I wrote this in May. I think. It’s a little diddy I came up with when I was trying to figure out how to get a job in the UK. (This was before the Home Office and the Border Agency effectively broke my willwith their catch-22 regulations and requirements, by the way.)
Of course, if anyone reading this in the UK needs a good writer on staff for anything, and would like to sponsor me for a work permit, then, please, let me know. Otherwise, I’m working on getting a job in the US – and it’s going surprisingly well – and trying to figure out if I could handle living in Nashville after being in England. (England, for the uninitiated, is a land where the streets are a reasonable size and would not double as a landing strip for a Boeing 747.)
At any rate, this was one of the two things I wrote that I consider in the vein of David Sedaris – just not gay.
I keep being asked what I’m planning on doing after my degree is over. I don’t know, and there are only so many ways I can say so without panicking. Many of you know that I want to stay in England, but that involves getting a slew of paperwork filled out, expensive visas, and a whole lot of other stuff that I’m not opposed to doing—just terrified of. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ll end up doing it all in the hopes that, somehow, I stumble on some job that will let me stay somewhere here, but in case that doesn’t pan out, I thought I’d be proactive. [ed: Nope, that didn’t work out. /sigh]
You see, social networking is a powerful tool. It lets you reach a lot of people around the world, many of whom you’ve never met. Apparently, facebook has this share option now—that’s the only thing I can figure out that explains all this _____ via _____ linkage. So, here’s my plan: I post this, and you, my friends (hereafter referred to as cohorts) will share this on your various networks.
What do I hope to accomplish with this? Well, by creating this semi-quasi-C.V.-resumé-thing, I plan on my credentials being seen on all of my cohorts’ networks. There are, after all, a lot more of you than there are of me. More importantly, a lot of you are incredibly smart and witty—which means that you have different friends and contacts than I do. Ideally, I want this to reach the Queen and then get her to pay for all of my living expenses while I sit in some cottage out in the countryside and churn out page after page of writing, send stories out to magazines across the world, and then lament in the fact that I asked to live in a cottage instead of London. (Does the Queen have a facebook account? Everyone has a facebook account. She’s got to have an account. Hello, Your Highness!)
So, cohorts, friends, countrymen, you have your task.
B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and an unofficial minor [read: I didn’t realize I qualified] in Religious Studies from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville—graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. In other words: I did pretty damn well. What does this mean for you, my potential employer/patron? It means that I have a good understanding of what makes literature, I have critical thinking skills out the wazoo, I have a very good understanding of rhetoric—both modern and classical—and, most importantly, if given about half an hour to an hour, I can come up with an entertaining story. On the Religious Studies side of things, I have a thorough understanding of cultures beyond that of my home, I can open a conversation and have dialogue with a wide variety of people, and won’t make anyone seem like a fool by asking the following: “You’re Muslim? Why do you hate America? Is it because of our freedom?”
M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Kent, Canterbury. I’m furthering my ability to tell you, my prospective employer/patron entertaining stories. If that’s not your thing, then I’m also continuing my own non-CW education on the side by reading theology (mostly Buddhism), some biology, some philosophy, and figuring out this cooking thing. But, we’ll get to all of that in a bit. Now, the important thing about this section is that I’m doing my Master’s degree abroad. What does this tell you? It should tell you that I’m flexible. I can stand to be in a foreign country for more than a year and not go mad from homesickness. Some of you might read this and think, “Well, that’s easy.” Ah, but it’s not. I could tell you stories of people reduced to inactivity because of their desire for Taco Bell. I consider this a feat of bravery on my part, and thus, by proxy, so should you. It should also tell you that I’m adaptable, as I no longer retch when hearing about black pudding—I just get queasy.
Stuff on the side:
But just talking about my degrees would make me seem like a boring person, wouldn’t it? Someone whose entire life revolves around academia, who does not acknowledge life outside the library, archives, or scholarly websites. I wouldn’t want to meet such a person, and nor should you. So, here’s what I do for fun:
Travelling: Not surprisingly, I travel when I have the money and the time. Recently, I went up to Newcastle. I found Newcastle enjoyable—just a hint of Edinburgh, with the unmistakable charm of England. Also, I acclimated to the Geordie accent in one day. I’m impressed with this, because there are times when I can’t understand some of my friends back in Tennessee—and I’ve lived there for twelve years.
Before that, I spent about a week in Lille, France. This inspired me to write something tentatively called The Travel Guide Full of Lies. That project is on hold because I can’t think of many lies about the city. Lille was a great experience, it gave me a chance to resuscitate my comatose French language skills, and gave me a lot of respect for Camembert cheese. I don’t know why I respect the food instead of solely enjoying the act of eating it, but there you go.
The Pursuit of Knowledge: I’m aware that sounds mildly pretentious, but, honest to God, that’s the truth of the matter. Though most of the time I want to sit around with a good fiction novel, there are plenty of times that a well-written essay, extended article on any topic, or books on history will be the pick of the day in terms of reading material. Buddhism, philosophy, biology, and a few history books here and there—along with reading on the plethora of topics available from sites on the Internet—form the basis of such a reading regimen.
Drinking coffee: Who needs oil? Coffee is black gold.
Acting: Who knew? I was recently in an amateur production of Fiddler on the Roof put on by the University of Kent Musical Theatre Society. I played Tevye in it, and during the production, I realized just how much acting is related to writing. Both demand immersion—at least while performing or writing—and both are arts where the audience enjoyment of the piece is of paramount importance. At any rate, the production was a tremendous success and, considerations of Art aside, being a part of it was something that made the year inconceivably enjoyable.
Writing Things Unrelated to My Coursework: It goes without saying that, as a Creative Writing student, I do a lot of writing for my course. However, if I were to base all of my writing on projects for the course, I’d feel very lazy indeed. So: In the time I’ve been here, I’ve been writing an ongoing blog—a fictionalization of my experiences over the year. It’s reached past 130,000 words, shows no sign of slowing down, and has an astounding readership of nine. And—and!—none of them are my family! (<self-promotion> it can be viewed at cantertales.blogspot.com </self-promotion>) Aside from that, I’m working on editing a comic script, shooting a script for a short film, and editing four or five short stories on the side—as well as two or three novellas. In short: I consider writing my job, and so, like a good worker, I try to keep myself busy.
Playing Guitar: I’m a young American from Nashville; it’s a no-brainer that I play guitar. Whether I play well depends on who you ask.
There’s more to say—if I were done after 1,300 words, then there would be cause for concern—but I have a cast to fill out, props to pick up, and stories to edit. I can be reached at AaronCSimon@Gmail.com
Image source:< http://robsrantings.files.wordpress.com>