6–Word Memoir .
Peralta Hacienda champions and supports young people through its programs and partnerships. Every year, Nina Portugal and her 9th grade students from Life Academy visit Peralta Hacienda and bring their amazing social justice projects: Shadow Box Project, in the Fall, and Upstander Project in Spring. Since the coronavirus pandemic changed the way young people learn at school, the way they work has adapted.
This Spring, Ms. Portugal's students created a 6-Word Memoir summarizing their experience with COVID-19. This poigniant online exhibition offers insight to the world of teens and how they are dealing.
What is a 6-Word Memoir?
It is a short autobiographical story about life and experience written in six words. Writing within these boundaries is a creative way to catalyze conversation, spark imagination, and boil big ideas down to their essence. A few examples from teens: 'Finally learned 'weird' is a compliment', 'Mom just revoked my creative license', 'Living my dream; please send money.' There are books published of these stories and thousands of examples. Additionally, six words makes a writer think about their diction or the words they choose.
Legend has it that when Ernest Hemingway, a famous author, was challenged to write a six-word story, he came up with “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Inspired by Hemingway’s short story, 6-Word Memoirs have become popular by writers of all ages, races, countries, languages, and demographics.
Our Words have Power! What are the most powerful six words to describe your experience during COVID-19?
Aida Pablo Perez
'My LOVE for MUSIC is BIG'
The story behind the words is because I love playing Instruments and I know how to play a little of these instruments And I want to learn more about them. I wanted to share this because I LOVE TO PLAY AND HEAR MUSIC.
Angel Gutierrez Solorio
'My Life During Shelter In Place'
My six words are My life during shelter in place to describe my life at home during this COVID-19 pandemic. I chose these words because I have been most impacted by doing stuff at home from working and not being able to have much fun. Now that I'm at home there’s not much I could do but, the things at home which annoys me because there aren’t many things to do at home. The story behind those words were just to describe my life being at home because I hate it and it causes lots of stress, so what I did was write the fun activities I do at home to show that my life isn't as difficult as I think. I wanted a story to make me happy from the stress of school because some teachers are giving out low scores because students don't understand something. This sucks and makes me really sad inside because I'm getting low scores when I don't know what's going on. So again, that is why I wrote this story to cheer me up when I am sad or depressed. I wanted to share to show other students how life is to other students. This story is good to know because it shows that there are some fun activities to do during this horrible pandemic. Although it is difficult this micro story could make a enormous impact if people read it and learn from it. Shelter in place is not fun but, you have the option of making it fun so do something exciting and stop being bored all day. This could cause a macro change in your mood and health. There is not much today here just read the story and you will understand that don't stress so much about school like me and make this time fun for yourself. My life was to show what I was doing to calm myself during this time and shelter in place was to show where I was doing most of my activities.
'When sick. No trust. No money.'
I chose this words because I been talking to my mother of what could happen in the future from now on and when I see the news it only sounds like that the people will lose trust to one another and think it with that people could get a simple cold could cause people to take more breaks and then they will have no money because people will not trust them anymore and it will be because of this happening.
Armando Gonzalez Espinoza
'World isolation, less education, less concentration'
My six-word story is world isolation, less education, less concentration. I chose this because it describes my experience right now and what I am going through. The story behind this is that I have been very down, and by that I mean the fact that we can’t spend time out in the sun besides our homes. Not only that but I am irresponsible with school right now. If we had school, it would’ve been very different. I wanted to share this because we all have something in common during this quarantine time, the fact that we want to see our friends, learn, play, and other fun things.
Divianca Martinez Marquez
'Day 7777 of quarantine and umm…'
My six word story is “Day 7777 of quarantine and uhh…” I chose this because it explains how for me, everyday of quarantine is a little different. Sometimes my day could be normal, boring, surprising, etc. There is no specific schedule that I follow so my day is in a way all over the place. It all depends on how I feel or what my family decides to do. The story behind my words is that when I get really bored I just make impulsive decisions like cutting or dying my hair. I think to myself “if this turns out bad it's ok because i'm stuck in here”. I don’t really have to worry if it turns out horribly because either way I can’t go outside and socialize since I am stuck at home because of quarantine. So, basically if I mess up or something there is nothing to be concerned about. Another part of this is since we have been in quarantine for so long sometimes I don’t even know what day it is. Also, because it feels like time passes by so fast especially when I spend a multitude of time just being lazy, watching netflix, or being on social media. The hours just pass by without me even noticing, and in a way I feel like all this social distancing has messed up my sense of humor. I wanted to share this because this is what my quarantine has been like mainly just family time, sleep, eat, and it repeats all over again or sometimes with something a bit different.
'Quarantine, more like staying inside forever'
I chose this because the fact that we mostly have to remain indoors shows thats the quarantine is just involving us to stay indoors forever and that we cant do what we mostly did before this whole virus. The story behind behind the words are the fact that the quarantine was meant to have people remain indoors yet I see people outside when im outside, but not as much as I used to before, and for some reason there are more crimes than before.'
'As days pass, I get lazier'
My six word story is showing how lazy i am so i chose a picture of my dog being lazy to represent me. I chose this because i used to wake up very early but now i just stay in bed which isn't bad but i'm always up early. The story behind my words aren't some type of sentence you have to decipher to find the meaning of it. I think it's pretty self explanatory. I wanted to share this because it shows that if you give way too much free time I most likely won't do what I have to do because i'll become lazy and not do it.
'Dear YouTube, you save my Life!'
The story behind the words are that I do YouTube and it has helped me to distract myself and find my passion. YouTube has helped me to find a motivation in something I enjoy doing and love watching videos. Once this pandemic started I have used YouTube way more and it has been a way to keep myself busy and try not to go insane in the house. This six word memoir is meaningful to me because it describes how it has been for me since we have been in shelter in place. Many people find different ways to stay busy and this has been my way. I feel like YouTube has many great things and mainly it has lots of soccer videos. Soccer is my passion so being able to used this application has made it some what easier to still watch soccer and watch videos of new tricks.
Esmeralda Pena Sanchez
'Day 56 I deconstructed my house'
The story behind the words is I have been stuck in the house for so long that I have checked every nook and cranny and reorganized everything. I wanted to share these words because since the world is dealing with this virus I think a lot of people can relate to what I am dealing with because we are all stuck in our homes. I also want to share these words because we have been stuck in our home for so long we might not even remember the day that we have been stuck. This six word memoir is important for me to share because it has been very lifeless, monotonous, and uninteresting. The only thing I have done to keep me alive is the homework my teachers have given me.
'Dear Bird, Can you be quiet!'
My six word memoir is “Dear bird, can you be quiet!” I wanted to share this because my bird is very distracting when it comes for me to study or do homework. Every time I’m on zoom is hard for me to hear because he makes noise and he does not stay quiet. He’s one of the reason I always stay mute because I don’t want to distract anyone. Although, I love my bird and he’s just being an animal it just shows how little things always distract me. Distance learning has been very difficult for me and any little distraction just makes it worse for me to stay focus and actually want to do work.
'Music Takes me to Another Dimension'
My six word memoir is 'Music Takes me to Another Dimension'. I chose this because music is my safe space. I feel like I'm in a whole ‘nother world when I’m listening to it. I wanted to share this because I know I'm not the only one who feels like this. Music is literally the best thing to exist. It could make you happy, make you sad, make you dance; there’s so much power in it and I love it.
Jose Codova Martinez
'Netflix and Play Games and Sports'
My six word story is 'Netflix and Play Games and Sports'. I choose these words because this expresses me during quarantine. I thought this is going to be different and relax and that is how it felt when it started but day by day it kept on going boring doing nothing to do and being bored all day. I started to watch a show called Money Heist. It was very interesting because it was about a heist and a lot of interesting stuff happened but I finished it in 4 days because I had nothing to do so I finished it fast. The other part of my 6 word memoir is playing games because I play games in the morning and at night Netflix shows because playing games takes my mind off stuff and sometimes I play with my friend if I want to play with them. I just stay concentrated on the game and nothing distracts me. Finally I play sports at my house because I want to stay fit because I eat a lot of junk food nonstop and I am doing different sports everyday. I play soccer or basketball or ride bikes or I go to the hills and walk around by myself and relaxed and I forgot about stuff and be concentrated on myself and think about my future.'
