A few years after I graduated from college (I'll spare you the ancient date) I decided to return to my Alma mater - California State University Long Beach - and take an evening creative writing course.
As I walked into the room the chairs formed a circle facing the center. I was just on time and being the first night most of the seats were already taken. It was eerily quiet as everyone was as new to each other as they were to the class. I chose an empty seat and placed my Ghurka Expediter attache on the floor next to me waiting for the professor to arrive and start the class. I assume it was my demeanor, or maybe the shaggy brown hair over my oxford button-down blue shirt collar, or the maturity of my "schoolbag", or simply the fact that I actually was 10-12 years older than everyone else in the class that prompted one of the students to ask, "Are you the teacher". All eyes were on me. "Uh...no.", I was stunned and just a bit embarrassed.
I learned a couple of important things from that class:
I did not look 20 anymore
How much I didn't know
Adjectives are not necessarily your friends
Every student had a unique style to express their unique genre
The real professor also preferred shaggy brown hair flowing over oxford button-down shirts - and he was a couple years older than me - Phew!
I also discovered that I might just have a gift for writing - but it was going to take a lot of time and a lot of work. My personal journey to writing the Great American Novel had begun.