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In the first meeting of my creative writing class, the instructor ripped pages from the most recent issue of the National Enquirer and distributed those tear sheets to me and my classmates at random. From those tear sheets we were supposed to use snippets from the articles to create found poetry.
I ended up with parts of stories about Bill giving Hillary weight loss advice, OJ’s daughter considering visiting him in jail, an overweight couple who lost an enormous amount of weight together, a woman who stabbed her husband multiple times, and Chelsea Clinton’s newlywed blues. This was my on-the-fly piece:
While she was criss-crossing the globe—shattering glass ceilings and walking on sunshine—he was at home, racing on treadmills and Stairclimbers.
The honeymoon was already over.
“Trophy husband” sounded good in theory; he just never realized the masculine version of “barefoot and pregnant” was “rock-hard abs and an obsession with the Juicer.”
He was mocked in public for his place. He just knew it.
She doesn’t make all the decisions. Just the ones that count.
I’m fond of saying I have more degrees than a pot of boiling water, although that’s not really true (no matter what temperature scale you use). That said, I am really good at going to school, and I kind of love it. Today I was filling out the education portion of my new Facebook profile, and I remembered that I never technically graduated high school.
I was really busy in high school…with extracurricular activities. In fact, I was so busy with three kinds of band and two kinds of choir and two publications (but absolutely no sports whatsoever) that I couldn’t fit all my academic classes into the regular school day.
But because pretty much all the academic classes I did take were advanced placement or college level, the guidance counselor let me fulfill my last math class via a correspondence course. In fact, I took the paperwork in one day to show her I’d enrolled in it, and she promptly wrote it down on my transcript as completed—even though I hadn’t cracked the spine on the book.
I did do a few lessons, but come on: it was math. Eventually I realized the guidance counselor would never know the difference, and it was already on my transcript as a done deal. That was enough for me.
So despite my not, strictly speaking, having enough academic credits to graduate, I still came out at the top of my class. Because of that, I was invited to attend a special event the Clintons hosted at the Governor’s Mansion for that year’s high school valedictorians. At the time I didn’t think much about it. Arkansas is a small state, and I’ve met each of the Clintons several times; once I even played in a band wherein Bill sat in and shared his smooth sax sounds.
In retrospect, though, it was a pretty sweet deal. It was May 1992, and it was the last time I’d see either of the Clintons in person. Six months later, the nation would elect him as its president.
Frank Bonner, best known for his four seasons on WKRP in Cincinnati, attended the event as well. While I was busy schmoozing with the next leader of the free world, my daddy was chatting up Herb Tarlek about the state of Razorback athletics at the University of Arkansas. Good to know he had his priorities straight.
In retrospect, I suppose it’s fitting that over the years I’ve lost my diplomas from high school as well as three universities; after all, I never technically earned the first.
Last month my roommate kept her four-year-old grandson (Brayden) so her daughter (Shawn) could go out to celebrate passing passing the nursing boards. I went to bed relatively early (for me, anyway) because I had a dress rehearsal the following afternoon.
Brayden slept in the extra bedroom, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when I heard my door open around 6 a.m. and “felt” someone padding around my room; after all, he was just a disoriented kid in a strange house. But then he crawled into bed with me, and I got a little weirded out because I sleep naked. When I rolled over to look at him, his mother was staring me in the face.
“I’m just going to put some clothes on now,” I squeaked, and then I felt around on the floor until I found my pajamas (Thank goodness I have a platform bed just inches off the floor.), shimmied into them under the covers, and went back to sleep.
Four hours later I woke up because Brayden was running around the house like, I assume, little boys tend to do in the early a.m. As soon as I emerged from my room, he yelled, “Hey, Bradi! Did you know my mom slept naked with you last night?”
“Yes, well, I put clothes on when she got in bed with me, so I was naked for only a minute.” I wasn’t embarrassed. I mean, it wasn’t my fault my roommate’s daughter crawled into my bed with my naked body.
“No! Not you! My mom didn’t have no clothes on! She took ‘em off and got in bed wif you!”
It turns out Shawn was INCREDIBLY over-served the previous night. She and her designated driver friend stumbled in just before daybreak and slept in the living room, but somehow Shawn managed to drench herself and the couch in water. She stripped and climbed into bed with me—I guess because she’s slept in my room before when I’ve been out of town and was too drunk to remember the “when Bradi is out of town” part.
So although I didn’t know it at the time, I woke up that morning with a smokin’ hot 25-year-old naked chick in my bed with no effort on my part whatsoever.
And how was your weekend?
My Perfect Moment Monday for this week actually came on a Monday. (Note: that’s probably the only time this will ever happen.)
Today I started a creative writing course. If you’re reading this as a potential client, you’re probably freaking out and wondering, “How can she bill herself as a writer and editor if she thinks she needs to take a writing course?” Fear not: I have a perfectly legitimate explanation.
The key word there is “creative.” I’m fantastic at technical, journalistic and academic writing. And if you give me a topic, I can usually do “creative writing” pretty well, too. But I absolutely stink at coming up with ideas on my own. My hope is that this course will help me grow more comfortable with that style of writing and help me generate new and original ideas. We’ll see how it goes!
Beginning Jan. 03, 2011, I commit to participating weekly in Perfect Moment Monday, sponsored by Write Mind, Open Heart, in which I will reflect on and share a perfect moment from the previous week. You can join in, too!
It’s no secret that there are a lot of stereotypes about home schoolers, and some of them have roots in reality. For instance, many families who choose to home school do so for religious reasons. Other common stereotypes I hear revolve around home schooled kids being way better educated than your average public school student or, alternately, way more poorly educated than your average public school student. (Both of those have merit, too.) And, of course, there’s the argument/belief that because they don’t go to school, home schoolers don’t interact with peers and are socially inept.
Regarding the last point, “my” two home schooled kids (that is, those for whom I serve as a learning coach) get tons of social interaction. On occasion they even do things with a statewide home school organization. Most recently the kids attended a field trip with other home schoolers at a local television studio. I tagged along with the kids and their mom (who is also my cousin) with the promise of Taco Bueno.
While the kids played around the green screen and explored the sets, my cousin and I sat off to the side. She eyed the other parents and students critically, then leaned down to whisper to me, “The stereotypes are true: home schooled kids really are nerds.” Then she paused. “Of course, my son is watching Air Supply videos on my iPhone as I say this.”
You can listen to my NPR debut on the “Tales from the South” radio program here on the local affiliate. My story appeared on the Dec. 16 broadcast. You can also download/listen to the podcast at NPR’s website or at iTunes. It’s a 30-minute show, and I present about 20 minutes in. And finally, you can watch the video of the live recording here on YouTube or watch it below.
Please view, comment, “like” or all three on the video if you’re so inclined. The show chooses the year’s best stories to go in an anthology, determined in part on the number of hits, likes and comments the video recordings of the readings get on YouTube. If you can, please do one (Or all!) of those three things on my video. That would give me a leg up, and perhaps I’ll officially be a published author under my own name instead of as a ghost writer!