>The first sentence in the personal statement I included with my MFA applications was a lie. I wrote that I never planned to become a writer. (My memory only appears to go back to 7th grade, when, during my bat mitzvah speech, I asked God to provide me with a scholarship to Northwestern University so that I could later go to law school.) However, a document freshly unearthed from my parents' couch last night provided evidence to the contrary.

Among the videos and CDs that my parents stored on their couch was a free promotional Kellogg's cereal promotional clipboard/folder that I received in 1987 at a Cubs game. The clipboard/folder formerly resided in my bedroom, and I have no idea how it wound up on the couch, but when my sister pitched a fit and irrationally insisted on clearing the videos and CDs off the couch so people could sit on it, I noticed it.

Inside, I found several sheets of lined paper containing a story titled, "A Treaser [sic] Hunt with THE Girl Who Wanted to Be In Professional Baseball." In my list of "a million different things" I wanted to be when I grew up, I wrote, "First of all, I want to be an author, second an advertiser, third a baseball umpire." More important, the original story illustrates that I did not, in fact, recently learn the magic of dialog. The ten page story, written in pencil, is chock full of dialog.

As soon as I get home, I will scan this hilarious story and post it on CUSS. (Dana and I damn near busted a gut laughing at it.) When I do, it will prove that:
1. I was a gifted 11 year old.
2. I have become dumber in my old age.
3. I am only now relearning writing skills I began developing over 20 years ago.