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(from September 2001)
I attended the University of Florida for undergraduate. After a year of showing up for classes in my pajamas only to complain loudly that the professors were disturbing my naptime, I lost my only scholarship. I did manage to get it back, and earned a bachelor of arts in English with a focus on creative writing and 20th-century literature (graduated with highest honors, mind you). I could receive superstar grades for reading books and writing papers which made famous authors look oafish or misogynistic, stories in which everyone admitted how cool that short Jewish girl was--what, with her great sense of humor and amazing “Good Will” wardrobe. Maybe this was why I stayed an English major. But the reason I first became one was because English courses were the only courses in which the professors thought my pajamas entertaining. Even pleasantly quirky.
Maybe I have wanted to be a writer since the second grade, when I learned I was good at making up what I would like to call “amusing fictions” (also know as fibs). Initially, most of my stories had to do with what made me afraid to bathe or why there were large clumps of my own hair in my hands. I wondered to myself: "Could someone ever pay me for this?"
The answer: NO.
But I found I could pay state-run institutions of higher learning to allow me to write. I have been flying high ever since.
The Graduate School Years . . .
I was anxious to continue my education in story-making-upping, and applied to a number of schools, only one of which accepted me. My graduate experience at the University of Maryland had many ups and downs. My school mascot changed from the aggressive, predatory alligator to the benign, smiling, and often lethargic terrapin. But I was able to make new friends, all of whom shared my enjoyment for the comforts of College Park's premier drinking establishment, Town Hall Liquors, and most of whom liked wearing wigs.
The Writing Program at Maryland taught me about developing a sense of community, an exercise we practiced every Wednesday with field studies conducted at the Town Hall. Sometimes, we even took excursions to other MFAs' houses, where we might drink, put on wigs, and pretend we were famous. This was a much-needed relief from the daily demands of not being famous.
The program at Maryland had an MFA graduate readings series as well, which provided yet another opportunity for us to wear wigs. My great friend Bob Brumfield and I are much interested in performance art, which is to say we enjoy dressing up in our gatkis, throwing fake blood over each other, and taking pictures. We have found that performance art allows us to do this, while still writing and putting on wigs.
In May, I unofficially graduated from my program, which means I attend the graduation ceremony in the gown and funny hat I bought and will never wear again. But I still had to finish a paper for which I
held an very large "incomplete". That incomplete was finally completed after a nearly two-year gestation period, which ended in a twenty-seven-page rambling in which I suggested Henry James was a pervert. The writing was great fun, but I am glad it’s over.
The Real World . . .
Regretfully, neither writing fiction, nor engaging in performance art, nor wearing wigs will ever earn me a penny. In August, my boyfriend and I moved to New York City, which had always been our dream. We left our jobs so he could begin law school and I could lounge around in my house clothes all day, because no one wants to hire an English major. I have been thrust into a frightfully lousy job market, and am looking forward to eventually being hired for my natural good looks, my sense of humor, and my tremendous personal style.
I keep busy by fine-tuning my resume, submitting my works of fiction for rejection by various literary publications, and running up a phenomenal long-distance bill as I encourage out-of-state friends to make fun of other people’s clothing.
I am also maintaining this website.
Give Me a Job . . .
If you would like to hire me, please email me at contact @ debcentral.com.
My special talents include brewing strong coffee, talking loudly, and making fun of other people's clothing. I look forward to hearing from you.