The Hermit Poet

February 7, 2007

Good Press, Goofy Picture, No Class

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 11:13 am

Lately life has been one upset after another. Sometimes the waves take me higher, sometimes lower.

Case in point
I was recently interviewed by the Vancouver Courier for an article about the How to Write a Love Poem class that was scheduled to run tomorrow (Wed) night at Vancouver Community College. Had a wonderful time chatting with the reporter and the resulting article was a pretty decent one. I do find that too often people want to fixate on my background as a computer programmer — but I’m willing to give him a pass on this one since the reporter normally writes about people with interesting professions.

The photographer, well-intentioned but perhaps a bit misguided, insisted I pose with a rose in my mouth. Against my better judgment I obliged — and neglected to ask to see the photo before they ran it. Big mistake. Under the lighting I look pretty pale — and goofy. And in many respects the photo undermines the tone of the article making me appear like an overly sentimental hack. What’s worse, the photo appears in full colour on their website! Egad. It’s ok to laugh. Someone has to.

I slipped out of town on Friday after picking up my copies of the newspaper and fled to Penticton to see family. My father had a good laugh – so perhaps I’m over-reacting. But in general – yeah, goofy photos should be avoided.

End Result
The downside of all this was that the press arrived too late to make a substantial difference in enrollment. At the final count, there just weren’t enough students enrolled to run the class. VCC requires a minimum of 13 enrolled — a number I’m finding difficult to meet with the specific nature of the classes I’m running. 8 would be more realistic — but evidently not profitable for VCC. I’m grateful that they are willing to take a chance and let me try this courses, but ultimately it doesn’t amount to much if I can’t teach them.

What’s Next?
Upcoming courses still available: “Brilliant Imagery for Writers” and “How to Publish Poetry in the US” — both of which I’m very excited about, but remain concerned about enrollment numbers.

The article has generated some additional interest. I was contacted by a couple people, one of whom was from CBC Radio’s “On the Coast” program. She initially expressed interest in doing an interview, but after discussing things with her programmer, decided that since the program would air the same day as the class, it wouldn’t make sense to do it after all. But it’s interest and a future contact.

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