Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I don't have to justify myself. But I could.

My first day of school, or class really, has come and gone. The first day of Getting Your Work Published was an enjoyable experience, and the professor eager to help her students achieve.

My fears of being the oldest person in the room were quickly put aside when I found that most of the class was people even older than me. Moreover, I found that all the people in the class consider themselves writers, but have the same struggles in getting published that I do. There is strength and comfort in numbers, and that is the greatest benefit of such a course that is going on its third semester in the entire state of Colorado. I foresee great benefits being reaped from this course that forces students to work, produce and get published right in the classroom. I was very lucky to stumble upon this.

I did have a few moments of panic after a few writers introduced themselves and their accomplishments. One guy who is actually taking this class a second time for its benefit of helping him move along with his writing, has one book and two novellas in the fantasy genre, just waiting to be submitted. He seems to be of the younger few in the class. An older lady, said that she had written and published regularly for years, and was a contributor to Colorado Voices, a regular Op-ed column of The Denver Post. This woman also said that she was awaiting a response from The New Yorker, because she had just submitted a piece to them. WOW. That's a lot of pressure, but it's also good inspiration and motivation to write my heart out and publish the heck out of each word. But in the meantime, no pressure!

But though the age wasn't as big an issue as I feared it would be, it was still kind of strange to get back into school as an older and more aware student hungry for more knowledge.

I remember when I was starting out in college and seeing those people like me now sitting in rooms full of young faces. I thought to myself, Dude, if I was done with school and had my degree, I'd so not be here.

What I didn't realize then was that education is a privilege. A privilege that I took for granted and didn't utilize as well as I should have. Instead, I went through the motions so I could get out into the world with that degree in hand, free of homework and papers to drag me down.

A few years out of college proved to be difficult. Jobs weren't lined up for me, and I realized just how useful the career services office at school could have been to me had I taken the time to visit it, rather than leaving campus the minute my last class of the day was over. I learned a lot while in school back then, but not as much as I could've had I been hungry for knowledge. Moreover, life taught me the really important things that college never did . . . that it's hard. Really hard. Especially for a writer winging it on their own.

Well, after seven years out and about in the real world, free of homework and papers, I am hungry. In fact, I'm famished. I want to learn, I want to work hard, I want homework, I want to meet new people... all of these things I took for granted when my presence in a classroom didn't have to be justified. Well, now my justification is ready, and it's very simple.

I'm here because I want to be.

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