How Professora Nearly Ruined Christmas

This year’s Portuguese class skews relatively young. Last year, my class ranged from 3rd graders to 6th graders. This year, it’s more like 1st through 5th grade. That wider gap in age and cognitive ability, combined with the fact that half of my class is new while the other half is in their second year with me, has made for some challenges in classroom management and lesson planning.

That being said, I think I’m doing okay. I had a close call this month, though. Professora nearly ruined Christmas.

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On Writer’s Block and “Serious Writing”

Almost two months ago — yikes — I was working on a blog post for Treat Yo Self Day (which I celebrate whenever the mood takes me, tbh) when Northern California caught fire. Here I was, writing about bath bombs and shower beers while one of my best friends couldn’t sleep because he was constantly being evacuated, allowed to go home, and told to evacuate again.

(He and his family are fine, in case you were wondering.)

“How can you write about such frivolous things when people are dying,” scolded my Inner Critic, better known as my Inner Saboteur. “Don’t you want to be a serious writer? Don’t you care about real issues?”

With that, I lost all desire to write anything fun. I buckled down and focused on writing for work because I was a serious writer.

And I seriously hated it.

Here’s the thing: there are always terrible things happening. Sometimes they are as close to home as Santa Rosa. But most of the time, that’s not the case. Writing about terrible things doesn’t make wanting to write about fun things less legitimate.

If anything, it might be more important. I can’t get on Twitter without wanting to throw my phone at the wall. I can’t listen to NPR without screaming at my poor defenseless car radio. Small victories like figuring out my personal style and finding pants that fit me are more important than ever. Terrible things happen every day, and sometimes I will write about them, but there’s no reason not to write about my everyday life and its little joys, too.

So here’s to being a serious writer who happens to write about fun, frivolous things. Because the alternative turned out to be not writing anything, and that’s the worst outcome of all.

Yes, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I feel like I’m forever struggling with balancing writing for work versus writing for me. But that’s a blog post for later.

For now, if you’ve missed me pontificating about quidditch, fear not! Alejo Enriquez of How to Play Quidditch invited me to join him and Harry Greenhouse for a podcast.

Alejo’s site is a cool resource for learning about the games, but the podcast is the real gem. He’s been looking for people who are knowledgeable about aspects of quidditch and bringing them on for podcasts. This pod’s topic was one close to my heart: college quidditch and how we as community players can help foster it. Give it a listen here.

West Coast Bias: Crimson Cup & Chandra College Cup

I didn’t write anything last night because I was chatting with my partner in podcast crime instead. Ryan Smythe and I podcast together pretty regularly anyway, so we decided to make it official. Check out the first episode of West Coast Bias here.

Byline Brag: October 4, 2017

Ugh, I am still recovering from last night’s four-hour city council meeting. Nothing like settling in for the long haul after you see that the one thing you’re covering is the last on a long agenda.

But that’s a story for next week. This week: I was on the front page!

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