Tuesday, July 1, 2014

it began with a firing (day 1)


Kind of like my news writing career as a whole, my beginnings in the industry were a little less exciting than embarrassing.

When I was 20, I was hovering above flunking out of Texas A&M and I'd just been fired from my work study gig as a reading tutor at a local elementary school.

I was an awful tutor.

I'm pretty sure I missed every fourth day and when I did show up, I probably reeked of last night's Dixie Chicken adventure.

But the nail in the coffin had to be the moment I promised a fifth grader I'd be right with him, just as soon as I was done reading the morning paper I found on the teacher's desk. She'd been mad as hell and called the work study office to un-invite me back.

I think it was my second week.

I had a choice--go back to the dungeons of work study drudgery and take my old job at the library (filing 1,200 government leaflets every day and where I'd slip stacks of paper willy nilly in the shelves when I got tired of filing) or find something new.

The student newspaper, The Battalion, had a classified section and it turns out they were looking for news writers.

Someone once told me that people who worked at newspapers got buttloads of free stuff like CDs and concert tickets. And if there's anything college students need more of in their lives, it's free stuff.

I lied about some high school newspaper stint (I'd spent nine days on the yearbook committee before dropping out) and I even fudged my major. I'd never seen the journalism building, let alone ranked among their majors. I was a scrub from the political science program who didn't know an amendment from a bicameral government.

But somehow, by the grace of Reveille and all that was Aggie and holy, I was hired. It had begun...a colorful career at irreverent, B-league newspapers.

My future had been written...

This is part of a 31-day micro-memoir writing challenge where I talk about my amusing career writing about reindeers, MMA, and snooker tournaments. View more here.


  1. The young student wasn't sure how to react when her tutor decided to read the newspaper instead of helping her. "Not only do my parents make me come to this stupid place after school," she thought, "but I end up with this lazy lady. She is super pretty and tough looking, but she didn't even offer me the comics. I'm telling Mom."

  2. LOL! Seems like you're doing great now. Can't wait to see more.