Back to School

by agoodnow

Last evening I began taking a writing course.

Before the class began I decided to hit the Dunkin Donuts “internet cafe”.   An odd place full of people eating Chinese food and doing all they can to make the area a complete and utter mess.  It was truly disgusting.  Garbage on the table and floor, sugar packets ripped open, empty cups strewn about, and all the while I thought “Why the fuck are people eating Chinese food up here?”

I sat in the filth, made a phone call, drank my large coffee (lots of milk, one sugar), ate a fluffy and delicious chocolate cake glazed donut, and did some writing.  I  worked on a story about two people whose lives should be completely different yet intersect in a way that neither of them quite understand.  I feel like that has happened to me a few times and I thought it would be an interesting story to write. 

At 6:30 I made my way across a busy 8th Ave.   The building was old and it looked like a place where a writing class would be taught.  It had that lack of modernization charm to it.  If there is such a thing.

The classroom consisted of metal topped tables bunched together.  When a pen would fall on the metal it made a loud noise, the noise you would hear if you hit a tin shed.  I wondered how much money they  had saved by ordering those tables instead of a regular old wooden table. 

The class filled up and there was a fairly diverse group of people.

An attorney


A teacher

A South African

An author looking for a tune-up

A government employee

A musician looking for a creative spark

A publicist

A woman who needed some help finishing her novel

An Iowan new to the city

A recent college grad looking for an outlet

A young lady who had recently been through a tough time in her life and was using writing as a way to move forward.

A Californian new to the city.

And me, the guy who wants to get better at writing, who wants to be around other people who want to write, who wants to finish what I’ve started, who would love to write for a living, and who was genuinely excited to be there.

I can say without a doubt that I was both intrigued and mildly inspired by most of the individuals in the room. 

The instructor has taught at the college level and has published a few short stories.  She also works for a literary agency.  (I’ll try to make friends)  I read some of her work before going to the class and decided that her work is quite good.  At the very least I went into the class thinking that she had talent in what she was teaching.  That was important to me. 

The class itself was interesting. 

I wrote about the following:

What I would see on the subway (When the instructor told us to write about that I said to myself, “You got this”)

A story about my name (Andrew Be Goodnow)

A story about a picture that was handed out (A guy playing a guitar and a woman playing a violin staring into each others eyes)

The seven stages of life – similar to Bill Shakespeare’s As you Like It

We were asking to rewrite a scene that the instructor had purposely written in a bland fashion.

I liked it.  I kept an open mind when others were sharing (some in the class are excellent writers others are there to learn and get better.)

I’m glad I signed up for the class and I’m looking forward to next week.