as accents die

I have always hated the Boston accent.

I think because a lot of people I don’t like have it.

including me.

 

I know the problem with hating local accents.

It’s classist.

I get it.

But I think I’m allowed to hate the sound of my own voice

when I’m angry or drunk

and I drop my r’s.

 

my mother says

the boston accent

isn’t an accent, really,

but an attitude.

“come ahn, ked”

“pahk ya cah” and all that.

it’s angry, it’s drunk

just like me

when it comes out of my mouth.

 

i already feel gangly and too big

too noticable

(though I’m only 5’2).

I already don’t like to be noticed in person.

I only like my words to be noticed

when they are printed

and handed over silently.

 

i want people to read my words

and hear their own voice

not mine.

i want to be invisible.

 

i hate my accent.

“you don’t even have an accent.”

everybody has an accent.

even when i’m not drunk or angry

people at college knew where i was born.

i’ll never be free of this place.

my tongue remains a prisoner.

 

at least my fingers are free.

Catching up on Farmers Markets, summer….

Training Day 1 complete! I can already tell she’ll be a great co-op.

As I transition back into freelancing and new girl transitions into the Globe, I am being less bittersweet and more confident. This is going to be a good, new change.

I start, basically, the day after I leave. I’m covering a farmers market.

I love famers markets. So lovely, fresh, green. People walking around in sun hats, kids walking around in bare feet licking ice creams. The one in my home town offers homemade empanadas as well as fresh-picked strawberries. I like the infamous Haymarket in Boston, too, though that’s less wholesome and fresh and more…Haymarket.

For non-Bostonians, buying something at Haymarket is equivalent to buying a carton of milk that expired yesterday. It’s probably fine today, and will probably be okay tomorrow, but after that it’s a fifty/fifty shot between okay and diarrhea.

Ah, well. I’m exaggerating. Either way, this isn’t like Haymarket. This is a small town market squeezed into the library’s front lawn. This is a market full of fresh fish and ripe tomatoes and all-natural soap.

I love farmers markets. Such a lovely atmosphere full of hard working craftspeople and farmers.

They’re pretty introvert unfriendly, unfortunately. The whole idea is making conversation, approaching people, bartering. I always feel a bit bad when I enter a tent and then don’t buy anything.

Perhaps, like how I dreamt yesterday about the Introvert Boutique, it would be nice to have an Introvert Farmers Market. Though, I suppose that would just be Whole Foods or some other supermarket.

I’m just being silly. I’m excited for summer, I’m excited for farmers markets and sundresses, I’m excited to get back into my favorite version of journalism.

Really though, I’m excited to have more time free for writing and blogging, especially with Camp Nanowrimo coming up. Anyone out there a nano-er?

If not, check it out my friends: https://campnanowrimo.org/sign_in

 

Also, this is my 200th post. Thanks for reading:)

Beauty vs. Ease

I’m not a very spiritual or religious person, but when I’m in a church I can’t help but feel the sacred power of the space. I recently toured the Trinity Church in Boston, an amazingly beautiful church founded in 1733. The space was nearly empty, and felt cavernous. Though I haven’t in years, I knelt at the pew and closed my eyes, feeling the empty space and listening to every creak and echoing step.

When I visited churches during my trip to Italy, I was in a group of 25 high schoolers who spent more time snickering at the strange-looking paintings of adult- baby Jesus than feeling the significance and beauty of the church, but here in Boston I was free to let the church consume my entire attention.

I walked around the perimeter, soaking in the intricacies of the stained glass and golden detail, the soaring pillars and the arching ceiling, every inch packed tight with as much beauty as would fit, and I began wondering why my church at home, made in the 1960s, is so plain. One stained glass window with nothing special, a decent crucifix, but really nothing but wooden pews, electric fans, and a few statues in the corner. The rug had several burns from toppled candles, and the choir sat on plastic chairs. When did we stop adorning churches with marble and gold?29.jpg

It may have something to do with the fact that my church at home is Catholic, and the Trinity Church is Episcopal, or the cost of material in the 60s, or any number of things, but I instantly equated it to this BBC article about how we are beginning to dress more and more casually to work: http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20160120-have-we-taken-casual-workwear-too-far

Have we stopped caring about elegance? Yoga pants and jeans replace suits and nice dresses, the casual and comfortable taking the center place in our closets. High heels become flats. Is that a bad thing, or not?

