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About besixdouze

  • Rank
    Double Shot

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  • Gender
  • Application Season
    2014 Fall
  • Program
    M.F.A. in Creative Writing
  1. Figuring out what you're qualified for

    Hi, everyone: Just wondering if there are any good resources online or elsewhere for someone to figure out what they're even qualified to do. I ask because I've reached burnout with adjuncting. I've got two terminal degrees with honors from good universities (not that that matters outside of academia) and 8 years experience in higher ed with a couple of years in government (doing human rights advocacy) and church. Because I haven't published a book yet and I don't have a PhD, I haven't had much luck finding a secure teaching job with a sustainable wage, and because I'm not ordained (yet--though I'd like to change that), I haven't had much luck finding a church positions. My plan for now is to move closer to home (I came far from family for my MFA) and work on seeing if I'm priest material/hopefully doing some chaplain-ing, but until then I need to figure out what sorts of jobs I'm eligible for that would pay the bills. My educational and professional backgrounds are in English/writing, religion/ministry and LGBTQ+ interests. Lots of teaching, lots of proofreading/editing/publishing, and ministry/activism. I used LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed and various others but have not found them to be super helpful, but whether that's the platform or because my skills are not in high demand is another question. I went to the career center and spoke with a career advisor at both my master's programs' respected universities but did not find a great deal of specifics, though I received good "you're worth something and you can do it" pep talks. All ideas welcome and appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. Clinical pastoral education advice

    I was considering chaplaincy for a couple of reasons. I am really drawn to the up close and personal aspect of ministry. I originally went to div school as an MTS student with the intention of pursuing a PhD after, but the ministry classes (i.e. pastoral care and homiletics) took my heart. I thought this might help me test the waters to see if chaplaincy would be a good fit for me. I've worked in the Episcopal Church and have been prayerful lately about whether I'm feeling called to ordained ministry, and I thought this might be a good experience along the way. I know that neither of those things are necessary for the other, but I can see how the experience could be transformative. I guess "chaplain" is a pretty general term... Is it the case that certain institutions (campuses, residences for the aged, etc) wouldn't expect you to have actual clinical pastoral education since the focus there is on hospital environments? You all are helping me so much with this. I truly appreciate it. (The Little Prince is just the best. I had to read it for a philosophy capstone class in undergrad almost a decade ago and instantly fell in love with it. I would love to be a fly on the wall of your study!)
  3. How formal should an MFA personal statement be?

    Yes, I'd say your personal statement is a good opportunity to give them your voice as a writer and the "why" of your writing as well. Prior to my MFA I was in a super intense grad program in a completely different field, and I'm still trying to purge my writing of Latinate academic language. That'd be the thing I would most want to revise about my statement. In it, though, I mentioned a queer writer whose debut novel reached me in a period of total isolation. A lot of my faculty stress the social importance of writing, so I think my values connected with theirs on this score. They want to know that you're good, you're unique and you share interests/style/values with at least one of them.
  4. Programs Under the Radar

    I know money is tight for a lot of folks, so I won't tell them to take risks if it could put them in a stressful financial situation, but I will say that there are some programs that were formerly not fully-funded that now are and it's possible word just hasn't fully circulated yet. The other thing to consider is grants, scholarships and graduate assistantships outside of your program. My program actually offered me a teaching assistantship with tuition remission for the first year, but after it was over by some struck of luck I managed to land a graduate assistant position that also came with full funding. It was for a completely different school on campus and I only learned of it via a mass e-mail in my inbox over the summer.
  5. Clinical pastoral education advice

    That's heartening! Thank you so much for your reply. i would love a parish-based or university-based chaplaincy, but I also have a heart for the aged, and one of my best friends (one of the chaplain buddies I mentioned) has been working in that capacity since we were in div school way back when. I'm a bit nervous about this--I'm a somewhat shy introvert, despite being deeply drawn to people and caring about them--but I figure if I can walk into a college classroom every day and teach for hours, I should be able to get over that initial trepidation for something I'm even more excited about.
  6. Clinical pastoral education advice

