I went through several classes today [Wednesday], and I wasn’t even a student. Or a teacher. I was actually a job shadow. It is when someone either a student, or non-student adult, wanting to experience a certain career opportunity. A shadower will follow someone in their field of interest and observe their daily work. Though could a shadower not only learn but receive inspiration? You’ll find out.
I decided to follow my friend Jennifer who teaches, at the local university, freshman seminar. The first day of classes started today. Tomorrow will be another first day for another set of classes. At first it was such an odd feeling because it was something new to me. I didn’t know what I would tell her classes when it was time to introduce myself. In each class period, it felt like I forgot a few things I wanted to mention, and remembered to say other things. So even though the class was almost the same, it still felt different. It was almost the same feeling for Jennifer as well. Though she was far more prepared than I was… which makes sense, right? No matter what happened, she seemed to keep going and figure out what to do.
It would seem simple on the first day since it’s mostly introductions and explaining the syllabus. Though what many might not realize it’s difficult. It’s a clean slate. It’s a class filled with students who don’t know who the teacher is, or how she teaches. Plus I’m sure they were a bit confused by why I was standing by the computer, until I needed to do my introduction. At the same time, the teacher also doesn’t know the students either. It’s a chance for everyone to make a good impression, and the teacher to set a standard in the class. Since it was the first day, there were a lot of students walking around. Even younger students receiving tours around the campus. I was reminded again how much my own university would inspire me to write. Every where I walked, even in the classrooms, I could see potential characters.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have been focusing my blog about writing. This won’t ever change. There is always some thing that connects to writing. You just have to look for it. I found it walking throughout campus.
They say, life influences art. It’s true with writing, or at least for me. It’s like a paint pallete. You’re got a range of colors to choose from but it’s up to you, the artist, to figure out where they go and which ones with mix well together. With characters, I can observe others from their looks to their personality. Then mix and match, some how they become characters to my stories. If they seem anything like a certain person in my life, it might be close, but not completely. The same can also go with certain situations in life. Remember there has to be some truth in fiction to make it relatable.
While I was observing today, I thought about Sherlock. You know the fictional character Sherlock Holmes, though mostly the modern version from BBC with Benedict Cumberbatch. Though I might not have a mind palace of my own [maybe later, I will… :D], I had a note pad to write down some notes. It really helped me not only write down what I’ve learned from Jennifer, plus a professor who taught a PolS class I sat in for [that connected with Seminar]. It felt odd again that I was back in a lecture classroom, that was so familar, but I wasn’t actually taking the class. As a Ravenclaw (you know the Hogwarts House in Harry Potter), I thirst for knowledge. I was happy to just sit and listen to the professor. Though this time, I tried to focus my perspective in how he was teaching the class and take notes. He even talked about how we all have different perspectives because of the unique previous experiences we’ve had. He connected it to Political Science, while I connected it not only to my own experiences that day but also to writing. Though our stories we write might have some similarities, we will all write something unique. For we all have had our own experiences, and that defines who we are, as well as our family history.
I try to focus on my main task which was observing, and helping Jennifer, but as the day progressed. I felt I had more opportunity to write down the rest. By the time the day was over for Jennifer on campus, we headed back home, and I reflected on the day. I found that my day was filled with plenty learning opportunities. I can’t wait to see what an other day shadowing Jennifer will hold. I’m so thankful that she’s given me this chance. I’m going to do my best to learn and be open to observe the world around me.
Even spending time with my little cousins later in the day, I couldn’t stop observing the world around me. It’s like my senses were refreshed today. As the day progressed into night, I tried to lessen my observations, and just enjoy the night helping my ACTS sisters at church. Then I’ll wake up early to start a whole new day of making observations, learning, and continue to be inspired with more story ideas.