2017-12-29 MFA Residency Day 1

Everything yesterday went very much according to plan. I arrived at my destination around 4:15PM and was all checked into my room by 5. That left me with about an hour to wander around the lodge and figure out where all the cool kids hang out.

The Lied Lodge is nestled in a woody area of historic Nebraska City. Which, by the way, is the birth place of Arvor day. When I come back in the summer, I’ll definitely be exploring mire outside. I hear the hiking trails are great. As it is now, of course, the coldest week of the year yet I will be staying put nestled inside this beautiful building. It’s no joke.. the high will be 17 degrees and the low will be -23.

The building is pretty massive and gives the appearance of being made of logs. Maybe that’s what a lodge is? I stayed at the Lodge in Yellowstone in 2014 and that structure WAS made of logs, massive, incredibly impressive. This one may have other underlying support. I’ll have to ask. In any case, it too is amazing.

As I wandered last evening I had a slow creeping sensation that I didn’t really belong here. Since the facility is so huge, there’s no way for me to know if the people I was passing in halls were also part of the program or just random guests on holiday. After I got my bearings, I retreated to my room to psych myself up for the meet and greet.

They arranged it so that the faculty met first, then the first years (hey that’s me), and the rest of the students came in after that. There are only four new students this term and we all sat in the front row. Newbs!

15 minutes later the rest of the crew came charging in like they owned the place. They were loud and conspicuous. I guess that’s what comes with the comfort and confidence you actually belong. I wonder if I’ll ever get there.

They has a short intro, followed by a few ceremonious items, and a welcome video. That consisted of pics and video of last semesters session. It looked like a good time was had by all. We’ll see about this round.

After that we were dismissed to dinner and, once again, the first years were asked to sit together. And, once again, I was grateful,

Dinner was good, a bit bland, but I didn’t have to cook so that was super good. The dessert spread is going to put me in trouble and I’ll definitely need that Whole 30 when I go back home.

After eating and chatting with my table mates for a little over an hour, we all excused ourselves to take our leave. I went back to my room to re-read the orientation materials and re-organize my things.

I was exhausted as I turned the lights out, but could not sleep. Too much swirling in my brain and so I lay awake for over an hour. I had quite a restless sleep and woke up to get up around 5:30.

I figured since I’m not sleeping, I might as well get my steps. It’s definitely earlier than I’m used to, but I also wanted to claim a machine in the exercise room. As it turns out, I had no need to worry, I’ve been here since about 6 and haven’t seen another human being yet. I like it this way.

There’s quite a bit of resistance on the elliptical machine and I opted for the treadmill so I could write and walk at the same time. We’ll see if I can adjust to this EQ and really get into my flow.

Today is pictures and of course the first full day of lectures and workshops. I’m excited and nervous. I’m going to try really hard to get my head away from the notion that I don’t belong. I’m not an imposter. I may not have the same street cred, but I’ve got desire and an inner spark. I’ve had a lifelong love affair with this craft and I belong (just as much as those loud 4th termers).

On that note.. it’s probably time to go get ready for the day. /gulp

Faking it until I make it,

~Miss SugarCookie

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