Tag Archives: tefl

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.

It never occurred to me to become a teacher.  I’ve always had such a weird relationship with teachers – some of them adored me and made me see the endless possibilities my life held, but a lot of them were really kind of awful, a few even stooping so low as to resort to bullying tactics.  I was, admittedly, an outrageously annoying child.  I talked incessantly to cope with my almost unbearable insecurities.  I was, as I’ve mentioned here previously, super tall and pretty fat.  For a while there I was also reasonably smart.  My first grade teacher made a point of that last bit, pulling me apart from the rest of the class and bringing my reading level three grades higher than everyone else’s.  Additionally, at story time she would have me read to the class.  As you can imagine, this made everyone think I was awesome.  Oh, how they’d cheer my name at recess.

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An Explanation.

It has been a while, gentle readers, hasn’t it?

This is partly because I’ve been run off my feet.  It is also because I’ve been a bit lost for words. It is true that when we don’t keep up our good (or bad) habits, we fall out of them.  So there’s that.  But it’s also a question of integrity.

Lately I’ve been watching this show Girls.  It’s something I’m selfish about…I don’t share it with Chris, not because of the presumably girly nature of the show itself (Chris was a die-hard Desperate Housewives fan for years.  True story.).  Anyway, it’s not even just a girly show.  But it does bring up a lot of emotional junk for me.  I started watching it, incidentally, because there is a character named Shoshana, and as many of you know, one of my besties is named Shoshana.  Not an uncommon name, but I only know just the one.  My Shoshana is also a little crazy, but more in a Liz-Lemon-as-schoolteacher sort of way, not in the way of Girls‘ Shoshana.  And I miss her a lot, a lot of the time.  There are many other reasons I heart this show, including that the main character (who happens to be played by the writer/director of the same show, the ridiculously talented Lena Dunham) is so fantastically flawed I can completely relate to her.  In fact, the likenesses between us are frightening…our differences lie only in what we are and aren’t shameless about.  I really need to take a step back from my friends on the small screen.

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Rambling into 2013: An update

I think I’ve always been a bit of an all-or-nothing type.  I’m melodramatic and a bit self-involved quite a lot of the time, much to the annoyance of anyone who loves me and many who don’t.  A knock-on effect of those tendencies happens to be that I give something a go and if it doesn’t work out, I let it go pretty easily.  I don’t give up, mind – I just shift.  My attention.  My effort.  My raison d’être.

When I was 15 I thought I might be a writer.  By 17 I was hoping to fall head-first into rockstardome.  At 18 I boarded a plane to Manila.  Said I to me, “Either animals, children, or music…that’s gotta be it.”  By the time I boarded the plane back to LA I was set upon working with kids.  Homeless kids, to be exact.  And I did – much more than I ever did poetry or rocking out.  But life has, in the past couple of years, led me in a number of different directions, and so I’ve found myself doing the things life has led me to do.  Most of those things haven’t involved homeless children…or children at all, really.

The last year has been an interesting one.  At the start of it, I was feeling rather zen about all of it, like things were sure to fall in place if I just kept my head about me and stayed focused.  I suppose things did fall into place, if by “things” I didn’t mean “money” and by “place” I didn’t mean “my bank account.”

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Plan-schman.

There is always, always a plan.  Even when I try to let life lead, there is always a plan.  Even when I don’t know exactly what the outcome will be, there are a number of options.  Like the doors on a gameshow, I expect the outcome to my big life decisions to fall within the confines of one of them, or some combination of the lot.  This time has been very different.

When the idea to write for a living came along, it was as though, for a moment, I suddenly had sea legs.  Is that even legal?  Surely I’m not one of the beautiful people.  I’m not someone who gets to spend her days creating.  Surely my mind isn’t independent enough, I’m not relentless enough, and after all, who on Earth wants to read what I’ve got to write?

Alas, I’m over a year into this endeavor and I can say that, without a doubt, I’ve not yet figured out the answers to any of those questions, or calmed any of those doubts (with the exception of that question on legality.  Apparently it is.  You heard it here first, beloved readers).

Don’t get me wrong – this post is not some big fishing festival – you read me, ergo, I’m gonna go ahead and assume you think I’m wonderful, either because of my uncanny ability to whittle words or because you just love me from way back.  I’ll take either one.  As to the editors I’ve contacted, the feedback has been…limited.  I’ve sold a few articles, I’ve written several more for free, and I keep on keeping on.  But there has been more than a little hubris along the way.

See, the first thought was this:

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Apparently I’m staying.

Day before yesterday, Chris ran to the local tabac (offy / liquor store – sans liquor) to spend a whole bunch of money to buy these little tiny pieces of paper that quite closely resembled a mix between stamps and monopoly money.  On each of those little pieces of paper was a unit of money:  1€, 8€, 50€.  This mysterious task was required in order for our subsequent trip, yesterday, to the prefecture, which is the same word in English and therefore not really necessary to italicize.  But whatever.  I do because I can.  I hope you read it with the appropriate pronunciation.  Moving right along…that trip to the aforementioned prefecture was to pick up my carte de sejour, or card of stay, more appropriately translated as “staying card,” or for you boring folks out there who like to keep it simple, my visa, for which they only accept the aforementioned monopoly-stamp-money .

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What I Seemingly Must Become

Many of you will know that Kurt Vonnegut is my all-time favorite writer.  I love absolutely every aspect of his now-departed being:  I love his silliness (ting-a-ling), his seriousness (why, why, why?), even his physical presence.  He was a gangling man, tall and thin, with big bug eyes, a long nose and a head full of big fat curls that were grey from the first day I read him, and long before that, of course.  Of all the writers I have ever read, he has come closest to my understanding of Gandhi’s satyagraha – absolute truth – and he has also inspired me more than any other to put words onto paper.  It is because of Vonnegut that I understand the two notions around fiction – that it is more honest than fact, and that fact is much stranger than fiction quite a lot of the time.

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