WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.-Actor, communication major, Purdue graduate, teacher, storyteller, and author Sara Jane ‚ÄúSally‚ÄĚ Coffman recently published ‚ÄúThe Misadventures of a Single Woman,‚ÄĚ a witty and comedic book about turning her mishaps into humor.
‚ÄúThe Misadventures of a Single Woman‚ÄĚ compiles several disaster stories from Coffman‚Äôs life, which she turns into descriptive, hilarious recollections. Many stories are about her dating tribulations, from computer dating to blind dates, but Coffman also writes about humorous student stories and the trials of being an older woman.
‚ÄúThe theme of my book is ‚Äėlaughing your way through your misadventures,‚Äô‚ÄĚ Coffman said. ‚ÄúYou need to have a sense of humor and be with people that have one.‚ÄĚ
Coffman said her inspiration to write the book came from her mother, who always taught her to look on the bright side of things.
‚Äú[My mother] could see things in light way,‚ÄĚ Coffman said. ‚ÄúShe could turn things that could be a disaster into something funny. Every year we would go on three-week camping trips and we would be dying in the back of the hot car and she still made things fun.‚ÄĚ
Although Coffman said she is not a writer, her love for writing began in high school when she wrote letters to her uncle to cheer him up after his wife died. After she discovered how much he loved her work, she never stopped writing and published her first article on computer dating while in college.
Though Coffman enjoys writing, she began as a theater major at Purdue before moving to radio and ¬†television. Her true calling, however, came after graduation, when she decided to return to Purdue for a master’s degree in communication and began to teach. She is currently an instructional developer for the Center for Instructional Excellence where she works to improve faculty‚Äôs teaching.
‚ÄúTeaching is like being on stage,‚ÄĚ Coffman said. ‚ÄúI get to prepare, dress up, put on my make up, interact with the audience and watch them grow. But I get to learn about people so it‚Äôs even better than the stage.‚ÄĚ
Coffman believes being a communication major got her where she is today. She said with a communication degree, graduates can go into almost any field.
Coffman combined her interests to offer advice for teachers. She said the best lectures have stories, examples and descriptions. The first minutes of any class, just like the first pages of any book, are the most important, she said.
‚ÄúProfessors, like writers, should hook you in within the first five minutes,‚ÄĚ Coffman said. ‚ÄúStart out with your best stuff.‚ÄĚ
Coffman said the best advice she gives, that she herself follows, is that there is no such thing is the worst day of your life.
‚ÄúNo matter how bad of a day you are having, you will have much worse,‚ÄĚ Coffman said. ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt take everything so seriously; lighten up. It will help you react to bad days much more easily.‚ÄĚ
Written by Jennifer Payne
Junior, double major in Advertising/Public Relations and Psychology