kurtango

Fall 2016 MFA

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40 minutes ago, holycat said:

You absolutely are not. :) I have a spreadsheet with projected notification dates and everything. o_O Well, what was I supposed to do while I wait?!

Oh wow! I made a spreadsheet with application deadlines, requirements, and all that jazz, but I didn't think to add projected notification dates! You're too good. 

10 minutes ago, LexieB said:

Just out of curiosity: is anyone else here in their last undergrad semester? I'm finishing up at SIU.

I finished up last spring, and to be honest, I regret not applying to MFA programs last year. I thought taking a year off would do me some good, when in reality, it feels a lot like living in limbo. My job prospects are roughly the same as they were before I got my BA in CW, which is disappointing, and freelancing hasn't been making the ends meet like I had hoped it would. 

Good on you for applying while you're still in school though! Those December deadlines must've been brutal for you. 

Oh, and what's your hedgehog's name?! I had an African Pygmy named Blaze a few years back. They're awesome little pets, aren't they? 

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I'm a little worried about going a year. :/ It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but it would definitely suck. I'm afraid mostly of wasting a year in, like you said, limbo. I took 21 credit hours last semester. That plus grad applications plus being an editor for my school's literary magazine helped to develop my new caffiene addiction. 

His name is Moyo. :) He's my baby and he acts like it too. He is such a little prince and doesn't like when I put him on the ground.:lol: He always wants to be cuddled. They are the greatest. (He's actually the unofficial mascot for our literary magazine. We have a picture of him hanging up. :3) The only thing I'm more obsessed with than writing and reading is my hedgehog.

Edited by LexieB

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12 minutes ago, LexieB said:

I'm a little worried about going a year. :/ It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but it would definitely suck. I'm afraid mostly of wasting a year in, like you said, limbo. I took 21 credit hours last semester. That plus grad applications plus being an editor for my school's literary magazine helped to develop my new caffiene addiction. 

His name is Moyo. :) He's my baby and he acts like it too. He is such a little prince and doesn't like when I put him on the ground.:lol: He always wants to be cuddled. They are the greatest. (He's actually the unofficial mascot for our literary magazine. We have a picture of him hanging up. :3) The only thing I'm more obsessed with than writing and reading is my hedgehog.

It sounds like you'll be set even if you don't get accepted anywhere this time around. I'm sure you'd have an easy time landing a job at a local paper or magazine with your editing experience! :) I'm crossing my fingers for you though! I have a feeling your thesis will be well-received by the professors at Madison (based on what you've said, at least). Have you read anything by Jesse Lee Kercheval, Judith Claire Mitchell, or Lynda Barry? 

Moyo sounds adorable! Blaze loved being cuddled too (he was more cuddly than most cats, actually, lol). It makes me really happy to hear how much you care about your little guy, and I'm glad you thought of him before applying to grad programs. Sadly, I feel like it's kind of rare to meet someone who prioritizes their pet to that extent (especially small, caged pets). It's always refreshing to meet a fellow animal lover. ^_^

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10 minutes ago, gaudysideoftown said:

It sounds like you'll be set even if you don't get accepted anywhere this time around. I'm sure you'd have an easy time landing a job at a local paper or magazine with your editing experience! :) I'm crossing my fingers for you though! I have a feeling your thesis will be well-received by the professors at Madison (based on what you've said, at least). Have you read anything by Jesse Lee Kercheval, Judith Claire Mitchell, or Lynda Barry? 

Moyo sounds adorable! Blaze loved being cuddled too (he was more cuddly than most cats, actually, lol). It makes me really happy to hear how much you care about your little guy, and I'm glad you thought of him before applying to grad programs. Sadly, I feel like it's kind of rare to meet someone who prioritizes their pet to that extent (especially small, caged pets). It's always refreshing to meet a fellow animal lover. ^_^

Aw. Thanks. That makes me feel so much better about Wisconsin! And I am definitely going to check them out! I've heard of Lynda Barry. Btw. Where else did you apply besides ASU and Syracuse?

