Monday, March 24, 2008

Out at Columbia

Not to worried... I know for sure that I wouldn't pay up to $40,000 a year for an MFA.

Oh well... :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Out at CSU...

I received my rejection letter from Colorado State University today and I'm oddly relieved about it. I think I'd prefer to live out east so I'm glad to not have to make that decision. Getting the letter brings me up to 85% sure that I'm going to attend UNH in the fall.

My tally so far:



UMASS @ Boston

Still waiting:
Columbia (not holding my breath!)

I'm going to turn Pitt down. I know how this is going to sound--like I'm some sort of spoiled brat--but I'm going to say it anyway. Pitt didn't woo me! After receiving my letter in the mail, I got one email from the program directing funding questions to the program director, who quickly told me that I was shit out of luck, and then nothing else. With UNH I've talked to a current student (he contacted me through SpeakEasy) several times and my advisor has been very helpful. I suppose I could have made an effort with Pitt, but why should I? They're supposed to want me to come there, aren't they? They're not going to give me funding--I just feel like they could care less if I go there or not. So... screw 'em. Maybe I'm just jealous of all those people who received personalize "your in!" calls.

Anyway, the only school that could possible compete with UNH at this point is UMASS @ Boston, who sent me a very nice waitlist email. I will probably be contacting them before I make any final decisions about UNH in a couple weeks.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Heading out East...

So, I decided to buy a plane ticket to visit UNH next week for the prospective student day on Friday. I'm pretty excited about it actually. I've never been to New England, but I've always wanted to go. I think that's because I'm a Gilmore Girls fan. I think show was set in New England... I could be wrong. I suppose I'm not a big fan after all.

Anyway, I'm about 80% sure that I'm heading in that direction come summertime. I need to find a job, but I've applied for one and once I'm 100% sure about my decision I think it'll be easier. I think everything will be easier.

For other people interested in UNH, I found this blog post from the MFA Weblog:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007
University of New Hampshire, MFA

I thought I would give some basic information about UNH for those out there applying or looking to apply to schools. So far, it's been a great program. It's new, but the 2nd years are happy here, and they've been really welcoming to the rest of us. There are 100 graduate students in the English department; of that, 36 are MFAers. That's 12 in each genre, 4 per year. There's not that strange genre divide there seems to be at other schools either; I'm friends with poets and fictioneers along with my fellow nonfictioners (who are particularly awesome, I must say).

Over half the department is getting some sort of TA/GA thing, which covers both tuition and offers a stipend. As someone with one of those, I'll say that they trained us well to teach, and although it's terrifying to suddenly be teaching 24 kids, I feel confident in what I'm doing. They also have you take though, your first semester teaching, a semester-long course in teaching, and you have a teaching advisor, all of which are safe-guards against feeling overwhelmed by your role as a knowledge-sharer.

One of the great things about UNH's English Department is that they're really big on conferencing. Every student meets one-on-one with their professor of each class bi-weekly. That's really rare, and incredibly
useful. Yes, right now, when I have started conferencing all 24 of my students, it seems like a lot, but it's a great way to help me get to know them, and to help them with their writing. It will also be great for my writing to get that much attention when I start conferencing with my professors.

As far as professors, they're all totally available, even those on leave right now. They offer all the wonderful extras, like class at their houses , going out to the bar with mfa-ers after class, etc. But
it's also that the professors make an effort to really get to know us. The first time my advisor met me, she asked really specific follow-up questions to my personal essay, and to later emails I had sent her.
What's more, she wasexcited to have me here at the program. Same with how others have felt.

There's definitely an emphasis on publishing, but it's not overwhelming. I'm writing a profile for my nonfiction class, and tomorrow we have to submit a mock query letter to a real magazine, and
then the other people in the class are going to consider the proposal. Conceivably, it doesn't have to be a mock letter at all.

Oh, and the area is gorgeous. It's New England (re: foliage, Gothic Architecture) and it's on the Atlantic, next to the oldest town in New Hampshire (so it's also got charm). It's also only an hour from Boston
but still close to the White Mountains. Campus itself is 1000 acres, a lot of it trails and lakes; they rent kayaks and hiking gear for about $5 a pop.

Let me know if you have any more questions about this program. I also have friends at other programs around the country, so I can certainly rustle up information about them.

Anyway, I hope that's helpful for someone. So, I'm starting to see the light. I realized this week that it would be a huge mistake to base my decision solely on money. Sure funding is great--and I hope that I receive it in the 2nd year--but it can't be the end all for me. This is what I really want to do and I don't want to put it off for another year.

Monday, March 17, 2008

New Week... more waiting

So... someone received an acceptance letter from Colorado State in the mail today. The letter was dated March 13, according to this person. Coincidentally, this is the same date that I received an email from the school telling me that I'd know something in the next 2 weeks. I'm trying not to over think things--oooh the subtly of the message--and I'll just check the mail for the next couple of days with my heart in my throat.

Last chance for some funding (possibly) so I have my fingers crossed.

Still not giving up on UNH. Pitt... not sure. I feel so confused most of the time--I don't like to be confused.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Trying to stay upbeat...

So... I'm trying to stay positive about the whole funding thing. I think the best game plan is not to imagine how I will be moving until I actually accept a school's offer. :) I think that's why this news came as such a blow to me. I was planning on writing a new chapter too and totally didn't do that because I was in boo-hoo land.

Anyway... thinking positive thoughts. What will be will be... and all that jazz.


No Funding...

I didn't get funding for UNH.

This pretty much another rejection. You're good enough to get in, but sorry, no where near good enough for funding. So, I can accept that I'm not a "top" choice for these schools, but honestly... I can't get an MFA without some type of help. I wish I hadn't built up the idea of moving to New Hampshire in my head, because frankly I'm not moving there unless some serious miracle takes place.

So... I'm wondering if I should start looking for new jobs now or wait until I'm ready to move (my lease is up in July). The economy is SO bad... but if I stay in this shit hole job any longer I'm going to go insane. The only good thing about is it that I can write most days.

Gosh, I'm tired. This is starting to sound pretty pathetic too, so let me go boo hoo somewhere else.


Monday, March 10, 2008

More acceptances!

Yay! I was accepted to the University of New Hampshire last week!!! I'm still waiting to hear from the program (namely if they give me a TA/tuition stipend... please God!) and I'm a little nervous about it. If UNH swings like Pitt did then I'm screwed... yet again.

I was also put on the waitlist for the University of Mass at Boston. I'm excited about that too because it's not a rejection yet.

Still waiting on Columbia, Colorado State, and Hollins. I had no mail on Saturday, which is frustrating, so hopefully something will show up today.

I'm ready to make a decision already.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Accepted to Pitt... but still anxious

I thought I'd start a blog... I have a few others, but this will be strictly for MFA and other writing issues.

I was accepted to the University of Pittsburgh for an MFA in Creative Writing - Fiction. I'm so excited about this, but nervous too as my letter didn't mention any funding possibilities. This scares me. I'd have to pay out-of-state tuition for my MFA at Pitt, which means a possible $80K in loans after three years. I can't do that. I'm freaking out about the debt I owe now--I couldn't put myself in such a place. So... while I'm happy about the acceptance, I'm also scared out of my mind about it. Would I go with no funding? Probably not--but it would be REALLY hard to say no and pass up the opportunity to really profect my writing.

So... I wait nervously for more acceptances (with funding). I still haven't heard from Columbia, University of New Hampshire, University of Texas (Michener Center), University of Mass @ Boston, Colorado State, and Hollins University (which has sent out poetry and CNF notices). Waiting makes me grumpy and anxious.


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