It’s funny how moments of pure inspiration can hit you at the most unexpected times, like, for example, over breakfast food with your dad.
Over the weekend, Padre Young came down to B’more to pay me an impromptu visit after I stress-monologued to him the week prior about some of my consistent academic uncertainties. The brunt of the conversation went something like, “Yes, I’m a Writing Seminars major, I like to write, I’m considering this marketing minor, now what?”
After I had sufficiently quelled some of my anxiety with eggs, toast and coffee, my dad began running through some potential career options that would work with my skill set: teacher, newscaster, book editor, and a few other jobs that didn’t end up striking my fancy in any particular way. What led to my “Ah-ha” moment this weekend started with a simple description of the sorts of things I’ve been doing on campus lately. I got particularly emphatic as I detailed to him my experiences writing for the Arts & Entertainment section of the News-Letter, and from this, we hashed out the beginnings of an idea of what I really could see myself doing in the future.
Between last semester and this semester, I’ve covered several arts events around Baltimore that were virtually unknown to most of the Hopkins campus, and each time it was a particularly rewarding experience. From a lecture given by masked feminist avengers in the art world to a documentary screening in a jam-packed coffee shop on the near slave-like conditions for farm laborers in America, I’ve had the opportunity to not only report on the art itself, but also on the way it impacted its audience.
For the Guerrilla Girls lecture I attended last semester, I was in awe of the completely full auditorium at the Baltimore School of Art who came, pen and notebook in hand, so eager to learn more about the deeply-ingrained sexism in the world of art. I felt equally inspired by the standing-room-only turnout at Red Emma’s Coffeeshop for the screening of “Food Chains”, a documentary about the disturbingly low standard of living for farm laborers in Florida and California. These were the stories I wanted to tell, not so much my own imaginative concoctions that I’m required to produce for my Intro to Fiction and Poetry course this semester.
While I love the process of analyzing literature and am intrigued by the many facets of the marketing world, I know that I’d rather take certain elements of those two worlds and apply them to the things I truly want to write about: the various ways the arts impact both an individual and an entire community. There are many elements of fiction writing that go into quality non-fiction, and I’m anxious to continue honing my skills in whatever ways I can this semester. Likewise, I’d rather spend time learning how to market arts events around Baltimore than learning case studies about the marketing initiatives at Sheetz, but I know they’re necessary to building the skill set I’ll eventually need to get my future job done right.
With an impending History of Art or Film & Media Studies minor to combine with my already-kickin’ marketing track, inspiration from my continuing News-Letter career, and warmer weather ahead, I feel a new sense of excitement for the semester and for my path as a Writing Seminars major at Hopkins. I’m that much more motivated to write what I love.