I know! I had wanted a hedgie for about a year before I fell in love with Moyo. He lost an eye when he was a baby, so the people interested in him were really just interested in making him a pirate. He is far too sweet for piracy unless that is a guise. It is so sad how many people get pets without doing the research and end up giving them up. My roommate's bunny has been rehomed 3 times before ending up with us (bunny and hedgehog really don't care about each other). I decided to go to grad school a few months after adopting Moyo, and I decided that it would be really unfair to him to apply where hedgies are illegal. Luckily nowhere I really wanted to apply was in those states anyways. :D So it wasn't too much of a hassle. 

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I applied to Michigan and Boise too. Boise is another top one for me because of the focus on teaching. :D I haven't heard of Mankato's program, but I just looked them up. Just from an overview, they seem awesome. SAIC and Columbia College-Chicago are my "safety schools." I want to get out of Illinois, but I'll want to live in the city if I must stay. 

I am always willing to post Moyo pictures. I should go stereotypical grandma and have a roll of Polaroids of him stuffed in my wallet. XD 

She's my soulroommate. XD We actually met 3 years ago today at a bus stop according to Facebook. She and I are both intense animal lovers. 

Aw. She sounds like the sweetest (and you should totally post a picture). I don't understand giving pets up unless it is extreme circumstances and better for the pet to do so. :( image.thumb.jpeg.3d434f51b779c3613636de5

Edited by LexieB

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I got a phone call from a Texas number I didn't recognize today and had a very brief minor heart attack. It turned out to be an automated telemarketer. Went from 0 to 100 to 0 real fast. This whole thing is going to kill me. 

1 hour ago, gaudysideoftown said:

I finished up last spring, and to be honest, I regret not applying to MFA programs last year. I thought taking a year off would do me some good, when in reality, it feels a lot like living in limbo. My job prospects are roughly the same as they were before I got my BA in CW, which is disappointing, and freelancing hasn't been making the ends meet like I had hoped it would. 

Good on you for applying while you're still in school though! Those December deadlines must've been brutal for you. 

I finished up past spring as well. But I'm glad I took the year. I didn't even start thinking about getting an MFA until January last year though--writing was my fun side activity for most of my college career until my final semester workshops--so I might have been a little different.

I think the time off was good for me though. My final poetry workshop sort of displaced me as a writer for a bit, and it was nice to just work on stuff for me for a bit. I think I wrote something like 116 poems over the summer--of which like five were any good, but it gave me a good chance to do some work and develop my portfolio a bit more than just the best of my workshop poems. 

My only concern was and is getting stuck in a job were it wouldn't make sense to leave. I already have one of my supervisors asking me when I should know about getting in so he knows when to start pushing me towards some of the more permanent open positions.  

Also: HEDGEHOGS! :wub:

And good luck with Michigan you two! It's a bit too close to home for me, but I've heard it's a fantastic program!

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18 minutes ago, GlowStick said:

My only concern was and is getting stuck in a job were it wouldn't make sense to leave. I already have one of my supervisors asking me when I should know about getting in so he knows when to start pushing me towards some of the more permanent open positions.  

Also: HEDGEHOGS! :wub:

And good luck with Michigan you two! It's a bit too close to home for me, but I've heard it's a fantastic program!

That was another concern of mine. I told people I didn't want to "accidentally start a career." I can't think of anything worse than spending 15+ years in a job I never wanted. I'd rather spend two applying to get the future job I do want. 

And merci :3. Which Texas school did you apply to? 

(-insert glittery, rainbow hedgehog of fabulousness here-)

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Here's Misty! It's great that you and your roommate get along so well, LexieB. :) AND I CAN'T HANDLE THAT HEDGEHOG CUTENESS! 

