If I Were Going on a Trip, Would You Come Along for the Ride?

I feel a little like I am going on a trip, although for this “trip” I’m not leaving town. 

I’m just going to go across town to a local university, but I think I need for you to come along with me because it’s sort of unfamiliar territory, and I need to feel like I’m not alone.

The “unfamiliar territory” is a class.  It has been many years since I’ve taken an actual, honest-to-goodness college class.  I don’t have a college degree, but I have at different times taken college classes, but that was when I was muuuuch younger and mostly in regard to my job. 

One memorable exception was the time Linda talked me into taking a computer programming class “for fun” when computers first arrived on the scene.  I remember very little of it — I was so far in over my head I’m surprised there wasn’t some lifeguard somewhere thinking he was going to have to jump in to save me!

Anyway, I haven’t had the urge to take a class in quite a while.  But, I read an article in the newspaper about a year ago about a professor at this local university who was a very popular and successful teacher of writing.  This piqued my interest at the time, but I didn’t do anything about it.  Well, now that I’ve been writing a blog for a few months, learning a little more about writing suddenly seems very interesting.

So, I start a fiction writing class February 5 (not sure I would have chosen fiction, but that was what was offered this semester).  I ordered the book on-line (along with 4 other books about writing that looked interesting), and I can’t WAIT for them to arrive so that I can see what this is going to be like!

But, first things first.  Before I worry about learning, I have to decide on what my “look” will be for the class.  What do you think?  A no-nonsense spiral notebook and pen (the no-nonsense thing MIGHT be misleading)?  Or, should I go “retro” and take one of the splotchy black and white “essay notebooks” (“essay” seems verrrry appropriate!) and a #2 pencil?  OR, I COULD take an obviously USED spiral notebook (we have a few of those around here) and a short, chewed pencil with the eraser worn down, because I’m afraid a sparkly clean notebook and a fresh, newly sharpened pencil might just scream, “I DON’T GET OUT MUCH!” 

And how should I dress?  Suit and heels so that it looks like I’m still working (I could even rush in at the last minute to add to the look of “I’m so busy I’m just fitting this in between two very important meetings”)?  Or, should I go the other direction and get a sweatshirt that says something pithy about Grandma’s, confirming to everyone how old I am — and hope for a “sympathy” grade?  Or, for another option, I could add a beret, leggings and sneakers (and maybe bright red lipstick) to the aforementioned sweatshirt to make the statement “Yeah, I’m a grandma, but I’m an Artsy Fartsy Grandma!”

Have I mentioned that when I get nervous about something, I tend to obsess over meaningless details?  I do.  Will someone please just slap the back of my hand and say, “Stop it!” 

I’m thinking where I may need a little hand-holding (as opposed to hand-slapping), is when I have assignments to write.  If the timing is right, I could post my assignments and you could critique them for me BEFORE I turn them in!  Do you think that would be considered cheating?  I don’t think so either. 

You will, I’m sure, hear more about this.  Please just be ready to do some hand-holding and editing when it’s needed.

So, get in the car.  I’ll drive.  Let’s go for a ride!  

6 Responses to If I Were Going on a Trip, Would You Come Along for the Ride?

  1. Yes!!!!!!

    I am thrilled you are taking this class, and I predict you will love it.

    My advice is to speak up, say what’s on your mind about the readings in class, and write your heart out with courage. You have a great voice in your writing, and you’ll enjoy the challenges of the class.

    I wish I could be there in person because we’d have a blast in that class.

    Wear whatever you like and knock people out with your writing.

  2. Chrissy says:

    I totally agree with SBW!! Just go and do it and love it!

  3. By the way: Tag, you’re it. I tagged you on my blog.

  4. Sandra says:

    Thank you SBW and Chrissy for your encouragement. I really do need it. I’m anxious to get started and see if I’m out of my league.

    SBW, I wish you were here to take it with me too. If you were in the class — I’d probably just sit there and nod my head and say, “Me too.” while you gave clever answers. 🙂
    (I will treasure your “great voice in your writing” comment forever — it makes me sound so “writer-ish!”)

  5. Betty Rose says:

    I’m so late reading this blog but I would just encourage you by saying, “Do you remember that I was 50 when I decided to go for my college degree?” I went in the daytime when all the kids who have just graduated from high school were my classmates. I loved it! The teachers were all SO helpful (I guess I looked like I needed help). I was so stressed after my first set of finals that I forgot to go to my third class and got a ticket for speeding on the way home. The policeman said, “you were going 40 in a 30 mph zone!” and I said, “I don’t doubt it a bit, I just had my first finals.” He had no sympathy.
    It did get less stressful as time went on but not easier. Anyway, I got my degree when I was 54 years old. Maybe you will like the class so much you will go on to get a degree in writing.

  6. Alternatively, I was the youngest person in my graduate school classes. I was the one at the great disadvantage. You have wonderful experiences and maturity (snicker) that will probably impress them. Also, you won’t be hung over so that will probably help with the grades…you haven’t taken up drinking have you?

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