WATKINS GLEN, New York, USA - My third column for the Finger Lakes Times is off to the editor (12 hours early, thank you very much) but not without some writing angst.
Normally a facil writer, this column was torture for me to put together, torture to rewrite and torture to research.
The lessons from writing this column were many: research more (and earlier), let my column voice loose (been writing news all summer) and don't be afraid of draft, redraft and draft again.
It's a good lesson to take into the classroom this fall when I will be asking column writers to do exactly the same. Most college students want to write a quick first draft and turn it is as gold. It usually does not resemble any precious metal.
But moving into column four I have an idea to write about the activist culture here - or perhaps the relentless attacks on school teachers that I seem to read daily.
I am inspired by two videos I saw today of actor Matt Damon. He was raised by a schoolteacher, as was I, and his comments resonated with me.
The column ideas come so easily. But the writing? Jaysus.
Here's two Matt Damon videos, both provocative: