surreal

All the packing and unpacking and furniture shopping and waiting and homesickness has been about today. Going to class. Starting school.

There’s a surreal quality to my life here, it being so removed from life as I have known it in San Francisco for the past five years. Being in school feels surreal too. I can’t quite seem to grasp what I am supposed to be doing here, can’t quite get my head around all of it. I don’t know how to talk to people in that light, friendly school way. I am used to working, and so, I want to get down to it, work. Write. I am impatient with small talk in class and skeptical of my classmates and my professor.

All this out of one class.

I attended my memoir writing class tonight. The professor is an adjunct. He teaches at another Boston area college by day. He’s single, white, middle-aged, with a receding hairline and a youthful face. He studied at the Iowa Writers Workshop, which means — in the basest, most cynical way — that we are supposed to find him talented and awe-inspiring. Quite possibly he is talented and awe-inspiring, but we don’t really know yet. He was friendly enough and positive and repeatedly assured us that he was an encouraging professor, not critical in the cutting sort of way.

Our class consists of 11 women. I don’t mind the overly female environment, but it would be nice to have some men to keep things balanced. And I think it would be good for our professor, who enjoyed the female audience, I think. At the beginning of class, he mentioned that he wanted to ask us for relationship advice, but then held back, saying he didn’t know us well enough yet. But two hours later, apparently he knew us better, because he asked us how to handle a situation in which a female friend of his was pushing him into a relationship that he didn’t want. He casually mentioned that he often attracts attention from women inadvertently. Which seems like a weird thing to say to a class full of young, attractive women.

All I could think to say was that I was paying a lot of money to study writing, not give out relationship advice.
I kept my mouth shut.

I wondered whether he was using the advice question as a ploy to gain our confidence, or if he wanted to make it known to the young attractive women that he was single, or if he really just needed advice from 11 women. Either way, it was very strange.

Other than that, the class was OK, though not awe-inspiring. We did a few writing exercises and discussed them. Then he let us out a little early, since it was the first class.

Tomorrow I plan to investigate my options. If there’s a fiction workshop, I will likely switch.

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