A few days ago I left off on a very high note and the excitement I was feeling was literally coursing through me like electricity. I’d made a decision to pursue something that I’d considered and dismissed in the past.. higher education with a targeted focus on writing which is something I have had a life long affinity for. Just the act of declaring it decided gave me a sense of satisfaction and I’ve got this calm confidence that it’s the right decision despite the path ahead potentially being a bit bumpy. I’m still feeling that energy today as I start to internalize the decision and also brave telling people about it.
Today I went to lunch with a former co-worker.. I’ll call him Ryan. 😉 He’s the only person I know personally who reads my blog (Hello). We go to lunch about once a month now, which is more than we ever did while we were working together, except toward the end of my time there. Today we talked about work and a little about his wife going to school and also my news, which is literally only about two days from being decided upon. He’s agreed to be a reference for me on the graduate application (Thanks Ryan!). I could feel myself swell up with happiness when I relayed my plan. That’s how I know it’s the right course of action.
That path, as I’ve made reference to, is not without complications. The first of which I discovered as soon as I started researching more about the Master of Fine Arts Program offered by UNO. The application deadline for the upcoming Winter/Spring session is due October 1st. Yowza!! That means that I had four, yes only four days to get my act together to gather all the information and documentation required for the application. As of this moment there are now 2.5 days left.
The Q and A portion of the app was simple and I was through step 3 without too much hassle. Step 4 is transcripts, which have taken me about a day and a half to secure and I’ve attended four different schools in my history of education. It’s all phone calls and stepping through forms and processes online. All of that is very.. academic (pardon the pun), and even though it is kind of a hassle it’s a pretty straight forward hurdle. Next comes the fun part.
It’s a MFA in Writing, so I get to write a bit about myself and my intent in pursuing education through this program. I spent about four hours on that last night and am now on draft #3 and am fairly satisfied with the result. The companion document to that is my creative sample which must be 15 total pages of poetry. There are four possible areas of focus: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-Fiction, and Playwriting. Mine is, of course, poetry because that’s my jam.
My first thought about this task was “piece of cake”. I have literally hundreds of poems I have written throughout the years so filling 15 pages will be no problem. But hold up, wait up, not so fast. They want the “best” samples. So now I am scrolling through so many possibilities and wondering what selections really would be the best. I’m a terrible judge of my own. They are all my creation. Like children, how do you pick favorites or judge one better than the other?
That’s going to be a challenge, I think. But Ryan mentioned another thing I had not thought about which is the cost. How indeed have I not thought about how much this is going to cost and what I might need to do to secure financial aid. It’s not like I have an endless supply of money. And, lest I forget, I have no income right now and my mortgage company won’t care about my personal pursuit to better myself. They’ll just want my house payment promptly when it is due.
So, there will indeed been some hurdles and hoops and obstacles to navigate, but I truly believe I can do anything I put my mind to. It’s just a matter of laying the bricks one by one and taking care in doing so.
Well the clock is ticking now and I had better get back to scrolling so I can collect the best of the best for my submission.