November, 2008

Be very, very quiet. There’s an actual story unfolding in my head. I thought it was just a flash thing, but it’s trying to be bigger than 1k words and trying to have more than one scene. When I went down to eat lunch it pestered me to jot things down on paper. I know, paper! How peculiar, that urgency, and the paper has a green broccoli stain on it because I was eating. I haven’t been inside a story like this for quite some time. I’d forgotten how absorbing and delightful it is. I’m not taking back any of the good things I said about teaching or anything, but yeah, love this part of writing. Seven different things collided in my head and then poof there was a story place with a story in it and I was also standing nearby.

Here’s the (mostly uninspiring, subject to change) first line, because I feel like I got to give you something for reading this far: “The class has eleven students in it on the first day it meets.” Yes, there’s a countdown, how clever of you to notice. And yeah, I know, present tense. How funny, right? I reserve the right to change it, but it’s working for the time being. Maybe because it’s ‘in conversation’, as Bujold would say, with horror? I dunno. I’m not sure whether anyone dies yet.

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I’m sorry I haven’t written here. There was dentist and elections and various and sundry schedule cluttered things, but mostly I’ve been mad busy the last week being a sub assistant in one of the Montessori primary classrooms at my daughter’s school. It has been way cool. Kids are amazing. Montessori is amazing. Going into a classroom and leaving everything at the door for four hours to spend time with children who live completely in the now is TOTALLY amazing (and exhausting). I’m all like ‘woo moveable alphabet, woo north america map, woo number rods, woo button frame’. Also, there’s now a button on my arm. Push it and I say,”Choose a work.” The button on the other arm, when pushed, makes me say,”Walking feet, please.”

It’s absorbing and interesting, but it doesn’t leave much energy for writing. If I decide to go do the training (and I’m still thinking elementary, actually…sweet as the primary kids are, cool as their lessons are, I still had to change two diapers this week and I strongly prefer my students potty-trained –not that I minded it in the short term, with a finite deadline), I don’t think I’ll also be writing. I’m ok with that, essentially. I like kids and I like Montessori better than I like writing. Huh. That seems all turned around crazy because I was pretty sure writing was the thing I liked best in the world. And I was pretty sure I tolerated kids but didn’t really love them, or have any interest in being with them every day. And maybe I still love writing in its own way, but this writing career thing is really unsatisfying and burdensome and not what I’m after, I don’t believe. Like even if I ever ‘made’ it (of itself a statistical unlikelihood) to be a recognizable name that regularly sold stories and maybe even a novel…that doesn’t seem like a gratifying achievement…it’s not something I’m longing for. Whereas there’s at least one rewarding moment to be had EVERY single day in a classroom. There’s disappointments, but there’s no shortage of joy and positive reinforcement either. Writing (the business side anyways, with the submitting and the rejection and the submitting again) is 98% disappointment and 2% joy. It doesn’t seem crazy to want the thing that gives daily joy, does it? I mean I totally feel like a quitter, even just thinking about giving up on the writing thing, but really, what was the point of the experiment if I can’t except a failed outcome? I’ll have to think about all this some more. Huh. I usually think things out first and THEN post them, instead of thinking out loud on the page. This was supposed to be quickie update post, not a muse about life and writing post. It has been a long week if I’ll just spill my guts unpremeditated like that.

Right well, what I really wanted to post about is how Montessori is so coooooool, and I’m more convinced than ever that it was (and is) totally the right thing for my kid, and I want to learn all about it and maybe even teach it to other kids someday. That is all, good night.

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