Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

Back to School

Today, I found myself back in college. All I can say is, OMG.

Well, okay, being a literature major, I’m going to have to do a little better than that. 🙂

I’ve done it all before – searching for a parking spot under the palm trees of the green University of Miami campus; jaywalking across the Greenwich village streets, to get to my next NYU class.

Oh what haven’t I studied! From business law to broadcast journalism, I feel like I’ve tried it all. Now, I find myself an aspiring High School English teacher at Stockton College, this respectable little place not too far from home For this semester, it’s only one course. No big deal, I told myself this morning. I can do it! And yet I walked the hallways, clutching my measly little folder, absolutely terrified. I examined the students – my fellow students – so cool, so college-looking, and I wondered how I’d fit. Inside my classroom, I looked everyone over, but no one met my eye. I’m probably an old lady to them all, I told myself, heart sinking. Did I actually believe I’d make friends here? What am I, eleven? And then the professor walked in. As she handed out the syllabus copies, she cheerfully introduced us to “Introduction to Literary Research,” or, in her own words, “the terror that is to be your next 15 weeks.”

“You’ve heard, right?” she said to us. 

I looked around at everyone’s blank faces. Um . . . no, I haven’t heard . . .

Well. Back home, after letting the puppy out of her crate and spending some quality dog-training time, I am doing homework. I won’t be done in a while. This is just taking a break – writing this blog is like sneaking a little chocolate candy.

Still, I am excited. At the end of class, I don’t know how, I stroke up a conversation with a girl, and then another girl smiled at me. Later, the professor had us introduce ourselves via a special class webserve  and when I looked at my classmates’ introductions, I saw the things their faces concealed. There were no webserves or whatever back in my college days, and I have graduated in 2001! Still, reading their little “hellos,” I no longer felt irrelevant or prehistoric,  I felt like I was right where I should be. They are writers, many of them, they have stories they’ve written, they dream of writing a novel. They want to be teachers, critics, writers, professors, they don’t really know what they want to be yet, they want to pass this awful class, they want to make friends . . . As for me, I am feeling more harried and time-crunched than ever, but also more connected – and not just to people of all sorts – different color faces – different color dreams . . . I am also feeling more connected to ideas, to the future, to life.

Now, back to homework!  


January 20, 2010 - Posted by | Personal Mirror | , , ,


  1. Yay!!! I was at Stockton today too.. 😉 We could have met up for lunch. What are you taking this semester?? Isn’t it a beautiful campus?

    Comment by Keri Mikulski | January 20, 2010 | Reply

    • “Introduction to Literary Research.” And, let me know when you’re around there again . . . yes, the campus is nice, once you get the whole concept of alphabetized wings, and the way the buildings/corridors snake around the bacjk . . . As for lunch, we HAVE to . . . someday, right Keri? 🙂

      Comment by Katia Raina | January 20, 2010 | Reply

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