1. "Practice apophenia." That was one of the main takeaways from my mentor, Mark Johnson, upon leaving UGA’s photojournalism program. Apophenia, it turns out, is just a fancy way of saying "making connections between seemingly unrelated things." It’s an important practice for a good writer or even just a good thinker, and it’s something I fear I am losing.

    I’m surrounded all the time with people who think like me and share my interests. Most of my friends are my own age and race and class. I spend most days completely alone until at least 3:30, writing and puttering around the house, not talking to anybody. In other words, I need to get out more.

    Once a week, I want to meet someone I don’t know very well, or maybe someone I don’t know at all, and just talk. Maybe you’re a scientist and you’re researching something interesting. Maybe you’re a homemaker with young kids and you want to vent about how tough the terrible twos are. Maybe YOU actually want to hear some of MY stories. I don’t really have any restrictions on this project for now. I just want to get out in the world and start learning about some people I don’t already know. I think it might be good for my thinking and writing and also for my person-ness.

    One thing I should mention: It is entirely possible that I will write about our conversation. It is entirely possible that I won’t. But I WILL respect privacy and honor the same ethics I would as a journalist. And I would really like to meet you, and hear about your life.

    If you’re interested, please email me at rachelbscribbles [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line “Let’s Chat,” and I will get back in touch with you as promptly as possible. 

rachel bailey

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