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And “The Best Laid Schemes…”


Of Mice And Men

I cannot remember how long ago it was that I read this masterpiece, but suffice to say, I did not have a driver’s license. As best I can recall, I was in the sixth or seventh grade. What is more significant than how old I was, however, is that reading it made an indelible impression on me. So much said in so few words affected me to the core (depending on what copy one reads, 200 pages or less). It was at that moment that a secret desire to be able to weave the same magic began to smolder deep within my psyche.

And now I find myself once again reciting that famous line from Robert Burns’ poem:

“The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,

Gang aft agley…”

…or translated

“The best laid schemes of  mice and men,

Often go awry.”

Although I will never achieve the status of John Steinbeck, I have been diligently trying to improve my craft, in hopes of teaching at the college level — not English literature, which is another discipline for which I have so much love and respect — but journalism and communications. I am adamant that the survival of our democracy rests on society’s ability to use the First Amendment responsibly.

So how does my favorite quote fit into the scheme of things?

The teaching job I have been offered has been delayed due to red tape — the “18-hours towards a Master’s” doesn’t cut the muster in the particular program in which I will be teaching. I must wait until after I have completed the academic journey on which I have been traveling for 18 months. I will reach that milestone in December 2013.

“The best laid schemes…”, therefore, once again haunts me. However, in true “I’m too stubborn to feel  deflated for very long” form, I am submitting my name to cyberspace as a tutor for young, aspiring writers who want some extra help this summer. I will be getting in touch with local high school educators and putting my name in the mix, but I thought it prudent to let you, my readers, know.

If you have a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or friend who wants some extra guidance, you have my e-mail. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. In addition, I am available for free lance work — I can write up a bio, copy for a website or an ad, a speech, or a news release in a New York second.

Yes, I need the work, and I’m not ashamed to ask — I have never shied away from admitting what I need and want.

There are some things I won’t do, however: I won’t clean your house or walk your dog. Other than those two activities, we can talk.

Gracias, my friends.

#writing #journalism #literature #JohnSteinbeck #tutoring #youngwriters #freelancewriting

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