2020-12-28 Final MFA Res Day 1: Jump In

Here’s where journaling almost every day comes in especially handy. Throughout my MFA I have documented my experiences including a day-by-day account of each of my residencies, both official and unofficial. This makes comparing the virtual experience an easy task. Being at home, though kind of a drag, has definite advantages. 

Normally waking up on day 1 at Lied lodge, i would be making my way (early) to check out the exercise room situation, not knowing what newbies might be treadmill junkies too. No worries with that today. I’m a happy camper walking in my comfortable, happy place. 

I’ve also already taken care of the breakfast and lunch making and the dishes for the day, which, normally would be a task I would be released from for ten whole days. That kind of sucks. It is one of the things I look forward to. No dishes for ten glorious days!! 

Since it’s my last residency, I’m released from attending any events that are for students enrolled in the semester which includes the mentor introductions. The first few days of res are heavy with that so I will have more time today and tomorrow to ease into the content. And after today, when I give my lecture, I’ll actually be able to relax a little and enjoy it. 

Including mine, there are three lectures today plus workshop. Normally I really love workshop but it kind of depends on how much I have to say about the poems being discussed. For me today’s poems are very strange, not relatable, and therefore I won’t have a lot to say. I mean that’s not really valuable feedback for the person who wrote them. And I kind of take the stance.. “If you don’t have something positive or constructive to say, it’s better to not say anything at all.” 

I’m certainly not envious of the faculty mentor who is facilitating today. I wonder what they will say? 

I believe my poems are being workshopped tomorrow so I have nothing to prepare for for that. Yeah.. tomorrow will be more of a full and enjoyable day. 

Another difference with virtual res is the lack of interaction with folks around the lodge: the dining room, lounge, lobby, hallways, outside on the back deck or on the grounds. When I’m there I’m always doing this dance of trying to delicately balance those interactions with the time I require being alone.

I feel like with each res I’ve become more comfortable with the scene. Of course, by the time I’m comfortable life throws wrenches in. Now all this interaction is timed and on Zoom and it’s just so easy to avoid it. I’m going to  have to force myself to log in and see who is there. Ugh!! 

What else? Oh the lack of sleep and anxiety. So far feels like that’s going to all be the same. Doesn’t matter if it’s in person or virtual, I won’t get good sleep. But.. right now that doesn’t feel any different than my regular life. 

I’ve only been walking for like 30 minutes, but I’m kind of done for. It is probably due to that short night. It was so bad my FitBit didn’t record my sleep. I woke just after 2am and didn’t go back to sleep until like 5:30ish. And then was up and at it by 7. So maybe 5.5 hours total? Yeah, that sounds about right. 

It’s only 9 now and I don’t have my first lecture until like 10:30 so I’ve got time to work on GLR stuff which is my big plan this week. Capitalize on being under the umbrella of Res to sort of be absent from normal life, as much as possible anyway. 

Ugh. I’m so done now. Going to cut short and try to be productive. 

Cheers to Day 1!

~Miss SugarCookie

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