September 06, 2012

Too Cool For School

This is what I've been waiting for. It's been quite a while but I'm finally starting school again. Albeit, it's only one class and not even a pre-req, but I'm excited none the less. Last night I had my first class for Intro to Fiction Writing. I arrived a good 40 minutes early because I'm terrified of getting lost or something going wrong, so I gave myself a lot of room for error.

I came dressed in my skinny jeans and abstract storm-trooper shirt, most likely looking younger than I intended. I walked around the whole building talking quietly to myself until I found my class room and then waited outside on a bench for the next twenty minutes. Other early students started trickling by and one boy dressed in khakis and a sweater vest came and sat by me. We exchanged the required pleasantries and fell into a comfortable silence.
Looking just about the same as when I started High School.

Once one of the braver students went in first, the rest of us followed suit. The teacher was an older lady who dressed like she was still in her twenties. Even I would feel inappropriate in that dress. I had to advert my eyes every time she bent down to pick something up or when she sat on the edge of the desk. Not something I want as a permanent mental image. She really was very sweet though, almost too sweet and I feared that she would be too nice on her feedback and criticism with our work, which I desperately needed.

My classmates were very interesting to me. I looked around the room, trying to guess what kind of writers they were. Although they all seemed diverse, they had a similarity that can only be described as "a little off". I'm not judging or saying it's a bad thing, because I happily lump myself into the same category. It takes a certain kind of person to sign up for a night fiction writing class. There was a skinny, long haired guy who gave off the vibe of a fantasy writer, a larger sweet sounding girl who I fancied to be a romance novelist. and the wide-eyed girl who sat next to me to be a chronic poet. We had a black girl with beautiful skin and a purple streak in her hair, a mother of four who I assumed had been writing for a long time, and the sweater vest guy, who I predicted to be funny, smart, and eventually my friend.

The (3 hour) class went on in the typical first day fashion. We went over the syllabus, tried to make sense of the college website, and eventually did a writing exercise where we wrote a quick story on the person next to us. A couple of the things the teacher said put me a little off, starting off with her statement that the publishing market is going haywire and then moving on to criticize one of my favorite quotes: "Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed." I personally find that quote to be very true, but the teacher laughed and said some writers take themselves too seriously. I think writing is a very deep expression of one's self, whether we intend to or not.

Either way, I hope I can learn a lot from this class and further myself as a writer because even if I don't make money from my stories, I just want to finish something because these ideas swim around in my head and I need to catch them and put them on paper before they drown me and drive me insane.

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