A while back, wrote a blog about mental constipation and the ability to influence others. If you missed that one, you can find it here. Long story short, my local college made a call-to-arms, for the best and brightest in their field. I attended the informational seminar. They were looking for rock stars that could offer their students a classroom experience they’ve never had before. Something unique. Everything outside of the collegic box.
Suddenly, a small voice in my head said you need to do this. Why the hell not. I was feeling sassy. Spontaneous. Clearly having one of my what the hell moments. Or perhaps way too much wine that night.
I love that little voice. She doesn’t come around very often, but I love her spunk. She tends to have more faith in me than I do. I love to take her out for a nice lunch or a shopping spree at Sephora.
But eventually, the other voice inside my head chimes in. Good lord, who do you think you are?! Awfully big britches to fill, Tara. If you’re going to walk this walk, you best be ready to fill those shoes. Because once you commit, there is no going back.
Then she tends to sit back with a vodka tonic and cigarette, waiting for the shit show to start.
Sometimes I hate that little voice. She’s such a Debbie Downer. I swear I keep meaning to send that bitch off with a bottle of wine, a ticket to the Bahamas and a smack on the ass.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree and 23 years writing experience in my pocket, I had all the requirements they were looking for. So I submitted the necessary proposal, then spent several breathless weeks waiting to hear from them. Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. My fingers were worn down to the nubs, and my hope was left hanging by a thread.
Until that one day, of all days, I got an email. And much to my surprise, they loved my ideals so much they hired me. On the spot. Point received.
Suddenly, I’m involved in proofreading my class description, approving the schedule, and involved in all faculty activities.
The first event happened last Thursday. I walked into a sea of people I didn’t know, all embellished with the title ‘Dr’ before their names. I quickly shrunk into the corner, feeling completely out of place. Scared out of my mind. Even with my credentials, I didn’t feel worthy to share the same air of people like this. My self-doubt was almost suffocating.
Until a tall gentleman approached me, offering his hand, and said “You’re Tara. Lisa told me about you.”
Aw Christ, do I already have a rep at the college?! And if so, is this a good thing or a bad thing?!
We chitchatted for a bit, talked shop, shared jokes. He was funny and quick-witted. I threw back everything he served to me, and vice versa. I immediately felt a connection. We made each other laugh. Then he invited me to sit at his table, one out of literally a hundred.
It was only after I sat down did I know whom I was dealing with.
He was the Dean of the college. My boss. The man who felt I was worthy of being a part of the facility. The man who would sign my paychecks. The man who saw potential in that silly redhead girl who cowered in the corner.
Apparently, I am there for a reason. I have zero explanation why. All I can say is I’m going with the flow and am preparing for the best. If I am put on this planet to teach others, then I’m going to figure out how to do exactly this, to the best of my ability.
I’ll be teaching a creative writing class, so there are no rules. I’ve written somewhat of a syllabus to create structure. But overall, I am all on my own. All I can do cultivate my years of experience and share this knowledge with those willing to listen.
I’ve promised to keep things real. To be honest. To help my students to explore outside of themselves. Basically, to help them find their voice and give them permission to speak it. To go beyond everyone’s comfort zone, including my own. To literally and figuratively jump on that damn desk and scream CARPE DIEM!
In other words, this is going to be a very unorthodox class. At worse, I’ll fall completely on my face, tail between the legs. At best, I’ll have hopefully one student that will look at me as they experience their own “Ah-ha!” moment. That, my friends, would be worth all the fear and anxiety I’m currently feeling.
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