Posted by: chlost | April 27, 2010

First day of class

If you have read my earlier posts, you may have read that I had signed up for a writing class.  Tonight was the first class session.

To fully understand my feelings, you also have to recall that I signed up for this class in an almost direct response to my sister’s death in February.  Writing is something that I have always been told that I do well.  My sister encouraged me to write.  She saw it as a dream of mine to write a book. So, I signed up for the class.

It is taught by a writer at a literary center that is well known, at least in this area by people who are interested in this sort of thing.  The place is full of people who are creative in many senses of the word.  Even the guy selling coffee is a musician.  I asked.

My home is nearly a one-hour drive from the class location.  I signed up for the class at the beginning of March-nearly 2 months ago.  I have been looking forward to it ever since.

It has been on my calendar ever since I registered.  I paid a large registration fee.

Somehow or another, I wrote down the class start time as 7 pm.  In actuality, it started at 6 pm. 

I arrived an hour late.

There are approximately 20 people in this class.  I came into the room and took the first seat I saw-close to the door.  Unfortunately, the instructor told me to come up to a seat near her where she had placed a hand out. 

You may have noticed that my blog address is “always in the back row”. That is because I am very tall.  I have always had to sit or stand in the back row for almost every class, choir, theater performance, or anything else which involved shorter people ( that usually means everyone else).  I am not comfortable in a front seat.  I feel very self-conscious.  I have gotten used to sitting in the back.  I can see everyone else and they can’t see me.

Everyone else in the class had introduced themselves and “told a little about themselves”.  I had to do the same.  I did not, however, have the benefit of learning about the others in the class.  So, everyone knows me by name-that woman who was so late-and I don’t know any of them.  This is not an auspicious beginning to my dream of a writing class.

Has anyone reading this taken a writing class?   Is it common that there are some pretty self-important personalities in such a class?  An odd-looking person who seems like a throw back to the seventies?  One person who talks more than all of the others combined?  These are the personalities that I observed in my brief one-hour class experience. 

We did some reading aloud of examples of different types of writing.  I missed the writing by the class and sharing it with the class.  The students that I did hear reading aloud had some problems with some of the excerpts. I wanted to help/correct them.  The instructor seemed nice-she didn’t correct them.  She has published several books, which were conveniently displayed at the front of the room, with a discounted price list. 

I guess that I shouldn’t be too judgmental.  I have just started this. I have hoped that this would be a group of people with whom I could develop friendships and share a love of reading and writing.  We’ll see.  I am trying to keep an open mind.

In the meantime, I have homework.  Writing a memoir piece.  It seems as though I have done that before.  Almost daily. 

I’m still looking forward to the class.  I won’t be late next week.  I want this to be a good experience.

Oh, and I almost forgot……today is my oldest granddaughter’s 3rd birthday!  Happy Birthday Harps!!!!  Love you!



  1. Sounds great!!!! I guessed that you are tall!!! I am, too!!!! Have fun!!!!!

  2. Tall minds think alike. I am 6’2″ myself. As you can tell by my blog, I have had no formal writing classes at all. I am the king of the run-on sentence. Good luck with the class!

    • I don’t know that I would call it a formal writing class. From what I could tell, it is more of a group therapy session for people who want to write. Writers Anonymous?

  3. You know, I teach writing, but it’s mostly traditional college composition classes; however, I’ve also taught a few creative and non-fiction seminars within the college, too. What I’d say of any class where creativity is allowed/expected/embraced is, yup, there are blowhards. Some aspect of writing seems to draw those with egos that have no other place to go. I’m really sorry that you have such a personality–which ultimately is disruptive–in that class. And I’m sorry the teacher seems to be hawking her own wares although I guess that’s standard practice.

    Perhaps next time, when you’re not so self-conscious and playing catch up, you’ll settle into something easier and may eventually make a connection with one or two others. Maybe the teacher will stop trying to create such an “affirming” classroom, too, and will take you all through some genuine critique. (dang, but I hate the unwillingness to do critique!).

    I will read with interest any further posts you have on this…but no matter how it plays out, as a class, just doing the assignments will give you something you might not have had otherwise. Right? Maybe?

    • The fact that I am taking the class is a major step for me. I am looking for an opportunity to be a bit more focused in my writing, and to have the structure of a class. You are right that the assignments will be helpful. I am still hopeful that my brief time in the class was not indicative of the rest of the course. I tend to criticize much too much!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: