Let's Talk with Nancy J. Cohen
Let’s Talk with Nancy J Cohen
By Nancy J Cohen
Our young lives at play often prepare us for later roles in life. Or at least this is true for girls who like to play house. It’s not so true for boys who pretend to be super heroes. One thing I liked to play was “Secretary.” My mother had adorned my bedroom with a frilly dressing table that I never used.
Instead, I loved to sneak into my brother’s room and play at his desk. When he left for college, things got better. I could explore his pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, and other goods to my heart’s content. Sometimes I think I might have gone to secretarial school instead of nursing if learning shorthand hadn’t been part of the curriculum. As a writer, I am still enthralled with my desk accessories. I love my paper clips, sticky notes, pens, note pads, and desk doodads as much as I did back in the day. So in a sense, my early role playing came true. But this is better than being a secretary, which isn’t even a proper term anymore. Today you’re an administrative assistant.
I work at home, where my desk is my own. Nobody can fire me. I don’t do dictation except on my voice recognition program. And I’m surrounded by books and other tools of the trade. It’s gratifying that I found my way here all on my own without formal training.
How has your early play influenced your current lifestyle?
Posted in Let's Talk, with Nancy J. Cohen • Tags: BLB Discussion, Early Role-Playing, Let's Talk, Nancy J Cohen | 20 Comments
20 thoughts on “Let’s Talk with Nancy J Cohen”
When I was a kid, cowboys was the game. That and horses–I had a huge collection of horse statues and accessories. Television shows like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry were big, along with Range Rider, Death Valley Days, Wagon Train … that’s what was available and those were our models. It’s taken a long time, but I’m finally writing books with cowboys!
No wonder you like writing a series that takes place at a ranch! I remember Bonanza and the Lone Ranger.
I wanted to be a professional tennis player from the time I was 8 or 10. That laid a foundation for me to be athletic and active.
This is great…and an unusual ambition. So…do you play tennis now?
quit because of an injury. Still played as an adult, but because of physical limitations now, am not able to play “now.”
I wanted to marry Roy Rogers….it never really worked out for me. Now it is way too late.
Haha, that’s a good one! Something different for sure.
I loved to play teacher. I made my friends sit in rows while I wrote stuff on a chalkboard. My little plastic animals too. Even Barbie had to matriculate. So no surprise I ended up teaching for almost twenty years.
It’s great that you made your early childhood dreams come true.
Wow, glad I wasn’t in your class, Tina…might not have graduated!
My early life defnitely played a major role in my later life. I had a very exacting mother and although she wanted me to get a college degree so I could aim higher in my future employment than she did (she was a secretary), my mother trained me so well that I followed in her footsteps instead. I only completed two and a half years of college so that I could get married and have a family. And when I became a divorcee with two toddlers after 12 years of marriage and had to get a job asap, I attended a business college and completed their legal secretarial certification program in nine months and promptly went to work for a law firm. I kept a legal secretarial career for over 30 years because I didn’t have the funds or time to go back to school. I am now retired but enjoy an online social/reading life with a few reading groups and blogs, which is a natural fit after my loooong secretarial life. Thanks for the interesting post and question, Nancy. Also, re Terry’s comment above, I grew up on a ranch-farm and to this day love reading western romances and watching all the old western TV shows.
I still like the term “secretary” even though it’s passe. Now you’re called an administrative assistant. Same job, different title. Good for you on finishing school and getting certified after your divorce. That must have taken a lot of fortitude and determination.
I think I wanted to be a cowboy…at least, those are the photos I see of me…little cowboy suit + hat. Funny thing, I don’t know that I’ve ever ridden a horse!
You don’t need a horse to LOOK like a cowboy. Just get yourself a good hat and boots. Good for a Halloween costume.
I had a lot of unstructured play as a child, allowing me to create stuff with wood scraps and nails, cook out over campfires, bog in the mud, climb trees, but most important of all, to have time to daydream. Sometimes I think that was the most important part, to imagine myself as this or that. I didn’t limit myself to human careers like astronaut or doctor, though at one point I wanted to be both, but I also wanted to grow up to be an eagle and a dolphin and have Mary Poppins as my nanny.
You were certainly imaginative, and now we are lucky to benefit from the stories you create.
Thanks Nancy for a bit of “background” on you. When I was a kid, I used to cut pictures of food out of my mom’s discarded magazines. I would use the pictures to play restaurant. My dolls were my customers. As an adult, I have had no desire to become a chef nor own a restaurant. But, I’ve raised my four (now adult) children with plenty of good home cooked food on the table as well as baking many a dozen of treats for our 15 grandchildren & 1 great-grandchild.
I love your choice of role playing. As an adult, you transferred your play to the home kitchen and made it come true that way.
I played teacher as a youngster and did get a degree in education but then went on to law school and have been a lawyer for 37 years and a mediator for 29–still teaching people how to resolve disputes.
So you did become a teacher but in a different field than education.