Times New Roman and Me


I’m Emily, from Boston. I have a twin brother who looks nothing like me, we don’t have Boston accents, and I’ve lived in the same house my entire life. The only time I’ve been uprooted, pre-college, was when in kindergarten I moved from the room I shared with Sam into my own pink room.

My dad has always been a writer, although I didn’t realize it until I was older. He has written several screenplays and at least one book that I know about. [I once rifled through his closet and found his writing. I remember thinking that he used a lot of swear-words.]

He always told me to keep a journal. But aside from the one time I went to sleep-away camp and the one time I left the country, I have never kept a successful journal. Meaning that I never write in it.

I wish I had nice handwriting that filled pages, but I write in a clumsier version of Times New Roman. There’s nothing romantic about that, especially when I end up with a bunch of scribbles and perfectly blacked out words, phrases, or passages. So when I write, I type.

I’m concerned that my journal would be too neat to be interesting or substantive. I’m maybe too neurotic to have engaging thought patterns.

But that same neuroticism has allowed me to major in Economics and minor in Math. While I’m not passionate about either, I like solving problems.

Writing presents me with a different challenge.

 I generally think about writing as exploration or observation. I write something down, then I realize how it could be said better or more clearly or succinctly, then I rewrite it, edit it, until I’ve explored all options and picked the phrases that I like the best. This is more difficult for me than the rote repetition of a math problem.

I’d like to get to better know and understand my own voice, so that I can better explain myself, share my opinions, and grapple with complexities. Maybe I’ll do this within our papers and projects, or maybe I’ll finally figure out how to write in a journal.

3 thoughts to “Times New Roman and Me”

  1. Hey Emily,

    Boston? You’re killing me. Let’s go Yanks. I get what you’re saying about part of your writing process being like an exploration — that’s usually the way I write too. I’ve grown up in the same house my whole life, so I can relate to that. You should use that small notebook T asked us to buy as your first journal attempt. It might end up being something pretty cool to use for our final project. And in my opinion, journals are supposed to kind of a natural thing. Whether it comes out perfect or has blacked out sections with scribbles, it will still be pretty cool to look back on at the end of our semester.

    And it’s pretty cool that your dad has written screenplays and a book. Do you know the title of any of them? Also, how’d you find out about the writing minor as an econ major and math minor? Just curious.

  2. Hey Emily!
    I totally relate to your thoughts on journaling. I always felt like a journal had to look cute, or fancy, or say something profound. But just like you said, I never thought my fifth grader handwriting would really do a journal justice, so I just typed. I also really related to how you said you aren’t really passionate about economics or math, but like to solve problems. That’s how I feel about engineering. Not “passionate” about it I guess, but I do find it interesting & like to tinker with things. Do you think you’ve found your passion yet, and if so what is it?

    Also found it really interesting that your dad wrote screenplays and a book. Why do you think he never told you about these but rather you just discovered them on your own?

  3. Hi Emily! I think we should chat, considering we are near complete opposites when it comes to our choices in major as well as our writing styles; however, our reasoning behind pursuing what we love is quite similar. For instance, I also love solving problems, though problems of philosophy.

    I found it very interesting how you said when you write you type. I feel like it works well with your whole econ, math persona. Would you like to learn how to write in a journal? Or have you abandoned ship on that whole lifestyle? I think that even sloppy times new roman-esque font can be “romantic” to use your phrasing.

    Also, just out of curiosity, what did your father write? Was it ever published?

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