I don’t mean to sound like a snob, but this class isn’t what I thought it would be. I’m highly disappointed. I registered in hope of bringing my writing to the next level, finding out about publishing while collaborating with other writers in the same place as I am, after all it is a Master’s class taught by a successful journalist and cost $300.00 for four sessions.
The intimate group expanded to include nineteen of us, where over the next three weeks we will be critiquing one piece from each participant, minus the one woman in the group who claims she has a story to tell and has no intension of sharing it and is not even sure if she herself or a ghost writer (could you imagine) will write it.
I was the only one of the participants to mention having a blog that I regularly post my personal essays to when we went around the room introducing ourselves. Other’s registered hoping to overcome writer’s block, one of which professed this condition has persisted for the past forty years.
Toward the end of our first session we were signing up for the week to which we’d like to submit our piece for critique, to be emailed to the others at the latest on Monday’s for Thursday’s class. Anxious as I am to participate, I volunteered for the first week. Having read in class, starts of essays we’ve read that we felt were strong powerful beginnings or used captivating language to engage, the use of metaphor’s and the like, I rethought my original choice, rewriting the piece to carry the strong metaphor of survival both physical and mental throughout my essay of financial survival. I emailed the instructor and classmates with the attachment Friday evening. I entitled the essay The Transplant, explaining I made many changes that day being influenced by the readings and discussion and added the link to the original Surviving Poverty: The Blessing of the Farm | Aligaeta’s Blog if anyone was interested. I did this having felt a little insecure by the changes I made, uncertain if the original piece had been stronger.
I’ve since had three hits on the original, not a big deal but interesting as it wasn’t until 9am this morning that I received another classmates essay and I am awaiting four more to critique for Thursday’s class wondering, ‘Does anyone else write?’ I labored through my classmates first essay, she sent two. It was an intriguing story of overcoming anxiety and depression having been raised with high expectations and a sense of duty. Her Chinese culture shined through the piece, having read and enjoy the work of Amy Tan I was captivated even though this writer struggles with the English language, reminding me of a conversation I once had with my Italian language professor, when he met my expectation saying, “It was a wonderful story but it wasn’t in Italian.”
Having not received any other classmate’s work, bored as I was, I ventured on after preparing another pot of coffee to read her second essay. The English was much better, however it was a story about her grown daughter’s planning a surprise party for her husband’s birthday, who cares? I preferred struggling with the language than waiting for interest. Tick-tock, it’s Tuesday, 1:30 in the afternoon. Will someone please engage me in English and give me what I paid for?
Have you ever?