Scott Christensen did a little time travelling in 2019. He had enrolled in a program to teach creative writing offered at the University of Cambridge in England.
“I walked around King’s College at Cambridge,” Scott says, “and it took me back to my time at King’s in Halifax. I thought about my return to academia, writing essays and being in a group of people from all different backgrounds. I didn’t realize how amazing the group of people was that I went to school with, or how my thinking changed. It can take a few years for that shift in perception to be realized.”
It was the Foundation Year Program (FYP) where the shift began.
“There was a molecule or two that formed while I was at King’s that told me I had to be on the move. It was a boundaryless psyche that touched me at the time.”
Scott began to explore what that meant. He studied public relations at Mount Saint Vincent University then worked at Ship’s Company Theatre in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia.
‘I wanted to do something in the arts, maybe some writing. I thought by surrounding myself with these artistic people I would absorb some of it, maybe by osmosis.”
Then the boundaries of Nova Scotia disappeared, and Scott moved to South Korea to teach English as a second language.
“Working in South Korea showed me I could go almost anywhere and get paid for speaking in my native tongue.”
Scott would go on to make a career of it, but the poetry muse whispered, and took him to Long Island, New York, for a master’s in fine arts degree in creative writing.
“During the summer we had an incredible writers conference where we would have big names in writing teach us the ins and outs of fiction, screen writing and poetry. As the only Canadian in the group when Margaret Atwood came it was my job to look after her and drive her around the Hamptons for three days. That was life changing. When I dropped her off at the airport, she looked at me and said, ‘Just finish.’ Then she was gone. That was an altering experience that sent me off in another direction.”
Then, the urge to travel sent Scott off to Saudi Arabia to, again, teach English as a second language. From there he went to Ankara and Istanbul, then back to Saudi Arabia where he started to work for Saudi Aramco, the gigantic oil corporation. For years he continued to teach English for the company.
Scott “finished” enough poems (“There is an old adage that a poem is never finished,” he says) to publish a collection in 2014 called the boundaries of return.
“I changed departments recently and now I am in educational administration. I am working on developmental programs to train Saudi youth to go to the UK and America and then come back to work with Aramco with the academic skills they have learned internationally.”
Scott continues to write—three novel manuscripts and a draft of a screenplay under his belt—and with his certificate from Cambridge he hopes to one day teach creative writing either in Saudi Arabia or maybe back home in Nova Scotia.
It has been a boundaryless journey.
Posted: October 2019