Friday, July 21, 2006

Why I Am Here

Some people don't know how to say no.

Unfortunately, I am one of them, and the residents of Kanner Lake know it. Do you need a volunteer to oversee Kanner Lake Senior High News? Ask Mrs. Trexel. Do you need a leader for the library's bookclub? Ask Beverly. Or do you need a ladies luncheon coordinator? Ask Bev. Therefore, when I retired from teaching English, I vowed I would learn to say no.

Then Bailey Truitt sought writers for this new blog (what illiterate coined that term?).

At first I wasn't even tempted. I have successfully avoided all excessive involvement for several years now, and I was not about to start again. Chatrooms, instant messaging, blogs--these are the younger generations' excuse for sloppy English and wasted time. "Not interested," I told Bailey. "I don't read blogs, and I will certainly never write for one."

But to quote my granddaughter's favorite movie, "Never say never."1

Then my dear friend Angie, whom you met yesterday (honestly, sometimes I don't know how I put up with her) overheard my comments. She told me the only reason I refused Bailey was because of fear: "An old lady set in her ways, buffaloed by new technology."

Of course she was wrong, and I gave her my full lecture on slander. All she did was laugh and say, "You're chicken."

"I am not."

Folding her arms, she leaned back like a rebellious student. "Prove it. I dare you."

Obviously, I ended up saying yes. Only heaven knows what I'll find to write about. Perhaps we shall discuss classic literature. Some of you may find that very interesting. But if you find my writing a bore, the full responsibility for my being here in the first place lies on Angie's shoulders.

I take that back. Twenty-five percent is my husband's fault. But that is a story for another time.

-- Beverly Trexel

P.S. I apologize to my fellow English teachers for any unorthodox punctuation and paragraphing forced upon this and all future essays due to their appearing in this low form of writing known as a Web log.

1An American Tail. Dir. Don Bluth. Perf. Phillip Glasser, Dom DeLuise, Nehemiah Persoff, Ercia Yohn, Amy Green, and John Finnegan. Universal Studios, 1986.

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
Hi Beverly,
I would love a discussion on classic literature. Perhaps it would lead to a book discussion group that could meet at Java Joint and talk about books over latte? That would make a nice story in the paper's What-to-do-in-Kanner-Lake section. By the way, your blog attitude reminds me of my mom's when microwaves first came out. I bought her one for Christmas, but she insisted it would give her cancer and refused to use it. The thing sat on her counter untouched for years, until one night I stopped by and saw a bag of popped microwave popcorn on the counter. Once she got started she loved it, and I think you- a fine educated writer- will love this blogging thing too. Glad you decided to give it a chance!
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 2:15 AM
I'm proud of you, lady! To celebrate, I made us a deep-dish apple. But then it smelled so good, I might have eaten some, er, most of it.

How about coming over for just a slice and a cup of coffee? Or better yet, I'll buy at Java Joint.

Literature...what a great idea for a discussion. See, like I said, it's not so scary!
Posted by Anonymous Angie B : 4:11 AM
Hey Mrs. Trexel,
Instead of classical literature, why don't we discuss some of your local and nearby authors. I think there's one not too far from you in Coeur D'Alene who writes Christian suspense. Who knows, she might let you interview her? Of course, talking about spiders and body counts may be too much for you. I remember how you screamed when I left that fake spider on your desk. Actually, I really enjoyed your classes, and I'm really sorry for all those pranks I pulled on you.

Your former student,
Larry Brown
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 7:22 AM
I love "An American Tail"! Thanks for including that footnote 'cause it's been too long since I saw it and now I'll be smiling all day thinking about cute little Fievel...
Posted by Blogger Rachel : 7:52 AM

Once you start writing for a blog, you can't go back. I'm with you on the punctuation, so we'll just have to think of this as a different form of writing with its own rules.

Becca :)
Posted by Blogger Becca : 7:53 AM
I've been meaning to see if you could take a look at what I have in Starfire so far Bev, could use your keen English teacher eye to catch my poor lumberjack grammar...

I mean if you're blogging now, you must be ready for some dino-filled science fiction right?

Or will I have to bribe Angie to get her to convince you?

Posted by Blogger S-man : 1:31 PM
I'll be happy to read your manuscript, even if Bev won't help. I used to love the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits. I hope you don't mind that the last science fiction I read was "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea".

Posted by Anonymous angie b : 1:35 PM
I thoroughly enjoyed your post, Bev. Thank you for raising the bar on this blog.
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 1:50 PM
It isn't so bad now is it, Mrs. Trexel?
Posted by Blogger AnnaMaria : 8:35 AM
Well, I know she don't like the way I talk. Always trying to correct me and get me to use those fancy words she does. I just ignore her and figure she'll get tired of riding my back. I can still tell my stories just the same.
Posted by Blogger Jake Tremaine : 10:49 AM
It's good for you, Jake Tremaine, as you very well know. And where on earth did you get that lunatic idea I'll tire of riding your back, as you put it? I have battled more than one head-strong student in my day, and I assure you that retirement has not weakened my ability to stand my ground.

And Ted, I must think about your offer, since I have already entangled myself in more than I ever intended. But I cannot say that I'm completely adverse to your suggestion. I did teach literature for a number of years, so I naturally have a fondness for books. And while I have not delve much into science-fiction, I also know that literature can come up in the most unexpected places. How else could we have H. G. Wells and Jules Verne?
Posted by Blogger Bev Trexel : 5:45 PM
LOL on how you got to be writing in this blog. I did enjoy your post very much. Look forward to hearing more from you. Even if you do decide to talk about classic literature which I know very little about. I always made A's in English classes and my teachers always told me I should write. My reply was Write about what? (Novels never occured to me and I thought I'd eventually run out of ideas, but now I see how wrong that was.)
Great to hear from you.
Posted by Blogger Pammer : 8:49 PM
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