You are what you eat…and what you wear. When I have time to do my hair and makeup nice, I feel more productive at work, more ready to face the day. When I’m a bit more sloppily dressed, my work follows suit. I wonder if we would all work better if we were meant to dress better?

And, why is elegance leaving our cultural conscience? Why do we opt for cheap comedies over the opera? Comfort over beauty? Ease over effort? Flats over heels? Plain over ornate?

As I sat in the elegant church, amazed and filled with admiration and wonder, I began to wonder about the people who made the stained glass, who worked so hard to adorn the church, inside and out. They must have felt a need to make the church breathtaking. It felt sacred, because it looked sacred. Because it looked beautiful, even though it didn’t have to be. People put effort into the beauty.

And yet, I was conflicted. Shouldn’t the church have spent all this extra money on the poor and hungry, rather than on petty decoration?

I wondered then if I would have been more spiritual as a child, and now, if my church at home filled me with awe. If my church matched the power and significance of the words we were taught, would I have more readily believed them? If it looked more sacred, more important, more spiritual, would it have felt that way, too? Or would I have been made sick over the vain over-spending from a church grounded in giving to the less-fortunate?

It’s a hard subject to think about. Same with clothing–obviously, I like wearing jeans and comfy shoes. So I guess I don’t know where I stand, in the fight between beauty and ease. What I do know is that these questions are good to think about, and may only come up when travelling alone, just you and your thoughts, in a big, empty church.

 

Chasing Michael Rezendes

This is the mortifying, victorious story of how little introvert me chased down award-winning investigative journalist Michael Rezendes.
Michael Rezendes is a member of the Boston Globe Spotlight team that covered the Catholic Church abuse scandal. If you saw the movie Spotlight, he was played by Mark Ruffalo, and honestly, I was more star-struck than if actual Mark Ruffalo were there, and I love the Avengers.

I’m an intern reporter at the Boston Globe, as many of you know, and Rezendes is a living legend in journalism. All the interns gather every month or so for a “Lunch and Learn,” where we get free sandwiches and special lectures. This one, hosted by Rezendes and Jenn Abelson, also of Spotlight, was about investigative journalism.

They both shared amazing stories about “Fishy Business,” “Clash in the Name of Care,” and, of course, the Catholic Church scandal the movie focused on. I took plenty of notes and learned a lot, but I couldn’t help my hands from shaking .These people are the best of the best.

My mom had messaged me and said she wanted a picture of me with them. I thought to myself, that’s rather unprofessional…I mean, they’re just normal people trying to do their job. But as I sat, I realized that this was the time. I might never see them again, this building is huge, and after my internship is over, who knows if I’ll ever get the opportunity?

I had a mission.

As the meeting was over, I scrambled to get to the front, but Rezendes and Abelson were out the door and people were pushing their chairs in my way and huddling around the trash. I fought my way out, and caught them heading around a corner. I couldn’t believe it—I was chasing the Spotlight team around the office. What the hell?!

They were talking to someone in their cubicles when I finally caught up, and I was about to turn around and give up (realizing how silly this all was), when Rezendes saw me staring at them from behind a pillar and said hi.

“Um, hi,” I said, almost dropping my phone. “Ah, so, my mom really likes Spotlight, and I was wondering if I could get a picture?”

Of course he said yes, and the deed was done. I shook his hand and scooted back to my desk, hands shaking, face burning, giggling uncontrollably. God, I just chased down a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for a photo-op

He’ll forget it happened, I figured, he won’t remember me.

Nope. He said hi to me in the hall the next day.

I don’t know if he sees me as the crazy intern, or the one brave enough to talk to him separately, or what, but it doesn’t matter. He recognized me. Michael Rezendes recognized me. What is my life??

