Wednesday, February 28, 2007

College flashback

Last night at my photography class, I had a college flashback because there was a CRITIQUE of my shot. I so don't really do public crititcism, especially since I was already aware that this shot was not the best shot ever taken (and turned in for homework). So out of 20+ shots, he chose 4. He had another flag shot to compare mine to, and I did get some points for composition. Now, of course, I want to show him the shots I did on Sunday to get a pat on the head. Even at 34, I need teachers to love me.

And he told us that there would be a competition. Now, when the idea of competition comes up, I have to decide early on whether I'm playing or I'm not. I usually choose "Not" because winning becomes waaayyy too important to me...but this competition has a nice prize, a $50 certificate to Bedford's. And as photography is a more expensive hobby than quilting, I NEED that money. So...thinking of the perfect shot, thinking of the perfect shot. Apparently, I've decided to play.

But why was it a flashback? (I almost forgot where this story was going, but I remembered at the last minute. Thank goodness it's all in writing so I can find the trail again.) I was an English major the first time through college, mainly because I read everything I can get my hands on and I like to write (or critically tear apart classical literature as needed). I was not so much into the whole grammar or punctuation thing. I had a teacher tell me I had already used my lifetime supply of commas...but I showed her. I am now in charge of other commas in this world. I digress again. I took a creative writing course. It was an elective. It should have been fun. It wasn't.

I couldn't handle the extreme pressure of the public critique. No one knew whose piece they were evaluating/destroying until after all the damage was done. Then you were expected to own that piece and defend as necessary. At 34, I could probably do that (although I would still hate every minute of it). At 20, it was totally beyond me. The only criteria for the course was to turn in one piece every month and then attend the classes. I only turned in 2 of the 4 pieces required. I made a B. It was a sad day. But I was happy to be finished.

And the crazy thing was...I got a good response (from a cute boy who was very cool...he had been at Ouachita for at least 7 years, wore lots of tie-dye and berets, argued in the philosophy class we took at the Baptist college...and he was in theater! I think the crush started after I saw him in Oklahoma. I wonder if he ever graduated? He was also a "big brother" to my "women's social club" so he probably really wasn't interested after hearing ME sing "Yes, sir, that's my baby, no, sir, I don't mean maybe"...from the Johnson's shampoo commercials. I was really lucky during pledging.) Both of those poems were published in the college literary magazine (I'm a poet and you didn't know it). Of course, I was the editor of that publication. I did my best to keep them out (people might actually read them, said in a mortified whisper), but they made it in anyway.

I just couldn't stand the possibility that someone would realize that my stuff wasn't good enough...and just OK isn't good enough. But, at 34, with the aid of my friend Jean who lives on the high-road and is already highly evolved, I'm working on that. My first attempt...turning in a shot I KNEW wasn't the best I could do...and then I was critiqued. Gasp, shudder! Horror (I also have a flair for the dramatic). And now add a COMPETITION to that...I may have to take off work for the next 3 weeks and head for an African safari to get the best shot ever! If you don' t hear from me for a while, you know what happened.

No comments: