Second Chances

Posted On April 22, 2008

Filed under life, self

Comments Dropped 2 responses

For many years, I wrote daily. I wrote stories, poems, books and anything else you can write. I use to have multiple notebooks and journals laying about. They were unfinished works or my writer’s journals with ideas and random thoughts. I can’t remember when I stopped writing. It was somewhere inbetween college, bills, failed relationships and new jobs. I can’t even remember if I meant to start again. Instead of trying to remember when it all fell apart, I will write about the time I almost gave up for good.

In highschool, it was my dream to one day be a journalist. I was editor of the school paper in my senior year. I had some of the most read articles and my name in print all of the time. So, when the assignment for interviewing the new teacher at our school came up, I was the most obvious choice for reporters.

I set the day for the interview and had all of my questions ready. I wanted to know what she did before she was a teacher and how she decided to become a high school teacher. As it turns out, even though she looked quite young, she did a lot before she went back to school for a teaching degree. She served in the Air Force and worked in several law offices as a paralegal. At the end of the interview, she said “Please don’t include the stuff before I went back to college, I don’t want everyone to know how old I am.” Though the request seemed a little unreasonable to me, I honored it and wrote my article about everything she did from college and beyond. I turned in what I thought was a well written and respectful article.

My journalism teacher knew that there was more to the story than what I wrote. She demanded to know why I left out all of the details about the new teacher’s past. When I stated that it was because she asked me too, she gave me a choice. Rewrite the article or get a failing grade on the assignment and someone else would take my notes and write the article. I was terrified of failing an assigment. Up until this point, I had always gotten A’s in any writting class I took. So, I re-wrote the article. I still regret doing it.

Two days later, the paper came out. The new teacher stopped me in the hall way. She was in tears, “Why did you include all of that stuff I asked you not too?” I stammered, “My teacher said that if I didn’t, she would give me a bad grade.” We never spoke after that day. I stopped writting for a while after that. I took easy jobs, like the sports score board and general announcements. Finally, my journalist teacher asked me why I stopped writting the top stories. I told her, “I feel terrible about what I did to the new teacher and I don’t want my words to hurt anyone.” She looked at me disappointed, “I guess you aren’t cut out to be a journalist after all.” I smiled, “No, I guess not.” I started writting again after that but mostly about world news, things that didn’t really matter to many teenagers.

I continued to write stories and creative works well into college. Until now, I never even tried writting about my favorite topic: real life. But this blog is my second chance. Its my second chance to write about things that matter and to make a small difference, if only in my own life. I still vow to never hurt anyone with my written word. But, this is my chance to do it right.

2 Responses to “Second Chances”

  1. Tricia

    I’ve had similar situations and it’s a fine line to walk. Wishing you all the best with your second chance. I don’t think it’s actually possible to avoid hurting everyone when you are a writer, unless you avoid all facts and never have an opinion, but if that were the case, how could you be a writer? May your pen be mighty and the critics be many.

  2. Wicked Step Mom

    Thanks Tricia. I think you are right about that for sure.

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