I succumbed to the lure of "Back to School Sales."
It wasn't planned, just a spur of the moment decision that left my wallet a little lighter and my free-time a little less free. Maybe it was the aisles of pristine notebooks (click here to read about my addiction), or the ink filled pens, or those wonderful mechanical pencils. Maybe it was the smell of crayons or the gleaming white boards. In any case, I was smitten. So, I bought a package of pens, cracked open a brand-new notebook, and registered for a six-week online creative writing class.
There was a time when I considered myself a professional student. I used to joke that I went to grad school to put off having to be good at anything but learning. I knew how to organize my notes, study for exams, make presentations, and write term papers. The classes I took always brought me one step closer to a degree, and while I did learn a lot, I'd be lying if I said they were always fun. After I graduated, I moonlighted as a college professor for a while. I just couldn't stay away from the classroom.
But now, for the first time since I took a welding class as an elective in college (yes, I can run a bead and spot weld, and I have the picture frame I made to prove it), I was actually registered for a class where the grade didn't matter and it was all about learning. And fun.
As the school buses came rolling down the street last week and everyone with school-aged kids celebrated the start of classes, I felt like raising my hand in the air to say "Me, too! Me, too!" I couldn't wait for the first class to post. What can I say? I love to learn.
I'm two classes in and so glad that I registered. Already, I've picked up some good tricks that will help on those days that the words just don't seem to want to flow. The assignments have encouraged me to try out some new things and I'm looking forward to the next few weeks.
One of the things I find I really like about the class is that participants are able to post their assignments (under a pseudonym) on a message board, and everyone, including the instructor, can comment on the piece. I like being able to see how everyone approaches the assignment, and the feedback I've gotten has been very valuable. I like the somewhat anonymous constructive criticism - to have the reader tell me what works and what doesn't is pure gold.