In January, my husband and I started back at college. It was hectic at first. We were dumping a semester of calculating imaginary numbers and finding the root of infinity on top of an already busy schedule of sports games, recitals, FCAT testing and 40-50 hour work weeks. But somehow we managed and I passed my algebra course with a low B despite the fact that I hadn’t touched a TI83 in 16 years.
And yes, I still found the time to unplug myself from the machines.
As of this fall everyone in our household is attending school in one form or fashion. Now all the balls are up in the air and yet again I am humbled by how fortunate I am that I have a lovely support system and extended family.
This semester I’m tackling Freshman English, College Composition. Again, it has been a long while since I last had to do a research paper. The last one that I recall was ten years ago, a paper on the dangers of intermittent use of antidepressants for Humanities.
I was pleased to find that the first paper due was a Descriptive Paper. One page, one paragraph describing a place. It could be any place, but you had to put the perspective inside that place.
It was perfect. I have been struggling with my descriptions as of late. It wasn’t that I was blocked. Not at all. Since I’ve started the class, gotten into the grove of having deadlines, I have managed around 3,000 words a day on new drafts and editing. I’ve been able to organize (thanks in part to Scrivener and FireFox bookmarks). And well, the writing has been good.
It is just that in order to delve deep into a setting, a place, in order to really give the readers a full ride into it in their minds through the words, the writer his/herself has to be able to put themselves, mentally at least, into the scene and setting. And it’s really hard to do so when you are having to stop right in the middle creating that magic to cook dinner or clean a toilet. I’m doing it, though. I sneak the moments when I can fully emerge myself in my stories, really give in to the characters and let them torment me.
Anyhow, the point to this post was to toss out something to those willing to read my ramblings: my descriptive paper written for English 101, but apparently I had more to say than I realized. Then again, my professor did happen to mention it was ‘wordy’ and though it had received marks off, all the struggling writer inside of me could think when I read that was “Thank you!.”