1 hour ago, GlowStick said:

I got a phone call from a Texas number I didn't recognize today and had a very brief minor heart attack. It turned out to be an automated telemarketer. Went from 0 to 100 to 0 real fast. This whole thing is going to kill me. 

I finished up past spring as well. But I'm glad I took the year. I didn't even start thinking about getting an MFA until January last year though--writing was my fun side activity for most of my college career until my final semester workshops--so I might have been a little different.

I think the time off was good for me though. My final poetry workshop sort of displaced me as a writer for a bit, and it was nice to just work on stuff for me for a bit. I think I wrote something like 116 poems over the summer--of which like five were any good, but it gave me a good chance to do some work and develop my portfolio a bit more than just the best of my workshop poems. 

My only concern was and is getting stuck in a job were it wouldn't make sense to leave. I already have one of my supervisors asking me when I should know about getting in so he knows when to start pushing me towards some of the more permanent open positions.  

Also: HEDGEHOGS! :wub:

And good luck with Michigan you two! It's a bit too close to home for me, but I've heard it's a fantastic program!

I've been having the same problem with telemarketers! :o I go into heart attack mode whenever I get an out of state call, but they've all been telemarketers so far. I swear, the one time I decide not to answer will be the time it's a school calling. 

Writing 116 poems over the summer is super impressive! Honestly, I've been having a difficult time writing on my own recently. I really miss the structure of writing workshops-- they always inspired something in me that I can't seem to find on my own. I'm working on it though. I think I need to start writing for myself again, like you did. I honestly can't remember the last time I did that. 

And thank you for wishing us luck! I'd absolutely love to go there.

Edited by gaudysideoftown

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35 minutes ago, LexieB said:

And merci :3. Which Texas school did you apply to? 

(-insert glittery, rainbow hedgehog of fabulousness here-)

Both programs at the University of Texas, Austin, so Michener and New Writers Project. Both huuuuuge long shots, but they're both my top pick. Austin seems like a place I really want to be. The fiction rejections coming out for Michener are making me jittery despite my best efforts though.

15 minutes ago, gaudysideoftown said:

I've been having the same problem with telemarketers! :o I go into heart attack mode whenever I get an out of state call, but they've all been telemarketers so far. I swear, the one time I decide not to answer will be the time it's a school calling. 

Writing 116 poems over the summer is super impressive! Honestly, I've been having a difficult time writing on my own recently. I really miss the structure of writing workshops-- they always inspired something in me that I can't seem to find on my own. I'm working on it though. I think I need to start writing for myself again, like you did. I honestly can't remember the last time I did that. 

And thank you for wishing us luck! I'd absolutely love to go there.

At least I'm not alone in my telemarketer problems!

I actually have a few really amazing "writing partners" who are just old classmates of mine. We just send each other our writing--no feedback, no responses (outside of the occasional "Oh, I really liked that one"), no pressure, first drafts only for the most part. It's just sending it out so you feel like your doing something with your work. Plus you get the inspiration of seeing other people write and the reassurance that, yes, even really talented people (and my poetry partner is TALENTED) don't write masterpieces every single draft. We slowed down a lot to focus more on revision than pure creation for application time, but we should really get back into it!

Fiction is a whole different story though. I did a couple of "intensive weeks" with my fiction partners, bless their enthusiastic souls, where we did 500 words a day every day. It was like pulling teeth. 

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4 hours ago, gaudysideoftown said:

Oh wow! I made a spreadsheet with application deadlines, requirements, and all that jazz, but I didn't think to add projected notification dates! You're too good. 

Oh no. That one is a separate spreadsheet. One spreadsheet can't hold all my columns. I have multiple spreadsheets. One is solely for decision related issues, such as projected dates (earliest date that Program has notified in the past, a countdown column, etc...), projected decisions (color coded columns: acceptance? rejection? acceptance with no money?), etc...In other words, I am trying to redefine obsession. :D I just hate waiting. Arghh. (If I was the dictator of the world, I would decree that all schools ought to have the same deadlines and notification dates. Period. No arguments.)

