All posts by Emily Bergmann

Any Less Grand

what is it that made you humble?
a wonder thing made ordinary
by its everyday occurrence.
I don’t believe it’s made
any less grand.

I cannot quilt, fair one, but imagine this:
a granny-square embarrassment of riches
that I can barely look in the eye.
I don’t think I could stand it.

putting an ear to the dancing sound of parties
from the top of the stairs, or the gust of air
that wicks the sweat from my soupy skin
as the train passes by.

perhaps it is the nebulous bloom
of cream in coffee, or the surprise
celebrity guest on the late night talk show.
walking past stores that sell books
on shelves outside.

or maybe the sound of cereal
in milk. being a regular anywhere.
the way my bike’s wheels tick
when I walk it down the street.
come with me on my simple joyride,
exit through the gift shop
at the art museum, picking up the curiosities
as you go. like the gilded apples
in the produce section. you can eat one
right there, if you want to.
I’ll pay later, in exact change.
I’ll remember your birthday forever.
it brings me joy to do it.
while I hold a quiet covenant with you,
painting your face to herald celebration.
leaving the party for a while,
and listening through the floor.

Troika

aching feet are forgotten once
I sit on a red banquette.
we’ve gone to Russia
by way of the MTA.
my mother would tell me
to cross my ankles, not my legs.
here is the upper class,
for ten American dollars.
it buys about three cups of tea.

“Earl Grey, orange, and mandarin,”
with a sour cherry for taste.
the Cyrillic trips over my tongue
and I am corrected by the waiter
in his double-breasted coat.
had I avoided the vowel blend
perhaps I would have been offered
wine, caviar, pleasures known only to
dowagers and celebrities.

when we’ve drained the cups
and read the leaves, we notice
the place is empty and scurry out
with heads bowed in reverence
at the novelty of afternoon tea
late on a Tuesday winter’s night.

Leap Day

balmy air sneaks its way through
the gaps in the cable-knit,
in this finicky colony housing
confused birds and the carnage
of melting snow.

people sharing happinesses,
incredulous – it’s sixty
in the shade. the ground is still hard
and we’re sitting under trees.

californians in parkas,
vermonters in shorts.
february twenty-ninth strolls by:
a fluke in a jean jacket.

walking home
i yell at water in my shoe,
a shock of unbridled joy
in pretending that it’s spring.

Capstone Update #2: The End

send help

I’m choosing to include this picture from Opening Convocation because it’s generally how I feel — looking back while begrudgingly moving forward, in a polyester robe. In 129 I won’t be able to complain anymore (unless I go to graduate school), so I’m kind of relishing the moment before submitting this and actually moving onto my final semester. There were some technical hiccups (read: recordings, Audacity) but I’m so happy with the interviews I was able to conduct and the enthusiasm and cooperation of my subjects. Even though they’re all only one or two years out of the gate, I feel as if I learned a lot in the process, and am a little less scared for my own first foray into the industry. And I hope that whoever comes across this finds it helpful, too.

Bon voyage, FNMS. Or perhaps I shouldn’t say that until I’m done with Production 1.

Talking with Julie Bogen ’14

Julie is quite possibly one of the most ambitious people I know. If you know her, this is easy to agree with.  She knows what she wants and gets it, and had some thoughts of her own about women in the workplace (and especially in women’s media) before I even asked. Listen to Julie and I talk about success in the workplace and how important working on teams can be.

Talking with Sara Victor ’14

Like Allie, Sara also entered a field that she didn’t anticipate: the world of sports. However, she’s taken on her (very new) job as an Ad Sales Coordinator at FOX Sports with panache, especially after a string of very different jobs in production. Sara and I are from nearby towns, and we shared a laugh about her job at the beloved local News 12 Connecticut. Sara’s path thus far show just how flexible an FNMS degree can be in the creative sphere.

Talking with Allie Tetreault ’14

Allie is a writer, first of all. She emphasizes that it’s the creative skill she uses most day-to-day, even though she didn’t enter journalism like she’d immediately planned. Allie currently works at Toast in Boston as a Content Marketing Specialist, after a brief stint in marketing for sales. We talk about embracing the unexpected and how to employ the skills you’ve honed in a new field.

