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the following is an in-class writing assignment in which we have 10-20 minutes to write about a particular topic; this time limit does not always allow for nice, wrapped-up endings...I apologize now for the abrupt one here.  

Write about your name...

My mom is an opera singer. She has the most beautiful soprano voice...her favorite singer is Risë Stevens. Now, Rise Stevens spells her name R-I-S-E with an accent mark over the E. Apparently, my mom found that to be much too pretentious, so she changed the spelling to HER liking ~ R-I-S-S-A.  

I never game my name much thought, really...until I got a new bike in the 5th grade. Susan Gilbert got a new bike. Mary Roberts got a new bike. Sara Palmer got a new bike. Kevin, Brian & Jimmy Hill, Lisa & Ricky Jones, Larry & Tammy Castleman all got new bikes. They all got new bikes with blue & yellow license plates bearing their names! Yep. Every last one of them had their names on a license plate. When I asked my parents for a license plate with my* name, Mom had to gently explain there wasn't one. I was having NONE of it. She had to be lying. Somewhere there had to be a shiny blue & yellow license plate with my name on it. There just *had to be! That became my quest, my obsession - find a mug, a magnet, a something with my name on it!  

For my birthday that year, Mom gave me personalize pencils ordered from the Lillian Vernon catalog. And thus began my Mom’s ‘signature’ gift - personalized [fill-in the blank] ~ towels, bathrobes, blankets, gym bags, coffee cups, luggage, sweatshirts, back packs, car mats, car seat covers, door mats, wine carafes, wine glasses, wine. Good grief! I’ve got my name on everything now!


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