Monday, February 8, 2010

life in six words

This story recently played on NPR's Talk of the Nation. Tonight on my long drive home I pondered about what six words would comprise my life memoir. I chanted strings of words outloud and wasn't convinced of any of them. . . until I remembered two words, repeated three times, from my youth.

My tenth grade American Literature teacher, Mrs. Ahnert, was my favorite high school teacher. She was from Texas and had a (sterotypical) big Texas personality, along with a charming drawl. She never donned the same outfit twice in a school year and always dressed in bright jewel tones. She said shopping was her hobby because her husband was a pilot and wasn't home much. Her nails were perfectly manicured every week. She once dumped out a Sam's Club container of hot chocolate mix after she read the label and realized it was distributed from the food plant that Jeffrey Dahmer worked at. (Sorry to bring up something like Jeffry Dahmer, but it's something she said that I will never forget her saying - she was so animated while recounting how she dumped the cocoa into the garbage). The girls loved her because she was so feminine and outspoken, and most of the guys were taken aback by her for the same reasons. She brought books to life and made our 15 and 16 year old minds think differently about required reading.

I can't remember the book we were reading, but I remember her describing the main theme of it to us, saying those two words three times, while stomping her heeled foot on the floor for dramatic effect.

Be true, be true, be true.

That is my six word memoir.

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