Thursday, September 4, 2014

On My First Day as a Graduate Student

And what an eventful day it was! It started the same as any other with an early morning trip to the gym and plans to sprawl out on the grass of the Boston Common to get some sun. But, no, that did not happen. Instead, as I killed time on my computer waiting for it to get just a bit warmer, I received an email from a literature professor, following up with my application to be a Teacher's Assistant. I scheduled a time to meet with him, then regretted scheduling the interview for four o'clock, giving me five hours to think and worry about it.

But luckily, we did some stuff to take my mind off it. Around 11, AJ and I went to Brattle Book Shop. I picked up a short fiction anthology, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, and The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, for $3 each!

From there, we walked over to Boloco at their Commons location where it was free burrito day! Neither of us have tried Boloco before, but every time I walk by I'm tempted to try everything! Their shakes, salads, bowls, and burritos all sound delicious and—with it being free and all—we decided it was the perfect time to try it out! The line was kind of long but we were there before noon and the line only got longer after that. AJ got a chicken teriyaki burrito and I got the chicken tikka masala burrito. They were both delicious and (we each got a small burrito) the perfect size. We will definitely go back to Boloco—it's free burrito day at their School St. location in two weeks. 

After that, all I had left to do was get ready for my interview and class. I changed into the most grown up outfit that was conducive to the sweltering heat. My shirt had birds on it but the skirt was J. Crew so I figured it worked. I went to the meeting, was there a little early, and talked to the professor about the job. It sounded great and he gave me a little assignment to do—grade a student paper—to see how I work and he invited me to sit in on the first day of class, which I did this morning. I felt surprisingly old, even though I was an undergrad just a few months ago! But I did feel pretty lucky to be taking a British Lit class for free! I haven't been offered the job yet, but fingers crossed!

After the interview, I ran home quickly, changed into jeans, ate a quick omelette for dinner before over packing my schoolbag with books, paper, a laptop, and lots of pencils and hurried back out to school. My class was on the 11th floor of a building on Boylston. I was in awe when I walked into the classroom, one whole wall was made of windows, giving me the best view the Common, the State House, Beacon Hill, and beyond. I was very distracted during class. 

Some of us were early and some other students filtered in just after 6 so we spent the first ten minutes or so doing a free write on the prompt, the best time of day. We didn't have to read it or share and it was a great way to start the class. I'm usually terrified of in-class free writes but this one came pretty easily for me! There are 12 of us in class, all of different ages and stages of life. Some people have been writing for a long time and are very experienced in workshops and some others are relatively new to fiction writing. 

The professor, Daphne, was wonderful and smart and made everyone feel comfortable. After the free write, we went around the room a few times to introduce ourselves, talk about our writing background, and who were our favorite authors to read. We went over the syllabus, which told us all how much work we will have, and made a schedule to workshop our fiction. We then read a great short story and had a discussion on it for quite sometime. The class is supposed to last from 6 to 9:45. Last night, we left class around 8:20 and I was in bed by 9:30 and I kept thinking to myself 'I would still be in class if this weren't the first day.'

We were assigned two short stories, one by Chekhov and one by Grace Paley, to read and prepare for discussion, two student stories to read and write critiques on, and we each have to write a 3-5 page story or story fragment which takes place all in one scene. I'm glad we have smaller writing assignments on top of the short stories we will write for workshop so that it doesn't feel like we only have to write twice a semester. My first short story is due for workshop on September 17th!

I'm looking forward to next week's fiction workshop and this coming Tuesday I will have my first day of my other class called Teaching College Composition. 

No comments :

Post a Comment