I walked out of a writing class yesterday. It cost $48. I did not ask for a refund. A few years ago I took some one day courses at Geogian College on teaching and training adults and learned a few things and also set my base standard for inexpensive education courses and the nuts and bolts that at a minimum I expect in a class.
Troubling factors and reasonable factors yesterday:
- Tables were arranged in a scatter pattern,
- Tables were narrow in depth, but chairs were set on both sides so that there was not enough room to place your 8.5 by 11 paper straight in front of you, you had to work on an angle
- The possibility of inadvertently playing footsies under such a narrow table was high
- the instructor stood at the front and talked, more about his tone and approach to teacher talk in a moment
- teacher wrote on a small white board on a stand, about two to two and a half feet wide by about three feet long, using a mostly dead dry erase marker, with atrocious unreadable handwriting
- by chance I had sat in what was going to be the front row and I still could not reach the scrawl on the board. God save the brave souls in the long distance range of the back part of the room.
- Perhaps there was no screen and no presentation projector built in, I didn’t spot that gear, but that is and has been for some time a basic – the room was a community room in a large supermarket, set up primarily for teaching cooking classes.
- I get along with most people but now and then I meet someone and something on a caveman molecular, chemical level of the visceral kind takes over – this guy’s upbeat, bouncy voice might make a good choice for a cheerleading squad but in seconds it struck me as smart ass, smarmy, sunny with a cynical twist
- He began by saying he taught a workshop every Saturday and he confirmed he was in Barrie not Niagara Falls or Mississauga or Brampton and then asking us if we were in fact there for a class in character writing, when that was affirmed he congratulated himself on having brought the right set of notes…. this struck me as not particularly funny and not particularly professional by someone who trumpets how many years he has been teaching writing classes…. we forked over money and we expect him to be prepared and professional.
- My response to his endlessly bouncy voice is my fault, I am sure others were okay with it. I lasted about 75 minutes having heard the not so insightful list of information items about characters one can find in any book on writing fiction. I missed my copies of those books so I went home to find them since I had already paid for those and they did not have that smarmy voice.
Perhaps I am just fully engaged in being a crusty curmudgeon/old fart. Comments that refute this possibility will be welcomed. Confirmation comments don’t need to be posted, thanks