volunteering, the next generation

After a fairly disastrous try at volunteering as a writing coach, the highlights of which were the fact that I sat for three hours doing nothing and then didn’t get home until almost midnight, I was afraid the whole deal wasn’t going to work out, that this was a plan that was going to fail and it was irritating, frustrating, a little nervewracking. I mean, was it a sign from the universe that I ought to just stay in my house and eat Little Debbie snack cakes for the rest of my life? Possibly! Who am I to argue with the universe?

But the people at the center–they’re pretty much everything that is wonderful, and me, I wasn’t going to let this go without a fight. It sounded nice and easy to shrug and write off the whole deal and say hey, I tried! Pass the ding dongs. But instead, I wrote the director of the coaching program, and I said this isn’t going to work for me, but I want to find a way for it to work. What can we do? How can I do it, please?



She didn’t write me back for a week, and I worried a lot that I had
offended them with my delicate sensibilities, and that they thought the
way I didn’t want to wait three hours for a bus made me a wimp. But it
was one of those things where I checked in, she said Oh! I thought you
weren’t interested anymore because I hadn’t heard back from you! And I
found her original email in my spam folder.

Writing coaching is going to work out–at least, from a scheduling
standpoint, so far. They’ve got me coming in to the main center, in the
late afternoon instead of the early evening. They have plenty of stuff
for me to do, if no one shows up looking for help with their writing.
And they are all very cool people and it will be such a pleasure to get
to hang out with them, and get to know them, and maybe BECOME BEST
FRIENDS! Or maybe just go out for drinks or something. That would be
okay, too.

As for the actual coaching of the writing–the staff is going to be there,
and available if I have any questions about how to critique someone’s
poem about a dying kitten; they will also be there to listen to me
stumble my way through my sessions, which makes me feel a little
self-conscious, but maybe I’ll just whisper very, very quietly. Or
suggest me and my coachee take an invigorating walk around the
building, if they should ask me what a metaphor is and wait, blinking
expectantly, as the whole room seems to freeze, listening for my answer.

My first (second?) session is tonight, my outfit is polished and
professional but a little sassy (Trust Me! I’m Cute! it says), and even
though my hands are a little raggedy and I forgot to put on lipstick, I
think I am armored against the anxiety and ready to prod some buttock.

  1 comment for “volunteering, the next generation

  1. Jenine
    September 18, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    I hope you have some great new experiences with this volunteering gig. And bless you for the Pratchettism.

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