Sometimes everything happens at once. It happened to me in the late, great month of May 2019.
I’ve had a career as a lawyer for 39 years, something I rarely write about because: (A) it’s boring to most people, and (B) people can pretty much guess I’m a lawyer because I use (A) and (B) in a sentence as if I’m writing subsections of a regulation about nutritional requirements of armadillos. (We lawyers get excited about such things.)
Perhaps it’s not surprising that I have wanted to branch out and eventually transition from practicing law. Quip Tide was my first foray into transition mode, a weekly diversion from Serious Matters into serendipity. It has been rewarding in every way except financially, but by accepting no money for writing the column — not that any has ever been offered — I have kept my motives pure, if not my innuendoes. It’s the job at which I’m paid what I’m worth.
I came up with several ideas for “gigs,” as we Millennial wannabes say. The first was to teach a law school course, and, in the same educational groove, to develop an online course to help young professionals advance in their careers by improving their writing skills. I had chaired a nonprofit, the Insurance Educational Association, which teaches many “hard” skills, but had never offered a “soft” skills course. In insurance, as in most professions, clear writing is an essential skill.
Then there’s the nonprofit I founded last year to promote bilingual journalism and literary appreciation along the coast. It’s called the Coastal Literary Arts Movement, CoastalLit.org, or, affectionately, CLAM. Funny how a little humor sneaks into things.
My last pipe dream was to become a mediator. I’ve been in hundreds of mediations, and completed mediator training years ago, but put off hanging out a shingle.
Then May 2019 happened.
Within the space of 10 days I became an adjunct professor of law at Golden Gate University School of Law, my IEA writing class became available on demand at IEATraining.org, and my mediation site went live at CastoriaDisputeResolution.com. My sister back in New Mexico quipped, proving it’s familial, that I won’t get much business mediating disputes among Castorias. For a bunch of Italians we’re not very disputatious.
That’s a lot of hats for one bald head to wear. I usually keep two hats in my car, a fedora for rainy days in San Francisco and a broad-brimmed hat for sun protection during those “long walks by the beach,” which are considerably less romantic when your hiking partner has four legs and fangs.
I’m not certain, but I think I’m up to six active email accounts. I wanted gigs, but am paying for gigabytes.
Be careful what you ask for, as they say, or as a former secretary of state, senator, and first lady might have put it, “The devil is in the emails.”
firstname.lastname@example.org is having an identity crisis. Twitter: @louiecastoria