Today was the first day since I was fourteen years old that I shared a poem I had written with my class. The last time I did it, I was in an extremely challenging advanced communication arts class. Well, it was challenging for me, anyway. I had worked my butt off on the entrance test two years in a row and only got accepted the second time around... and everyone else was smarter than me. (Or so it seemed. Talking to my then-classmates now, I've heard that everyone felt the pressure.) Because the class was so hard and my attitude toward poetry so bad, though I was nervous about sharing it, I somehow knew I would be inferior, so I wasn't too concerned about it. It was just another unit.
Fast forward to this year, me ignoring the fact that a class entitled Writing in Poetry & Fiction might include some poetry as well as fiction. I ignored it up until a couple of weeks ago when I bit the bullet and started to compose a poem for class. It was sort of based on a dream I had, and I hated it when I was finished. I got butterflies just thinking about my classmates reading it. I had established myself- along with pretty much everyone else in the class- as a fairly good fiction writer who turns in pieces filled with snarky characters. What would they think of this dramatic, semi-period, fever-delirious piece?
I almost skipped class, I was so nervous. I had to go second and by that point, I was shaking and my palms were practically dripping sweat. I wanted to cry. "Why are you hiding?" my professor asked, since generally I don't shut up in that class and had said very few words in today's class. I asked him if we might just get it over with. I forgot that part of the poetry presentation was that it had to be read out loud. Cue me cringing. Thank goodness it was short(ish).
The class ended up liking it, for the most part. There was some confusion (that I hadn't purposely built in) that is easily solved if I ever am brave enough to open up that document again. So I guess it went over well.
Though I knew I was going to be nervous about this presentation, I can't believe my physical reaction. I am kind of a nervous person in general, but it takes a lot for me to get so worked up that my palms sweat. The last time that happened, I was getting my flu shot all by myself (I have a deathly fear of needles and have never gone without my mommy there :p)
Anyway, it's over and it wasn't a terrible experience. And some good news arrived in my inbox while I was panic attacking it up. I had had to drop out of the writing workshop I signed up for because I was told I had rehearsal on that day. Then I found out I didn't. I instantly e-mailed the organizer of the workshop... and for three days, he didn't e-mail me back. I figured it was hopeless, but re-emailed him this morning... and it turns out he was saving a place for me all along! He said he needed my piece and there was the problem- I didn't know what I was going to send in. I didn't have anything short/long enough. Finally, after an hour of cutting, pasting, and rewording, I was able to send him an edited scene of Q, excerpts of which I've shared on this blog before.
Phew... what a day. And it's only 3:15. Can't wait to see what tonight's writing class brings!