matters to you, then listing clear, small moments you remember there. Davis' favorite book for me to read to him at night was the book BUNNY MY HONEY. So that is an important object that I can connect special memories to. ·Thinking of small moments with a special person. When I see glow sticks I think of July 4th and the first time Olivia saw fireworks at Kings Island. She loved the glow sticks and necklaces just as much as the fireworks! So glow sticks can be an object that spark memories for me. Thinking of objects that are important to you and letting them spark a memory. Linus' favorite object is his blanket. Memoir When you write your lifes story, you're always like an explorer, forever arriving on the shore of yourself. - Ralph Fletcher "Memoir isn't the summary of life; it's
a window into a life much like a photograph." See your life as a meaningful story. Look at the scenes of your life like you are looking through a lens of a camera. Explode the moment! Include frame by frame details. Leave the reader with an overall impression of the moment. Here are some things to try. Fill in the blanks: I will always remember... One of the happiest times of my life.. One of the saddest times of my life... One of my biggest failures was.. My biggest challenge was when... Let's try it! It is your memory written from YOUR perspective. and here? Tell a memory from your life. A small moment...true story. Use first person point of view. (I, me, my) Add primary documents like pictures to support the events. Write in chronological order Use a narrative format with sensory details What were his thoughts here Seventeen

Ahh…slept in. I smile immediately as my muscles tingle and tickle with a good stretch. Random thoughts float quietly in and out of my mind as the fog of sleep lifts. A smile slowly forms across my face as I remember that I have every square inch of the two story house to myself.

It is funny how this simple thing can be so exciting, like getting a birthday present when it isn’t even your birthday. I ached for freedom. I am not sure why, I had plenty of it, but something inside of me was unsettled. I wanted to take on the world and was certain I was ready for it. Unfortunately, I still had my senior year of high school to have the “best year of my life”. That’s what everyone was telling me…well the adults anyway. “Enjoy it while you can…”, “Oh, next year will be a whole new world. College is different.”
My father had lost all muscle control. The hose attached to the tank he wore on his back, which contained a pesticide, had a leak in it.
The pesticide had seeped from the tank where it connected to the hose and soaked through the shirt he was wearing. The poison engaged in a relentless assault on his nervous system. Soon Sleepy was on his way to the hospital with my dad. Not the strong active father I knew, but the gray, ashen, lifeless father who had taken his place.

I was on the phone waiting in the deafening silence as I waited for mom to come to the phone. I remember how numbly and mechanically I was telling her she needed to go to the hospital. I hung up the phone. Freedom turned into emptiness in every square inch of the two story house. “Yeah, no kidding!” my smartypants teenage brain thought. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! I WANT something different and I’d be happy to get on with it now. Now that I look back, it intrigues me OR arouses my curiosity as to how the teenage mind works because that morning was spent no differently than if my mom and dad were in the house. I rose lightly from the tangle of covers, sauntered down the stairs to the couch, found a channel I liked then went for some OJ from the fridge. I spent my morning like this until I was sprung to life by the phone.

My mom was calling. It was lunch time and she was checking in. Both my mom and dad are teachers. She had an inservice meeting today at the middle school, but since Dad teaches at the high school he was off the hook for today. My mom is the ultimate caregiver, perhaps to a fault. She always has your basic needs cared for and always puts hers last. There’s food in the fridge; our home is orderly and clean. “Has your dad come in for lunch yet?” she asked. “There is chicken salad and country ham that you can make sandwiches with or you can warm up some of the beef stroganoff from last night.”

“No, he isn’t in yet. I think he is still in the fields spraying the tobacco. I’ll probably have some of the ham and take care of him when he comes in.” My dad is from the traditional belief that the man has his role and a woman has hers. He isn’t militant about it; it’s just how he grew up and what his mentality is. I didn’t mind stepping in for my mom.

“Ok, I should be home around 3:30 or 4:00.”

“Ok, I’m just hanging out.”

“Bye.” What is that? Sleepy Adams? …why is he carrying dad! Why does dad look so…oh my gosh....he is so...gray. That's not normal. Panic hits my stomach. He is soaking wet. I don't understand. Sleepy was taking him to the basement entrance, I bolted down the stairs. My heart was racing. I thought nothing. I could only watch and do as Sleepy said. He was calm which helped me to stay calm, too.

Charles "Sleepy" Adams was a college buddy of Dads and he was Fleming County High School’s varsity basketball coach. He was a mountain of a man. I’m guessing 6’6, 280 to 320 pounds. His mighty stature was a blessing on this day. I could tell he was struggling to help dad. His iron grip on the belt at dad's back and his broad forearm across dad’s chest were the only things that were moving my father. He was limp, his face was an errie ashen gray. No trace of the sunkissed pink or peach tone that my healthy father always had from working in the early morning sun. His head was hanging down showing no indication that he was able to hold it up. It was as if Sleepy were a little boy and my dad was the teddy bear flopping lifelessly in his arms. Personal Narrative Personal Essay Personal Expressive Writing The personal essay is different than a formal essay. In the personal essay, the writer writes about experience without having to prove the point. The author needs only to introduce the subject and theme. It is based on feeling, emotion, personal opinion, and personal experience. It is autobiographical. On the other hand, in the formal essay, the writer states the thesis, and then attempts to prove or support his point with facts—to provide proof. To do this, the author must do research.
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