a small sample of things written about me

This isn't going to be nearly as narcissistic as it sounds. I was hauling some journals from my childhood home to The Four the other day and came across a fantastic public service announcement/note written by my homegirl Citrus. It was pretty beat up so I took an artistic* picture and transcribed it for posterity:

DEAR MANAGEMENT,

A problem that the Writing Center has, like, every spring is that the staff is SPLINTERED IN TWO because [Citrus] doesn't know all of the new tutors.

One way to alleviate this grievous issue without requiring [Citrus] to meet everyone is to give us all a bonding, family-making gift. As Tyler Adams is the mascot of the writing center, I propose that he be entrusted with this responsibility.

So, here's the convenient part: he has already designed a T-shirt that is both HIP and professional, not to mention that they match my cell phone.

Problem is: he can't PAY for them because that would be ridiculous. Requiring Tutors to buy them would encourage a new upper class/lower class dynamic not conducive to the Center, the college, or the world. (see Karl Marx).

For this reason, t-shirts should be allotted into the Center's budget.

<3, [Citrus]

Questions? Comments? Call [my, Tyler's, cell phone number] ANYTIME!

I love her. She wrote that in about five minutes cackling to herself and it stayed taped to the Writing Center desk all of the second semester of my senior year, which somehow feels like an eternity ago, when it's actually a little over a year. Time flies.

Writing Center tutor was a good gig despite getting paid less than home-state minimum wage [MD, step your game up] because I adored nigh everyone I worked with - and helping someone one-on-one makes you realize just why education's so effed up in this country and the more that's in the back of your dome the better.

...Though I just noticed my name isn't on the alum page. What's up with that? I worked there five semesters. It's okay, though. Keeping my name out the internets' mouth doesn't happen that much. Here's another thing written about me:

I'd report you for this one but the nigger moderator doesn't get up this early...

Sometimes I worry that my job has affected my ability to handle criticism, but overall I think it's actually improved it. I also think the J-O has really helped my cognizance of consequence, as the MC in me would say. I've always wanted to write words that are impactful, little left hooks that I can get my whole body of focus behind, and though I still overwrite, I think reading stuff like that everyday has given me a whole new set of approaches as far as embracing or dismissing someone else's words.

That's really what ruthless debate has always been about - embracing and dismissing. Select, neglect, win. I'm trying to embrace more and only dismiss stuff like that last quote. Newsvine has made me a much better debater than I ever aspired to be. It's sharpened all of my criticism. But I don't think I want to be a critic all the time. I'm happy when I'm just flowing, talking my way through something that just happens to be going on the page, or screen.

That's why I dig that note so much - I can hear her voice in it. It's frivolous and funny and completely unforced. I think the more trolls I deal with at work, the more I need to remind myself that I can write that way. Finding the humor in the critiques that are obviously worthless is great for me as a writer and a sane person, and hopefully nudges me towards embracing all the legit criticism that much more.

Oh, and I actually did design that T-shirt and colormatched it with her cell phone - it said 'we do get busy' in some graf font because there was a before-our-time notice on the wall about the Center that included 'however, we do get busy, so [call or something if you really need an appointment]'. The phrase made total sense in no-nonsense academic context, but 'we do get busy' is such a gully T-shirt idea it's funny that we didn't have to invent it. Maybe I should follow through and order one, except then people will look up the site and try to tell me I'm not an alum. Ha.

I suppose I could tell them I was the mascot, huh?