Donuts Boi! This is my favorite “heart surgery era” photo of me. My wife took it about two-and-a-half weeks after the surgery when she drove me to Hurts Donuts to celebrate the fact that I was still alive.

For those who do not know, a year ago today I underwent the Ross Procedure to fix a congenital heart defect an emergency room doctor discovered in me in May of 2020. This, naturally, was after I had suffered some serious health issues for the first five months of that…

Something for the kids.

Meditation: Chill. Just write.

“The Meditation” is a subgenre of the modern personal essay. It is typically 500–1000 words. Below you will see explanations and examples of three different types.

  1. Question & Answer: A question is posed and then answered in the form of an essay. Topics can include but…

Monster: Yes, open heart surgery is scary.

After you have major surgery in which you are “under the knife” for several hours and attached to a bypass machine, you are left with several side-effects. Many of these side-effects are immediate and obvious. You’re weaker, you have trouble breathing, you’re on a regiment of medicines that each offer…

Teaching. It’s basically just, like, apples, books, pencils, and blocks. Everybody knows that.

Over the last few months there has been a series of conservative political pundits and politicians claiming critical race theory is destroying the United States, in much the same way their forebears claimed communism, television, socialism, Eastern religions, rock & roll, video games, comic books, rap music, LGBTQ+, the internet…

Classics. They serve their purpose.

Recently, a student journalist at the school where I teach wrote an opinion piece for the school newspaper titled “Books with racial slurs should not be a part of the curriculum.” In it, she explains why books that use the n-word should not be taught, even when those books use…

Scary Ghost Stories. And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.

Every year I reread Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It is the one holiday tradition that I consider mine and mine alone. The rest of them, obviously, I share with family and friends. Though I enjoy all of my traditions, I am leery of holding any sacred. What I have…

Heart. This is my pillow. This pillow is mine.

I’ve spent the last twelve weeks recounting what life has been like for me since my open heart surgery. I like to think that at times what I have written has been heartwarming, other times scary, and maybe even occasionally funny. I hope I’ve taught my readers a few things…

AE Stueve

AE Stueve teaches and writes in Omaha, NE. Check out all of his available work at aestueve.com

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