Upon My Sleeve


That’s where my heart is most of the time.  I wear my fucking emotions like a family crest on a smoking jacket.  It works well for connecting with people, writing shit they dare not say but apparently think with regularity.

Sometimes I want to shut it down.  Be mysterious and shit.  Keep people guessing. 

What the fuck is that guy thinking?

I lack poker face.  Everyone everywhere knows what I’m thinking at all times.

Money, money, money, money, sex, money, baseball, sex, coffee, sex, sex, sex, money, baseball, sex, sex, sleep, sex, sex, sleep, sex, money, food, sex, food, money, sex, food, money, sleep, baseball, sex, football, sex, sex, sex, hockey, sex, food, sleep, sex, food…shit, where was I?  I gotta start writing this stuff downsex, money, food…

See what I’m saying?  I put it all out there, and sometimes the problem becomes: What am I keeping for myself?  Do I need to keep anything for me?

The answer, of course, is yes.  I have to keep some energy, some power, for myself.  To be sure that I can get by during lean times.  Well, times are lean.  I’m putting myself out there but I’m trying to find a way to keep some in reserves.  A good start would be to make some good money.

Something has emerged on the horizon that may solve a lot of my problems, financially speaking.  It does not involve writing, necessarily.  However, it does involve significant pay, travel, and some quality free time with which I could employ myself to write.  My fingers are crossed.  All five of them.

OK, speaking of five fingers:

Yesterday was the anniversary of my accident.  You’re like, “Yeah, Rob.  You already told us that.  Make with the original material.  Ass.”  Here it comes.  A few days ago, I asked my Journalism teacher for a letter of recommendation to assist in my job search.  (See how it all ties in?)  My teacher was Clark Deleon, world-renowned columnist and reporter who used to write for the Inquirer.  Mr. D is a great teacher, as long as you trust his methods—which, oddly enough, involved actually reading the newspaper.

After an unsuccessful attempt to send me his letter as an attachment (which he did not allow in class), he sent me his recommendation in the body of another email.  It arrived yesterday.  I read it and laughed my ass off.  I find it to be perfect.  Let’s see if you concur.  Here it is:

*****     *****     *****

To: People Who Hire People
Re: Hiring Rob Gardner
Fr: Clark DeLeon

I write this as a teacher of Journalism at Montgomery County Community College where Rob Gardner was my student in the Spring of 2012.  The first thing you will notice when you meet Rob is that you hardly notice that he is a one-armed man.  His left (or is it his right? My left?) arm is missing from the elbow.  On the first day of class he chose to sit in the front row in the second to last seat to the left.  That was where he sat every class during the semester.  In a class of 20 he was the only student who chose to sit in the front row.

What does this mean to you as an employer?  I’ll tell you what it meant to me as a teacher.  Here was an eager student, older than most of the 20-year-olds, and yet fresher than they were. He was earnest, battle tested, unselfconscious and glad to be alive.  And he proved himself every class through every assignment.  He was engaged, thoughtful, willing to ask questions and find his own answers.  And he met deadlines.

I’m only a teacher speaking here, but, Hey!, what else are employers looking for?

I could tell you lots of good stuff about Rob, and I will if you want me to.  But I wouldn’t be writing this if I believed otherwise.  And I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t believe this letter would help. .

Clark DeLeon

*****     *****     *****

I know, right?  Thanks for letting me vent…

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3 thoughts on “Upon My Sleeve

  1. Rob, This is wonderful and marvelous. I am jealous that you got to learn from Clark DeLeon. I read his articles with regularity when we lived in Philly. And you got him to write a short article about you! What an experience. Good luck in this endeavor. Keep us updated. Fran

  2. Something on the horizon, huh? Travel, good pay, time to write… So far sounds like a good deal!

    That letter of recommendation is awesome!! I’m sure any employer you send that to will hire you on the spot!!

    Be selective about what you tell the universe, and it will provide!!

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