I had a little bit of a breakdown today because I realized a lot more of me is making it into my stories than I intended. And I don’t like it.
I was critiqued last night in my Fantasy class about a story I’d written from the point-of-view of an angel. The story was about a teenage angel who goes on her first mission to Earth to help someone. All she is given is a gigantic manual as her guide to helping people. She goes down to Earth, is overwhelmed, but accepts a mission to help a mother who is concerned about her son. The boy is being approached by a gang that wants to recruit him. The angel ends up helping him by reversing a terrible choice he makes, thus giving him a second chance.
So after my critique, and having all these questions thrown at my under-developed story, my brain was buzzing. This morning I was thinking about a big question that my teacher had asked me. “Why did you turn Heaven into a bureaucracy? It’s interesting and funny, but you need to think about why you did it.” (I’m paraphrasing her here.) She also asked what it was saying about Heaven (and God) that they are sending their angels out unprepared with nothing more than a book.
So after looking up the definition of a bureaucracy. And thinking. I had a terrible epiphany.
This story was a big giant metaphor for my feelings about teaching. And I hated it.
I am the angel, getting thrown into the world of trying to help people, with little more than a “manual.” And I get put into situations that I don’t know the answers to, but my actions are life-changing to the people I’m trying to help. And ultimately, I’m giving kids chances or opportunities that will help them escape evil in the world.
Yes the angel in my story was unprepared and lost at how to perform a miracle.
But at least she had magic words.
I feel unprepared for the miracles I’m expected to perform in my classroom.
And I don’t have any clue where to look up some magic words.
I came to Hollins to read and write, and pursue MY DREAMS. I got very angry and upset to see teaching working it’s way into my writing subconsciously. The subcontext of my story was not something I wanted to tackle in my writing, but it appeared anyways.
I’m leaving this story alone for a few days. I need a break from it. Especially now that I realize how personal it is, it’s going to be draining to revise/finish.
In the meantime, I’ll work on my teen girl story. (Which also turned out to be much more personal than I intended, but at least it’s not about teaching!)
This summer is going by entirely too fast.