Tuesday, 15 October 2013


Jennifer took the Grind Café Writers’ Group “Free-write Challenge” at this year’s Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival at Trout Lake, Vancouver. The brave drew random prompts then took a break from the fest to go sit under a tree, and let it rip for 10 minutes without stopping in a free-write—and see what emerged. Braver yet, they agreed to let us post their raw version. So remember, this is unedited, unfinished output. Thanks to all participants.

Prompt:  “Here’s what really happened that day………...”
Here’s what really happened that day……
……that day when I got fired as a volunteer because I expressed my opinion. Somehow I might have expected it at an event focusing on writers than an original opinion or sarcastic comment might be appreciated. Not.
…..the day I realized that many administrative organizations have a lot in common, regardless of their causes. Honestly, I thought my comments were funny, clever—at worst, snide. But not so offensive as to warrant being asked to leave. By a person who resembled the literary character of Napolean. Not the French leader, but the dominant porker of Orwell’s Animal Farm. 
Sometimes this happens to me in Canada—saying something that sounds innocent to someone from 1970s America—like, “That person sounds stressed and bitchy”—how it’s interpreted here as “You called that person a bitch!” Or how offering suggestions for improvement is interpreted as insubordinate challenging authority.
The reaction of those in charge knocked me senseless. What if I’d actually said something meant to be offensive? Would they have called the cops?
Surely these people should have been able to tell the difference between inadvertently tactless (what I thought I might have been) and outright rude (certainly not my intention)--?
After 30-some years in my new country, I still feel like an outsider, not understanding Canadian culture. And not willing to say, “I’m sorry” when I don’t feel sorry.”
(Author’s comments:  “May be too rude to publish.” “Read it and decide.”)

©2013 Jennifer Getsinger

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