Workshop Week Complete

8 pm. Returned from class break, tugged the building door handle with no success. “What the frak?” I thought. Perhaps that entrance was closed and the other side would be open. Annoyed at this point, I walked to the other entrance with the same result. I almost gave up until I saw a card reader at the door. “Aha! I shall use my ID for access!” I thought cleverly. I swiped and swiped…and swiped. No dice.A girl was talking on the phone in the hallway and had seen me before but didn’t make an effort to help. I banged on the door and she let me in. What would I have done otherwise?

In class, my instructor, Caucasian, bald, glasses and beige shorts said, “I thought you got lost!”

“I got locked out!” I said, already feeling like the loser in class that got back from the break too late, especially after his discussion on tardiness and our grades. He was probably thinking that I’d be the late one to class or perhaps that was my own projection of self in the class because I was the only person of color in the class.

He explained to us that the building locks at 8. Now I know!

That’s my first class already and I feel like I’d botched it. But I’m exaggerating here. I didn’t know, now I do.

Our instructor dipped in to the second half of our class without missing a beat.

“Opinion is the end of thinking,” he said. In our seminar class, we would be dissecting, discussing, and observing the craft of fiction and non-fiction in the books assigned throughout the semester. Something about this quote resonated with me. I thought back to my Craft of Reading class in which I would start each discussion with how much I liked or didn’t like a reading and that would be my “participation.” He’s absolutely right of course. How I experienced the readings assigned didn’t allow me to delve further into how the work was crafted in the first place. I didn’t like the work so I didn’t learn anything only that I didn’t like the writing.

This class will challenge me; I can already see it. This class will teach me how to read as a writer. This class will help me become a better writer. Also, my instructor is too kool for school (in the best way possible). He’s firm but lenient. He’s smart but not dull. He looks serious but he’s so laid back. I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet right now.

How was my first week in grad school? Excellent. There will be a tremendous amount of writing and reading each week. I’ll be putting myself on the page. Reading other writers put themselves on the page. Spending time with my cohort. Trying to make BART before the last train goes back to the East Bay on time. Hopefully making friends with my cohort so I don’t have to commute every class night home. I feel like I’m having the college experience I didn’t have as an undergraduate. I didn’t make a lot of friendships/connections. I didn’t live on campus because campus was twenty minutes away on public transportation. I had tunnel vision. Being the first person in my nuclear family to obtain a Bachelor’s, I didn’t allow myself to work and play hard; I simply worked and worked…and worked. This time around, all I need is a healthy balance and everything will work out all right.

This is going to be a great semester.

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