At ground level

A column about LIFE

Just starting …

I’m just starting this thing that’s called a “blog.” I like to write. In fact, writing has been my career for over 30 years, along with being an adjunct political science instructor.

I started out as a government researcher in the Philippines, my homeland. After pursuing graduate studies here in the U.S. and marriage soon after, I settled in rural Iowa. In a place so unfamiliar to me, I didn’t know what to do, where to start, what job to pursue. The closest town had a population of 278 people. I became number 279. I thought to myself, “Well, I can write.” So began a very exciting and fulfilling career.

I started submitting weekly columns on international affairs (for $10 an article) to a local newspaper, and was eventually hired as a freelance writer. A few months later, I was hired by the rival paper as a reporter, columnist and, after several years, became editor.

When we moved to the city, I picked up where I left off, and pursued the same career. I also taught political science courses at nearby colleges and universities at the same time. By the time I left Iowa after having lived there for 25 years, I was managing editor of five community newspapers in the Des Moines area. I so loved those communities and still miss them today.

Now, living in California, I work in public relations and write about the real estate market, which can be quite interesting, especially in this state! But I miss that other kind of writing, where I can express my opinion about anything …

So, in an attempt to fill that void and keep up with this fast-changing technology, with much encouragement from my eldest daughter and close friends, I have decided perhaps I can do that type of writing in this thing called a “blog.” So much has changed since the time I used to mail a typewritten column to the newspaper. At that time, I already thought the electric typewriter was an improvement from the manual machine! Now, if I could just master this blog!

The weekly column I wrote for the community newspapers was called, “At ground level.” I named it such because I wrote about my first-hand experiences living in the U.S. – in a farm in rural America, and then, as life progressed, my everyday experiences as a wife, a mother, and as a journalist traipsing around several rural Iowa towns, and eventually, the city and its suburbs. I was sure that there were people out there who could identify with my feelings and observations.

“At ground level” was last published six years ago, when I decided to move on to a new chapter in my life. I was sad when I quit the newspapers, but I felt it was time to head west, where I am now, essentially starting over.

Adjusting to a new place doesn’t get any easier with age. There are times when I’ve felt it’s as tough as the first time when I, a city girl from another country, settled down in an Iowa farm. That’s what makes life so interesting – all the new challenges and experiences! And it’s why I am keeping the original title of my column, so I can share these experiences and my thoughts with everyone  – at ground level.

September 3, 2010 - Posted by | California, Iowa, Philippines, Writing

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