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2/01 Women's Words: Jocelyn Pihlaja
2/01 Women's Words: Jocelyn Pihlaja Funding for Women's Words is provided by The Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Copyright 2015, KUMD
2/01 Women's Words: Jocelyn Pihlaja
Women's Words on January 29, 2015 featured Jocelyn Pihlaja of Duluth reading her short story, "Swimming In It." When Jocelyn headed off to college, she avowed, "I'm going to be a lawyer." Then she took her first political science class and was forced to concede, "Except I hate this stuff."

Lacking direction and major, she drifted through thoughts of sociology and psychology, meandering through the disciplines, until one day she recalled, "Hey, didn't I read The Good Earth sixteen times in fifth grade? Didn't I read Gone with the Wind twenty-six times that same year? Didn't I have my mind blown by Henry James and Tolstoy before I even understood what they were writing about? Could it be what I really love are books...and words?"

It could. Eventually, English major and degrees in hand, she began teaching writing at the college level, a career she's enjoyed since 1991. Since then, she's gained a husband who cooks dinner every night, kids who hold up hands requesting "silence" when their reading is interrupted, and a blog, O Mighty Crisis.