This is mostly the result of a mix of school picking up and work has been busy -- three big projects which all need to be completed by about the same deadline -- so I have less time to stop and breathe. But, like now, I can pause and write a bit.
This semester I have two classes, a 100-level Film Production class, and a 400-level English class. Both have their complexities, but not really what I would have expected.
The Film Production class is in-person, and I explicitly asked to take it even though my advisor wanted to get me an exception for the class due to past experience. But, filmmaking is a collaborative process, so I can't do all my work in a vacuum, I should get to know my fellow students. Those students are all very young, very new to college, and it's a little intimidating to be in class, old me with all these kids. I'm not that social of a person to begin with, so it's more of a crutch to blame the differences between me and my classmates; it's just me being me, and these are all strangers. I've sort of fell in with a group of animation students who are required to take this class, mostly because I was standing near them when the teacher said to form groups.
The midterm project is to film a 3-minute video "portrait", and I've arranged to do it on a friend with a unique career, and my initial plans were to just do it myself...but then I remembered, hey, this is supposed to be collaborative, I should ask someone to help. Extra hands are always good. Of course, now the hurdle is....actually asking someone for help, which is an even harder thing than just talking to strangers.
This 'asking for help' is something I've mentioned before, in regards to teachers, and I had to do this for my English class. The first assignment was very vague as to how to do it; the subject matter was specific but the format unclear, so I did a Zoom with the instructor, who introduced himself as a creative writing teacher, which was pretty much all I needed to know, and his further clarification only expanded on this. I wasn't writing a college-level paper, I was writing an essay about what I thought. In the end I got dinged for the amount of reference I included (I am not an expert on the subject, so why do my thoughts count?), which only goes to tell me that in the next three papers I can be looser in my writing style.
At the end of the Zoom the instructor, in impressed tones, called out my writing style from my emails and asked me about it. Yes, I explained, I had been a paid writer for many years, not so much lately, but yes, I write. So, I'm sort of excited to play with writing styles with the next paper and see where I get: the first one was a very stiff intro-content-conclusion that I expect to write in college, but the things the teacher marked in my papers as good were the spots I stretched the boundaries of the style. I expect more As.