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Autobiography

Hello Again.

In the summer of 2002, I started a blog. I had just spent a year out of college, hanging around Richmond, VA and getting depressed about not knowing what I wanted to do, working at a job I didn’t like, and living with two friends who were in the exact same situation. But I got out of that situation by signing up with Educational Services International to go overseas and teach English. Just before I left, I decided that I would start a blog in order to keep my friends updated on what was going on as I went to Pasadena (for training) and Prague (for teaching). In the midst of a fierce bidding war, I even managed to secure the rights to elliotritzema.com.

I maintained that blog for a year, adding news and pictures and everything else I could think of that would be interesting. My friend John even designed it for me, and made it look good (you can still view it here). I kept that up for a year, and then decided to move to Budapest to teach. John designed another spankin’ new Web site for that year, too.

Then, after a year of teaching English as a second language and English literature, I went to Vancouver, BC and enrolled in the Master’s in Divinity program at Regent College. I kept up the blogging (on yet another new site), but eventually the flow of words slowed down to a trickle. Unlike the time spent in Europe, I just wasn’t getting out and doing a whole lot. I mostly read and wrote papers. I did get out of town for the next few summers and go to Skagway, AK to drive a tour bus. . . but I didn’t blog much there, either, because the Internet access was pretty dodgy.

Over time, I stopped blogging partially because I felt that not much was going on to write about, and partially because I had to send all updates to John to put on the site. Why would I want to make him go out of his way to post something that I didn’t think was all that important?

Now, however, the blog begins anew. And on my own site, so I don’t have to put someone else out by asking them to post things. The blogging philosophy is changing, as well: rather than dealing exclusively with events in my life (though there will be some of that), I plan on putting into words my thoughts about things that I read – both for school and for fun. Sometimes I find myself unable to articulate my thoughts in a coherent manner that communicates well to another person, and I feel that a blog will help me toward the goal of being able to communicate better.

Also, writing has long been one of my passions, dating back a very long time (I’m not sure how long, but it came somewhere after speaking and reading). I have been told by those who have more experience than I do that writing a little bit every day helps to hone the skill of putting words together. For too long, I have taken the gift and predilection for writing for granted. It is time I began to use it in a more disciplined (and hopefully, productive) manner.

So, here goes.

By Elliot

Elliot was born in Michigan and raised in North Carolina. He has studied at Regent College and the University of Richmond, worked at newspapers in St. Petersburg and Los Angeles, taught ESL in eastern Europe, given tours in Alaska, and driven a school bus. Now he lives in western Washington and works as an editor at Lexham Press, the publishing arm of Faithlife Corporation.