Monday, November 14, 2011

In Which I Do Not Talk About Colorado, Yet

 The title is a slight tip of the hat to Hilary, who has been great these past couple of weeks with editing.

I have been back from Boulder for a while, but blogging has taken a back seat to real life. Before I talk about Colorado, which was incredible, I have good news which will hopefully excuse the lack of writing here. While in Boulder, I found out that the editor for WorldView was interested by my query letter. I got back and immediately sat down to write about living in a ger. The result was quite different from what I originally intended. Here are some excerpts from the article I originally intended to write:

            Once upon a time, Pre-Service Training was a domestic affair, taking place on campuses and in the woods throughout the United States. Now most, if not all, programs have PST in the host countries, and within host communities. I could not possibly debate the merits for or against either approach, but mention it only to bring up the greatest difference between the two. In either training style, volunteers will ultimately deal with the same issues, from culture shock to necessary lifestyle adjustments, and so forth. (Difference is that one gives you a sneak peak at actual habitation arrangements, leading you to believe you might have an opinion on where you want to live) BAD. New Start:

            To be called a Peace Corps Volunteer or Returned Peace Corps Volunteer is often seen as synonymous with hippy. Some might be indignant at that remark, and rightfully so. When forming Peace Corps, President Kennedy expressly endeavored to create an opportunity for service that was not opposed to military service, not an escape from the Vietnam draft but rather an option alongside the military. In Mongolia, in addition to liberal arts majors like myself teaching English, we have former EMTs working at hospitals and Kiva Fellows working with banks. They are about as far removed from the stereotypical hippy as I can imagine.
The final article looks pretty much nothing like this and should be coming out in the winter issue of WorldView. Pick it up for a couple bucks if you're interested, my article is worth it. It sounds prideful, but then I do take a lot of pride in the amount of work that goes into my writing and the finished product that comes out.

Since then I have been applying to jobs and writing non-stop. The acceptance was simultaneously exalting and horrifying. Afterwards, I realized that a part of me definitely wanted to fail. I love writing, but it's terrifying. I think subconsciously I wanted WorldView to reject me. If they didn't want me writing about Peace Corps service, then no one would, and I would just have to eventually make piece with putting on a suit and working in some job where I would be completely interchangeable with any other cog. Now, I have proof that someone is willing to take my writing and throw it around the country with their masthead on the cover.

So I am running with it. Today I just had an article accepted by the incredibly kind people at Role/Reboot, which I will link to after it gets final edits and put on the calendar. I have two more articles which I am working on and hope to send out by the end of this week.

One of them compares ballerinas with cars, which occurred to me while watching Swan Lake in Denver. Cara took me as part of the best birthday present I have ever gotten. Hopefully, that's interesting enough to make you check back later this week for a quick recap of my time in Colorado.

Seriously, the tutu now makes sense to me,

- John

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