About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The A to Z List of Occupations that Interest Me

   I’m a public school teacher.  And as much as I may fantasize about it, I’m not quitting my job anytime soon.  But that doesn’t stop me from imagining myself in another occupation - some real, some imagined.  
A Astronaut.  It was my first career goal.  And there’s still a part of me that wonders if I would have been able to do it.  If I hadn’t gotten scared, hadn’t decided to stay local, would I have gone after my dream?  Would I have achieved it?  And what must it be like to leave the confines of gravity and see our planet in a way few others have?

B Bookmobile Driver.  I’d be “book lady.”  I’d drive and bring books to people who want them.  I’d be able to get books into the hands of those who didn’t have a library nearby.  

C Caterer (with a twist).  My husband tells me that his lunches are often the envy of his co-workers.  His lunches are often just left-overs from dinners I’ve made the night before.  So, I could start a niche side-business, catering to employees who desire simple, home-cooked lunches at reasonable prices.

D Decorator, specifically classrooms.  Each summer, I go back to a barren classroom and convert it to a room that is colorful and welcome and engaging for students.  Not all teachers have classrooms that show any sort of decoration (or effort).  That’s where I’d come in.  I’d design a cozy library corner.  An attractive bulletin board with a fun border.  

E Event plannerI am inspired by Franck Eggelhoffer, the wedding-coordinator in Steve Martin’s Father of the Bride.  I am an organized, detailed person.  I could coordinate a florist, a caterer, a photographer and the multitude of others who help to create a glorious wedding.  And without tooting my own horn too much, I’m sure I could be just as effective for any special occasion.

F Florist.  For approximately four years, I worked in a flower shop, an over-priced flower shop with a boss that was utterly a mean person.  But the flower part I enjoyed.  It’s an honor to help create flowers for someone’s wedding, someone’s prom, someone’s family dinner.  Working with flowers, there’s daily beauty and elegance. 

G Grocery shopper.  I could be a personal shopper for others.  I’m a good grocery shopper.  I shop with coupons and the weekly sale paper.  I load up my cart each week, with necessities and extras, all the way saving a multitude of money.  For those who don’t have the inclination or who don’t feel the thrill of a good deal, I’m their gal.

H Handwriter - as in, one who does handwriting.  Since I was in elementary school, I have been told that I have neat handwriting.  What if I could use those skills to make some money and work at home?  Addressing envelopes, gift tags, place cards.

I Instructor.  (And yes, there’s a difference between my 
current public-school teacher job).  As a teacher, I attempt to maintain my students’ focus and attention.  An instructor teaches students who voluntarily enroll for his/her courses.  These are paying adults who want to be in a particular class.  You automatically are working with a different audience.  You teach differently; more effectively, certainly more efficiently.

J Journalist.  I imagine myself a journalist, working on my contribution to create a newsworthy, comprehensible, intelligible publication.

K Keyboarder.  Typing can put me in a zen-like state.  I don’t have to be fully present and on-alert the way I do when I’m teaching.  More and more, I believe my state of mind would greatly benefit from a job that was still productive while not being as emotionally, and physically, draining as my current teaching career.  

L Librarian.  I am a book lover.  How peaceful I imagine my days to be surrounded by books, assisting others in locating a book or information.  A place where yelling and running isn’t allowed.  A place that is a sanctuary.

M Marine biologist.  I know it doesn’t fit with my life now, but there is a part of me that is intrigued by the prospect of observing whales in their natural habitats.  Surveying and studying these graceful giants.

N NASA educational representative.  Working within NASA’s educational offices would allow me to marry two of my passions - teaching children and space exploration.  

O Outfit Coordinator.  Nothing fancy; I don’t want to dress anyone for a red carpet.  I’m talking about putting together cute outfits for children (I enjoy selecting my son’s clothes) or matching a shirt with a pair of earrings and complimentary necklace.  (I am a person who changes my jewelry daily to match my outfit).

