Monday, March 4, 2013

Being Ready

Lately, I feel ready for almost nothing.

This spring is my final semester at the Community College of Aurora. I will be graduating with my Associate of Arts degree (no designation as we did not have the approval for the Literature focus when I started), and a 4.0 GPA (assuming I maintain it, and I have no reason to think I won't). I'm wearing this thing and myself out as though it were a much larger degree, I think. I'm not ready.

On my plate:
  • Honors Paper - H.P. Lovecraft as the man who took the torch of Gothic horror explorations of the human condition, and carried it down that long hall into the future, opening the door and letting its light gutter in the escaping air and then spread its light and shadows over the rest of us. I'm lacking a solid thesis and there are only 8 or so weeks left in the semester.
  • Research Exhibit - Sally Ride. A group project but only 2 of my other 3 members are even trying.
  • Creative Writing (II) - "Murder Hobo" (I feel that my stories tend to have codenames rather than working titles.) Progress is slow on a level that would make molasses feel fast. I'm afraid I'm going to fall short on all of my goals in that class.
  • Japanese (IV) - Final semester and the most intense as far as taxing my ability to remember anything, ever.
  • Literature (American, Post 1865) - In addition to our short and excerpted works, we are reading two novels. One we just started this past week. The other I will start, regardless of the class schedule, once I have finished Richard Wright's Native Son. This class is particularly intensive due to the comprehensive and conceptual-understanding nature of the tests.
  • Commencement Address - I am one of (I don't know how many) students applying to be the student speaker at my graduation. This week is the deadline for the application. I'm having trouble explaining what I want to say to my fellow students, or even knowing what I'm WORTHY to say to them.

All this segues into my introduction of a blog post that I found hiding and unread in my email box, by Andi Cumbo, over at AndiLit. I'll give you an excerpt here and then I encourage you to go to her blog and read the whole post (even her whole blog!). Andi teaches writing courses, online and sometimes in person... this excerpt is from the spirit of a talk she gives her nonfiction students, but is just as relevant for any kind of writing: have to be ready for critique. You have to be ready for your classmates and I to talk about HOW you wrote about this subject, and while we will do our best to stick to the HOW and not the WHAT, it can be hard to separate those things in our writers’ minds and hearts.  Very hard.  So before you turn something in, be sure you are ready to hear it taken apart a little.
You'll have to go over to her blog post to read the rest: "Writers, Are You Ready?"