There was a professor in grad school who was, in a sense, the Bud Grossman of our department: poker-faced, a kind of tastemaker. In an attempt at some #realtalk days before graduation, she told our class to raise our hands. Then she asked all but two of us to lower our hands.
“Only two of you will go on to be writers,” as if we were in a discarded scene from Wonder Boys. “The rest are going to stop writing because of family or jobs. Or life.”
At the time, I was so annoyed about how cliched this moment was. I was so annoyed that she waited until graduation, until I was dressed in a cobalt blue vintage scooter dress specifically picked out to feel distinct, to give this speech. For someone who lectures on acuity, I was annoyed that she didn’t offer a clear definition of “being a writer.”
Even after graduation, it’s never been clear to me whether or not my hand is up or down. I wrote about that feeling, cats, and Inside Llewyn Davis for The Morning News.