The Chase Is On
I like the idea of chasing something that (supposedly) doesn’t exist because even if you don’t catch it, the chase is going to take you to some interesting places. That being said, Atlantis does exist. I know, because that’s where I come from. Geologists will tell you that the Azores Islands were born from volcanic activity caused by the North American, Eurasian, and African plates bumping and grinding against one another, but Azoreans know better. Those nine islands are what’s left of a lost kingdom, discovered and populated by another kingdom that fell only to rise again as a shadow of itself: Portugal.
As a thirty-year-old former college dropout turned overachieving undergrad, I also know a little something about falling and rising again. Maybe that’s why I romanticize my origins so much. It is one of the biggest factors in what I choose to write about. “Chasing Atlantis” was the name of a sestina I wrote for a creative writing class about being Azorean. I was unspeakably proud of it at the time, but now I realize needs some polishing.
As an English major, writing for class is the major motivation for writing. In addition to the creative writing (mostly poetry) I did in community college, many trees have sacrificed their lives for me to write essays about literature. Whenever I can get away with it, I write about both literatures I’ve studied: Lusophone and Anglophone. My writing, like myself, is a native of two worlds. For example, last semester my Medieval Portuguese final was a comparison and contrast between Spenser’s The Faerie Queene and Bernardim Ribeiro’s Menina e Moça. Meanwhile, for my American Novel class, I wrote about why it took so long for Portuguese-American literature to develop. Neither class required me to cross languages; it was something that came naturally to me. I even spent a long time considering going to grad school to study comparative literature to further explore how the two languages of my heart interacted with one another. I even started scouting Portuguese graduate schools.
However, I think I chose the more practical (if less romantic) route of studying to become a high school teacher instead of escaping to the ivory tower of academia. It’s not settling; I love teaching and sharing the things I care about with other people almost as much as learning about them. Continuing in that practical vein, I decided to take some technical writing classes this year. Teaching, reading, and writing are things that I do anyway. Why not figure out how to apply the latter in new ways?