Tag Archives: Tim Stobierski

Working Poor: My New American Dream

The Huffington post is currently running a series called “The Working Poor” about people who work full time and yet are still having trouble making the ends meet. Just today, they posted my article on the subject, which you can read here.

If you read through the article, you’ll here about my own personal experiences with student loan debt, as well as that of people I know. More than that, though, you will learn about the unfair advantage that the federal government gives Big Banking while taking advantage of students around the country. Though banks receive massive loans, they get them at a near 0% interest rate — students pay much more than that. My own loans average 6.8% interest.

This might not seem like a lot, but for someone just starting out in life, it’s rough. And when you think about the government profiting off of its citizens while giving more-than-ideal borrowing conditions to banks and large corporations, you should get mad. You should get mad because it makes no sense. In a country where we are beginning to lag behind the rest of the developed word in terms of education, we should be giving our population every advantage to do well and learn — not shackle them with endless debt.

I hope you agree with me. And if you don’t, I offer only conversation so that you can hear my side and I can hear yours. The link again is: here.

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Photos from the Creative Sustenance Reading at the UConn Co-Op

Fabulous, as always, reading from my book Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer.

Because I’m just oh so conceited, I present to you some photos from the reading I gave at the UConn Co-Op on November 12th in support of the Covenant Soup Kitchen. All photos are courtesy of the Co-Op’s facebook page.

Fellow reader of the night, Kate Schapira

Kate Schapira read from a number of her collections of poetry, including The Soft Place, How We Saved the City, and a chapbook whose title eludes me. Really a remarkable poet!

Just me addressing a sea of hair

It really was nice to see such a packed audience come out for a night of poetry and community. It’s not too late to help out! Head on over to the Covenant Soup Kitchen’s website to see how you can do your part.

One of the beautiful faces that will greet you at the soup kitchen

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My poem, ‘Gastronomica,’ published in latest issue of The Write Life Magazine!

My poem, ‘Gastronomica,’ appears in the latest issue of The Write Life, An Ode to Words

One of the poems from my book, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, has recently been republished in the latest issue of The Write Life.

The poem, titled ‘Gastronomica,’  puts a new twist on a couple of common phrases that we use today — take a look at the issue, An Ode To Words, to read! The issues are free if you register your email address on the site; a link to view the pdf will be sent to your inbox with each issue. Or, you can download the free app on your iPhone/iPad and purchase copies for a small fee.

 

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Join me at the UConn Co-Op Nov. 12th for a reading and book signing!

Next Tuesday (November 12th) at 6pm I will be reading from my book of poetry Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer at the UConn Co-Op on the Storrs Campus. Titled “Creative Sustenance,” the event is to benefit the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic, CT.

I’ll be reading alongside fellow poet Kate Schapira whose work includes The Soft Place and The Ground/The Pass/The Wave. Join us to support this amazing cause led by the Creative Writing Program at UConn; bring a canned good or donate a few dollars and I might even sign a copy of my book!

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Does having your work cited excite you?

A friend forwarded me an email today from the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day program, and I was thrilled to find that another friend (and former professor of mine), Gina Barreca, was quoted as a part of the e-blast.

I forwarded the message to her, thinking she might get a kick out of it. At the same time, I thought that she would be much less excited about having her work quoted — it happens to her so often — than if I had had my own work quoted. The email she shot back to me was one of pure ecstasy. It was as though this moment was the crowning achievement of long and (might I add) extremely successful career.

I’m glad to see that she hasn’t lost the excitement that comes with learning that someone else has read, and helped to disseminate, your work. It gives me hope.

I was filled with the same excitement the day I found that one of my essays had been quoted in someone’s blog (you can find the link here, if you’re so inclined). I can’t even begin to imagine how exciting it would be to be quoted by such an authority as the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and in a program that reaches thousands of participants each day.

In all honesty, I’d be thrilled just to find that somebody had quoted one of my poems on the wall of a dirty bathroom stall. (If anyone here has read any of my work, and would like to do me the honor, I’d be forever in your debt. The skankier the stall, the better. If you do it, and send me a photo, I might even send you a signed copy of my book haha.)

Can you understand Barreca’s excitement? Have you ever found any of your work to have been quoted somewhere? What did it feel like? Do you think you’ll ever get tired of the feeling?

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Ground Zero published!

A few weeks ago I posted about Ground Zero, a poetry anthology that was accepting submissions. It has finally been published and is ready to order!

Focused on ideas of mental health, suicide, depression, and addiction, all proceeds of the book go towards Do It For Daron, a suicide prevention project based in Ottawa. It was edited and published as a joint effort between Good Morning Bedtime Story and Retcon Poet.

“Foundation,” one of the poems from my book Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, is included in the anthology. Centered around a young boy trapped in an abusive relationship with his father, the poem focuses on thoughts of love, family, transformation, and freedom.

From the official website:

GROUND ZERO is the definitive poetry project centered on mental health. Co-produced by Retcon Poet and Good Morning Bedtime Story, this collection features over fifty poems from almost a dozen different writers.

From the grips of agoraphobia to a bird’s eye view inside a broken home; tackling bullying, homophobia and the scores of teen suicides in the last decade; through the heartbreak of schizophrenia and clinical depression, we have one question to ask:

Is it possible to write our way to a better world, and if not, a better state of mind?

Featuring seven poems written exclusively for this collection, GROUND ZERO seeks to answer that with a definitive yes.

I hope you can all find some kind of solace in the works included. Pick up a copy today to support an amazing charity, and an amazing project!

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Filed under Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, My Writing, Publishing, Submissions, Writing

Last Impressions: what your email signature says about you

The creator of this graph sampled her email inbox for signatures and arranged them according to levels of familiarity and naturality.

The creator of this graph sampled her email inbox for signatures and arranged them according to levels of familiarity and naturality. Image from Liz Danzico.

So today I found myself wondering about email signatures for some reason. After doing some googling around, I realized I wasn’t the only person who put some added thought into those two or three words that precede my name when I’m writing an email.

This graph arranges email “signatures” based on levels of familiarity (between the author and recipient) and naturality (whether or not the pattern of speech comes across as natural or stiff). And, although based solely upon the creator’s own email inbox, it looks like a pretty spot-on analysis of the more popular email sign-offs.

From the original blog post:

Forget what you’ve heard about first impressions; it’s the last impressions that count. Last impressions — whether they’re with customer service, an online shopping experience, or a blind date — are the ones we remember. They’re the ones that keep us coming back. But there’s one kind of final impression that people seem to forget.

The closing line of email — that line that you write before you type your name — has been all but forgotten. Go take a look at your inbox: you might be astonished at how little attention people pay to the closing lines when writing email. This underrated rhetorical device is so frequently disregarded that many people have the gall to use an automatic closing line attached to their email signature file.

Closing lines vary from the highly self-conscious (“My warmest regards,”) to the impersonal sig file to the charmless (“Best,”).

I have to say, I lean towards “All best,” in most situations, simply because it sounds natural and is versatile — it can be formal in certain situations and informal in others. Although, I have to disagree with the notion that “Best” is a charmless sign-off. Personal preference and all.

What’s your experience with email signatures? What’s your go to sign-off? Have you given much thought to the idea that the last few words of your message could change the entire tone of your email or letter? This blog post is going to give me a lot to think about the next time I need to send out a resume or submission letter.

All best,

Tim

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