That said, you guys are making me feel like an old lady. Still in college and less than a year out of college?! Alright, I go now.

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Gaudysideoftown, Misty is so gorgeous. :DD Also, I feel the same about writing workshops. I'm trying really hard to write on my own and get into a routine. I feel mostly inconfident about my thesis because it has never been workshopped. I also miss reading for myself. Everything is assigned. But I'm trying to work on that too. :)

Thank God I've had no telemarketer issues. I feel so lucky! I still freak out whenever my phone rings...even when it ends up being my mom. :unsure:

Edited by LexieB

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16 hours ago, GlowStick said:

I actually have a few really amazing "writing partners" who are just old classmates of mine. We just send each other our writing--no feedback, no responses (outside of the occasional "Oh, I really liked that one"), no pressure, first drafts only for the most part. It's just sending it out so you feel like your doing something with your work. Plus you get the inspiration of seeing other people write and the reassurance that, yes, even really talented people (and my poetry partner is TALENTED) don't write masterpieces every single draft. We slowed down a lot to focus more on revision than pure creation for application time, but we should really get back into it!

Fiction is a whole different story though. I did a couple of "intensive weeks" with my fiction partners, bless their enthusiastic souls, where we did 500 words a day every day. It was like pulling teeth. 

It's actually funny that you say that! One of my artist friends and I just set started up an "inspiration chat" on Whatsapp, so we could motivate each other and share our work with one another. We're good together because his main focus is on the visual arts (drawing, painting, etc) and he writes as a hobby, and I'm the opposite. So far we've really only been sharing "the good stuff" with one another, but I like your idea so much better. I think sharing everything will be a great exercise for both of us. 

Oh, and just to let you know, the thing you posted yesterday about writing for yourself really inspired me. I've been wanting to explore the world of surrealism for more than a year now, and I finally took the plunge last night. I ended up writing for a good 2-3 hours straight, and god did that feel good. I guess I've been so caught up with the idea of "writing well" or you know, writing something that could get published, that I started to forget why I fell in love with writing to begin with. Anyway, thanks for reminding me of that yesterday. ^_^

16 hours ago, holycat said:

Oh no. That one is a separate spreadsheet. One spreadsheet can't hold all my columns. I have multiple spreadsheets. One is solely for decision related issues, such as projected dates (earliest date that Program has notified in the past, a countdown column, etc...), projected decisions (color coded columns: acceptance? rejection? acceptance with no money?), etc...In other words, I am trying to redefine obsession. :D I just hate waiting. Arghh. (If I was the dictator of the world, I would decree that all schools ought to have the same deadlines and notification dates. Period. No arguments.)

That said, you guys are making me feel like an old lady. Still in college and less than a year out of college?! Alright, I go now.

I think we can all relate to the waiting thing, and I might just have to copy your spreadsheet idea... :)

Don't feel like an old lady just yet! I took some time off before completing my undergrad, so I'm not so young myself. :P

13 hours ago, LexieB said:

Gaudysideoftown, Misty is so gorgeous. :DD Also, I feel the same about writing workshops. I'm trying really hard to write on my own and get into a routine. I feel mostly inconfident about my thesis because it has never been workshopped. I also miss reading for myself. Everything is assigned. But I'm trying to work on that too. :)

Thank God I've had no telemarketer issues. I feel so lucky! I still freak out whenever my phone rings...even when it ends up being my mom. :unsure:

Thank you! She's an angel.

I felt the same way about my thesis, but it ended up turning out a lot better than I expected it to. Just try and stay positive and proofread the heck out of it. :)

 

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Eh, Minneapolis isn't all that great. I've heard the crime rate is kind of high around the campus area, so you're probably better off not going there anyway. Not to mention that snow... :P
Seriously though, try not to let this get you down. We're all bound to get a few rejections. Even people who get into the top programs like Iowa usually get a handful of rejection letters in the same season. 

