Mark My Words

It is hard to believe, but this past August marked my tenth anniversary of writing this column for the Three Rivers Commercial-News.

One of my many dreams was to become a writer. I still have that dream, but my ideas for plays, a TV show and a book are still unwritten and sitting in the back of my mind. A lack of time and motivation have caused this delay, but that is another story for another time.

When I proposed my idea of writing a column to Elena Hines (now Meadows), the Managing Editor of this paper, I waited for a rejection that I was sure was coming my way. To my surprise, she told me to go for it and that we would give it a try.

My first column, which ran Aug. 12, 2006, was titled “Many comparisons between reality shows and life.” I was, and still am, a big fan of reality TV, with my favorites being Big Brother, Amazing Race and Survivor. Some things never change, do they?
I had no idea what anyone would think of my column, let alone if anyone would actually read it. I didn’t feel that I had anything really important to say, but I wanted to write and hopefully bring a smile to faces or give people something to think about or talk about. I always said that my dad was my biggest fan. If he saw you in the store he would ask you if you had read my latest column or if you were at his house, he would give you the paper to read.

When I started writing the column, we lived in Portage. On that August day, I woke up and headed to Three Rivers to purchase a copy of the paper.

It was not my first time seeing my name in print as I had already been submitting articles to the paper for the Kalamazoo Wings for several months prior to “Mark My Words.” But this time, it was different. This time it was not a game recap or a player profile, it was my opinion, my thoughts, which both excited and terrified me. Speaking of the name of this column, the credit goes to Elena, who came up with it. The funny thing is, I originally intended to end each article with the phrase “mark my words”, but wisely opted not to do that. It just would not make sense in most cases … until today, that is!

My second column was about celebrity baby names. Since then I have talked about politics, healthcare, the births of my children, losing my job, vacations, going back to school, becoming a teacher and my dad’s battle with cancer and the impact of his death, events in the world, both good and bad and many, many, many other topics.

I have tried to keep them relevant with what is going on in today’s world, while putting a little humor in them when possible, and yes, there have been a few bummers along the way. While these articles are meant to be my “opinion,” by no means do I think I am speaking for anyone else but myself.

I have been taken to task for my articles. I have received a few emails over the years from people who were not too fond of a certain article or the topic I chose, and I respect that and have responded to each complaint. However, the majority of the time I hear and receive positive comments. I do appreciate ALL comments, whether you like what I have to say or not, as long as it is constructive and not demeaning. I am human afterall!

Over the past few years, I have slowed down in my writing. With three children and a full time job as a teacher, time to write is few and far between. My love for writing, however, is as strong as ever and I hope to keep submitting worthwhile articles for those who read them to enjoy.

I appreciate the TRCN for allowing me space in the paper to submit my articles and you, the loyal readers of the paper, taking the time to read and comment on them over the past 10 years. I hope that I have brought you some laughs and things to think about from time to time.

On a side note, I have been asked why I have not written an article on the Presidential election.

The answer is simple: some things are better left unsaid. And you can mark my words on that!

Submitted by Mark McGlothlen

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