The slapdash preparation of my application and portfolio piece for admissions into the Print Futures program culminated in a 2-hour group interview today.
I skipped out of work early this afternoon. The clear skies and cool spring air made me think I was bumping off early to go rollerblade around the seawall or drink beer on a patio somewhere. What actually happened was a generally pleasant, 45-minute drive to New Westminster. I don't know what to make of this place. It is wedged in there between Burnaby, Surrey and the Tri-Cities districts. It's like this nether region of meh suckiness. Harsh, you say? Likely, but you tell me what's cool about New West!
I've lived in the Lower Mainland all my life and it's a bit surprising that I only have two distinct memories of New Westminster. One memory is of my visit to the Paramount strip club as a giddy 19-year old and the other is of getting lost during Friday traffic earlier this year, trying to find the Highway 1 exit so I could progress towards my weekend ski trip in Kamloops. And today, of course, when I went back to the college to attend my interiew into this writing program I applied for. So 3 memories total. Ok scratch that, 4 memories now. As a child my parents inexplicably took me to some shit-ass discount store to check out clothing. Damn, what fine memories these are. They shall be cherished forever.
Lucky me, Douglas College is right smack in the middle of what must pass for downtown New West. Today was a breezy and sunny day, so under that lighting, the old streets don't look too depressing and were clear of drug addicts. Perhaps they were shying away from the glorious sun and catnapping until their next fix.
The Douglas College "campus" is like any other community college: feels like a high school. Except cleaner and they're missing the regimented rows of lockers in the hallways.
I arrived in that break period between classes, so students were still filing through the halls and milling around outside the lecture rooms. It was a bit disconcerting to lose my way a little, trying to find my room number and seeming to miss it at every turn. Drat, how can 3300 not be here...and if it is here, it's not labelled! You know what, I felt like I was in Grade 8 again or frosh at UBC. FROSH!
Of course I'm older and wiser now, so I was still cool as can be and gingerly retraced my steps to my final destination. No one looked at me funny, which was great, since everyone seemed 6 - 8 years younger than I.
Wait, the irony. It's delicious: I'm just trying to say something about my group interview, for a PROFESSIONAL WRITING program, and here I am prattling away about how I got lost in the hallways and gee willickers, these college students are actually younger than I am. Wow.
Fuck. Let's fast forward through this crap, shall we?
Turns out the group
interview was just myself and another fellow I met at the information session held last month. And the interview part was indeed an interview, consisting of me, this other guy and the two program heads. I was under this impression that I'd be meeting a lot of the instructors and getting a chance to talk shop with them about the curriculum and what I should look forward to as a full-time student this fall. Oh the silly ideas I implant inside my own noggin! No, no, THEY were interviewing ME and the other guy, who I'll call Mike because that is his actual name and I'm already tired of defacing him as "the other guy".
Wow, so this interivew was a bit trickier than I expected, mostly because I was completely unprepared and already nervous with anticipation of the grammar and summarization test that they would be issuing to us at the end. For the actual questions, I felt I answered them pretty well. It was sort of cool to do the interview in tandem with Mike, taking turns responding to the same question or variations of. The two matuer ladies interivewing us were also doing a nice tag team with their questioning and thankfully avoided silly job interview-style bullshit like, "If you could be an animal, what would you be?" Now that I think of it again, I answered my questions a lot better than Mike did, although he seemed much calmer and level-headed. I felt like i was the most nervous guy in the room most of the time. True to form, I still managed to inject some humour into my rambling answers, which cracked some smiles but heck if that actually made a difference in the evaluation.
The grammar test was 1 hour long, a bit of a bitch but on the whole pretty manageable. I was so relieved that they merely tested us on identifying mistakes as opposed to forcing us to identify proper terminology. Well, they did sneak in a couple of those. I am kicking myself for not knowing what an independent clause
is. I really wracked my brain over that one but it's one of those things where you either know it or you're shit out of luck. I even threw down a guess and was this
close to scoring a fluke out. The definition of course, is so simple it's stupefying.
So where does that leave us? It's only going to take them a week to select all the applicants that made it into the program. Getting through that door will give me the power to select from a range of possibiltiies. Going back to school is going to mean dropping my job and assuming the role of the Poor Student. Two years and $7000 later, I'll be a lean, mean professional writing machine. Or rather, I should be. And even if I'm not, at least I hope to be employable.
I'd hate to move back in with my folks. And I'd hate to ditch my car. I could try for a student loan, but spending two years without a full-time job is gonna be a massive shock to the system. I'm going to need to sell drugs, or busk outside the school in between classes.
Yeah, right now at this very moment, I really don't know what will happen. I'll work something out when the time's right. I usually do.