Week 2 Update

Hello all! I haven’t been updating the blog nearly as much as I should. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy, so I’ll play that excuse card. Mostly I’ve been keeping busy so I don’t miss home too much. It’s actually working so far! I’m so proud.

So, the last you heard, I had gotten through day 1 of class. Day 2 (Thursday the 30th of May) was more of the same: the day started off with a writing prompt (I still didn’t read mine. Perhaps I will tomorrow…). But on this day, we had our first real workshop and I had elected to go in the first group. Looking back, I’m glad I did, but I was so nervous. Now I know what to expect for my second workshop (June 18).

We had to choose 3-4 pages of our short story to read out loud, then the group all contributed what they appreciated about the story (having read the entire work before class, of course), what confused them, and what needs work. All in all, with 2 other people being workshopped, it was probably only half an hour, and an insightful, productive half hour at that, but so nervewracking. Thankfully, it seems most of my class (if not all) really liked my story. It does need a little work though, and I knew that going in.

After workshopping, Elmaz had us divide into small groups for the remainder of the semester. I’m in a group with Terra, Juli, and Christian, and I’m pretty happy. They seem like nice people 🙂

This Saturday I decided to take a day to walk into downtown Berkeley and just enjoy myself. I’m so glad I did. It’s a beautiful city and it was so relaxing. I got some buffalo chicken strips and fries at BurgerMeister on the corner of Shattuck Ave and Kittredge St. (delicious! Maybe the best I’ve ever had) then walked a couple of doors down Kittredge to the California Landmark Theatre to catch a showing of The Great Gatsby.  I absolutely loved the theatre itself; it was small like Hollywood Cinemas back home, but with a more old-Hollywood vibe. There were foreign film posters everywhere, and there were only three theatres: one downstairs and two up a curved staircase with a banister. The individual rooms had carved decorations on the walls and a stage with a heavy curtain covering the screen, which was raised before the film started. It reminded me more of a stage “theatre” than a movie theatre. Lovely!

And the film was wonderful, too. I haven’t seen any of the other versions, but this one was fairly spot-on. Fitzgerald would have been proud, as his family has said already.

Then I went to buy groceries at Walgreens, which was quite the event, I can assure you. Firstly, it was actually enormously fun to pick out my own groceries and try to fit them in my tiny basket (haha)! Second, I felt a great sense of accomplishment when I asked for my $5 back in quarters (for laundry) and the cashier actually had enough. Third, the walk back to the apartment. Okay, that one wasn’t such fun. My wrist tendons felt really weird, like they couldn’t stand the stress. I’m not exaggerating. I was very relieved when I made it back.

Besides that, I haven’t been up to much. Went to church yesterday across the street. I’ve been meaning to write all weekend but nothing was coming to me. Instead I took to playing Star Wars: The Old Republic and watching Game of Thrones on my laptop. Not the best thing for productivity, but it staves off boredom (also: have you seen Thrones? Extremely engaging television. Of course, with the source material it has, it isn’t surprising. Even the MA-rated sexuality and violence aren’t extremely disturbing, to me anyway. The story is too fascinating!). At the rate I’m going, I’ll have caught up on GOT by the time I get back to the Gulf Coast.

Speaking of going home, my flight is scheduled! I’ll be in the air July 3 at 3:05 and landing around 10:40. It’s a little bit later than I was originally looking at but it’s actually alright. I don’t have to worry about a plane change and I have plenty of time to get to Oakland Airport. As I said in the opening paragraph, I haven’t allowed myself the time to really miss home, but I’ll be glad when I’m back. If anything, this trip has really taught me that I can’t live in any other state. Louisiana is my home 🙂

Well, that’s all for now. I still have to make my comments on the three stories for tomorrow’s workshop and yes, possibly watch more Game of Thrones.



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