This morning I assigned my students two simple writing prompts, exercising the present tense. They had to use the words “as soon as,” “first,” “next,” “then,” “before/after,” and “when.” We all learned. For example, I realized, as I chalked the prompts on the blackboard, that “when” plays as the middle child between “before” and “after.”
Below, for fun, I answer the prompts myself.
The first, “What do you do every morning?”
Every morning, I like to do the same thing. First, I get out of bed when my alarm rings at 5:00 AM. I also have a second alarm for 5:02 AM, just in case. It rings after I come back to my room, after using the restroom. Next, I write for twenty to thirty minutes, by hand, in a journal. Write now, I mean, right now, I am using a black journal. Sometimes I use a green pen, other times a blue pen, sometimes a marker, but never a pencil. Then, I work out for twenty to thirty minutes in the basement of the apartment building. Chest, biceps and legs one day, and triceps shoulders legs the alternate day. Core everyday. As soon as I put the dumbbell down, I race back to my apartment, eat breakfast, shower, then leave for work at 6:40 AM.
The second, “What do you do every evening?”
Every evening, when I get home at 8:50 PM, I can’t wait to go to bed. But first I put my backpack and book-bag in my room. After that, I take off my jacket, to feel at home. Next, I wash my hands. Riding the subway feels sticky sometimes. Also, I really feel at home once I feel clean. Then, I reheat leftovers. On Sundays I cook a meal that lasts the whole week. This week I am eating bucatini pasta, with a different sauce every night: cream, pesto, puttanesca. Before I go to my bedroom, I wash the dishes and make tea. There is usually only a plate and a fork to wash, so I make the effort. By the time I am done cleaning, the kettle whistles. As soon as I am all ready, I go to bed with my tea. I write a little more. I rest.
The present tense is the strongest tense. Used well, it can span all time. In my case, it is good practice.
What is your present tense?