Yesterday was my first day back in the classroom for the 2016-2017 school year. Every August I kick off the year by having my students write and share a six-word memoir.

Once asked to write a full story in six words, legend has it that novelist Ernest Hemingway responded: “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

“In this spirit writing something that is both precise and powerful, the online magazine Smith asked readers to write the story of their own lives in a single sentence. The result was Not Quite What I Was Planning, a collection of six-word memoirs by famous and not-so-famous writers, artists and musicians. Their stories are sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and always straight to the point!

Here are some examples:

Well, I thought it was funny. — Stephen Colbert

I still make coffee for two. (penned by a 27-year-old who had just been dumped)

Extremely responsible, secretly longed for spontaneity.
– Sabra Jennings

Joined Army. Came out. Got booted.
– Johan Baumeister

The psychic said I’d be richer.
– Elizabeth Bernstein

Painful nerd kid, happy nerd adult.
– Linda Williamson

This first collection was so successful that later Smith magazine compiled another book of six-word memoirs, this time by teens. This book was called “I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets.”

Here are some of their stories:

“I don’t rock. Guitar Hero lies.” – Lacy F.

“Hair’s pink to piss you off.” – Stephanie N.

“I never got my Hogwarts letter.” – Deanna H.

“Finally learned ‘weird’ is a compliment.” – Teagan E.

“We’re the family you gossip about.” – Steven M.

“My diary is read by everyone.” – Taylor Swift

“Note to all boys: I quit.” – Lauren A.

“Aspiration: Colonize Mars. You’re not invited.” – Jordan H.

And so each year, I ask my students to write six-word memoirs of their own.

And I share with them mine, too:

Writing so we won’t be erased.

What’s your six-word memoir?