30 for 30 at 3:00
So I am starting something new. Inspired by Juliana, I am going to write for 30 minutes a time, for 30 days. At 3:00 just to make it well-rounded. That part will change if I become gainfully employed again and cannot write at 3:00 but for now, why not? It’s not early in the morning and it’s not late at night. It’s smack dab in the middle of the day, and everybody else who does this kind of thing likes to do it early in the morning or late at night. So I’m going to be different. I like being different, so that I can feel unique, but the truth is we’re all unique individuals. It turned 3:01 shortly after I began to type so I’m going to 3:31 just to be official about it. I prefer going a little beyond the milestone to feel sure. I could have set a timer, but if I start at 3 then I end at 3:30. 3:00-3:30 for 30 for 30. I’m supposed to not pause and not worry about such things as splitting an infinitive, which I just did, or anything else about spelling and grammar, but that would be against my nature. I guess you’re allowed to self-correct as you go along but you just can’t go back and edit something you previously wrote. So you just keep on typing whatever comes to mind. Paragraphs are a good idea for the sake of reading so I will go start a new one.
Wow, that’s all of five minutes and only 25 to go, and I have yet to say anything of substance. I was thinking of doing this for 15 minutes twice a day or even 10 minutes thrice daily because I have ADD and asking me to do any one thing for 30 minutes straight is tantamount to torture. Rebecca has got me to riding the elliptical machine at the gym (is “riding” the right verb for that?) for over 90 minutes a day and it drives me crazy doing the same motion for even 30 minutes, but fortunately my aggravation with monotony can sometimes be offset by my stubbornness, and I like to prove I can do things, so that’s what I’m doing here as well. I know it’s not inspiring reading. I wish I could somehow compensate anyone who manages to read all this. Likely anyone who would do so is doing so… oh my gosh that is such bad syntax/structure/repetition but I can’t edit. Anyway I mean anyone who would do so is likely doing it out of a sense of obligation. That may be one or two people at the most in my case. It’s hot in here. See I get distracted by many, many things include environmental stimuli. It’s not like, baking, it’s just that it’s warmer enough for me to notice and I could move my hand to flip on a ceiling fan without taking both off the keyboard so let’s see… if… OK got it on, that wasn’t really cheating.
Did I mention above that I’m not gainfully employed? I quit my teaching job in November and since then I have worked scoring essay exams. On the state standardized tests, there are some in high school that students have to pass in order to graduate, and in English those tests comprise or include two responses to writing prompts. The students have 26 lines to write their response, though some use only one and others fill up every last bit of real estate available on the page. It was an interesting if often monotonous (there’s that word again) job. I feel like I need to put my glasses on but that’s only another excuse. So this job. I can’t reveal too much about it because we have to sign a confidentiality agreement, and if I ever want to work there again it would be bad news if I was found to have shared any specific details about the project or more especially from student responses. But there was some pretty hilarious stuff that I read and pretty much anyone in the room would read out loud when they came across something particularly funny. Some excerpts were just so pathetic they were hilarious. It makes me feel kind of bad for the students but you needed comic relief. It’s not like they’re ever going to know. I wonder sometimes what they must envision as to whom is reading these responses they write, since they know it’s not their teachers. I’ve been the student and I’ve been the teacher and all I ever knew is that the state sent them off… somewhere and there were people who were paid to read and score the written responses. And when you’re the teacher monitoring them as they take the test and write, you can’t say anything to them, even when you know they’re screwing it up royally, or just not trying. What’s got to be worst is the cases where the students can’t hand-write themselves and dictate their response to a scribe. The scribe has to write it down errors and all. For example there was one that was scribed where the student wrote a beautiful short story, fantasy genre, but it was an expository prompt so that doesn’t count.
Do you get to take a drink? I brought my iced tea over to my computer desk but I don’t know. It’s been 19 minutes. This is an eternity to write straight through. I am going to sail over the 1000-word mark soon and I still have one-third of the way to go. So this is jasonwrites.com which I had abandoned for quite some time after students discovered it. I set up a new blog called Squirrelly Writer to be more “anonymous” but a lot of the people who came there to read and comment knew who I was anyway. And now it’s a new year and I’m not teaching anymore and well, jasonwrites is the name I use on pretty much everything else online and I miss it. I just feel more connected to it, I’ve been using it as a screen moniker for 12 years I think. Ah there we go, over 100o words. Jasonwrites, I mean that’s pretty self-explanatory. It is not nearly as clever as Lady or Not…Here I Come but that blog name came to her in a dream and well what can you say about dreams? Plenty but it would make me pause and think and that’s not allowed right now. I did have a dream while I was working the scoring job that I was back in high school and was having to write essays myself but I couldn’t get mine done because people kept asking me for help with theirs, or maybe it was help scoring them; it was hazy in the dream, but I know I was getting frustrated and I asked the assistant principal if I could have a quiet place to work. She was the same assistant principal from the last school I worked at, the one I quit, even though that wasn’t a high school. I told her I needed to get done so I could check out and these were the classes I was going to be missing: 5th, 7th and 8th which I didn’t… oh see my mind locked for a second and so this sentence is not so coherent. This is really more than kind of hard, the whole 30 minutes straight thing. I had another dream recently that my mom died. It came after I had talked to her and my brother on Skype that evening. She recently turned 80 so it’s no stretch but still a disturbing dream. Wow, five minutes to go, and my mis-typings are increasing greatly. I guess you could be hyper-vigilant about this… that’s probably not the right word… I mean you could be really strict about the rules and say you can’t correct any of your typos along the way either, but I would like it to still be readable. My corrections have all come in the same word I was currently typing or the one immediately preceding it, so I think that’s OK. It’s going to have to be.
I’m not sure if this is that useful, I mean you’re supposed to get thoughts on a page and I suppose if you’re trying to be creative then that will get the juices flowing. This isn’t creative though, it’s just rambling. And truth is, I have some other posts in mind but they are going to be the kind that are carefully written, revised, and edited. I would have been upset if I didn’t try this at least once though. Good grief it’s going to get to 1500 words. Well Happy New Year everyone. While I am going to make myself write every day somehow I’m not sure if this is the best way to do it, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, and whatever other cliché you want to apply. I did take a moment to remember how to type “é” but it was less than a second. OK time is up. Until next time.
P.S. Links were added only after time was up. I did not edit anything else, except I put the ellipsis (…) into the Lady or Not…Here I Come title because Rebecca wouldn’t like it if I didn’t.