I had it all worked out. And then it didn’t.
I was working as a *teacher’s assistant, applying for jobs elsewhere. The teaching thing wasn’t going well: my student was a nightmare. I dreaded going to work every day, and then —
A reporting job came available. It was at a small paper twenty miles away, and it was perfect. The staff was small; the paper, bi-weekly. I didn’t have a lot of experience, but, surely I stood a chance here.
I had an interview; it went well. Wrote a test article; it went went well, too. And then I waited. And waited. The editor had had a few more interviews to do, so . . . Continue reading
Thought for the day, and week, and month, I suppose, at the rate I’ve been blogging:
If you want children to write, teach them to read. If you want them to read, show them reading is fun. As a kid, I was a bookworm, but it wasn’t until I became a teacher that I realized how much reading had impacted my understanding of the structure of the English language. No one cares about adverbs and subjects and predicates and helping verbs. No 8-year-old wants to break that stuff down. What they want are action and adventure and ideas. What they want are the things of life.
Except for that one student. If you really think “will” + “not” = “willn’t,” we may have a problem . . . Except that, there, the study of grammar failed you, too. You wouldn’t have said “willn’t” in day-to-day speech. You were following a pattern, and “won’t” breaks all the rules.
— Miss Jess
Writing Camp, Summer 2014
My favorite professor in college used to tell a story. As a young man, he’d been in a jazz band and then the army. He’d traveled solo around the world, dreamed of being a pilot, gone to flight school. After receiving his pilot’s license, however, he couldn’t find work. Times were desperate; money, scarce. One day, in a moment of frustration, he cried out, “Lord, please . . . What do you want me to do?!” Continue reading
I’ve been trying to write a post all morning. Trying to reach deep within and pull out something deep and meaningful to which you might all relate. I’ve been thinking about black and white and gray and how I don’t believe in gray and how that is why I know religion doesn’t matter: We all know right from wrong. But instead of flowing like a waterfall, my thoughts are congested spillway blocked by matters of immediate importance: I’m stressed. Interviews and new tutoring positions (I’ve recently been signed on as a kids’ tutor at several companies in the Bay Area) are on my mind, not to mention bills and dreams and exercise things. It’s harder to ride my bike in Berkeley. I miss it.
And so I reach and fall and try and bail and am reminded of a poem I wrote more than a year ago:
I’m reaching and falling.
I’m hemming and hawing.
I’m trying and failing.
I’m rowing, now bailing.
And I wonder if this ever happens to you? And I wonder how authors do it? Writing comes so easily to me when my subject is on my mind. But when it’s not? Writing is like pulling teeth, only worse, because I want SO badly to do it, and do it well.
In looking for jobs recently, I updated LinkedIn. In updating LinkedIn, I got in touch with old co-workers. In getting in touch with old co-workers, I got a job offer in Taiwan.
And I couldn’t take it.
Those of you who’ve been following me for a while now know how important travel is to me. I’ve often stated how much I miss living in Asia and how I can’t wait to return. My dream job would be to work for a nonprofit organization whose focus is international relief. I want to write to make a difference.
But why is travel so important to me? How can I make others understand? Continue reading