Friday, April 28, 2017

Now Hiring Englishers

I’m an English major. And when this phrase is inserted into conversation of any kind it is always followed by one of two questions. 

"But don't you speak English?" 
"Oh, so you're going to be a teacher?" 

Generally question one is uttered in Spanish while the Latino speaker eyes my hair, skin, and other blatant North American features, and question two is spoken in English accompanied with a dull head nod and pitiful smile.

So in answer, allow me to explain. There is so much more to English than speaking the language or teaching grammar. There’s literature, and monologues. There’s documents and blogs. There's business, there's poetry, speeches and plays. Oh what joy to be found in this English buffet! 

Oh, there’s also Dr. Seuss. In case you didn’t get that from the last paragraph. (Try reading it again, with rhythm.)

So flashback to my Senior year of high school, right? And everyone is asking me where I want to go to college and what I want to study, and my engine spurts to a stop, smoke slipping from the hood, and I realize that I have no idea. When was I supposed to decide this? Where was I supposed to find the answer to this one? So I roll out the drawing board, dump out a new box of colored chalk, and strain to sketch my future. I could try accounting, dental hygiene, social work, zoo-keeping. The list was extensive, but nothing sounded right. Then finally, discouraged, stressed, and covered in hypothetical chalk dust, it occurred to me. Can I study something that I enjoy? I mean, I know I've always liked English, music, and theater, that's obvious. But I can legitimately study those things in college, and do those things the rest of my life, for a living?

It was a ray of sunshine. A hot and gooey chocolate chip cookie. I was as happy as those perfect smiley people on the beach of a coke commercial. 

And recently, I had one of those hard days. Where after shedding my dress shoes and changing into a t-shirt, all that lingered from work were the angry comments from customers, the headache from staring at a computer screen, and the list of things I didn't finish that I'd have to pick right back up the next day. And I end up on looking for other options. 

While scrolling over my search results for "Writing" and "Editor", I found two interesting things. Firstly I found that all the descriptions and responsibilities sparked something inside of me and got my adrenaline going a little bit. Stuff like, "provide feedback and advice to writers", and "develop fresh story ideas and create compelling press releases", or my personal favorite, "Does it rub you the wrong way when there are grammar errors on your favorite website? Do you have passionate views about the oxford comma? Then this job might be for you." 

And again, I found my ray of sunshine. My fuzzy blanket just out of the dryer. I was as content as those darling, giggling babies on the carpet of a Huggies package box. 

And the second thing I found interesting were the qualifications. "Bachelors degree in English", "degree in public relations, communication, journalism, or related field", and "two years of writing or editing experience". 

Oh. Right. Duh.  

So once again I had come full circle for a direct-hit head-smack. That's why I'm going to college. To get a degree. To get a job that I like. So that my employers don't only believe me when I enthusiastically express my love for English--oxford commas and all--but they see piece of paper proof that I love it enough to go through four-plus years of lectures, homework, research, and projects, live through it, and then put myself together and come back for more. 

Er, that's the general idea. 

So I take in a fresh breath of air and replenish my desire to study and graduate the heck out of this subject. 

And meanwhile head back to my job, which is, dare I say, pretty darn awesome when it comes right down to it. Great friends and colleges, plenty of support and consistent training, lots of free food, and several other nifty perks. I really can't complain. 

Wish me luck! 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Harlem Shake Shake

Please enjoy this video I made. In total it took me twenty minutes and zero dollars, which explains the watermark in the middle of the screen. I know you were all thinking that it was because I'm being sponsored, but alas, this is not true. It's just free, and the first option on Google when searching "video editor". Also I got a shake out of it, so that's always a plus. 

Have a nice day! 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Can't You See?

Just, bored. 

Despite my efforts to put down my phone and search for more "real moments", I just spent another hour and a half on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, and Candy Crush. Not in that order. Actually it might have been, it all sort of becomes a blur after about twenty minutes. Granted, my "efforts" haven't been incredibly solid or hardly existent. And with the recent surrender of my immune system after a battle with whatever it is that I've won (it involves a scratchy sore throat, stomach ache, and headache. Doctors, do your thing), an entire day in bed didn't help matters much either. I'm a sucker for justification, and an illness was all I needed to pull up the covers, download once again the forbidden apps, and pass the hours one tap at a time. 

