Your mission should you decide to accept it is…to write an important speech in one day or less!

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From Tim Lemire’s I’m an English Major—Now What?:

“We are notified that Angela needs to make a speech—sometimes we get several months’ notice, sometimes we get one day…I speak with Angela about what she would like to include in the speech, and usually, each has two or three drafts… sometimes, the drafts are given to a city hall official to see if any information needs to be added” -Jacque Goddard Snyder (Lemire 195-6).

These chapters have solidified my desire to teach.  This quote is just one example of a job I would not find pleasurable.  First off, Snyder will have sometimes only one day to write a speech.  I don’t like only being given two days to write a paper, let alone having one day to write a speech tons of people will hear.  I like to have time, and don’t like working under pressure.  Secondly, she doesn’t even get to write her opinions.  She has to write what Angela would say.  She has to check with countless officials to make sure the speech is acceptable, and add whatever they tell her to.  Me, I like to write what I want.  I think it would be very difficult to write as if you were someone else.  To top it all off, Snyder does not even receive credit for the speech, she warns: “The speaker will be congratulated for a terrific speech and you will be in the shadows” (Lemire 198).  I want credit, where credit is due.  By reading about these other career possibilities, seeing their upsides and downsides, I really realized how much more appealing teaching is to me.  Not only do I want to teach, I don’t like the sound of these other jobs!  It also made me appreciate what these people have to go through for their jobs.  Kind of like Ehrenreich was trying to prove in Nickel and Dimed, all jobs are hard in their way.  And unless we really understand what the job entails, we can’t realize how demanding it is.


Maddie Gillespie said:

Greta, as always, you make a compelling point. I surely wouldn't want to be told what to write. I can barely stand to be told what to read and then write something about that! I also like to take credit for my work. Then again, if I had the ability to possibly influence another's life through my writing, even if the words were said by another, might it not be worth it? I tip my nonexistent hat off to you though, I know that I definitely don't want to be a teacher and that only makes me respect education majors the more. Writing on short notice would be hard for most, just as facing a roomful of children looking at you standing in front of them. (Some probably see you as fresh meat too. That's scary.)

Very creative title, Greta. :) I'm with you on this one--this is not a job that I would take. First of all, I suck at writing organized paragraphs. Essays are not my forte so I don't imagine that speeches would be either. I like writing poetry...but if anybody would be reading that poem it'd be me. I cannot decide if I want to teach Creative Writing (I'd have to do a little extra to get certified) or just publish some of my pieces. Hmmm...maybe both. But I definitely agree with: "I want credit, where credit is due."

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