Cursive and curtsies

View from my desk at work. See the turkey?

Today’s prompt is What was your dream job as a child?

In first grade, Mrs. O’Connor asked my classmates and me this and I said I wanted to be a mommy. Disgusted with my answer, O’Connor and my classmates promptly berated me with a first grade version of “you suck.” I clearly remember Tony Robertson swinging around in his seat and looking at me like I was an idiot.

“You could have said anything.” He was gesturing like a madman. “A doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a…anything!”

It was my first time being mansplained. Tony was cute and I confess I rather liked the attention. Hey, at least I didn’t say “housewife.”

In second grade, my mind started to open to different possibilities. There was a talent show and *anyone* (not just the 8th graders) could participate. I signed up to play a song on the piano. I thought it was so cool that anyone could sign up.

I had a private run-thru with Sister Catherine the day before the show. She told me I would have to curtsy after I performed and she showed me exactly how to do it. Sister really broke it down. If you’ve never seen a nun curtsy then you aren’t living your best life.

The talent show was a blast. I loved seeing different kids from different grades traipse onto the stage and do their thing. It was my first “open mic” and I was hooked. More please.

Second grade is also the year my Aunt Carolyn gave me a book about art. It was one of those enormous coffee table books. I thought she made a mistake in giving it to me. My mother and I share the same first name and I thought maybe I had opened my mother’s gift. But Aunt Carolyn assured me that it was for me, Connie Junior. She told me she heard I liked art and that she thought I could handle a mature book.

And second grade is when I learned how to write in cursive which I completely loved. Writing in cursive still makes me feel responsible.

I didn’t know it at the time but by the time second grade was over, my dreams were spelled out (in cursive) for me. I wanted a life of open mics (theatre), writing opportunities, art, books and, of course, kids. Nowadays I’m the music and comedy director at Tuesdays@9 where I also am a contributing playwright. And I’m the producer of the Rockford Fringe. I love those gigs wholeheartedly.

The audience from an open mic I performed at in November. Photo by Dr. Ada Cheng.

As for my day job, I’m currently enjoying my 1200-hour contract with AmeriCorps quite a bit. With the goal of getting more people outside and into our forest preserves and green spaces, I organize and lead hikes that are free and open to the public. Cool.

But Sundays and Mondays are my days off. Jesse is home from New York and we aren’t doing a damn thing except snacking and building a fire. Now that is what qualifies as dreamy.

Thanks for reading.

Yours in cursive and curtsies,


2 thoughts on “Cursive and curtsies”

  1. your talent showed early! (maybe your first grade “open mic” was your first comedy-LOL!) – such a joy to do what is soul-satisfying because it is your heart showing!


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