I Need to Learn to Have Realistic Expectations: The Creative Writing Class Edition

This marking period, I signed-up for a Creative Writing/Novel Writing elective. It’s with a teacher that I have never taken a class with in my school’s government small learning community, and I was really, really excited about it.

Electives during our lab period are always fun. I’ve done things like meditate for ten minutes while chanting, read OP-EDs from the New York Times and talk with reporters from the paper, watch music videos from the eighties while talking about the emergence of heavy metal and the objectification of women, and video conference with the Afghanistan ambassador to the UN. I mean, we get to do really awesome things and get graded. It’s perfect. Just perfect.

I was all ready to get loads of writing done, listen to excellent pieces of writing by my classmates, and have really great workshops with people where we would give each other helpful critism, but about twenty minutes into the class, I was reminded that I was, of course, in an high-school classroom, and that just wasn’t going to happen.

The teacher is really wonderful. She’s super tiny and does things like sit cross-legged on top of her desk and make us drag our desks into a circle so that we can all see each other. But about half the class doesn’t want to be there, and a heck of a lot of people in there just can’t write. (I’m not being snobby, I promise.) I listened to too many long-winded explanations of how people met their best friends, phrased entirely in simple, repetitive sentences, and too many pieces with things that touched peoples souls and hearts or that involved soulful and deep gazing into people’s eyes.

But we still get an hour each week just to hang out in one of the Mac labs and write, and I have friends in the class who do write well and offer good, insightful feedback. Besides, I’m sure that there will be some people who completely surprise me and write some really beautiful pieces. At the very least, I’ll gather some funny stories about the things that people wrote and said in response to other people’s writing.

It will be fun, even if it wasn’t what I dreamed of.

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