I Wish I Could Go Back To College (Blogisode Twenty)

Happy Monday!

The winds, they are a-changing

The winds, they are a-changing

Blogisode twenty?  Uh oh.  Time to get moving on this story.  I’m like Mary Poppins, I can tell when it’s time to move on when I feel the winds change.  Let’s start wrapping  this one up.  What do you say?  As I type that I am immediately thinking….move on to what?  What will my next story be?  No idea.  I’ll come up with something.  Maybe…maybe…a little story about something we used to call Broadway West….hmmm.  Could be complicated.  Could be fun.

I am going to try to keep the beginnings of these blogisodes, the personal “this is what is happening today” part a little shorter.  That way I can give you more story per blogisode.  We all know I am going to be terrible at this, right?  I said I was going to try.  The idea is that I’ll do more of the every day stuff on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Daily Dose.

Okay.  Moving on, straight to the story, which is brought to you by my bed, where I am lying with a sick kid, Beatrix.  She’s feverish and sinus-y and Rob has it, too, and Charlotte and I are putting up a good fight.  I’m tired and my glands are the size of tennis balls, but I am fighting.  Poor little Beaz and Rob.  His ear is totally clogged.

SHARON.  FOCUS.  Get to the story!

Sorry.

Okay (really).  In our previous blogisode, we left off with Rob holding the much anticipated check from the Fellow’s

Payment in quarters would have motivated me in high school.

Payment in quarters would have motivated me in high school.

Society.  Remember we had a hot debate going on about the amount and finally, finally, our question would be answered.  The guesses ranged from $25 to $500 and really, the last time I can remember this kind of anticipation I was pushing out a baby and waiting to hear if it was a boy or a girl. Mostly, (as I told everyone) if I’d had any idea that good grades could result in cash, I would have been a much better student as a kid.  I was always looking for extra money for the ice cream bar machine in the school cafeteria.  If they’d paid in quarters, I would’ve had a 4.0 GPA.

But this was a check.

And it was for:

Ready?

$75.

What’s your reaction?  Mine was–well I’m glad Rob (the cynic) was wrong and it was more than $25.  I’m sorry my sister (the optimist) was wrong and it wasn’t for $500.  Mostly, I was really, really hoping it would cover the very thing I’d decided to blow it on, which was partial highlights at the Timothy John Salon–and I’d already had them done and the charge was already on our Amex and they were a smidgen more than $75.  Rats.  But, I know, yay that I won anything.  But when you’ve waited a month for it and it’s not a million dollars as you’re built up in your head, it’s a little like, meh.  $75.

Is that terrible?  Perspective.  I got $75 for writing a paper that I had to write anyway.

And, by the way, while we are talking about awards, I will tell you that I went on to win two more writing awards for papers, as the year progressed (but they only counted once because I was nominated for the same award for two different papers and two different professors).  That time I won a $25 Barnes and Noble gift certificate.  So, all in all, if you’re keeping score at home, that’s (essentially) one hundred smackers just for doing my home work.  And, (again) if you are keeping score at home, I had total guilt about winning prizes over people half my age.  In fact, I didn’t even go to the second awards ceremony (I was also cramming for a Playwriting final).

Not only have I done most of these shows, I know most of the people in these pictures

Not only have I done the majority of these shows, I know most of the people in these pictures because I am Sharon "I have no shame, I do a lot of musicals" Wheatley.

Speaking of Playwriting, let’s talk about that class for a moment.  I haven’t talked about it in a while, but remember how I was in a class full of kids who didn’t know who I was and openly talked about hating musical theater?  And if you’ve seen my resume it’s like big splashy musical after big splashy musical.  I’m the poster child for big splashy musicals.  I get a little tired of people making fun of musical theater, but I tolerate it because those big splashy musicals bought me cars, paid my rent, allowed me to have kids–but really–basically–if you are going to make fun of a musical, don’t do it to me.  So I tried to stay incognito in class, keep my head down and do my work.

At first it was easy, they were (as a group) totally disinterested in the old lady in the corner.  But, as we started to workshop our short plays in class, they started to notice.  I didn’t write about what I looked like I’d write about.  It wasn’t about Mom picking up kids from soccer practice when–suddenly!–the minivan breaks down and she misses her nail appointment.  My playwriting (in fact any fiction that I write) always seems to err towards something remarkably disturbing.

Like, same sex incest.

Or cyber sex.

Or infantilism.

Pause in story.  Sick child just rolled over and demanded that I type out words at her demand.  Here they are:

Beatrix , Charlotte,  Daddy,  Grandma,  Pap Pap,  Grandma’s house, picture, light.

And now she’s rolled over feverish self over again and is back into watching her movie. Unpause.

I feel a little caught, like, Mommy is writing bad words so I will get her back on track.

So let’s just say that after a while I kind of caught their attention in class, and eventually I think they started to look forward to whatever warped thing I was going to read that day.  At some point someone made the connection that I was Rob’s wife.  Then it got out that I’d done a lot of Broadway, but by that point the fact that I’d done all musicals was forgiven and forgotten because I had write about grown adults who prefer to suck on a pacifier and sleep in a crib.

I consider that a “win” for the older generation.

I ended up liking playwriting so much that I registered for another semester of it even though I didn’t technically need it to graduate.  Rob was probably not the happiest person that I was adding things to my work load (and even more unavailable for things like laundry and child care), but because he is Jesus and he says, “Oh good, honey!”

I married well.  If there is one thing you should take from all these blog posts, it should be that I married a very nice guy who allows me to do things like………………..blog………………..for hours as he does the dishes (I can literally hear the water running as I type.)

To sum up–I finished the first semester with (drum roll please) straight A’s and one B+ (that frankly I am still ticked about and I think I was robbed, but I have let it go.  I totally haven’t let it go.).  As Christmas rolled around, I fired off my report card to CCM and thought HA!  Take THAT for sticktuitiveness.  I was proud.  And wow, was I tired.  But smarter.  Lots smarter.

This is my friend Donna Lynne Champlin playing Jane Austen, which has little to do with my class, but don't you think Donna Lynne and I look alike?  Freaky, right?

This is my dear friend Donna Lynne Champlin playing Jane Austen, which has little to do with my class, but don't you think Donna Lynne and I look alike? Freaky, right? P.S. She does plays AND musicals.

Once I had one semester under my belt, it was time for me to re-evaluate how I was doing with the 50,000 credits I needed to graduate.  It seemed I wasn’t going to make it, but to up my chances, I signed up for an online course for the month of January.  Three credit hours in one month!  I chose something I knew I’d love, a literature class about the Romantics.  I’ll spend January with Jane Austen and Wordsworth and Blake!  E-A-S-Y!

Cut to me on January 12th, chained to my computer for 2 weeks straight.  Omg.  So. hard.

(To read the next post in this series, go here)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Sharon Wheatley

Mother of Charlotte and Beatrix. Sometimes an actress. Sometimes a writer. I'm glad you're here.
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