March 10th, 2009


Steve Wouldn't Clean Up Shit If He Had A Million Dollars ... Or Would He?

If you asked me, "Steven, if you could do anything in the world for a living, what would it be?"

And, of course, after the requisite answers of: Supermodel Gigolo; Godfather's Pizza Taster; Poolboy For A Lonely, Unsatisfied Millionaire's Wife; marijuana grower in southern Australia; I'd have to be honest and say something along the line of this:

"If I could do anything in the world for a living, I would get paid to write a multi-faceted semi-daily column about anything and everything I found interesting at any given moment in time." One day, I could write about music, another on why I think CNBC is bollocks, and yet another on why the Washington Husky basketball team could either reach the Final Four or lose by 20 in the first round.

Boiled down to the nut, my ideal job is pushing my opinion on other people.

Now, I've always said that I could never be a teacher. Mostly because I can't stand interacting with people on a daily basis. But really, at this point I would only be qualified to teach three things: English as a Second Language in a foreign country, How to Nap & Steal Extra Breaks @ Work, and Newsradio: A History of Fine American Television That Died Too Soon.

But, then Kon came to me yesterday with an idea: why couldn't I teach Short Story Writing?

After all, that was pretty much what I took exclusively for the last two years of my college career. Not to mention that's been my passion and my on-again off-again hobby from 12th Grade in high school until now (or, really, last year, but who's counting). I know the University of Washington Short Story Class format inside and out, which probably means I know MOST colleges' short story class formats, since I'd be hard to convince that the UW broke some kind of mold.

In ten weeks, you're responsible for a smattering of readings. You're taught the basics in form and structure. You write one (usually 10-page) short story rough draft and a final revision of that draft. Bada-bing-bada-boom, you're a writer.

But, being a teacher is so much MORE!

You always hear about teachers or professors or whatever and how they find the job "so gratifying" because they've managed to "make a difference" in at least one student's life. Bullshit. You know why teaching is so gratifying? Because you get to strut your stuff, command a captive audience, and push your opinions down other people's throats. If I wanted, I could do a class exclusively on Bukowski and relationships with women and there wouldn't be a damned thing my students could do (except quit). I can push classics like "The Lottery" or something by Mark Twain ... or I could give them stories published exclusively within the last decade. And if I were really a pompous jackass, I could throw one of my stories into the mix like so many of my professors have done before.

Read what I tell you to read because I think it's good! Write how I tell you to write because that's what I want to read!

It's a fancy idea, but I'm sure it's not as wicked as it sounds. It doesn't matter where you go or what you do, from pizza tasting to supermodel fucking, eventually you're going to run into some scenarios that are real drags. Then again, it doesn't matter what you do for a living, because whatever it is will ultimately get old.

Of course, I wouldn't be getting paid for this endeavor until it gets off the ground. But, I'd rather get nothing for a hobby I enjoy over getting paid for a job I despise.