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The Magic Potion by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." – Albert Einstein
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You Never Forget by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Riding a Bicycle

/ Stories

They say you never forget how to ride—it is, after all, “just like riding a bicycle”.
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The Little MG That Couldn’t by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Car Trouble

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Sally gallantly offered that I could take the MG, but I wouldn’t consider it—far too untrustworthy to risk taking over the bridge.
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Keeping Warm by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

The downside of a house of mementoes is that it is hard to throw anything out.  I think the oldest thing I  have is something that eluded getting thrown out by several generations, but I don’t really know its story.  This is all I know.
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In the Before Time Retroflash. by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Broadcast News

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In the Before time, every evening the news god spoke.
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Named After by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By What's in a Name

/ Stories

“You don’t look Chinese!”
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This One’s For You by
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(82 Stories)

Prompted By Why We Write

/ Stories

I write because Suzy Underwood put out a plea to my college class listserv for stories about interviews, and I thought I had a good one.
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We’re Doing the Best That We Can by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

On my first day, it was show time. I nervously knocked on the door and entered to find a pleasant young man who listened patiently as I introduced myself in halting Spanish and asked what had brought him to the clinic. 
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Unforgettable by
50
(82 Stories)

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As my mother descended into dementia, her letters stopped, and we kept in touch through phone calls, increasingly with my father alone.  By the time my mother died, he had become my confidante and mutual support system.
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An Intern’s Prayer retroflash by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Sleepy Time

/ Stories

I have spent years of my life trying to come to terms with on-call sleep deprivation.
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Don’t Obey in Advance by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Banned Books

/ Stories

I felt uncomfortable packing the book and uncomfortable leaving it behind.
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Was Blind but Now I See by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By The Eyes Have It

/ Stories

My father was leaving the lecture hall when he stepped out of the doorway and a snowball—or more accurately, an ice ball—came hurling from the side and hit him directly across his open eye.
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What She Said by
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(82 Stories)

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So proud you are all contributing members of society.
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A Very Bad Idea for an Auction by
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(82 Stories)

/ Stories

The plan was to recruit male volunteers to be “sold”, for a term of some hours, at a “slave auction”.  It was 1967, in the middle of civil rights protests.
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The Hair of the Prophet by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Refugees

/ Stories

The Muslim staff that worked in our house protected the gardener and his Hindu family, temporary refugees in their own land.
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Year Number Three Retroflash by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

My whole world lies waiting
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Photo Booth on Safari by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Photo Booths

/ Stories

We could hear dull, throaty roars in the distance.  We were more than happy, thank you very much Mr. Guard, to be accompanied across the field.  Would they be willing to have us take their picture the next day, once there was light, if we gave them a copy?  Indeed, they would.
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Port in a Storm by
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(82 Stories)

/ Stories

It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a light of hope.
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What happened? by
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(82 Stories)

Prompted By Cheating

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“What happened?” The woman in charge of Introduction to Clinical Medicine seemed concerned.  I had failed the course’s written exam.  “I don’t know.”  And really, I didn’t.  I had never failed an exam. We second-year medical students had been farmed out in small groups to assorted ophthalmologists and ENT physicians in practice to learn eye…
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The Basement Laundry by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

Unlike the barracks and prefabs we had lived in, the modest new house in East Lansing had a righteous Midwestern full, unfinished basement.  Wooden staircase near the back door, cinder block walls, divided in two sides.  Washing machine and dryer, furnace, storage, and tools on one side; if we had canned, the fruits and vegetables…
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Time is short by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Time

/ Stories

We are adaptable, smart in many ways, and know that what should be done is also technically possible.  Is it enough? 
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Stove by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

You never like that stove.  You don’t know what it meant.
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Val-de-ree, Val-de-ra by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Scouting

/ Stories

I’m sure you would not guess it, if you guessed a long, long while, so I’ll take it out and put it on—it’s a great big Brownie smile!
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Shower by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Guilty Pleasures

