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A Change Is Coming

Posted Feb 02 2013 12:00am

Or rather, it has come.

You see, I’ve been mulling things round in my head and have decided that this blog needs to stop existing and start thriving. Start being the pool at the end of my fingers where I can collect thoughts and musings from the day.

In short, I’ve chosen to pursue writing seriously. This means that I need to hold myself to writing regularly and in seriousness. I may, in the future, move over to another blog, but I like the name of this one, so I’m going to stick to it for now.

There may be some of you who leave for the sake of the change in content, and to that I say, come and go as you please, for I write for myself. If what I write pleases you, and you somehow care about the idle banter of a 22 year old college graduate, stick around, recommend me to your friends, lovers, and agents. Mostly the last one though, I’m always looking for one of those.

So what have I been up to since I last wrote seriously? I don’t count the random sporadic posts that have been cropping up here and there during the last 6 months; honestly I’m not sure I put a lot of thought into them and honestly-er, they were really only here to keep you all assured that I wasn’t dead/deleting my blog. If that isn’t what makes you alive, don’t do it: something I’ve learned of late. You see as you know, I’ve recently graduated from college. With a B.A. in Religion. Cue the questions of ‘Oh, so you must want to be a priest?’ and ‘Well you must know everything about all the religions then, I won’t even get into it with you!’ that I get oh, so often. I will disappoint you immediately and tell you that neither of the aforementioned are true; I am neither pursuing the ministry nor do I know everything about religions of the world. Like most people with a liberal arts background, I know a bit about most of them, but cannot pretend full proficiency.

That aside, I will say that I spent the fall semester preparing applications for a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan to teach English, as well as the eventual realisation that I wanted to teach and the subsequent development of applications to MAT programmes. This did not last, however, for just one day before the applications were due in (having been completely filled out and proofread, mind you) I decided that I was not one hundred percent sure about wanting to teach (keep in mind that I am an introvert and suspend your mind to imagining me in front of a classroom. Can’t? Neither could I.) At this point I was about to depart to D.C. for a conference on Education Policy (which I incidentally ended up really enjoying) but made the firm decision not to apply. The last application could have been sent in today and I, at nearly 9pm, have 3 hours left to do it. Will I be doing it? No I will not, because I’m still not sold and am not about to spent $300 on a half hearted decision (and still more on tuition). Which brings me to the next chapter of my life and my blog, and indeed of this post.

Writing.

Well, almost to there, because besides pinning myself to a desk to write what I KNOW is inside my head, I’m also substituting for my local school district. In 6 months I’ll either have a boatload of teaching experience or a book. I’m hoping for both, not just the former, which will happen regardless. You’ll probably hear a fair bit about that, actually.

So I turned inwards to that which I’ve loved all my life and in college had to eschew due to lack of courses (I wouldn’t lie, but aren’t you in shock!?) When I was in high school, I took as many English classes as I could that included writing (and reading, but I really wanted to develop my writing skills). I applied to conferences and was selected as one of two representative students from my school in a national writing contest. When I won, math class slipped into the background, literally and also in terms of how much I’d need math in the future- unless it was to count my earnings when I made it big as a writer. Kidding.

When I got to college, I approached the sign that said ‘English’ at the major fair and asked the representing professor politely if they ‘had any creative writing classes.’ when she responded to the negative, I backed away slowly, wondering how I would make it through the next four years without writing. I could do it on my own, yes, but it was something nice to have a writing group or exercises. Over the years, I kept up my journal (there are now 47 under my bed from the last 6 years), attended on-campus retreats, and took one creative writing class off campus. I will readily admit that it was my favourite class overall, and it rekindled my downtrodden attitude.
As I sat in my living room the other day, having decided and exclaimed loudly once again that I was not going to be applying to be a teacher, my hands began typing into the google search bar: ‘Creative Nonfiction graduate school programmes’ and I came up with my answer. Creative Nonfiction, unlike Journalism (and here I quote the Columbia University School of the Arts)

‘Literary nonfiction (sometimes called creative nonfiction) comprises such forms as memoir, personal essay, travel writing, profile, lyric essay, polemic, meditation, reportage, biography, history, cultural and political commentary, and reviews of the arts. While journalism employs established forms and methods, literary nonfiction uses the full range of techniques it shares with fiction and poetry but refuses to alter provable fact. Literary nonfiction celebrates all that is distinctive in an individual writer’s voice and vision.’

For a girl who has always been told that I had ‘such voice’ in my writing, I think I’ve found my muse of a graduate program. Shake your heads, go on now, knowing that I have trouble committing to things because I have trouble deciding about what is the right decision in case I am wrong. I think this is write, I mean right. (I swear that just happened!).

Get ready. Here come the words.

Love, Hannah

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