Thursday, September 30, 2010

secrets, work shop, and missionaries

Do you know what's cool? Yesterday, I was in class, and we were discussing an exploratory essay we are soon going to be working on, and my teacher brought up six word memoirs (which I have read, and I think it's totally awesome) and a student asked my teacher if he had ever heard of Post Secret. Another girl in my class said, "Hey, that guy is on campus today." And I got super pumped and asked her what time he was going to be giving his presentation and she told me it was right after our class. So I ditched my fiction work shop class (Because how often am I going to be able to hear Frank Warren give a presentation? Never, that's how often.) and I went and watched his presentation. It was awesome.

He talked about how Post Secret got started, and what it was all about, and he shared post cards with us that hadn't been put on the website or in the book. (I have been following Post Secret pretty much since it started, five years ago.) The last portion of his presentation was an open mic to the audience to share their secrets. Seriously. I wasn't sure how personal people were going to get, but my goodness, did they get personal.

Some people kept it light (thank goodness, because there needed to be some relief) and one guy said he didn't like using urinals because he didn't want other guys looking at his junk. One girl said she still slept with her teddy bear. But some people shared some really personal secrets. One girl shared about her ex-boyfriend, who was a cop, who held a gun to her head and abused her. Several people talked about how they used to cut themselves. Then there was one girl that walked up to the mic holding a baby. She talked about how her little girl was turning two weeks old tomorrow, and every day she considered herself blessed because she loved her so much. Then she said she had an abortion when she was seventeen years old, and she can't help but but think every time she looks into her little girl's face what her other child would have been like, and she was filled with so much guilt and that she felt terrible and then she started crying. And then I started crying, not because I related to her story or anything, but it was such an emotional thing she was sharing with us and I felt as though I could literally feel her pain. (I consider myself an extremely empathetic person; I honestly believe that I can really feel other people's pain.)

It was really awesome and I'm so glad I got to go to it. He's traveling around the country doing presentations, so I would highly recommend going to one if it's in your area.

What else? Well, I had my short story work shopped in my fiction work shop class and I was absolutely terrified. But it went okay. I didn't get ripped apart, and most of the responses I got from my class mates were really nice. My harshest response was from a boy who said he felt like "I gave him a chunk of excellently cooked meat, but I didn't cut the fat off first." Hey, I can live with that. Now I have to work on my second short story, which is up for work shop at the end of October.

I had a Mormon missionary come up to my door today. The dogs were barking like crazy, and I went to the door to see what they were barking at and there was a person standing there and he scared me half to death and I actually jumped and shrieked. It was pretty embarrassing. He kept on saying he was sorry he scared me, but then he went into his whole spiel.

He asked if I went to church, and I said no. He asked if church had ever been a part of my life, and I told him yes, it had been. Then he went on to say that people may stray from church due to different things happening in their lives, but Jesus was the way. He asked if I had ever read the book of Mormon, and I told him I had.

I could tell he was a little surprised, and he asked me what my thoughts had been. I have to say, I think I was pretty polite. I told him I didn't agree with a lot of what Mormons believed in. He pressed further, and said, "You say that with a smile on your face. Why is that?" And I just told him that anything I had to say about it would probably offend him, and I didn't want to do that.

He then told me that there were a lot of misleading ideas about what Mormonism was, and gave me a a little pamphlet and said I could contact them if I was interested. I said thank you, and when I thought he was going to leave, he said, "Can I help you with anything?" I was confused about what he meant. Spiritually? Emotionally? What, exactly, was he going to help me with? Then he said, "Can I take out your trash or do some sort of chore for you that you need help with?" And I actually thought that was really sweet. I just told him that was very nice to offer, but I was okay.

Those Mormons. They sure try to butter you up, don't they?

1 comment:

  1. Jackie, the part where you said you shrieked at the Mormon had me rolling! I'm still laughing a little about it, actually. I got your text message about the anti-abortion booth at your school the other day and I would've like to have seen that. The girl that cried during the "Post Secret" presentation would have totally made me cry too!

    I love this blog spot deal, I'm making myself one right now.Oh, when are you going to post your short story that got work shopped? I'm excited about it.