Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Putting the "Fun" in "Neurotic"

I taught my first class since having the baby yesterday. Okay, technically it was my second class, but the first was a volunteer class to drum up business for this actual class I’m teaching for the next six weeks, so this is the first one that counts. I’d forgotten how nervous I get in front of other people, particularly when I’m out of practice. Hell, I’m out of practice leaving the house, much less imparting wisdom about creative writing to a roomful of creative writers.

I’d forgotten, too, how much more neurotic I am about pretty much everything besides being a mom (and all it takes to thrust me into those particular throes of neurosis is to pick up a book on parenting—so I suppose I shouldn’t be blowing that particular horn after all). I once knew a lady who was so neurotic. How neurotic was she? She was so neurotic that when after teaching her first creative writing class after having a baby, two students came up to her and told her they’d had fun, she nearly burst into tears.


Real classes aren’t fun.

Real classes are challenging and engaging and gripping and mind-blowing. “Fun” is for amusement parks and trips to the ice cream parlor and late night dance parties.

Next thing you know they’re going to be telling me that I’m an adequate teacher with average ideas who gives mundane but functional assignments.

Fun, my ass.

Next week I’m taking away their bathroom break.



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