By Cassandra Talbot
Ah, the weekend! And, oh, let me tell you, what a week.
I spent most of my time sitting in on classes, observing the students. I’d originally thought that I’d inherit this group and not so much have to create it. I was wrong. Not only was I wrong, but I had to quickly devise a screening process through which potential members would have to pass. Stuart Lem gave me a list of people that his “lemmings” (pardon my terrible pun) had passed along to him. This list contains the names of the struggling writers for whom I am to watch. This week I observed how they respond to challenges, how they form ideas, how they react to their instructors’ criticism. I whittled my list to about half, and next week I’m going to gather select class assignments for review. Then, after further whittling, I’m going to make the opportunity of the Story Project available to those names that remain on the list. And then the application process can begin.I’ve come to understand that Katrina, a former magazine writer, and Dr. X are the only two whom Stuart demanded have access to the group, whether they decide to join or not. I’m sure he has his reasons, though he didn’t make them clear to me. So, they don’t have to go through my screening process … lucky for them. However, I don’t even have them officially committed to the group. So, back to square one. Kind of.
I’ve made progress, yes. I suppose that’s the thing about new beginnings or, really, any point in a process. To be further along, to make progress, one has to turn around and realize that the start was further away than one thought. And, even though what I thought was a sprint is actually a cross-country run, I have, in fact, taken a few steps. One might expect, if one thought the run was a sprint, that the finish line would come sooner, but, in truth, it wouldn’t. It would stay just where it always was. So, in reality, I am closer to the end. The finish line moved only in my head, which means that the steps I took at first are no less valuable than when the end seemed closer.
I’m not sure I get it either. But to know that my life steps are not wasted, or even taken in the wrong direction, is an exciting prospect. It could well serve as my fuel for next week. Sigh. Another week.
But first, the weekend!