/ Stories

The routine was: Turn on water and collect in bucket until warm—wet self—turn off water—lather and wash—turn on water to rinse—end! 
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Have You Met Miss Jones? by
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(82 Stories)

/ Stories

I always liked the way my dad played the piano, inventing arrangements from a fake book and not just playing scripted sheet music.  He loved interesting chords, with a just enough dissonance.  There were certain tunes he played often, refining the sound over time, drawing heavily from the Great American Song Book and jazz standards. …
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Corn Comfort by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Comfort Food

/ Stories

A recipe for joy--try this at home!
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Delivering the news by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Newspapers

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I would go to bed half dressed in a tee shirt, and at the first sound of the alarm, quietly roll my legs over the edge of my top bunk and slide onto the floor, already standing, trying not to disturb the roommate. 
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The Accidental Genealogist by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Group Photos

/ Stories

“Hi mom, it’s me, calling from Sweden.”  This will have to be short.  It is expensive.  “When was Grandma born?”  “What was her father’s name?”  I need some crumb of information if we are to have any luck tracking down relatives, and this was all unplanned. 1897.  Carl Corsberg, from ”Smaland”. That will have to…
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C’est Cheese Retroflash by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Group Photos

/ Stories

Won't you please move closer? Now, say, "Cheese"!
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The First Snowflakes by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Snowy Days

/ Stories

“It’s snowing!” And all the kids in Mrs. Kennerson’s first grade class jumped up from our desk chairs as one, rushing excitedly to the window.  Outside, flurries spun and danced in the wind, and for that moment, it was the most important thing in the world.
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Shoveling the Drive on a Snowy Morning by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Snowy Days

/ Stories

Memories of when I lived on Sumac Ridge (with apologies to Robert Frost).
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Kindness of Strangers by
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(82 Stories)

/ Stories

We had a whole ten days off, a fiftieth birthday to celebrate, a new telescope to try out, and a good grasp of Spanish.  A map.  No GPS, smart phone, or travel internet then.
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A Comin’ Through the Corn by
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(82 Stories)

/ Stories

A woman was “looking at the corn” when she blew a stop sign and T-boned our car. 
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Be it resolved retroflash by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Resolutions

/ Stories

I'm not really someone who makes new year's resolutions, but this year Sally announced she plans to learn to play the old accordion she bought on a whim years ago. 
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Holiday meme retroflash by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Holiday Letters

/ Stories

Actually, sometimes I really like getting a letter.
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Lucky dog retro flash by
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(82 Stories)

/ Stories

When I started thinking about this prompt, I started a list of all the reasons I had to be grateful, and soon found there was a true embarrassment of riches.  When stacked up next to myriad reasons to be dismayed, angry, and depressed, an old saying came to mind: “I guess a man (sic) is…
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In it for Life by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Family Medicine

/ Stories

All efforts to improve health are based on helping the body to heal itself, be it through emotional support, listening, suggestions for nutrition or activity, medications or surgeries, self-care or connection to a healthy environment.
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Chain, chain, chain retroflash by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Chain Letters

/ Stories

With apologies to Ms Franklin
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Non, je ne regrette rien! by
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(82 Stories)

Prompted By Regrets

/ Stories

I had a glimpse of the future at East Lansing Junior High--and it didn't look good. It seemed like a reprieve when our family moved to the other side of the world. I wasn't sorry.
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“Trickertreat” by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Trick or Treat?