    Hi, everyone: I had some questions (mostly pragmatics) regarding CPE for any of you who've gone through it. I finished my M.Div. in 2011. I moved back home--a couple states away--and fell into a vocational black hole. I moved halfway across the country after a couple of years when offered a job, and I've been teaching English up here since. I think I've been running from "the call" for a while now, and I'm feeling curious about chaplaincy. But I'm having a hard time navigating the ACPE site and understanding the requirements. Some chaplain friends of mine said that some programs require--for a year-long stipended residency--one or two units of CPE already under your belt. But they also said some don't. In divinity school, we had two units of ministerial internships in which we had weekly meetups with a group to share case studies and reflections, much in the way one does in CPE. I was a chaplain on the university's campus. I wasn't sure if that might count. I'm concerned that I'm not in a financially secure enough position to add CPE to my schedule if it's not stipended, but am wondering how others managed their situations. I certainly wish I were. One final question: do you have thoughts or suggestions re: the type of CPE program? I've heard that in addition to hospital/hospice positions, there are parish-based opportunities, opportunities to work with the aged/elderly, and opportunities to work with folks with disabilities. All of these sound especially appealing to me. Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts. Most grateful.
  7. MFA Creative Writing- Results

    Any word on UC - Riverside, Old Dominion, North Carolina State, McNeese, Johns Hopkins, West Virginia, and University of Florida? I'm in this horrible place of being accepted to two with funding up in the air and wait-listed for another program that's fully funded. I'm really hoping my work is good enough for just one school to say, "You were among our crop of first choices for acceptance AND fund you!" I have Vanderbilt debt and cannot sign much more of my soul over to Sallie Mae. I've read Doctor Faustus. I know how this works.
  8. Dear prospective programs: Pick me. Choose me. Love me.

    1. likemythesis


      Grey's is my saving grace in these difficult times

  9. I'm sorry it's taken me two months to give you my thanks, Tony, but I very much appreciate your reply! I will say that I applied to Georgia College knowing about the Flannery O'Connor connection and was accepted there. Let's hope that the blend of gender, sexuality and religion makes me an interesting candidate to my other prospective programs.
  10. MFA Creative Writing- Results

    As far as Iowa, not a single soul I've spoken with on here or the MFA Draft (Facebook) has heard back from them, so cling firmly to that hope! There's still some left. EDIT: Actually, three people on the MFA Draft page have confirmed acceptances from Iowa. Maybe more if I've missed them. Uh-oh.
  11. MFA Creative Writing- Results

    Does anyone know what the typical process is for providing admissions information to applicants? Someone near the beginning of this thread posted a long list of schools that are already notifying students of acceptances, rejections and/or wait-lists. I applied to several of those schools and I haven't heard a word either way, so I'm curious as to how faculties and admissions committees go about this. I have yet to hear back from nine programs.
  12. MFA Creative Writing- Results

    I just heard back that I've been waitlisted at Arizona. Accepted to two (interviewing for assistantships) and rejected from two. Nine left to hear from. Assuming rejection from the Writers' Workshop as well. Tucson is a lovely place but with all the hubbub in the news I'm not sure I could tolerate the political climate. But the program is impeccable.
  13. I agree with the others that there is no real way to boost your chances. However, I always think visiting is a good thing (if only to make sure you actually want to be there) and affirms the interest you have in the program. I'm terribly sorry that this happened to you. It's unprofessional to botch the delivery of this kind of information to an applicant when you invested time and money in applying. Not to mention that you could have rejected other acceptances for this school only to learn that you were on the wait list. My heart goes out to you and my hope is that whatever is the best for you will happen. Please keep us updated! Best of luck.
  14. Hi everyone, I've sent out fourteen applications for MFA programs (fiction) this cycle and have since heard back from four: two acceptances, two rejections. The schools accepting me want to interview me over the phone for teaching assistantships. These are imperative for my enrollment. I attended a master's program at Vanderbilt and worry about taking on more debt, so being funded well is the number one priority in determining a school. They want to talk to me about my thoughts on teaching and relevant experience I have. While I've never taught a semester course, I do have experience working in universities and schools (as a writing tutor, as a chaplain and as someone who managed a tutoring center) and I also have experience teaching workshops, serving as a panelist in educational forums and teaching church classes. I'm mainly worried about the "thoughts on teaching" part. Seems pretty broad. I've never written out my own pedagogy. Any advice for what to say and not to say in these interviews?
  15. Worries about writing style in MFA manuscripts?

    Yeah, no. I don't think I meant that. My samples have been edited on multiple occasions by myself and have also been included in workshops in my graduate program. But thanks for the sneak preview of the kind of prickly comments I can expect in MFAs, lol.