Meta: In Which I Write About Writing to Make Sense of Things, In Order to Make Sense of Things (Or, Why Journaling is Crucial)

Over the past week or so, I’ve grown a little bit bored with my usual podcast lineup. Maybe bored isn’t the right word. It just felt a little stale, and while I was still enjoying the shows I listen to every week, I wanted some new content too. While listening to an episode of Literary Disco, I heard one of the hosts, Rider Strong (yep, that Rider Strong), mention some work that he did with another podcast, Mortified. From his description, I could tell that it was very similar to another show I’ve recently started loving┬ácalled Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids (pretty self-explanatory).

The premise for both of these shows is simple: at various clubs where the events are hosted, adults get up on stage and read things that they wrote when they were kids. It ranges from really bad poetry and weird stories to middle school diary entries, notes passed in high school to AOL conversations printed years ago, and everything in between. The results are typically really humorous (and often very poignant at times). Many of the participants are also roughly my age, so a lot of the references and particular habits resonate with me (printing “important” AOL conversations in the late 90s so that you could read them again later to make sense of them? Guilty. Also my mom just recently threw away boxes of notes that I had from junior high).

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Do They Make Academic Rehab Clinics?

‘Tis the season to be writing papers, cramming for finals, and generally stressing out — or so says about 80% of my Facebook newsfeed. I’m insanely jealous.

I think I have an addiction to academia. I surmise that it started when I was two or three and started harassing my parents relentlessly about how long it would be until I got to go to school. I didn’t even really know what it was; I just wanted to go there. I heard there were books. Faced with having to wait, which is something I don’t believe I have ever been good at in my entire life, I resorted to scribbling on a chalkboard in the basement of our old house while my stuffed animals listened quietly and attentively.

If only my students, during my actual teaching career, had been so quiet and attentive.

Scene in my classroom, May 2008

(As fate would have it, though, I wasn’t done teaching stuffed animals) Continue reading