So I’ve taken online courses before, but not like this. I recently ventured back into school, after being accepted into a Master’s program for creative writing. I’m thrilled to have been accepted and terrified at the prospect at the same time. I can only manage one course at-a-time, but there are some really smart people in this course.
The reading is eye-opening! From excerpts of Steven King’s On Writing to many essays written by writing workshop associates to the Norton Reader, which has not arrived in the mail yet. It might take me three years to finish, but in the end, and I hope before the end, I will be able to teach college level courses in creative writing. And, of course, become a better writer.
Meanwhile, I stay grounded in the work of the farm, brushing two coats of linseed oil on the newly remade hay sled that Robert’s been working on so that we are ready for winter feeding. Winter feeding is one of my most favorite seasons and time-of-day. Sometimes I use my Z or the Allis D-19, and sometimes I use my pick-up. This is a totally random decision, unlike the ones I make when I write.
My students also ground me, and at times it feels more like hog-tied. I’ve some tough nuts to crack this year and three homeless students. Homeless. How lost must they feel and yet the armor is thick and heavy and I can see how it weighs them down. I asked them to write the other day about where in their life they would utilize a reset button if they could. Most wrote the same kinds of things that I did: to reset words spoken in anger, to start over in one area or another, and to be able to make a new start to be the person they really want to be instead of the one they feel held to be.
But one young lady said, “What’s the point in a reset button? Nothing ever changes. I can reset all I want, but when I get up in the morning, everything is the same: the same problems, the same dramas, the same betrayal. I can’t make a different choice because no one else will change.” What could I say? I brushed my hand across her shoulders and said I understood, and I whispered a pray for God to surround her with love.