A Towering Tongue Twisting Career Turn

career in writingI knew a dare when I saw one.

The big-bosomed, pink-slippered, black-eyed lady stared me down in her small three-story home. The offer of a salary and a journalistic writing career hung in the stale air. (See A Directional Career Curve.)

I took the dare and the job.

Just out of grad school, after dozens of rejections, I grabbed the chance to actually work at my skill of … well, writing? Master's in English, Jonathan Swift

With a Master’s in English I could pen pages about Swift’s satire and write a 100-page thesis on the Literature of Expatriate Black Authors, but could I actually DO anything with that degree?

Pauline’s black-eyed stare asked me that question.

contract, writing careerWithin 15 minutes I signed the contract and, unknowingly, I signed my life away for a year.

Did I feel imprisoned in her third-story small bedroom cum office Monday through Friday from 9 to 5?


Did I bemoan my decision by Day Two of my employment?

Without a doubt. Continue reading

A Directional Career Curve

career, career directionI had just earned my graduate degree. I was ready to take on the world in a career that would be so exciting…so invigorating…so worthwhile, that …well, I never went past the exciting, invigorating, and worthwhile parts.

I just knew I wanted a great career.

I read the ads in the newspapers. I talked to the headhunters, who chuckled over the phone. “A Master’s in English? And you want to do what with it?”

I didn’t have an answer. I knew what I didn’t want: No more school, no teaching, no secretarial position. They laughed and hung up.

I was offered three jobs at the University where I received my M.A.: one at the registrar’s office – secretarial; one at the Dean’s office of education – clerical; and one at the mailroom – sorting mail. Instead, I accepted a position that I read about in the classified section of the Newark Star Ledger: Continue reading