Women's Words on March 22nd, 2015 featured Jocelyn Pihlaja of Duluth reading her essay "Tending Mary Jane."
When Jocelyn headed off to college, she avowed, "I'm going to be a lawyer." Then she took her first political science class and was forced to concede, "Except I hate this stuff." Lacking direction and major, she drifted through thoughts of sociology and psychology, meandering through the disciplines, until one day she recalled, "Hey, didn't I read The Good Earth sixteen times in fifth grade? Didn't I read Gone with the Wind twenty-six times that same year? Didn't I have my mind blown by Henry James and Tolstoy before I even understood what they were writing about? Could it be what I really love are books...and words?" It could. Eventually, English major and degrees in hand, she began teaching writing at the college level, a career she's enjoyed since 1991. Since then, she's gained a husband who cooks dinner every night, kids who hold up hands requesting "silence" when their reading is interrupted, and a blog, O Mighty Crisis.