'Mom’s Room is the New Classroom'
My six word memoir is “Mom’s room is the new classroom.” I chose this because since we been on distance learning my moms room has become my learning space since that’s the only place I can concentrate and get work done. I feel like since the pandemic it can be challenging to find the motivation to do work or a place at home to do work since everyone is home but I’m glad I found a place. My mom has allowed me to be there most of the day and I’m happy she lets me because she knows how important it is for me to get work done.
“Netflix and Facetime equal sleep deprivation”
My six word story is “Netflix and Facetime equal sleep deprivation”. The story behind these words is that I always stay up all night watching a show or movie on Netflix or facetiming someone. That is all there is to do now that we’re in quarantine. I stay up because I don't have to be up at 6:00 am anymore, I can wake up at 4:00 pm and still be able to do some school work. I wanted to share this because this is what most people are doing, most people are just doing online work and/or going to work if they are essential workers. Since I stay up all night most days, I find myself extremely tired and I don't wake up until 3 or 4 pm unless I have a zoom class. Being sleep deprived causes me to be unmotivated as well and that means I don't do my work until the last minute and I have to stay up late and that causes me to lose even more sleep. I feel like I've watched every show and facetimed everyone already and there is nothing else to do. I would go to sleep but my sleep schedule is ruined so i just stay up all night rewatching some random show or overthinking or trying to get myself to do missing work.
Distance Learning has become a nightmare!”
My six word memoir is “Distance Learning has become a nightmare”! I chose this six word memoir because I want to show the world how it feels to be at home in isolation and having to do school work without no support. Distance learning has become a nightmare because I’m not used to learning through online and it has been very difficult for me at times. It seem great at first to do distance learning because I taught it will be fun to be at home but as time pass by it started to get boring and I don’t feel so motivated. I want this nightmare to end already and for us to go back to normal like going outside and back to school. Distance learning has been a challenge but has also taught me a lot of independence and reaching out for help when I need it. As bad as it can get some days and I get frustrated I have to see the positive side and see it as a learning experience.
Sugeiry Gutteriez Perez
“Cute anime girls give me serotonin.”
My six word story is, cute anime girls give me serotonin. I wrote this because it is the truth. They are the only thing keeping me happy at the moment. They are what make me want to continue living. When I see their cute faces I am instantly filled with joy. The story behind these words is that during this dreadful and depressing quarantine I rediscovered my love for anime. The more time I put into watching anime the more I realized that anime girls are without a doubt tremendously cute. Whenever they smile or laugh I feel like I am floating on air. That feeling is what is keeping me alive during these tough times. Words simply cannot explain the love and gratitude I have for their existence. I am also fully aware that they are not real. That they are just cartoons. Knowing that truth truly pains me but it doesn’t matter, I will continue to live for them and them ONLY because god knows how many more anime girls will be drawn in the near future and I plan on seeing EVERY single cute anime girl till I'm on my deathbed. I decided to share this information because I felt like others could relate to this extremely powerful and meaningful story. I believe that by sharing this story other individuals will feel like they aren’t alone, that there are others like them. Who will solely live for the fact that they have not seen every single cute anime girl.
Wilbert Bernal Reyes
“I’m Tryna Rap, Tryna make music”
I’m Tryna Rap, Tryna make music. I chose this because it is what I've been doing during the quarantine. The story behind the words are just trying to rap and make music. I wanted to share this because I want people to know that I'm making music.
“Raised screen Time Equals sleep deprivation”
The reason I choose this six word memoir is because I'm always on my phone from day to night. I have to force myself to sleep to get at least some rest for energy the next day. I wanted to share this because I want others to know they aren't the only ones with this problem.
“Should I sleep, or do homework ?”
The story behind the words aren’t that deep but I know a lot of people would’ve felt this Six-Word Memoir. During this quarantine I don’t really nap, but I do question myself about doing homework. There’s times I actually don’t want to do homework because doing it at home is a distraction for me, especially without me having my own space. This quarantine has also brought me closer to my family and I’ve been trying out new ways to distract my mind other than just doing homework. The meaning of “should i sleep” was to just to describe another distraction that didn’t have to do with homework in short words. For other people it would’ve been to actually go to sleep because they’re bored of being at home and don’t want nothing to do with homework.