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All content copyright 2010 by Chelsea Biondolillo. Seriously.

Monday, November 22, 2010

365 days of being a writer: day 98

Somehow, I think my 100th day will fall on the day that I will be least likely to cope... You think retail work at Christmas is crummy--try manning the "Turkey Table" at everyone's favorite fancy grocery store the week before Thanksgiving. All day, I explain the difference between free-range, organic, and heritage turkeys. I offer tips on how much turkey to get, whether to brine or grill or smoke. I prioritize people's week and schedule their errands--and I sure as Hell better not Fuck Up Thanksgiving.

For the most part, it's actually a pretty good gig. I get to do a lot of talking, which I love (though it really wears me out, it keeps me from over thinking). I get to be a helper--and I really like being a helper more than being In Charge. The lack of recognition is a drag, but I turn into a total fascist DICKtator when I am in charge.

One of the reasons that I like working for this store is that my expertise is useful to our customers. Quinoa? Love it. Need a good gluten-free cracker? NUT THINS. Scared of the "field roast"? Don't be. Trouble sleeping/shitting/sneezing? Take this, this, and this.

Being an expert appeals to the know-it-all in me. But I also get to learn stuff back from the customers who come to my store. One woman is soaking her turkey in vermouth. That's bad ass.

Anyway, this does have to do with writing. It's the know-it-all in me that likes to write non-fiction. I like becoming the expert and then being entertaining while I explain a thing (like starlings or turkeys).

This is also why I think I would be a good teacher. I don't like to learn about something so that I'm the one who wields the knowledge and who doles it out as I see fit. I like to help, and helper monkeys make better teachers than do Chairman Maos.

But the Mr Jekyll/Dr Mussolini thing is hard for me, which is why I always thought teaching would be too challenging to be rewarding. But college is different--I don't have to discipline anyone. There are rules, and everyone is adult enough to follow them or they have to leave and get an Incomplete. I would like to think my sense of order would be useful in the classroom, organized syllabi, reading lists, iron-clad grading schema, etc.

I love seeing the people that I have taught to knit making beautiful things on their own. When one of my nephews gets excited reading a book, I go nuts (books are all they get from me present-wise). I don't think it is short-sighted or delusional--in the daydream sense, not the don't forget your pills sense--to suspect that I have a good aptitude for teaching--whether comp, rhetoric, or creative writing. And if, in the meantime, I get to do a bit of my own writing, even if the demands of teaching make that as difficult as it is now--that would be so goddamn great.

All this to say that I officially submitted my first application today. It isn't complete yet, but it is paid for, and now the finger-crossing begins.

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