P Proofreader.  I’m good at finding typos; a trait I inherited from my mom.  At school, I’m often asked to proofread a letter before hundreds of copies are made and distributed to our students.  What if I got paid for that?  I could work from home, and set my own hours.

Q Quintessential Me.  Whatever I’m doing on a particular day - whether more mom, more teacher, more housekeeper, I need to be the best version of “me.”  Sometimes it’s so easy to lose sight of the things that make me a better me (sleep, down-time).  

R Reader.  I’d love to be the person who reads aloud to children each week at the local book store.  As a college student, I was a reading volunteer in a Los Angeles classroom.  I love reading aloud to my students.  And as a parent, I become frustrated at the lack of enthusiasm some readers demonstrate when they read aloud to a bookstore audience, including my son and I.  (First off, the book should be held open and facing your listeners!)

S Stay-at-home mom.  Before I became a mother, I never knew if I’d really want to be a stay-at-home mom.  It wasn’t easy getting my college degree, acquiring my teaching position.  Did I want to give it up?  Did I want to define myself solely as someone’s mother?  Now, as the mother of a toddler, the answer is “yes.”  My job as mother is completely more fulfilling and more rewarding than that of public school teacher.  But, finances dictate both my husband and I work.  

T Tutor.  Sometimes I think being a tutor would better satisfy the need I have to teach children, interact with children, and make a difference in a child’s life.  So much of my day is spent doing non-teaching-related tasks (being mediator, therapist, nurse) for my students.  A tutor can focus on a small group of students (versus my 32).  

U University student.  I feel like I missed so much during my college years.  For me, it was purely a means to an end.  I wanted to be a teacher; I needed a college degree.  College was a challenging time of riding public buses, working part-time, getting married, maintaining “A’s.”  I didn’t enjoy it.  I’d love to go back and take classes for the pleasure of learning.  

V Visual Merchandiser.  I think I was first intrigued back in 1987 with the Andrew McCarthy film Mannequin.  I imagine a land of make-believe, creating window displays and floor plans that entice browsers and shoppers. 

W Writer.   I’ll admit it - I fantasize that someone, somewhere will read my blog and “discover” me.  They’ll realize I should be writing everyday, or at least every week, and getting paid for it.  I will not just be a writer - but a paid writer.

X Movie Extra.  I have no interest in being an actress.  But, speaking as someone who has never worked as an extra, I am intrigued by the idea of being a part of the background - a guest at a wedding, a woman sitting at a nearby table in the restaurant, one in a crowd at an athletic event.

Y Yes-woman.  As in, “Yes, I’m happy with the way I spend the majority of my day.”  “Yes, I find fulfillment in my career.”  “Yes, I feel appreciated.”  “Yes, I feel my efforts are worth my time.”  Currently, I cannot truthfully speak those statements.  Maybe one day.

Z Zoo writer.  One who writes for the zoo.  Writes the blog, updating the world on the adventures of a new panda.  One who writes brochures.  One who writes information for child-friendly websites.  


  1. You are truly a WONDERFUL writer and I only hope one day someone does read your work and you will be paid for your writing.You are a very talented person and do so well with what ever you take on.You are an EXCEPTIONAL mommy,a GREAT wife,a DEVOTED teacher,a GIVING friend,a FANTASTIC daughter,and anyone who knows you would be lucky to say they know WENDY.I feel BLESSED to have you as my daughter and friend.I love you and I am so proud of you.

  2. You have taught me the discipline of reading and responding to your blog. Writing is not one of my strong suits, but thanks to you, I feel that I have improved. I have always been impressed with your subject matter & how you stimulate thinking. You Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  3. Honey,
    You A to Z essays are fantastic! Your great writing will be discovered! I Love You! Paul

  4. How could someone be mean around flowers? Weird! I love your blog as always! I feel like I learn a little bit more about you each week. It's pretty cool! Keep up the great work!