College brought my writing to a new level. I think part of the reason was because I was a small fish in a big pond, and I wanted to prove that I could swim with the sharks. I think, too, I wanted my professors to like and be impressed with me. I guess I’m something of a teacher’s pet although, as I teacher, I can’t stand teacher’s pets.
When I first went to college, my declared major was psychology. I planned to minor in criminal justice, so I could later go to Quantico and get into the FBI.
I went to the wrong college for that dream.
Luckily, I went to the right college for me. My freshman composition class changed my life. The professor, a charming man who reminded me of a character right out of Dickens, recommended that I work for the Student Writing Center. At that point, I already had a work-study job so I declined. I did, however, keep his class and his acknowledgements of my writing in mind when I switched to a new major: English education.
I wrote a lot of papers in the next four years. Most of them mine. I got a lot of A’s. One A- that still grates on my nerves.
Still, I never thought of writing beyond its place in academia. I enjoyed writing, was good at writing, but I didn’t view writing as a viable career. Sure, it sounded great, but what were the chances of earning a good living off writing?
So, I chose a path that would lead me into teaching.
But I had just a few creative writing opportunities, perhaps just enough to keep me interested…