Talking with Tyler Vendetti ’15

My conversation with Tyler was interesting because she is the only one of my sample that did not end up (well, for now) on the East Coast. Regardless of the fact that she is a self-professed “New York” person. If you knew Tyler while she was at Wheaton, you’d know that she’s ambitious (went abroad, double major, graduated a semester early) and is funny as hell. If you don’t believe me, follow her on Twitter. So it’s almost unsurprising that her first real gig is as an NBC Page. It’s less Kenneth Parcell than you’d think.

Capstone Update #1: Technical Difficulties

td_simpsons
credit: The Simpsons

The idea for interviewing bright Wheaton alumnae who have pursued careers in the creative industries hatched in October. However, due to a bouquet of unforeseen issues and also, the rest of my life, the brunt of the work has been done over the past few weeks from my childhood bedroom. Yes, it’s winter break, and I’m still working on this project. Although, I admit, it’s been nice to work on it during daytime hours while eating a home-cooked breakfast (thanks, Mom).

The upkeep of the website has been fine. I pay Bluehost a very low rate for this site and domain, and their customer service is remarkable. Thank you to the brave representative who talked me through accidentally deleting the entire site at 1 AM on a Monday, earlier this month. And going through my personal portfolio and having a Grown Up Website feels like an accomplishment, too.

I thought I would be free of my chains, and that the last part of the project — the interviews — would be easy. It has not been. I had four interviews this week, and three fell on the first day. I tested Google Hangouts, Skype, my recording software, and everything seemed okay. Until I called my first interviewee. Her audio didn’t work, then MY audio didn’t work, then neither of us could see each other, then the computer yelled at me, and then we gave up and rescheduled for that evening, allowing for troubleshooting time.

After hyperventilating a little, I fixed the problem, updating software, Googling for help, and eventually calling in the troops (my dad, the tech wiz). And everything was okay by my first interview that evening. All three were great, and everything got recorded.

Then,  I had some trouble converting the mp4 files to mp3 files, which was eventually solved. But then, I listened to them, and there is a lot of echo. Not just a little reverb. Like, a two second delay of repeated speech. I puzzled about this and then realized that neither my subjects nor I were wearing headphones during the duration of our calls. Major d’oh moment, but in order to avoid crying I’m putting myself in the camp that is optimistic about making mistakes, because it means I can learn from them/avoid them in the future. The bigger issue is that because I have rudimentary technology (my entry-level laptop; Audacity, the free, open-source audio software), I can’t do much to fix it on my own. The tracks are mono and I don’t currently have a skillset or a paid program to fix it immediately.

My sister, who has some audio chops, has promised to look into it. Have you noticed a theme of my family helping me out? But, if that doesn’t pan out, the audio clips may be published differently than I’d originally anticipated. What I’m thinking about now is All Things Considered-esque clips. I talk for a little, editorializing some of the content, then I get what sound bites I can from the interview or beg my subjects to re-record. Then, instead of doing a written editorial, I publish the transcript of the interview.

We’ll see how this goes. God willing it is finished by January 4.

Pantoums for 3 a.m.

(for Siv)

Fall

Keeping shadows at arm’s length
while the streetlights still flicker
is the only way I know
that I understand the dark.

While the streetlights still flicker
I come to realize
that I understand the dark –
we have not kissed since morning.

I come to realize
the soft Earth’s quietude.
We have not kissed since morning;
the street is empty.

The soft Earth’s quietude
is the only way I know.
The street is empty,
keeping shadows at arm’s length.

Winter

Promises of mid-morning snow
curl twilight blues away –
I boot crunch across past-green,
revealing gray pallor of new December.

Curl twilight blues away
like peeling paint,
revealing gray pallor of new December —
and a cold snap blows like glass.

Like peeling paint,
frost does not forgive or bend.
A cold snap blows like glass,
and the fickle wind whispers.

Frost does not forgive or bend.
I boot crunch across past-green,
and the fickle wind whispers
promises of mid-morning snow.

Spring

There is no poetry
in the measured way
the floor creaks
when she comes to bed.

In the measured way
I unravel myself
when she comes to bed –
I have been waiting all day.

I unravel myself.
She does not know
I have been waiting all day
for this.

She does not know
the floor creaks.
For this,
there is no poetry.