/ Stories

Once it got dark, the kids would hit the residential streets in roving bands gone wild, armed with big bags, running to each porchlight to cry, “Trickertreat!" at the door.
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A Good Death by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Lemons to Lemonade

/ Stories

At age 92, there was no treatment for him; usually the end would come from some infection his blood cells could no longer fight off. When?  Maybe a month or two, max.  Maybe tomorrow.  No one knew. He got very quiet and then said, “Oh.  I guess I had better make some phone calls.”
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Avoiding the Boot by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Parking

/ Stories

The traffic going into London for the morning commute is insane.  The roads in London are impossible (and no GPS then).  Finding the cute little hotel in the Bloomsbury District would have been a challenge if we were awake and oriented; we were not. 
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Happy reading to all by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Children's Books

/ Stories

I just remember it was the girls crowding around my dad, and it was a very special time. Each week, he put aside his work and read us a chapter.
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Lunch box by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Mealtime

/ Stories

Meals were a challenge when I was a resident on hospital rotations.  There were no official breaks, no lunch, dinner, or breakfast hours, just work that had to be done and rounds to attend.  Sure, there were cafeterias with overcooked steam trays of food, but they weren’t open 24/7, and weren’t free.  Finding a moment…
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We have met the Enemy–Retroflash by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

It is not foreign terrorists who invaded the US Capitol, corrupted democracy, attacked the press, blocked voting, tried to install an unelected autocrat, attacked public health, imposed punishments with religious zealotry against women, or damaged the rule of law.
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Trying to work by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Going to Work

/ Stories

It was clear I needed a job.  Turning twenty, literate (two years of college behind me), energetic, and flexible—surely this would not be too hard.  But it turned out I knew nothing about finding work.
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This Old House by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Home Repair

/ Stories

The house was a study in deferred maintenance.  Charming, with furniture, bedding, kitchen ware, and barn implements still in place, but old. He was a budding architect.  I was a friend of a friend with no repair skills to speak of, but had youthful enthusiasm, and came cheap.
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Sorry retroflash by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Senior Moments

/ Stories

Oh joy! Oh f#ck! Oh crap! Sorry.
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The Computer Date Dance by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Dating

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Once upon a time, long, long ago, in a high school far, far away, there was a computer date dance.
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The Summer of our Discontent by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By That Summer

/ Stories

Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, and don’t criticize what you can’t understand. Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command.
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All is Fair by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

And yet, somehow, I have experienced cotton candy, apple fritters, kettle corn, corn dogs, Indian tacos and bannock, and have roamed through outdoor venues with crowds of young people milling around midways, carnies, pavilions with exotic chickens, beer fests, dog shows, food trucks, music stages, lumberjack contests, and barrel races.  Not to mention street fairs and parades of all stripes. I just can’t tell you where and when.
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Astronerd by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Hobbies

/ Stories

Okay.  We were definitely eclipse-chasers now. 
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Happy Anniversaries Retroflash by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Anniversaries

/ Stories

So many to choose from, and what a long, strange trip it's been...
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Diminished expectations by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Family Trips

/ Stories

I suppose most memorable family vacations have something that goes wrong.
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What did we know? by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Guns Then and Now

/ Stories

Many kids had cap guns in holsters on their hips. These were loaded with red strips which were impregnated with dots of chemicals, and would explode with a loud bang when the trigger was pulled. 
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Smile! by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

As we pulled onto the onramp of 580, I screamed that we had to go back, NOW!
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Quiz show retroflash by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

I was made Queen for a Day.  But that started a Family Feud and landed me in Jeopardy. 
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The anti-club by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Cliques and Clubs

/ Stories

It was lonely.  I suppose it was just adolescent agonizing over the search for independence and existential meaning, while simultaneously longing for acceptance and inclusion from kids my age. You know, the usual.
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If the name fits, wear it by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Naming Pets

/ Stories

A litter of kittens frolicking in the California sun, named by my teenaged aunt Susan:  Peanuts, Schroeder, Linus and Charley Brown. Left behind when his family moved, we inherited the tawny pai dog.  Feral and battle-scarred, a forever stray who one day vanished.  Bishkar. Gray and white cat, clawing, meowing, rubbing, always knowing how to…
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Blowin’ in the Wind by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Recycling

/ Stories

With apologies to Bob Dylan. Couldn't resist.
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And the best of all, Sir Duke by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

