Top Six Dr. Seuss Inspired Memoirs

Six-Word-Seuss

March 2 was Read Across America Day, celebrated around Dr. Seuss’ birthday to inspire new generations of lifelong readers. Many of us learned to read using Seuss books. His truthful, succinct rhymes are unforgettable! We think he deserves more than one day of celebration, so for SixContest #47, we asked you to send in your Seussian Sixes. Some of you crafted your own rhymes, others put a modern spin on the Doctor’s renowned classics. Here are some of our favorites!

6) Conflicts spiking: not to my liking! —mguinha

5) Just cook him something else, Sam —@darth (via Twitter)

4) Horton hears fifty shades of Who. —phant

3) Words are wishes like Seussian fishes. —Professor Bird

2) I do obsess, I must confess! —@ashhole1124 (via Twitter)

And our favorite Seusstastic Six is:

1) Grinches and Whos taught me truths. —womanathequill

Congratulations womanathequill, and thanks to everyone who joined in the fun! Whether in our SixContests, on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing!

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Classroom of the Month: Lori Beck’s Art Class at Kelly Middle School

Lori Beck noticed that students in her advanced art class had some free time, so she introduced Six-Word Memoirs to her students as a filler project, made up of multiple small assignments. An art specialist at Kelly Mill Middle School in Blythewood, South Carolina, Beck was shocked by how the students responded: “They took it to a place far beyond what I could have imagined.”

Alexis

“Trying to reach the good opportunities.”
–Alexis

“Can you please come back……Please?” –Ansley

As the students began creating their Sixes, Beck tried to give them as many resources as possible, such as, “The Evocative World of the Six-Word Memoir: A Q&A with new TED ebook author Larry Smith” and examples of other students’ “Sixers”—a term used by Beck and her classroom to refer to their Six-Word Memoirs. “Showing them examples and videos, and opening up discussion in the classroom really seemed to help,” Beck said, noting how the students just dove in to the project.

Beck asked her students to start compiling a list of powerful words about themselves, “The students had a worksheet of 55 Words All About Me and My World, and then I asked them to reflect on the list,” Beck said. “Anyone can put six words together…but I really wanted a deep connection, because after having them write their six words, I needed them to create a visual that they could really connect with.”

Students then took their list of words and went through an online thesaurus to strengthen their words. “I told them to find a word in one of their sixers to change to make it more powerful or more direct,” Beck explained. “And in the end you would see their face light up, saying ‘Miss, I think I have the best six words, I think I really have it this time.’”

Creating the most powerful Sixes they could was a moving experience for both student and teacher, which translated into incredible visuals that really showcased their Sixes. As a digital art project, Beck’s students used iPads with Sketchbook Express and Pixlr on Chromebooks to incorporate words and images into pieces that anyone could interpret.

Kristina, 13, 8th grade

“Cocoons shattered, a blazing butterfly emerged.” –Kristina

Kristina, an eighth grader who feels working with Six-Word Memoirs changed her worldview, says: “Each word in the English language carries much more weight for me, now that I know how powerful just six words, chosen out of millions, can be on you and the people around you. It has also fostered a bigger respect for authors and artists and their thought process behind every piece of art or literature that has ever been written with thousands of words instead of just six.”

Erin, 8th grade

“Dear love, Christmas sucks without you.” –Erin

Erin, eighth gradesaid the experience of crafting her Six-Word Memoir “held as much significance as a mother hearing her baby call her mama for the first time. I really loved this class!”

"Her lips beamed, her eyes didn't."-Annie

“Her lips beamed, her eyes didn’t.”-Annie

“Sixers got me to think from a different perspective,” said Annie, eighth grade,  “How can I be unique and portray a statement or story that is different?”

Jamal, 13-years-old, 8th grade

“Surrounded by people, yet still alone.” –Jamal

The project, filled with assignments and resources, challenged students on many levels. Eighth grader Jamal said, “The hardest part is finding a struggle worth talking about.”

Beck describes her classroom environment as “I give you voice and I give you choice,” and the students chose to insert their voice into their Six-Word Memoirs assignment, ultimately exceeding Beck’s wildest dreams for the project. Beck used Six-Word Memoirs to help students make connections, not only between words and images, but also between themselves and the world they live in.

Teachers! Since we first launched the Six-Word Memoir project, educators across the spectrum have found Six Words to be a terrific classroom assignment and catalyst for self-expression. At our Six in Schools section we celebrate students’ work from classrooms around the world. Our Six Words for Schools workbook is the first in our suite of school-based teaching tools, and launched our Six Schools website, a place solely for teachers to share their classrooms’ work with other educators globally. Check it out! Let us know what your classroom is up to and we might feature your students’ work on our blog.

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Memoirist of the Month—March 2015: Susan Breeden

“This site is extremely addictive. I’ll go through periods of posting several memoirs a day, followed by an extended creative drought. Yet, even when I’m not sixing or commenting, I’m never far away.”

