The sun was out today and while I was outside at softball practice it seemed like I had an IV line directly attached from the sun to my soul. It was glorious and I couldn't have been happier. Practice ended a little before 5:00, I went home to see my wife and daughter, and I just sat on the floor watching my kid paint and play with her stuffed animals for about an hour with the stupidest grin on my face. Sometimes I just stare at her and things make sense. It's like all of a sudden I get it. I know what life is about. It's like realizing that this is what it's all about. Watching her, I'm thinking, "It gets no better." And today it didn't. Contentment never felt so good.
Ways Mary-Beth Could Spend Her Friday Night by Rebecca James
This is a short story listing seven options that Mary-Beth could take for her Friday night. They are varied and interesting until #3 when a horrible secret is revealed. This story was a punch in the gut and it feels very, very true although it's not and if it isn't true then Rebecca James, the author, did a wonderful job of conveying the feeling of a person who has dealt with the thing mentioned in Option #3.
Story: 10 of 10
I score these so easily but I just really like a lot of things I read. If I don't like it after a couple pages, I stop reading it so that's why there aren't many things on here that get low scores. But this is good. Like really good. The piece is written in second-person (a rarity) and it is the perfect point of view for the narrator. A little detachment is ideal. The author says so much in here by saying so little. Very well-done. My favorite line?
"... your body feels like a soft wafer watered down." So perfect.
Teachability: 9 of 10
I'd teach this to seniors. It's heavy but they could handle it. Right now I can think of a handful of older students who would absolutely LOVE this piece. Subject matter raises a red flag or three, but in the right environment, very powerful. It could also be a superb model text by having the students borrow the narrative structure and even point of view. Lots of options with this one.