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31 January 2009 @ 10:04 pm
A short story  
Last summer, I taught a writing class at the U and tried using an exercise with the students suggested by Abigail Lewis, a teacher of memoir writing. She recommends writing a draft (on any topic) using three-word sentence. Her idea is that it's hard to hide behind the words when sentences are so short. It's necessary to get the main ideas out there. I wrote along with the students in class that day. Here's what I wrote about the move I made from New Mexico to Minnesota in June of 2001, just before Greg and I got married in August:

Good-bye New Mexico. Tears and hugs. Skylar’s not coming. I felt sad. So many doubts. Long car trip. Feeling torn apart. I almost stopped. Made a decision. I will go. Arrived in Minnesota. Lots of green. Feeling so tired. A new house. The truck arrived. Lots of unpacking. Greg was sweet. I was lost. I wanted this. But I didn’t. It was hard. A difficult transition. Skylar ripped away. My dissertation looming. I had space. I was grateful. I started writing. Many days alone. Sunny trees, squirrels. On the deck. I enjoyed relaxing. Wracking my brain. My damn dissertation. Had to finish. I sent emails. Committee was silent. I felt insecure. I continued anyway. I almost quit. One bad day. I remember well. On the floor. In the kitchen. I just cried. I’d had enough. I couldn’t continue. I had to. Finally the end. I remember revisions. Got some encouragement. Went to UNM. I defended there. Francesca was present. I was terrified. I did it. I felt terrible. It was over. Am I deserving? I’ll never know. No one cared. Occupying separate worlds. My friends, me. I couldn’t relate. Was it valuable? Who can say? Back to Minnesota. I was done. Now a job. Where are they? It’s so difficult. I taught French. Of all things. I was under-utilized. I knew it. I kept looking. (And this added later...) Message in email. UMN was looking. So I applied. Went to interview. Got the job. It's better now. Very nice students. Good colleagues, too. I'm too busy. It's very cold. Writing, grammar, pronunciation. This teaching life. Here am I.

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