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21 hours ago, gaudysideoftown said:

Eh, Minneapolis isn't all that great. I've heard the crime rate is kind of high around the campus area, so you're probably better off not going there anyway. Not to mention that snow... :P
Seriously though, try not to let this get you down. We're all bound to get a few rejections. Even people who get into the top programs like Iowa usually get a handful of rejection letters in the same season. 

Lol. I think Minneapolis was the main reason Minnesota was towards the bottom of my list. The snow, I could handle. Illinois has the strangest weather. XD Weather isn't small talk here. It's a little hilarious.

I'm alright. I went through the typical "I suck" mindset, but then counted the things that are good about my writing so that didn't last too long. I think I can handle more rejections. If I need to reapply next year, okay. :) But I won't think about that too much yet. 

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4 hours ago, BananaStand said:

Alright, people who have posted acceptances to Iowa for fiction: show yourselves! I can't figure out if they're legit, or some kind of cruel joke. 

I've been looking at old blogs for this kind of info and it seems like genuine acceptances did come out this early. Though for sanity's sake I'm going to pretend the 2(?!) fiction acceptances are trolls. ;_;

Also, is the most active place that mfa draft thing on Facebook? I'm so curious about how everyone else is doing but I'm wary of the big F.

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^^ There's a third one from Iowa! All the early responses from there are making me wish I applied! I've only heard from two of my eleven schools so far and that's more than some, so you would think I'd be calmer, but no! The insanity has only escalated because, now, I want to make decisions fast! 

I don't know what to do; I've ran out of spreadsheets to make. I live near UC Irvine, so maybe I should break into the offices of the English Dept at night and SEE...

 

Disclaimer:

To any members of a govt security agency who saw the comment above about breaking into UC Irvine: it's a joke! I'd never sacrifice sleep for anything! And yes, that'd be the only reason why I wouldn't do it.

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On 2/5/2016 at 2:05 PM, gaudysideoftown said:

Oh, and just to let you know, the thing you posted yesterday about writing for yourself really inspired me. I've been wanting to explore the world of surrealism for more than a year now, and I finally took the plunge last night. I ended up writing for a good 2-3 hours straight, and god did that feel good. I guess I've been so caught up with the idea of "writing well" or you know, writing something that could get published, that I started to forget why I fell in love with writing to begin with. Anyway, thanks for reminding me of that yesterday. ^_^

That's so great to hear! You'll have to keep me updated in how it goes--I'm invested now! :P

4 hours ago, chamsee22 said:

Also, is the most active place that mfa draft thing on Facebook? I'm so curious about how everyone else is doing but I'm wary of the big F.

I managed to finally get into the Draft, but I wouldn't say it's that active. There's some worrying and some advice--not a whole lot different than here. But if I see anything that might be helpful, I'll definitely share over here!

 

Also, I just got contacted by one of the programs I applied to because apparently one of my letters didn't make it in. It's all squared away now, but I'm really trying hard not to take the fact that they contacted me about it as a sign. 

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Thanks, GlowStick! I was feeling so left out, ha.

Here's to hoping that really was a sign they liked you! I can't see why they'd bother with the rest of your app if the WS wasn't working for them.

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On 2/8/2016 at 0:11 PM, chamsee22 said:

I've been looking at old blogs for this kind of info and it seems like genuine acceptances did come out this early. Though for sanity's sake I'm going to pretend the 2(?!) fiction acceptances are trolls. ;_;

Also, is the most active place that mfa draft thing on Facebook? I'm so curious about how everyone else is doing but I'm wary of the big F.

I'm pretending the same. Surely they aren't sending out acceptances so early!

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I was sent an interview notification by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. :D This definitely makes me feel better about my other applications, though I'm not sure if SAIC is challenging enough for me judging on some of what I've heard. But I'm definitely excited. 

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