So yes, this is the closest thing I have to knowing a famous person, and it was one of the coolest days of my internship so far…I can’t even handle it.

I still can’t believe I did this! He was so nice, and so incredibly intelligent. What a great, inspiring person to have had the pleasure to meet.

Now here’s hoping he doesn’t find this post and think I’m even more of a crazy person.

“The real Massachusetts”

Tomorrow I head to Amesbury, Massachusetts, with plans to leave with plenty of extra time to walk around and explore.

One of the biggest tips people give you when traveling is to skip on the touristy areas and go somewhere off the beaten path. As someone who lives in Boston, a tourist hub, Amesbury is very off the beaten path. It’s one of the northernmost towns in Massachusetts, right on the New Hampshire border.

Traveling and exploring doesn’t have to be somewhere super crazy-incredible. I found plenty of amazing places just driving around my hometown—places my parents never knew about. I was amazed to find there was a lovely pond just a quarter mile from my house, of which I never knew existed! My boyfriend and I drink coffee on the sand now and then, listening to the frogs.

I’ve never been to Amesbury, so I don’t know what I’ll find. But I do know it will be nice to be somewhere new. Location can make all the difference. A change in scenery can mean everything, especially when you spend 40 hours in a box of a cubicle and the rest of the time in a slightly larger box of a dorm room. And when I say slightly, I mean slightly.

I’ve always lived about 50 miles from Amesbury. I’ve also always lived about 200 miles from Pennsylvania but I’ve only been there once or twice. It’s strange how little we explore our own area. We travel to such far places, but never explore our own towns. I know more about Aruba than I know about Amesbury. Or Groveland, or Manchester-By-The-Sea, or Worchester, any of the tons of small Massachusetts towns that I always could have visited but never have.

Why not, though? It’s off the beaten path. It’s a traveler’s fantasy, these small towns no one knows about, away from hordes of tourists. “The real Massachusetts.”

Well, now I have a chance. An hour or two, hopefully, of extra time to find a bite to eat and explore the center of Amesbury,  before the event I’m going to in the library. Adventure, ho! and all that.

So, yes. Hopefully the sun doesn’t set too quickly. It’s setting around 5 or six now, so I might not get too much light. Luckily it’s been rather warm…though that’s sure to change soon.

What do you do, when you feel the routine of life setting in? Has anyone else done a bit of backyard exploring? Tell me your stories, I’d love to hear about other off-the-beaten-path, in-my-backyard stories. If it goes well tomorrow, I’ll be sure to do more!

I’m back!

It’s been four months—I know, but I have a good excuse. Good excuses, I should say. I was hired mid October for a co-op position at the Boston Globe! And I’ve been  writing for them since late December, with a lot of running around in between. So now I work from 9-5, with night classes from 6-8. Long days, I know. But I’m doing it:)

I have a private cubicle. Amazing, for the introvert life. I have lunch with the two other co-ops in my division, so I do socialize and I’m making friends, all while keeping quiet and to myself for most of the day. My boss works from home so really, I have a lot of time to myself, which helps my process.

I really like working for the Globe. I’ve been published already—nothing big, just little feature articles on what’s going on. I write in the regionals section, so I cover the towns north of Boston. Little suburbs, mainly, so I write about charities, schools, stuff like that.

What else? Well, I’m trying to maneuver a study abroad semester for the fall. My boyfriend, by the way, is studying abroad in Mexico right now, so I’m dealing with that. Expect posts on both in the future…I joined an Emerson College blog on books and publishing, and am taking an American Sign Language class as an elective, which is honestly both really fun and very informative.

I’m also thinking of starting a YouTube channel, for little vlogs and ukulele songs. We’ll see if that comes to fruition. I’m writing songs now, comedic ones, serious ones…I have an idea of having a show called “Songs that sound ridiculous on ukulele,” in which I’d sing like, death metal and emo songs on  my bouncy, silly, tiny-guitar.

I’m glad to rejoin the introvert playground!