Word Count: 1058
So after a ridiculous week at work and a complete lack of ideas on what to write about, I’ve finally been able to get a start on NaNoWriMo. I suppose four days late is better than never. So far my biggest struggle has been to turn off my inner editor. I didn’t think I would have such an issue with not editing as I go, but I have been proven wrong. I’m posting what I have so far mainly as motivation for myself to continue (ie something to hold me accountable). It’s a very very very rough draft and I am trying my hardest not to reread and revise, but to just continue toward the word count. I’ll work for a bit longer on it tonight and hopefully I can manage my life a little better to work on it some more this week as well, because I’m pretty sure that my students have been writing more than me lately. I’ll be posting as I continue. I make no promises regarding the structure, content, organization, or overall quality:
Mr. Pittman, my high school ceramics teacher, once told me a monkey could make something nicer than what I’d made.
“Homegirl,” he’d said, “what exactly do you think you’re making there?
He shook his head, lifted his large glasses and rubbed his eyes. “A bowl,” he muttered. “Homegirl, a monkey could make something better than that.” And with that, he’d walked away to his next victim. I liked Pittman. I’d recently moved from the South to Maryland (I chose to ignore the Mason-Dixon Line argument based on the culture shock I’d gone through) and Pittman was from Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The first day of class, I’d mentioned that I actually knew of Rocky Mount, North Carolina and I’d been Homegirl ever since. I wasn’t aiming for the favorite, but I didn’t mind being associated with home either.
Mr. Pittman was probably in his early sixties when I’d taken his class. He’s long since retired, but I know he would have kept working if his health allowed. He’d often give us a hard time, but no student ever doubted that Pittman cared. Like I said, he was probably in his early sixties and always wore a blue smock, dress slacks, and dress shoes. He had a deep voice and deep smile lines. Pittman’s dark hands were always cracked and dry—the result of constantly working with clay and not believing in lotion. His large glasses were remnants of the seventies, as was his short, gray afro. I’m assuming he wasn’t very tall, because I remember constantly looking him in the eyes when we spoke and I’m only five foot six. He’d often tell us stories of when he was enlisted in the Army in the sixties and coming home to race riots and sit ins. When he found out I was Jewish, he told me about Black Jews and their contributions. It was never dull in Pittman’s class. I took his class three years in a row and there was one day each year when he would give his life speech. Continue reading