My "Introduction to Screenwriting" class started this week - my third online class in a row. There are obvious advantages to these "distance" courses...you save on gas and commuting time...you "attend" when you want to...you can wear your pajamas to class (actually, I guess you can do that on campus, too, depending on your pj's.) And if you're an older student, like me, no one knows it. Until you post on the discussion board, at least. Your age influences your choice of words, opinions, and even grammar. It's impossible to blend in for long.
I remember two years ago, arriving on campus for my first class in my third attempt at a degree. Hurrying to the entrance, my heart started beating a little faster. How was I going to find time for this? Would I be able to keep up? Would I get an 'A'?
I thought back to my last attempt, how it felt being older than some of my teachers, much less the other students, and that's when it hit me like a jolt of electricity - my last attempt had been fifteen years ago! I was already older than everyone then - man, I was REALLY old this time.
I clutched my books tighter to my chest, feeling like a spotlight was shining on me, following my every move. I found my class, slipped into an open desk, front and center (like I tell my kids), and glanced around. To my surprise and relief, there were a few other "old" ladies in the class...all sitting near the front, of course. And my teacher was at least as "experienced" as me. Later in the hall, I noticed a lot of other "mature" students. I also ran into some kids I knew from the high school, who seemed happy to see me. A familiar face always helps you feel at home.
I'm one of those strange people you hear about that likes school. I miss sitting in a classroom, taking notes, walking around a campus watching people. But for me, for now, online is the way to go.
Now, I have my brain and two blank pages to fill by midnight tonight with coherent details about my story idea "including cinematic images." I have a really good idea, but putting it into words on a page is always harder than I think it's going to be. And when am I going to stop procrastinating? Wish me luck!