Then, in the fall of 1963, an amazing thing happened.  The State Department, through the United States Information Service (USIS), sponsored a goodwill tour of American jazz musicians.  None other than the Duke Ellington Band—yes, that one!--made an astoundingly extensive tour that, according to google, went from New York to Damascus, Amman, Jerusalem, Beirut, Kabul, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Madras, Bombay, Calcutta, Colombo, Kandy, Dacca, Lahore, Karachi, Teheran, Isfahan, Abadan, Baghdad, Beirut and Ankara.  You may have noticed Dacca in that list.
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Que sera, sera by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Remembering Radios

/ Stories

I think it was my fourteenth birthday when my father bought me a transistor radio.  They were a wonder.  Mine was small enough to hold in a hand, with a little leatherette case and ear bud, from Japan.
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A bumpy section of the journey by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

In the end, she decided she didn’t want to break up the family, and returned, telling my father never to mention the idea of doing a PhD to her, EVER!  It was too late.  That was that.
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This won’t hurt a bit by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Vaccination

/ Stories

In 1957,  travel overseas meant lots of shots for our whole family—Mom. Dad, and three children.  I was the middle child, age 6.   We had to go to a special clinic in downtown Lansing, and we children were promised we would be taken out to dinner if we “behaved”.  This would be a big deal…
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I Just Called.. by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

We had no details. Television? None in the house.  Radio?  I can’t recall.  And really, why should it be covered 24/7 in Botswana?  When you read about a disaster on the other side of the world, how many details do you hear?   Internet?  Smartphone? This was 1989. 
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Movie Review Haiku by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Rewatchable Movies

/ Stories

In the darkness, find light Sun shines, laughter peals Watch again and again
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Table Manners: A Case Study by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Manners

/ Stories

The Goops, they lick their fingers, And the Goops, they lick their knives; They spill their broth on the tablecloth, Oh, they lead disgusting lives!
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Lessons from Old Dacca by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Inequality

/ Stories

Somehow, we turned into a street and found ourselves in Old Dacca, where we clearly didn’t belong. 
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My Un-favorite Things by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Pet Peeves

/ Stories

With apologies to Julie Andrews.
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Haircut in Istanbul by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Haircuts

/ Stories

Sally called me Cyd Charisse, but the hairdo was the only resemblance.
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Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

In Canada, new programs were suddenly in place for the unemployed and businesses. Schools closed, gatherings were progressively smaller.  Everything was changed, reminding me that “normal” can dissipate overnight. I harbored a guilty thought—could world-on-pause be something good?
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Snap, Crackle, Pop by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

Kids! Try this at home!
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Good Night and Good Luck Retroflash by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By First Memory

/ Stories

I didn’t learn who McCarthy was until much later. And I know now why news is so important.
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Righteous persistence brings great rewards by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Reconnecting

/ Stories

Now that decision seems pre-ordained and perfect, as life never is--but it is for me.
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We’d make a peach of a pair by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Valentine's Day

/ Stories

I don’t think the memory of that ever left her, written wordlessly in a scar on her heart.
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The 500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Hats

/ Stories

I just did an inventory:  81.
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Viva nuestra asociación by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Good Trouble

/ Stories

The executive team fought unionization ferociously--  we were fomenting discord and destroying the clinic, and how could we do this to the community?
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Art at Harvard? by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

  I always thought I had a knack for drawing.  Someone encouraged this when I was twelve, a year when my family was stationed in East Pakistan, and I came under the wing of an ex-pat Danish artist name Tova. She helped me do an oil painting for my parents, a still life with two…
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You’re on the right track baby by
50
(82 Stories)

/ Stories

Trust yourself.
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Thank you lessons by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Thank You

/ Stories

There is only ONE THING you are permitted to say
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Lights out in Vietnam by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Hello Darkness

/ Stories

The most complete darkness I ever knew was in Vietnam
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The Medical School Interview by
50
(82 Stories)

Prompted By Interviews

/ Stories

applying for med school while female
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