if you doubt my allegiance to libraries, you have not seen this photograph

Sunday, June 1, 2014

... for here I am, a seventh-grade library aid, at Hanby Junior High outside Wilmington, DE. I had been working in school libraries since I smashed my wrist as an eight-year-old—so badly that I'd wear one form of a cast or another up until tenth grade, when my bones grew up enough for the surgery I required. Libraries instead of gym: it became one of the many stories of my life. Another story: I was just about the worst (by which I mean least imaginative, entirely boxed in, useless) writer you can imagine; I have no idea why I thought I could make poetry, or any language-based profession, my life.

I would continue to work in libraries as I moved to a new state, home, and school district in eighth grade. After graduating from Radnor High, I went to the University of Pennsylvania where, hoping to relieve my father of having to pay any additional expenses for my education, I worked in the Van Pelt Library when I was not catering (or going to class).

Libraries. An accident made them part of my every-day life. An ability to work past my own extreme limitations as a writer enabled me, after much tossing of much horrific stuff, to pursue a dream I had.

Though truth be told: I'm still working on becoming a real writer.


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