Friday, August 31, 2007

Ripples

Good news all around, publications, promotions, payoffs. Creekside I'm still sorting things.

A picture turned up this week in an old backpack, our house, circa '87, before Tom and Jojo, before the flower beds, before the mass of trees. It must have been late September, maybe October, because that maple tree that fell over one day in the storm is still standing with a crown of yellow leaves. There is no dogwood, no row of blue spruce, no 40-foot tulip trees, no volunteer cedar or catalpa. It seems like I've been standing still for a long time, but apparently that is not exactly true. Or maybe it is exactly true and trees are what happen when you don't move.

Regardless, the Monday morning epiphanies keep resounding. Something like, yes, yes, the trees are beautiful, but the party's moved, or some old cliche like that. Anyway, the long and the short of it is, I'm thinking about giving up my beloved freedom, the proofreading, and going out into the world and getting a job. On Monday the urge felt quite a bit stronger than "I am thinking about," but it is good to let passions cool before acting rashly. It's Friday now. I can slowly think things through, thoughts like, You're going to have a Bachelor of Arts in English. What job? Well, that is a problem, and no, I don't have anything in particular in mind. David suggested as an alternative I might take up drinking, but I am so bad at it that I am sure to fail and I hate to go into anything that I don't have a chance of success at. I'm going to keep it in mind as a backup plan, though, just in case I can't find a position that suits.

So that's how the trees stand this week, a slight ripple in the leaves.

10 comments:

Jesus said...

They are accepting applications for part time security guards at the library- I think you'd be perfect!

Charmi said...

I'm not too sure about that one. I have heard stories about Don't-Touch-the-Flag Guy. I'd probably be egging him on.

Talia said...

How about working at the Notre Dame bookstore on a game day? That might cure you of wanting to work a "job."

But seriously, if you were up to it, maybe you get a job teaching at a junior college (like Ivy Tech)? You could teach comp classes. I don't think the pay is great, but it might be decent, and it could be very enjoyable.

Charmi said...

I have thought of teaching at Ivy Tech. I have an in. The president is a cousin of mine. Maybe. Gene says I'm crazy to give up my freedom, the job I've spent 16 years growing into a business. He also thinks colleagues are highly over rated. He could be right. I have never really appreciated structured environments. Maybe I need to re-examine the urge and see if it could have different interpretations.

Talia said...

I think Gene is probably right. I think if you can, you should pursue other types of freelance writing. It is nice not feeling the weight of others that comes with employment. I sort of forgot about it because I haven't worked a job since Hadley was born and the year prior to her birth I "took care" of (more or less baby-sat, not much direct caregiving involved) to a man with Alzeimer's--I watched an awful lot of the E! channel.

With a BA in English, perhaps you should branch out your writing jobs a bit. Start researching your market. You could also write for the Tribune, as most of it I hear is now freelance.

Charmi said...

The Tribune is a perfect example of why Gene is probably right. I have freelanced for The Tribune (and The Truth) and I ended up quitting both. It usually came down to them saying something like, "This is a really important story we want you to cover" and of course I had no interest in it whatsoever.

I should probably be content to keep at my job and just keep writing. See how good it is to talk things out on the blog!

Rachel said...

I have apparently come late to this discussion, but Charmi, I have to weigh in and say, keep what you have...it's something writers everywhere dream about. I think that independence is going to be far more enjoyable in the long term than colleagues, and the reason I say this is, most colleagues are, as you would say, NOT "living people." They are the people of intro. level college courses, who don't wish to delve deeply into anything.

Of course, this depends on what you do and where you work, but at a simple job, people just do their work and go home. From what I know of you, you need intellectual stimulation, which you can find in other ways.

However, working at a University might be cool for you; keep in mind, though, most Intro. to Comp. writing is terrible.

I dream of having a situation like yours.

Charmi said...

Yes, the general sentiment seems to be, don't give up your job. Back to the drawing board, I guess.

Jennifer said...

I don't think the structure of a job bothers me, because I love the friends and coworkers. I'm a real people person, despite what I thought before. I would love to leave my home and work somewhere but I want to be with Amelia at the same time, which is why I would like a stay at home job. I remember working at Central in the detention room and it was SOOOO rewarding working with those students. I also loved our work picnics, get-togethers, after work drinks, etc. Of course I was the youngest in the office by twenty years but they treated me no differently. You definitely can't beat school hours also, 7-3 and summers off. Perfect. But before you quit your proofreading job you have to invite me over and show me how you do what you do. My email is jkizer@iusb.edu, let me know.

Charmi said...

It's a sure sign that I shouldn't quit my job when other people want it! I'm hoping to train a couple of people to help me out though, so I'll be in touch. I'd like to be able to go on vacation and not take my computer every now and again. Once you see it you might not like it! But I'll certainly be happy to let you see.