Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Semester as a Professor

I was always scared of getting in front of my classmates to give a presentation. I know that public speaking is a pretty big fear of most Americans, so I'm not alone. While the fear never crippled me, I think it definitely affected the quality of my presentations. What I had in my head was often better than what actually came out. So clearly, I'm qualified to teach college classes where pretty much all I do is stand in front of a group of students, talking my oversized head off.

Getting the job teaching two classes at Five Towns College (Screenwriting and Script Writing) was pretty big for me. I'd never taught before except for a few guest spots I did in creative classes, but I knew the opportunity was too big to pass up. I was getting hired because of my experience in the writing field, and that was enough for me. Talk about writing, get money. Can't beat that.

It took a while for me to get into the swing of things, to be honest, but I guess that's true of anything. I met a lot of students who I feel I was able to positively influence, and it's pretty amazing that almost all of their final scripts were better than their first efforts. That makes me pretty proud. I can't say that I knew exactly what I was doing throughout, because I guess I approached teaching like I did my early writing--I was still trying to find my voice. And I guess, even with the semester ending today, I still kind of am. But I think that's okay. I was able to connect to some really great writers, fostering potential and, in some cases, intense talent. I've learned what works, what doesn't work, and what makes me crazy. Best of all, I've learned what to avoid in order to keep my sanity the next time I do this (which, sidebar, is this summer). At the end of the day, I'm happy about that.

I'm happy that I drew from the teachers that I loved in college.

I'm happy that there might be one or two students that will remember me the same way I remember the teachers that helped me along on the writerly path.

I'm happy that I tried to help everyone, even if some students didn't follow through. It happens.

I'm happy that I got a few laughs, because teaching a creative class is the closest thing you can get to stand-up comedy.

I'm happy that the wonderful girl I'm dating was able to calm me down when my stress levels went Genosha.

I'm happy that the semester is very, very over.

But most of all? I'm happy that one of my students drew this storyboard of me yelling at another student about grammar.

A goal for me is that, even with juggling two jobs again this summer, I will set aside the proper time for writing. I have to keep writing to keep sane, and if I don't set aside the time to do it, I sort of just start binge writing when I can, which I've found has a negative affect on my sanity and personal life. But I'm okay now. Not that I wasn't before, I was just overwhelmed. Now, though, I think I have something of a game plan.

Weird entry. But that's my first semester in a very cliche nutshell.

NEXT TIME: Comic Book Wednesday, covering SUPERMAN #707-711, SUPERGIRL #64, RICHIE RICH #1, and TINY TITANS.

1 comment:

  1. I am so very proud of you. Any student would be lucky to have you as his teacher (god I hope that's correct! Don't yell at me)