Open up the Cornell University course catalog for Spring 2007 and here’s a class you’ll find…

FILM 383 Screenwriting
Spring. 4 credits. TR 2:30-4:25 CT 124 Limited to 12 students. Prerequisite: Completed application and permission of instructor. Students must go to 225 Schwartz to pick up application. N. Sagan

Clogo186Yes, starting next month, I’m Mr. Chips. The Cornell film department was looking for a new screenwriting instructor and a friend of a friend thought I’d be perfect for it. And I decided what the heck, I’ll apply for the spot. One interview later, I’m on the faculty.

I’ve guest lectured at colleges before, but this will be the first time I’ve taught my own class. Brand new experience! It could be a lot of fun, and I like the idea of giving back; teaching strikes me as a good way to honor the instructors who nurtured and inspired my craft.

On the other hand, will this interfere with my writing? That was my concern about taking the job, and I have to admit I’m juggling a lot these days. But a few hours a week isn’t going to break me, and I suspect the time spent talking about the process might even help me past writer’s block when I encounter it. Hope so, at least, and I’m looking forward to finding out.

Weirdly, the child part of my brain is having an identity crisis because it’s convinced the universe only has one Professor Sagan who teaches at Cornell: my father. And now these adults are giving me an office, access to the faculty lounge, and even a email address. What’s up with that?

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