About Me

petetrivia

At more than one point in my life, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

I wrote some plays in high school, three of which were produced—I directed one, and two different friends directed the other two. As a member of my town’s public access cable channel, I had my own anthology series where I adapted short stories I had written into episodes. I cast friends of mine from the drama club to act in them. They were admittedly cheesy, but it was loads of fun making them. There were twenty-three episodes, and if I were a teenager making them today, they’d be up on YouTube instead of on VHS.

But there were other things I wanted to be when I grew up. My calculus teacher was also head of the school’s math department, and occasionally (maybe once a month), he’d be out of class at meetings or conferences. Though there was a substitute teacher there for liability reasons, he prepped the top student in the class to teach the new material on those days. I was that student. After a stretch where my teacher was out for three days, my classmates told me they wanted me to continue teaching them for the rest of senior year. It was then that I decided to become a high school math teacher.

While going to college at MIT, I changed my mind. A dynamic physics professor gave extra-help sessions on the MIT cable channel, and he inspired me to become a physics teacher instead. During my sophomore and junior years, I took many physics classes, but as graduation approached, an undergraduate thesis loomed in my future. I was terrified because I didn’t see how a research project in advanced physics would make me a better teacher of introductory physics.

I wanted to graduate, and fortunately, MIT had a joint-degree program in “Humanities with Science” where I could choose one from column A and one from column B. It was the end of my junior year, and I had enough physics credits for the science half but was a few credits short in the humanities half. I was already taking writing classes because I enjoyed them, so I took a few more and wrote a thesis in creative writing. Much more fun.

And it turned out it was much more marketable when I was applying for teaching positions. Everyone asked about the wonky Creative Writing with Physics degree that I mentioned on my resume. In the fall of 1996, I was fortunate to find a school where I could teach physics during the day and direct drama after school. Yeah, I wanted to be a director too when I grew up. So far in my time teaching at that very same school, I’ve written four short plays which I’ve produced with my students.

My love for writing hasn’t disappeared. Teaching science and directing theater takes a lot of time, but I squeeze writing time in whenever I can. Now it’s even more fun writing Young Adult fiction because I have three daughters who enjoy having their Daddy read his stories to them. And they also enjoy showing books their Daddy wrote to friends of theirs.

Now that there are two books and a play published with my name on it, I’m officially a writer. But I still haven’t grown up.