I used to have a re-ocurring dream where I would be starting a new semester at college, except that for some reason I couldn't remember when or where any of my classes were. Apparently I had signed up for a full load, but not written a thing down. If you ever see my college planner, you'll know this is a VERY likely scenario. After a sleepless night of running around my nightmare campus, I would wake up and wonder how I went through three years of FSU without this exact situation ever happening once.
That familiar lump in my stomach has taken up residence again as I apply for a single extension course at UCLA. I'm going to be taking an evening class, Basic Skills in Writing for the News Media. Or is it News Media Skills of Basic Writing? Which is more correct? Or Correct-er? Should I be double-spacing after each sentence? Will I walk into a classroom full of twenty-year-olds laughing at me for showing up without my pants on? As I write this, the UCLA webpage has informed me I must wait 24 hours before I can know if I'm enrolled in the class! I'm a ball of nerves and I haven't even bought my textbook yet... Oh no. I have to go to the campus bookstore. I'm too old to be in a campus bookstore. They'll think I'm an Alum, looking for logo sweats. Who is UCLA anyway? The Trojans? No, crap, that's USC.
What I find most amusing is that through all of this, as I try to talk myself down "off the ledge" with sensible worse-case scenario lectures, I realize: I'm not afraid of wasting $300. No. What scares me more than that is the thought of failing this class. I could live with wasting a few Wednesday nights learning that I don't give a crap about non-fiction. As long as I get an "A".
You can show up without your pants on, just remember to wear a skirt. And no it's not okay to double-space after each sentence. I hate that!
Wow - no pants? We didn't have that at Mercer, but it was a Baptist college. What was I thinking?
So, Tara - relax. You're not gonna fail, and they aren't gonna laugh at you.
There's a reason writers commit suicide and drink (not in that order, mind you) - we're neurotic. Just like actors, but our profession is more private.
Don't take the bait - be confident, be proud that you're adding a new weapon to your creative arsenal (what's with the war talk, Housworth?) Sorry, make that a new color to your artistic palette. That's better...
So, remember - I'm here for ya, both in spirit and in a more practical way too. Not that I'm all that as a writer, just that I had to sit through those classes too - and I can at least let you know what stuff to ignore, lest it screw up your writing style.
Now - go be awesome. It's who you are.
you better get an 'A' or else i am no longer your friend.
am i serious?
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