Name: Susan BreedenMOTM Photo Susan Breeden

Place: Houston, Texas

SMITH Member Since: June, 2008

Susan­_Breeden has been an extensive contributor to Six-Word Memoirs. Since joining SMITH in 2008, she has submitted more than 1,100 memoirs and stories, and has been published in a number of our books and our desktop calendar. Her memoirs are top-shelf (“Grey Goose: My kind of animal”) and provocative (“We need a new mattress. Again.”), just like her avatar. Yet her insights and instincts are decidedly accurate (“Edit your words, not your dreams.”). Congratulations to Susan Breeden as our Memoirist of the Month for March 2015. She’ll enjoy a t-shirt with any Six-Word Memoir she’d like, thanks to our friends at Spreadshirt. Learn more about this writer at heart as Susan fields our Six Questions:

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Top Acceptance Speeches in Six Words

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Awards season follows hot on the heels of the holiday season, and with it just as many sparkles and shiny baubles. When their names are called, some winners read from a card, some make political statements, and some trip and fall on their way up onto the stage. And almost all of the speeches could be a whole lot shorter. The perfect length could be about, say… Six Words.

For SixContest #46, we asked you to write your Six-Word acceptance speeches, and your responses came in droves. You showed us gratitude, egoism, and disbelief. Here are a few of our favorite six-word speeches:

6. “I owe this all to plagiarism.” —BanjoDan

5. “Oscar is my favorite naked man”. —dani333

4. “My crystal balls couldn’t predict this!” —oopsalittle

3. “Here so I don’t get fined.” —@darth (via Twitter)

2. “This makes up for a lot.” —TeaTopper

And our favorite Six-Word Acceptance Speech:

1. I faked it… I maked it. —ADHDean

Congratulations to ADHDean, and thanks to everyone who joined in the fun! Whether in our SixContests, on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing!

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Fifty Shades of Wordplay: Sixers Riff on Touchy Subject

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“Fifty shades of queer and fabulous” -daQueenZachary

It wasn’t long before sexy sixes came flooding in over the past few weeks due to the release of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Sixers used the now-iconic title to inspire personal stories, commentaries on the book and film, and the expected racy puns from this crowd.  So while Fifty Shades won’t be winning any Oscars this year, with the Academy Awards upon us, we’ve been seeing some pretty whip-smart tie-ins.

Here we highlight just a few of the best “fifty shades” response Sixes, with a few good photos and Backstories thrown in the mix. Feel free to jump into the conversation with your own Fifty Shades Sixes.

“Six words—fifty shades of say.”

-jaceylane

“Damn! Only 49 shades of gray.”

-Jugggler

“Fifty shades gets a hard R.”

-notjustagirlintheworld

bsboxtitle“I heard a movie reviewer use this term to describe the not- so-soft porn movie based on the runaway bestselling ‘novel’—and I use that term loosely—come movie. (pun intended.) I will say this for the PR machine behind the movie, the timing of release could not be better. Fifty Shades of Grey is as crassly commercial as the Hallmark holiday they have chosen for it’s debut.”

“She’s watching 50 Shades. Getting ideas.”

-Steve_Anthony

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The Top Six Ways to #EndADateInSixWords

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With Valentine’s Day comes thoughts of love, at its best and worst. Most of us go on many dates before finding our Valentine. First dates are especially intimidating, particularly if your only interaction was swiping yes or no on an iPhone app. If the date is a hit, how do you get to the next step? If it’s a disaster, how do you escape? With nearly 500 closers proposed in SixContest #45, you showed us how to move forward—whether you’re bringing them upstairs or scaring someone away. Here are some of our favorites:

6. “You’ll make a great starter wife.” —JRE23

5. “Damn, your mom is really hot!” —c.b.

4. “Hesitation. Then, ‘Come up for coffee?” —Ardentwanderer

3. “I’d say you’re a solid seven.” —@LoveTheBadGuy (via Twitter)

2. “Forgot my wallet… do you mind?” —Midnight

And our favorite way to #EndADateInSixWords is…

1. “I should’ve swiped to the left.”  —@weischoice (via Twitter)

Congrats to @weischoice, and thanks to everyone who joined in the fun. Whether in our SixContests, on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing

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Memoirist of the Month—February 2015: Maria Leopoldo

I started out trying to conquer a writing phobia, and along the way, I’ve had some Sixes with featured backstories or chosen as Memoir of the Day. Now I have notebooks and pens placed strategically everywhere I go, because you never know when I may write the best Six ever!

Name: Maria LeopoldoMOTM 201502 Parispic

Place: Melbourne, Australia

SMITH Member since: August, 2010

As you peruse through Maria Leopoldo’s collection of Six-Word Memoirs—grab a cup of coffee, she’s posted more than 1,200 to date—one theme ties them together: positivity. Known by our Community as oopsalittle, Maria has a knack for finding the best in anything (“I’m getting old and I’m grateful.)” and she’s equally appreciated for sharing her less-angelic side with humor and finesse (“I grow horns when I’m driving.”). Our congratulations to Maria Leopoldo as our Memoirist of the Month for February—she can put her brilliant advice: “It’s never too late for Paris” or any Six Words of her choice on a fine T-shirt from our friends at Spreadshirt. Learn more about Maria’s journey as she answers our six questions.

