One Big Hump, or “I Don’t Want Your Pity!”

Today was pretty sucky, for a Wednesday, let’s be honest. It’s like something had to balance out the amazingly, fantastically wonderful and fun-filled days I had been having.

I mean, it wasn’t THAT bad. I got to eat lunch for a change, and what I thought had to be a four-page paper really only had to be one. But the day had more bad points than good ones. For example, I didn’t get into the class I was waitlisted for, and won’t unless somebody (or several somebodies, I don’t know) drop the class. Which they might, I guess we’ll see, but I’m not holding out much hope.

What this means is that I have to take a pretty big risk. With four classes outside the School of Communication, I’ll be finishing up my distribution requirements. While I can still take a few, I have to load up on Comm classes starting next year.

There’s another reason that not getting into the class (“Writing the Feature Film”) unsettled me a bit. It reminded me of another time, back in high school, when I didn’t get into a class, though this one isn’t such a big deal (I’ll get another chance when the class is offered again sometime).

When I was in the 10th grade, I applied to the Journalism – Newspaper class at my first high school. (It was application-only, and only the people in the class could work on the paper, which was printed as a supplement to the local city paper.) I had decided on a career in journalism and, since we didn’t have a school TV station, the newspaper was the closest I could get to journalism experience. I had done job shadows and internships to prepare.

I didn’t get in.

According to the teacher, she had a review board of teachers who discussed the students who applied, and according to them I didn’t work well in groups. Apparently it didn’t occur to them that people tended to want to work with me because they knew I’d do all their work for them, and then when I got resentful the teacher took that as a sign that I just didn’t like group work.

I freaked out. I thought I’d never get into any journalism school with no experience, that if it was true and I didn’t work well in groups, it wouldn’t work as a career anyway. In an instant, I didn’t know what to do with my life anymore.

Then I moved to Wisconsin, took a journalism class (it was open to all), joined the school newspaper (it was a club), made Features Editor by the third issue when the first one quit, was News Editor my senior year, and got into the best journalism school in the country. I really wanted to write Mrs. Hensley (the journalism teacher at my first high school) a letter that just said, “Suck it”. I didn’t, of course, but you get the idea.

Of course, a quarter later I was a film major and had not so much adjusted my plans for life as accepted them. (I had done journalism as a “practical” substitute for film; I figured it would be easier to get a job. Turns out you should do what you love, not what you think you should do.  And also that journalism, as a career, is going down the series of tubes.) But I obviously still love to write, and I’ve discovered that writing screenplays fits together essentially every single thing I’ve ever wanted to do with my life, except when I was five and wanted to be a bus driver. So I’m hoping that not taking this class won’t affect my ability to, for example, get into the Creative Writing for the Media program.

But it’s week eight of the Winter quarter. I will just have to wait and see.


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