Should I trust this dialect to convey the right effect?


When I was young, I didn't have athletes as heroes, I had writers and journalists and scientists and explorers. NPR figures into some of my earliest memories, and I've grown into an NPR addict. Journalism was presented as the last bastion of impartiality--minus the 24-hour news cycle. That's why I, like my friend and sometimes editor Carla Jean Whitley, keep politics and religion out of my writing. It is not my business to define others' beliefs.

Through my writing, I can leave a record of the people and stories in my life. To my loved ones, I promise not to post too many embarrassing stories. I would like to leave a legacy of love, not embarrassment.

Through my writing, I hope to teach love and patience in dealing with difficult situations. I have learned from the best, and I will not covet that knowledge. If one person slows to consider their actions, I have left a legacy I can be proud of.

Title from Hellogoodbye's "Dear Jamie, Sincerely Me."

Teaching learning

As a tutor and educator of sorts, I get to see what kind of legacy I would leave if I was in the classroom. Right now, I do a lot of work with kids who come into high school with little or no foundational knowledge. Many of them have been taught that the only paths to knowledge are guarded by teachers, and are otherwise inaccessible. Yeats put best when he said "Education is not the filling of pail, but the lighting of a fire."

Because I'm not a teacher, my legacy will not be defined by the number of kids who start loving a subject after my class. Instead, I hope to be remembered as having provided a safe place for my kids to learn how to study through their own trial and error. Though it may be bad for business, my ultimate goal is for my kids to learn to study without needing my help.

When I was in high school, several of my teachers' classrooms were safe havens. I was more shy then, and their care and compassion shaped my idea of what education should be. I have had more than a few sessions of tutoring that were as much a conversations about life as they were educational. If I had had someone five to 10 years older as a confidant at that age, I might have behaved differently.

Over the next few years, I hope to be in a classroom as a teacher. I hope to pass along the love of learning that was taught to me. I hope to see them grow and learn and I hope for them to come back and visit.

My tutoring kids and their families have taught me a lot about kindness and welcoming in strangers so for now, I'll continue to focus on leaving my mark on the kids I work with.