Author Archive

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Boys and Girls

by Sara Goas

Notepad Art

If I ever have a second baby, I hope I’ll have the patience not to find out ahead of time whether it’s a boy or a girl. Team Green, as they call it these days.

You see, when my husband and I found out two years ago that we were expecting, we were only too happy to share with friends and family that we were having a boy. What followed was a barrage of blue teddy bears, football onesies, and statements like: “No tea parties in your future” and “Boys are awesome… but your house is going to be dirty.”

One older male relative said that he couldn’t wait to teach the new baby how to kick a soccer ball. I nodded politely and added that for my part, I couldn’t wait to read a book with my son. To which Older Male Relative smiled and sadly replied, “You’re having a boy. He might not like that.”

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What’s With All the “Giver” Hate?

by Sara Goas

Abandoned

On my first day of school last year, the students in one of my all-boys classes asked if we would be reading The Giver.

Published in 1993, The Giver by Lois Lowry was one of my all-time favorite books as a teenager. I read it in eighth grade, and then again in high school, and then again whenever I had some downtime during my college years. I’d been delighted to learn, upon taking my first middle school job, that The Giver was part of the curriculum for my seventh grade students.

So when the boys started asking about the book, I mistook their curiosity for literary enthusiasm and broke from my first-day script to tell them yes.

They erupted in groans. “Do we have to read it? The kids who read it last year said it was really bad.”

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Life Lessons (and Lesson Plans)

by Sara Goas

Classroom

As of June 19th of this year, I am no longer a teacher.

I have been a professional educator for seven and half years. Now I have no classroom and no current contract. And this isn’t just a matter of summer vacation either; I have no job to go back to in the fall, and no plans to look for one. I have no professional plans at all right now, in fact. And this is terrifying because, back when I was a teacher, planning was what I did. Planning was my secret weapon.

I chose to walk away from my current teaching job because I want to take some time to focus on my family and my son. This is, after all, what I told my supervisor and my students when it was time to explain that I would not be returning the following year.

My supervisor, a mother herself, tried to be supportive. “I know that you will eventually have a long and full career,” she said, shaking my hand. “You, my dear, are an English teacher.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Children and Creativity

by Sara Goas

bookbinding brass edged press boards

I was recently asked if having kids has had any effect on my creativity.

This is a question that’s been floating around my household quite a bit, actually. And it’s been especially relevant since about July 16th, 2012, when my husband and I welcomed our first child. See, I’m a writer and teacher with some cartooning ability, and my husband is a web designer who uses shapes and colors to solve complicated problems. We both like to create. But once we went so far as to create a baby, our days and nights suddenly revolved around keeping a tiny human being clean, fed, and entertained.

And if you think that sounds like one big, creativity buzz-kill, well–it can be. But it’s more complicated than that.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Joy of Burn-Out

by Sara Goas

IMG_4491

“Burn-out has always been one of those things that happens to other people, not me.”

As I read these words by fellow blogger Leanne Yong, I got to thinking, “Hey, I’m other people.”

And on that note, let me tell you what’s been going on with me lately.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Baby

by Sara Goas
I’ve always said that writing is scary. Hey, I built an entire blog on the concept.

Over a year’s worth of posts, and it all came down to this: Creating is tough. There’s such an intense sense of responsibility that comes with bringing something to life, with creating something from nothing, and putting it out for the world to see. Sure, it’s easy to have nothing and even fairly painless to have something–but going from one to the other, well, that’s the challenge.

So of course, writing is scary. Or at least, I thought it was. But that was before I tried my hand at creating a baby.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Should Some Writers Stop Writing?

by Sara Goas
Growing up, my parents, relatives, and teachers gave me a lot of encouragement when it came to writing. And when those positive and supportive people weren’t around, I entertained myself by reading flowery inspirational books about how all of us have the potential for brilliance.

Nowadays, I try to pay some of that inspiration back by encouraging people to write.

But every once in a while, a thought creeps into the darkest region of my mind: Are certain folks just not cut out to be professional writers?

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Angry Writing

by Sara Goas
Today, I’m angry.

I’m not going to say why, because any explanation I could give would be far too tedious and unnecessary. But rest assured, I’m angry. Blindingly, burningly so.

I don’t like to face down a deadline when I’m angry, upset, or stressed about some real life problem. I much prefer to write while calm and collected, with gobs of of empty hours at my disposal.

But that’s the thing about deadlines. They care not a whit about one’s real life circumstances.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

“Walking the Tightrope” on the Last Day of School

by Sara Goas
Today was the last official schoolday in my district. I woke up this morning wanting to let my kids out early and start summer vacation a few hours early, but I instead spent the time sharing with them the results of their final exam essays.

I certainly did not feel like explaining to one particularly studious young man why he had received an 90% on his essay, versus the 95% or perhaps 100% he’d apparently hoped for–but school wasn’t over yet. And there would no longer be any putting things off until tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Writing Under Pressure

by Sara Goas
Some of us work very well under pressure. I never thought I fit into that category, but I’m beginning to feel differently now.

I’m not the sporty type. My idea of an outdoor activity is having a picnic outside, and I’d much prefer to have that picnic without someone (Ted) pestering me to play horseshoes or bocce ball. (The last time we had an outdoor barbeque, my husband had to literally pull me from my chair to get me to join in a game.) A few years ago, when Ted and I spent our vacation at an all-inclusive Jamaican resort, I had hoped to spend our time eating, drinking, and laying around on the beach. But I should have known that my loving spouse had other ideas.

Ted wanted to go kayaking, and this was one activity I actually welcomed–mostly because it seemed a great deal more doable than deep sea diving or hang gliding. The instructor allowed us to sign out a kayak, but warned us not to stray too far from the shore because the waters were a bit choppy. No problem, we said, as all we wanted to do was paddle around the beach for a while. If I remember correctly, Ted let me have the front of the kayak; I think he assumed that the person in back would have the slightly more arduous job.

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