Coming to America - Scott Adams Remix

Second week of the writing class I am taking with Abraham Kim and Daniel Miller . This weeks assignment is around learning sentence composition in the style of the author we want to mimic. I selected Scott Adams for this week and am rewriting a post I had written before. The goal is to pick up the things that we notice about the writer we like and introduce them into our writing. This post below is a reflection of that practice.


I discovered the land of opportunities in the summer of 1999. Beaming with hope about what I could do and who I would become. If there was a scent for hope, it would be exactly what an immigrant smells in the air when they make landfall.

Like Eddie Murphey, my first mission was landing a job. Any job. I needed to make money until the registration cleared up at the community college. Then I would bury myself with school work.

I applied to a few jobs. But none of them thought I could do anything. A teenager. With exactly zero experience. Freshly off the boat. But then K-mart decided to take a chance on me. I got the position of being the bag-checking person.
I asked for clarification. What exactly does that job entail?
Checking bags as people left the store I was told.
I was puzzled. Someone got paid to do just that?
I smiled. Jackpot.

I had no idea what working for minimum wage was like. Or that we had to ask for permission to go to the restroom. How bad could it be? I just focused on the fact that someone would pay me money. For the first time in my life. I was going to get rich.

When I arrived on my first day, I was told to become a cashier.
What happened to the other gig I was told about?
I had rigorously practiced for that.

Cashier? But I don’t know any of the items. Even the store seemed intimidating to me. I never held a credit card before.
What if I lost people’s money from their credit card?
Would I get arrested?
This was too much stress.

While my mind was oscillating between calling it quits on day one and crying in public, I started to look around. There were cashiers near me who appeared to be having a ball. Genuinely smiling and doing their work like they were making 6-figures. I must be missing something. No matter how much I got paid since, I could never match that enthusiasm.

I didn’t quit. Being a cashier turned out to be easier than I expected. I got used to it all… all except the customers. I had never had to smile at anyone I didn’t know before. Never had to make small talk. Now it was a job requirement. We were all told to smile and talk to the customers and keep them happy. I couldn’t muster the energy for any of that. I barely made eye contact…silently praying that the customer doesn’t talk. The most common question - how do you say your name? Had I known the frequency of that question, I would have just put my initials - K. K as in Kay. There. No follow up questions necessary.

First lesson of coming to America - I wouldn’t make it in a customer service oriented industry.
When you read both versions, which do you like better? I know you are just practicing this as an exercise in the course, but I would have to say I prefer your original voice. 
2021-05-09 12:33:10
:) Thank you Brandon. 

Keni - 1
Scott Adams - 0
2021-05-09 16:18:45
INSANE how much voice differs. It was surreal to actually feel the shift from Keni's voice to
Scott Adam
's after the introduction. I needed to reread that first paragraph after the intro because I wanted to see if I was just going crazy or not. 

But there it was. Scott's voice in my head. 

By the second half it feels less like Scott and more of a manly voice, but I'm amazed at how less of Keni it sounded. It sounded like a middle-aged to an older American white man was writing your tale for you, which means you did a spectacular job of echoing.

I'm with Brandon in that I prefer your voice over his, not objectively, but when reading about your stories I do find it fitting that it's your voice telling it. But I am amazed at how distinct these are. I believe my homework assignment actually does sound like me meaning I didn't do as convincing of a job echoing. 

One thing this makes more obvious is what Scott is good at. He's good at positioning expectations and outcomes in funny ways. Like he can compare/contrast what happens with what you are expecting just right. 

I think in the end this post shows how good Scott's style is for painting a picture through expectations vs outcomes via humor.

I'm super excited to step up my echo game for the following week.

2021-05-09 17:39:05
I am surprised at both of you saying you prefer the original writing. Since I am laser focused on adding humor, I like the Scott Adams version more.

I think the lesson through all this weekly experience is about knowing how to shift our styles and understanding what makes one author unique in their style. The mastery would be in being able to elevate our writing and be deliberate about our styles. I will be honest, I am still not sure what my style is but I know that humor isn't as present as I would like. I would be very happy if I am able to keep my own voice but be able to edit my writing where it can have some of Scott's mastery.
2021-05-10 02:50:20