Sunday, September 21, 2008

What I'm doing here.

At the point of starting this blog, I have just communicated with the programs that offered me admittance, sharing my decision regarding acceptance. I am now working to manifest money and grad-school-supporting life changes.

I know that there are people working toward an MFA - whether applying, deciding on acceptances, beginning, continuing or finishing - who like me, seek the benefit of having a glimpse into another's travels and process. Personally, I have searched to the ends of the world (wide web) for kindred lunatics who are also going on this fantastic voyage. I know that others are similarly searching, and that no amount of data is too much, so I’m adding my story and my insights to the pot.

I want to start by saying that everything that I have encountered thus far on this road, and all that is happening at this exact moment, has been - and is - insane. It is synchronously so very exciting. I choose to tell you all about it so you can know either, that your situation isn't as overwhelming as you thought, or that you aren't alone in having entered a bizarre yet amazing universe.

I have to admit that the world in which I live has been unearthly for most of my life. But things are a little more loony now, I think. It’s ungodly what I must overcome as I take each step forward, and what I must do to render the changes necessary for this venture to be possible, and all while I keep up with my current life! Some who know me may argue that this is no more craziness than all the other madness I attract to my life. They may be right, I don’t know. At the least, this version of madness is unfamiliar to me. And exhausting. And exhilarating. I intend to share all the details.

Why, you ask, am I calling into question the rationale of this choice? You'll understand as you learn my story. Suffice it to, at this point say, it is not because I would rather be doing anything else in the world.


Bsquared86 said...


Thank you for your comment on my blog! It's so good to see that there are other people out there just like me that don't have everything mapped out and planned out to a 't' (i.e. MFA hopefuls and students, lol). I also haven't stumbled across many minorities (i.e. black folks, lol) pursuing an MFA in creative writing and it's very refreshing to know that I'm not the only black woman out here trying to get a graduate degree in something creative (everybody that I talk to looks at me like I'm crazy-- "who needs a degree to write? girl, you need to get a job!" lol)

I have a laundry list of programs that I want to apply to, mostly low res or in SoCal-- basically, if you name the school, I've got it on my list. Everytime I rule a program out, it manages to find it's way back on to my list. I need to finalize it soon, though.

I start my UCLA ext. course on Wednesday. It's an online course but I'm still nervous! This will only be my 3rd creative writing course (if you can count the CW course I'm taking at the CC)and my first that focuses on poetry. I'm sure there will be plenty of posts about this course and I just hope that they're all positive, lol.

Congratulations on getting into Bennington! That progam is definitely on my list-- as is every other low res program! Yikes!I am having the hardest time deciding which program seems more appealing and I end up adding a new one to my list everytime I hear about it! I am so glad that we've found each other, you may be one of my only real insights into what it is like being in a low res program from the very beginning.

I look forward to following your blog. Excuse my long winded comment, I couldn't hold back my excitement!


Blu said...


I only applied to two programs. I did a lot of research to eliminate the rest. I mention the kinds of things I was thinking about in a comment I posted on September 20th here: (Sorry, I think it's not a hotlink.)

You may find this helpful as you sort through the process of choosing schools.

I'd like to help you as much as I can. If nothing else, I hope my blog helps. I had to figure this shit out by myself! My friends who are teaching in programs, or who simply got their MFA, are so flipping busy trying to balance being artists and teachers, or trying to balance two artistic passions, they couldn't find time to hold my hand. Lol!

Let me not lead you to think that they weren't or aren't supportive. With the exception of one lunatic (story still to come) they are superbly supportive, but everyone is still so busy, and so am I. How much can anyone tax another? I would only ask but so much.

When it came to sorting through to making my decision, getting my recommendation letters and the like, they did all they could.

I'm slightly digressing. My point is that I understand what it's like to try to figure this out, and how intimidating it can be. When you decide you want to enter an MFA program, you are also deciding you want to be more than a writer, but a writer of a certain stature, and it means you have developed an appreciation for and an understanding of the difference between the levels of writing. Then of course you ask the questions, "How do I know that what I'm writing is anywhere near as good as I want it to be? Am I Terri swearing I'm Toni?" Lol!

It would be great if you made it to Bennington. Maybe we could play with make-up together. You can probably show me a thing or three, and since when I get on stage and sing I like to look otherworldly, I will definitely appreciate any make-up tips!

Now one more thing - and you must hear this in a stern mother's voice, imagining a stern mother's look:

Stop downplaying anything you've done. Value the course you've taken at the Community College. Value every step you've taken. If you say it's small, what else am I going to think? You say: "I took this course at the CC and it was amazing!" Say nothing less than that.