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Top #SixWordClassics: Modern Day Cliff’s Notes

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How do you summarize a classic in Six Words? Our community made it look easy in SixContest #44, getting to the essence of countless literary works in just Six Words—think of them as Cliff’s Notes of Cliff’s Notes! Sixers tackled many of the greats, with hundreds of entries spanning styles and centuries, ranging from Gabriel García Márquez to Louisa May Alcott and even Dr. Seuss. Your synopses captured the heart of every story and these Six made the final cut:

6. Everything became a memory of her. (Love in the Time of Cholera) —Midnight

5. Lara, love, lyric poetry defy Bolsheviks. (Doctor Zhivago) —liberata

4. Capitalism results in ecological apocalypse, regrets. (The Lorax) —ComicBookMom

3. Diminutive ladies’ familial bonds come unglued. (Little Women) —L2L3

2. To repair theft he gave all. (Les Miserable) —mickael korvin (via Twitter)

And top honors for #SixWordClassics goes to…

1. Island voter fraud spearheads beastly leadership. (Lord of the Flies) –Oh_Skinny

Congrats to Oh_Skinny, and thanks to everyone who joined in the fun. Whether in our SixContests, on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr or at sixwordmemoirs.com—keep on Sixing!

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Classroom of the Month: Krista Cox’s Creative Writing class at Alma Public School

As a fan of wordplay, teacher Krista Cox had already completed the Six-Word Memoir project with her creative writing students at Alma Public Schools in Alma, NE, but she wanted to inspire them to take the concept further. Cox also loves public installations, so when she learned of artist Candy Chang’s “Before I Die (I want to)” project, she also brought that interactive concept to her students.

“Wordplay and public displays delight me,” remarks Cox, “so when I was introduced to SMITH Magazine’s Six-Word Memoirs and Candy Chang’s projects at about the same time, an idea began flitting around in my mind. It was my Creative Writing students who made the idea dance.”

Girls at boards - side

The class decided to try a “Before I Die. . .” and “When I’m Older. . .” as an interactive installation that asked people to express their responses in six words. Two students developed the entire project from start to finish. “I found it very rewarding to watch my students write a proposal, present it to our superintendent and then follow through with the process,” Cox said of the girls’ dedication and immersion into their Six-Word Memoir installation project. “We all learned a lot about the amount of time an installation requires, the excitement of getting people to participate and even the frustration of what happens with unkind submissions.”

At Alma Public Schools, all K-12 students are in the same building. Although it was the elementary classes who received invitations to participate in the project, Cox’s creative writing class saw this as an opportunity to share with students of all ages. The project was installed in the school commons area “to encourage people from all walks of life to participate…junior high and high school students, as well as visiting community members, were encouraged to add their responses, too,” Cox recalls.

Be a mother; a healthy one

I will marry my true love

Travel to Tahiti with my sister

 

I want to be a ninja

 

Girls at boards

Submissions poured in, and the creative writing class was able to see how the birth of a creative idea can come to fruition, not only through hard work, but also from a genuine desire to share creative experiences with others. Six-Word Memoirs is delighted to be a part of this collaborative effort. As you can see from some of these Six-Word responses, their aspirations are limitless! –McKenzie Merriman

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SixTeens have a lot to say

Six Teens_Logo

At the top of our Six Words homepage, right beside Topics, is the recently-added tab: Teens. This section features Six-Word Memoirs just like the ones throughout our site, except these memoirs have been crafted by teens and for teens. These young adults are the main players in the “heads-down culture,” who seem to have their eyes forever glued to a screen. However, these same tech-obsessed teenagers are experiencing love, facing challenges and forming dreams. SixTeens gives young thinkers a place to address their experiences and take on the very world that’s influencing them.

These Teen Sixers aren’t going unnoticed, either. In a recent post, Six-Word Memoirist G_Austin pointed out what we at Six Words have known all along—teens have a lot to say and plenty that’s worth reading. Click the memoir to check out his backstory with some recent SixTeens favorites:Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 1.05.00 AM

They sure do. At times it’s surprising that some of these Sixes come from teens, while it’s clear there are some observations only a teen could make. Here are just a few examples, each with backstories and a peek into just what it’s like to be a teen today.


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Our teen writers have been so impressive that we have two books in the Six-Word Memoir series featuring teens and students:

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Teens can click here to start crafting memoirs and reading posts from like-minded youth from across the country and worldwide. And adults will find SixTeens is a great conversation starter with a group that is notoriously reluctant to talk (outside of their peers). For teens who have something to say but don’t know where to begin, SixTeens is a great place to start! —McKenzie Merriman

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