Monday, June 22, 2009

Heard: Poor Choice of Words

In grad school in the winter of 2004, I got an internship with my local congressman for the upcoming Spring semester. One day, and I was ignorant of this fact, it was some big pro-life rally or whatever, and people I assumed to be constituents were in the office waiting, these details unbeknownst to me, to talk to our LA who handled abortion (my congressman was a pro-choice Dem). I asked these people if they were constituents, if that was why they were visiting?
A few minutes after they left, the CoS, who had overheard, explained to me what they had been talking about, and how there would be many pro-life protests around the Hill today.

Later, more pro-lifers were in the office, waiting to talk to that same LA. I was sorting mail and sitting next to the office staff assistant as I had a pleasant conversation with the visitors, a talk having nothing to do with anything political. They asked me what I did in life, and I explained I was in graduate school, in the process of earning my MFA in Writing. Somebody asked what I intended to do with that degree.

“To be honest, I’m really not sure. Sometimes I think the only thing you can do with an MFA in English/Writing is become an English teacher, but I hate kids,” I bluntly put it.
I instantly realized what I had just said, and to who, as staff assistant’s head dropped and he slapped his forehead with the palm of his hand. These were some strongly pro-life people, here in DC to protest.

“Uhhhh… I mean…. I mean… a live kid is better than a dead kid,” I immediately and self-consciously sputtered.

Fortunately, they understood I meant absolutely nothing by what I said. That I was in no way intending any kind of political statement but was rather just some dumb intern who meant well and made an innocently poor choice of words.