It's an addiction. And because I'm ashamed to admit it, I thought that sharing this fact with others would help the matter. So I talked to my husband about it, for starters. But the only thing that changed was that I stopped trying to hide the fact that I was swiping sweets or tweeting tweets. (Actually, Twitter hasn't been a huge temptation for me, I just thought it would go well with "swiping sweets", and it fits the theme. I still don't really understand how Twitter works. It's generally a last resort, after I've scoured the entirety of the rest of the medias) So heck, let the whole world know. I'm going to have to move on to other tactics. Or any at all I guess that would be. 

So, to anyone else out there who has a similar issue and is unsuccessfully trying to quit, call 555-MY-PHONE-IS-EATING-ME-ALIVE. 

Actually, try watching this video. Things As They Really Are 

True, so true. But I like the full talk better, which I read first in a Spanish Liahona, I think, and I was absolutely intrigued, specifically with the fact that one of Satan's tactics is to keep us from ourselves and our lives by getting us to plug in to a lesser reality. THE INTERNET. (Dun dun DUUUN!!!!) 

And that, children, is why the internet is the spawn of Satan. 

Okay, so I don't put it as well as Elder Bednar. Maybe you should just read his version. Truly intriguing, even in English. 

I did do other things today. Like go to work, cook/reheat dinner, and read five chapters and three fourths of the Introduction of Helen Keller's The Story of My Life. Three fourths because, really? You're gonna spoil the best parts of the first three chapters in the intro? This is a published introduction to a renowned autobiography, not a middle school book report. C'mon Jim Knipfel. Honestly. 

Actually he looks like a pretty cool guy. 

Also he's blind, and I've never written anything blind so what do I know. Also he's wearing a pretty spiffy hat, so points for Jim. 

Anyway, speaking of Helen Keller, I thought you might be interested to know that she was actually my idol when I was little. I don't know how I found out about her. I believe my mom actually started reading The Story of My Life to us, Jessica and myself I think, and I became enthralled. I researched her, I read more about her life, I walked around the house blindfolded for half a day to see what it was like, I read and researched Anne Sullivan (Helen's teacher), and Louis Braille (who invented--you guessed it--braille). I also remember meeting with my mom and dad one day and telling them that my goal in life was to become a teacher for the blind and/or deaf, and started learning sign language with little kid books and videos. I didn't get very far with that, and my life goals have been revised several times since that first draft. But anyway, it's always been fascinating to me.   

I still get a little offended every time I hear a Helen Keller joke. But I also laugh because, I gotta face it, sometimes they're pretty funny. I hope Helen understands. 

So I guess this is the part of the blog where I come slowly to a stop off the freeway of my thoughts, and the roar of the engine becomes incredibly absent, and the sleepers yawn awake, and after a few more stop lights I roll into the driveway and bring it all home. 

But I either missed the exit, or I was never on the freeway in the first place, both of which are a problem and require a U-turn, if not three. 

So this might be my foot on the gas rather than the break, but, just allow me this while my GPS is rerouting. As I was reading Helen Keller, I tried to imagine her blind, deaf, and, for many years, mute. You would think the autobiography would easily lead to that kind of conclusion, but reading the way that she describes things, I'm finding it really hard to believe. She writes about herself when she was a child, walking through the garden, examining the flowers, feeling them, enjoying them, and she calls them beautiful. How can she know that? I don't mean that in an accusing way. It's just so incredible to me the way that she sees the world. I will never be able to experience flowers the way that Helen Keller did. Or people, or conversation, or family, or laughter, or mischief, or learning. How did she do that? Like the passionate little girl inside me, trying not to peak through the slits of my blindfold, I yearn to know. 

Then here I am plugging my eyes into a candy kingdom, filling my ears with the repetitive bell and flute theme and occasional "Delicious", desperately trying to burst all the jellies with my finger in 36 moves. 

I won't say I'm an idiot, but I also won't deny it. Maybe that's too harsh. Trivial. I'm being trivial. And what I would give to sit even one hour with Helen, just to see her, and talk with her, and absorb some of her passion, her depth, her strength, her desire. 

Maybe then I'll have the courage to quit.