Well, I'm still working hard on my Midwestern essays. Exhausted, but I am working. Or like we say on twitter, #amwriting #amworking. I took this morning off work to take time to write. And I thought I would have a chance to do so much more. But it has to be enough. I have 7 days. 8 if you include the 15th. In those 7 or 8 days, I have to gather together my research proposal and I have to update my resume. Oh, and show up for work for 5 of those days.
I wrote these bits when I was putting together my "statement of purpose" but I think they fit here more than in an application for "further schooling." (Yes, I have to be secretive.) (Yes, you'll know when I find out, which won't be until late Feb for an interview, and after that, I think March or April.)
A little bit of background, as I sort of start in the middle here: I had been writing about my teen years, reading with sibs, how it kept me interested in picture books as a teen.
...While all of this was happening, something else was happening that would shape my life’s work, though I didn’t recognize it then. My father, a career foreign service officer, was preparing for his next post, in Warsaw, Poland. He and I both had a lot of homework my senior year of high school; while mine was in English with a little bit of Spanish, his was entirely in Polish. My parents and siblings lived in Warsaw, Poland from 1989 to 1992, as communism was being replaced by the private sector.
In college, I was trying to live the normal life of an American teenager, but I couldn’t ignore that my life was markedly different from the lives of my fellow students, most of whom spent Christmas vacation in a place called home. I spent Christmas vacation with people I called home, in a foreign country where I could barely tell cab drivers my parent’s address. In high school in the suburbs of Washington, DC, I was able to pretend I was just another kid. Now, at 17, I was faced yet again with my heritage: of many languages, many houses, and many different “homes.” The concept of the third culture kid was not yet mainstream, and most of the writing is still non-fiction by adults, for adults. As a confused teen, I would have benefited from some books to mirror my experiences. Instead, I took all the “windows” and made some of them into mirrors.
In high school, I could forget that I had lived overseas. I found teens like me in the books of Judy Blume, Cynthia Voigt, and Paula Danziger. I didn’t talk about my childhood abroad, and no one asked me about it, because I blended. I no longer looked for books about kids like me who had lived abroad, because I pretended that I had lived in Maryland my whole life.
There is much more there, but I need to drive home and take in some restorative television. If you are the praying type, please pray. These next 7 days are going to be FULL. Thankfully tomorrow I have two things on my side (which also mean I won't get any writing in): a massage at 8:30, with a guy who is also a third culture kid, so I'll be able to tell him about my project, and a woman at the library school I graduated from, who has agreed to talk to me. She can't help me with the writing, and I was sure I'd be done with it all by now, but she can also be a "bounce ideas off" person.