That was quick!

I just wrote about mailing my enrollment form to the Institute for Children’s Literature (ICL) and lo and behold on Friday night I received a call from someone identifying herself as a rep from ICL confirming receipt of my form and check. Admittedly I am one of those who may or may not answer the phone depending on the caller id and when I saw the private name and number with a area code I did not recognize, I was tempted to keep on walking. But I answered and I’m kind of glad I did. After providing receipt confirmation, Ms. ICL went on to explain that I would be receiving a confirmation email and course materials within a week or two but the primary reason for her call was to make sure I knew I was enrolling in the magazine course and not the more expensive book course. I assured her I was aware at which time she went into a “sales pitch” pointing out that for only X dollars more I could enroll in the book course. So at this point my stomach slightly knotted as it usually does when I’m leery of something.  My response: “Okay so what exactly is the difference between the two courses?” As I asked this I mentally ticked off my goals:  work one on one with a published author/writing mentor (check) brush up basic writing skills (check) learn new skills and techniques (check) possibly complete the course with a story/article decent enough for publication (check). What I was able to surmise from her jumbled response, is that both courses are identical in their foundations, only the tracks toward the finished product differed. I assured her again that I was satisfied with my enrollment choice at which she reminded me that if I ever decided to take the book course I would be repeating much of the same material. Can’t say she wasn’t persistent but when I once again expressed my choice to stick with the magazine course she relented by saying that some people do prefer to write for magazines. I was a bit perturbed when I hung up the phone, questioning the legitimacy of it all. I remembered reading that their marketing efforts were nothing less than aggressive but once you were able to get past that, it was a rewarding experience. So I shook off my doubts and went to bed. Fast forward to Tuesday, I received a confirmation/welcome email containing my student number and a link to the student center website. My course materials are being shipped April 1st but in the meantime I was able to download the first half of my first assignment. I have to write an informal letter to my instructor introducing myself, my goals, my motivations and anything else I think she might need to know to best understand and help me.  I feel so much better now that I have everything in front of me, my stomach is knot-free and I’m really excited to begin. Here we go!……

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