Day One: Expectations

English 101 Journal

January 23, 2013 | Day 1

The wildest First day of class. Ever! Professor Kara Roach…

What’s this class about? What’s its purpose? Developing better communications – It’s more of a writing course.

I was the first to arrive to in the class room. It wasn’t what you would expect for a class room, more like one of the conference rooms in one of the Fortune 500 business I used to work for before I quit it all to follow my dream of becoming a real Graphic Designer. Rectangular tables end to end to end, creating an empty square in the middle of the room with two empty chairs.

The emptiness reminded me of what was in my heart. On the outside I was the usual “fake-it-till-you-make-it” Eric Fisk; trying hard to not act my age (forty-three) and be honest while positive at the same time. As the room began to fill in I knew that I would once again be the oldest one in the room. The empty chairs reminded me of my bed at home. It was only a couple of hours ago that my wife said; “Just put your arms around me. I just need to be held.” She wanted to soak up as much of me as she could before she had to leave for her trip for work. She hated to fly more than I did, and she was trying to get as much sleep and life out of the last few hours before she left for Texas.

I won’t see her again until Monday Night…

My feelings were conflicted. I wanted to give her what she wanted, just hold her. I also needed to tell her how I felt about this new semester and how concerned I was.  I wanted her to stay the way the salt desert flats wants rain. As I listened to her breath while she fell asleep I tried to memorize every aspect of this moment, what her bare skin felt like next to mine, the way her hair smelled, the feel of the cotton sheets and heavy blankets that weighted us down while they kept us warm.

I couldn’t sleep knowing that I would be taking this class this morning. The last time I was in an English class? It was in another century, another millennia! The last time I was in an English class most of these kids weren’t’ even born yet. I can’t help but feel old. Maybe some of my critics were right, it was too late for me to come back to college and get this new degree.

And now I’m asked about my expectations. Who do I expect to be at the end of this class? The only thing I can hope for is to become a more focused, disciplined writer. Sit down, finish a thought! Finish an article in one sitting and make it make sense after I’m done.

Expectations of other students? I want them to be honest with themselves and myself about our writing. I want them to do what I’m doing but to go into their own direction; push the limits and boundaries. Find the line, cross it before redefining it. I want them to write about what they know and then write something nobody has ever written before on that topic. Get edgy.

As for the professor; I’ve always liked Kara Roche since she advised me for my second semester. We’ve exchanged hello’s in the halls ever since while I wondered what she would be like as a teacher.

As for my expectations for the future? I was talking to a professor about the rivalry between Graphic Designers and marketing departments with-in businesses like one of the Fortune 500 companies I used to work before I decided to chase this dream. The truth is, many marketing departments feel threatened by members of the graphic design department because that’s where many of their future bosses come from. It’s not out of the question that before I retire (at the age of eighty, at the rate this country is going) I could be the Director or Vice President of a Marketing/Advertising department of a company someday. There’s also my goal of starting my own firm (like “The Michael and Eliot Company” in “Thirtysomething.”

My expectations is that someday I’ll have something that’s mine. Something where I will do Graphic Design on my own terms, do the best work for the great people in this region and be the envy of the North East and since it’s New Hampshire have the chance to work on national political campaigns.

I’m scared, excited, nervous and I can’t wait to see where this adventure in English will take me. Expectations, yea… I have them!

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