Saturday, October 3, 2009



In college I had a professor Adrienne Gosselin. For some reason she seemed drawn to me and I to her.

Despite the fact that it was a creative writing workshop specifically focused on writing dialogue, the short story I wrote for that class had nearly no dialogue within its pages.

It was the story of a young girl, whose fire fighter father had been severely burnt and paralyzed while fighting a fire in the Cleveland school system back in the early 1900’s.

The story really wasn’t that great, or maybe my opinions of my work were still being clouded by self-doubt and insecurity, I’m still not sure. i should find it and reread that would be interesting.

But something in it struck a chord with her i guess, and instead of failing me for my lack of dialogue, she submitted it to a fiction contest behind my back.

A few months into the next semester, she emailed me telling me that I had won the Melissa Martin/Grace Martin essay contest.

I was stunned and thankful. confused really...

I don’t know why I am remembering this today. Remembering her unkempt dreadlocked hair and happily frazzled persona, or the fact that she would cancel class the moment it started raining or snowing, which made for a short winter semester, where we met less often that our night class was cancelled. Or the writer friends I made that semester, as we shared our stories, critiqued and built up trust as fellow inspiring writers.

I’m not sure why I’m remembering this class so vividly today? Why the pull to be back in school is strong on me as I wrap up another hectic week at work.

I think it might be because this is the first year since i've been out of college that as children go back to school and as my husband starts his night classes up again, i am sad that i am not a part of it. Not a part of the learning and note-taking and studying. i miss that feeling of pride at a hard-earned grade. the late nights spent pushing your brain beyond it's limits and the feeling of release as you exhale and walk out of the classroom from taking the test or handing in that final paper. I miss it, so i busy myself with school-like goals and projects and assignments for myself. I am a student. not in a school, but a student nonetheless.

Maybe one day i will return to college and pursue a masters. But until then, i will remember what i learned in that class. That rules can be broken and it's okay, because sometimes it's not about the rules, it's about just writing. Getting something down on paper before days turn into weeks, and months go by before you wonder where the time has gone. Why you let them get away.

I'm not sure why i remembered professor Gosselin this morning. But it may have something to do with the fact that i need to remember to make the time, to buckle down and just write.

*photo courtesy of my mom, me writing as a tiny tot. {the original of this photo is tacked on the wall near my desk at work, reminding me of my love for words, when i am neck-deep in words that i often don't want to write)


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