Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Full Day Back:

(it went a little something like this:)

830am: I am leaving my driveway...university-bound. Hello morning traffic, how are you?

910am: I have successfully parked at the university. Now it took some time because my "hangtag strip" is still not "activated"....this means I am unable to enter the "priority parking lot" in which I have purchased a space until someone manually releases the "arm" blocking my way.

930am: I have marched all to my first building and found my classroom. Brit Lit to 1750. Woo! Problem? There are NO left-handed desks in sight. This is a required English class, aren't most "English" majors in their "right" brains aka left-handed? I make due by sitting on the far left of the classroom and turning to my right.

940am: Holy crap, this class is FULL! I wonder how many will show up on a regular basis. We read a poem in class and commented collectively. I have to read the first 835 lines of Beowulf by Thursday!

1105am: I shoot out of building #1 like a speeding bullet. I have to find the quickest way to my next building halfway across campus!

1116am: I've made it! I've found my classroom, but it's locked. I look the other students over and realize I might be the oldest one in the class...time for FEATURE WRITING!

1120am: The professor has arrived and we've found our desks/computers--we start going around the room and introducing ourselves. I'm in love with him already ("real, live" Washington Post editor(s)/writer(s)/reporter(s) have this effect on me)!

1220pm: Class is coming to a close (save for a required autobiographical writing assignment)...and I've already made an impression on my professor! I slowly raise my hand when he asked if any of "us" considered ourselves to be "Noticers" (able to notice little details, because that's what makes a good feature writer)...

He calls me "his first victim" and asks if I watched Michelle Obama's speech on Monday night. "YES"...and then he asks me about...what she was wearing! I think I saw his socks literally fly right off his feet as I went into details...

1248pm: Feeling like a champion, I rushed out of the building and took a chance on a "short cut" on the way back to where I started...for my next class...which had been changed to another classroom! FICTION WRITING!

100pm: We're sitting with our desks in a circle, starring at one another when our instructor walks in. We give mini-introductions (name/major/standing). Then we start going over the requirements for the class. At least 10 of us have NEVER been in a workshop class before.

We squirm at the idea of writing & presenting THREE fictional short stories to the class...required length? UP TO 11 PAGES! WHAT? Seriously? I try not to cry. I try to remember my previous "rockstar" moments earlier in the day.

Oh yeah! We have to be "workshopped" as well. This is when you present a copy of your story to everyone in the class. They get to take it home over the course of a week: read, edit, comment, and write about YOUR story! Then we spent about 30 minutes of class time DISCUSSING the story. The author gets to listen...that's about it.

225pm: I am on my way back to my car. I'm trying NOT to hyperventilate from fear of the "short" stories...

315pm: I finally make it home. Way to go TRAFFIC! I guess it wasn't a bad commute.
400pm: Guess who has eaten, changed, and made it to work?

905pm: I'm clocking out. I've survived a very emotional day...and realize I have to do it all over again on Thursday!

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