The goals we set

Ugh. Where to begin? I guess I’ll start with the good news. My roomie left after the first night. I don’t know why. Don’t care. I’m just glad he did. I’ve had the room to myself since he left. He’s still attending the workshop. I guess he’s making the two-hour drive here and home every day. Power to him. I hear from one of his classmates that he’s very smart and soft-spoken in class. I guess he saves the volume for when he’s sleeping mostly naked in rooms with other men he’s only just met.

The workshop has been incredibly draining. From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. we sit in a room and listen to a nice, well-meaning man talk like AP test graders are the gods of some incredibly important pantheon. Yesterday we spent the entire day learning to read and grade AP English essays in four minutes or less. My brain shut off somewhere around 2:30 and I was zombified by the time he dismissed us. The grading scale is slowly sinking in, but it’s still very difficult to tell a 5 essay from a 6 … and sometimes a 7. A 1 and a 9 are easy to spot. I’m sure that studying the rubric and samples will help me get it. Then we’ll just see if I have a chance to use it.

We’re done tomorrow. Well, today now. Then I get to go home. It’s been a long week. My little Mandy has missed me, I guess. She asks to talk to me every day when I call, and when Kim tucks her into bed at night she says she wishes Daddy was home. She’s my little angel.

So. Goals. I’d wanted to write all of that 25,000 word novella during the evenings here. Didn’t happen. I’ve been riding to the University of Tulsa and back with three lady teachers (two from Western Heights’ English dept.). Generally, we’ll get back to the hotel at about 5, then go eat around 5:30. Come back, I call home, then go to the lobby for free Internet. I stare numbly at the screen and do my best to answer the e-mail I need to answer, have a looooong Yahoo Messenger conversation with Sara about issues she already knows but refuses to admit I’m right about, then stumble back to the elevator, down the hall and into my room and into the bed. Hotel alarm, cell phone alarm, shower and repeat.

How’d I do on the novella? Including the 1,100 words tonight, it looks like this:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
2,222 / 25,000

Yeah, I’m not even close. But, I have a good start, and some momentum. I can finish it before school starts.

Oh, and tonight I learned that if I turn on my computer in the hotel lobby and connect to the free Internet there, then come upstairs without turning off the computer, I maintain my connection to the free server. Yeah. It only took me five days to figure that out. So, if you’re ever staying at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Tulsa, word up. (Personally, I’m very unimpressed with this hotel. There’s no latch or lock on my bathroom door and I can’t find a damn vending machine with food in it on any floor.)

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