My Secret Ambition

On particularly bad teaching days, I am certain I’d rather teach adults. Kids can get on my nerves: they’re immature, impetuous, petty, shallow.

In other words: they are kids.

I should know better; I’ve been to enough teacher inservices to know that adults can be just as bad as the kids we complain about — or worse. We talk while the presenter is talking, forget to do our homework, argue with other teachers about things that don’t matter. Teachers are impossible to teach; we all think we know everything. Someone trying to teach us what we have painfully learned on our own — that doesn’t sit well. We are a cynical and stubborn group.

No, teaching adults is not the answer to my discontent. I will stick with the kids.

Recently, though, I was asked if I would be willing to share my classroom management skills with other teachers, and for a brief moment I was able to envision my dream career: I could go around the country  telling groups of people the same thing and getting paid lots of money to do it. Then I would write books about the same thing and sell them at the inservices.

I’ve had the same thoughts about writing.

As much as I love to write, there are days when I would rather “have written.” Once my novel is on shelves, I can write about writing and people will listen to me. With the street creds of a bestseller, I could set up workshops, give lectures and get paid to write articles about what I’m only thinking about doing: writing.

I believe that this is the secret ambition of many novelists: to write book about writing. Novels are hard to write. Talking (and writing) about writing is much easier.

I guess everybody has days like that, when we wish we were doing Something Else. Something Else always looks easier, less stressful, and more financially rewarding. More

Slitting the Other Wrist

I’m not thinking of ending it all. I just thought this title was cool. It ought to become a catch-phrase: “Things are going down the tubes. I’ve already slit one wrist. Now what?” “Slit the other wrist!”

In fact, the title refers only to the upcoming surgery on my left hand. My right wrist was slit back in December and is doing well. My left hand, however, is constantly numb and occasionally painful. I am right-handed, so this is sort of annoying, but not crippling.

I’d like to blame my tendency to drop things on carpal tunnel syndrome. Not a serious issue, nor one requiring any painful choices. The surgery is very easy and quick, and in about 90% of cases cures the pain and numbness. (Klutziness , however, is not so easily cured. That’s another story.)

Anyway, I’ve been looking at diagrams of the surgery to see what the doctor actually did while I was knocked out. More

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