Thursday, September 4, 2008

Here We Go Again!

quick note on abbr: Master of Fine Arts (MFA); Community College (CC); Creative Writing (CW)
After 4 years of high school and 4 years in college, I think it's time to finally admit something to myself that others (namely folks that were close to me during my senior years at the prep and hu) have known all along . . .


I'm talking at drop of a hat, in a snap, in a flash, before you can blink, faster than a speeding bullet, from 0-60 in .5 seconds, "it's a bird, it's a plane . . . no, it's Bsquared86 screaming through the halls" quickly.

But, somehow, I've always performed relatively well through the stress, no matter the source. Be it family, friends, loves, professors, employers, extracurriculars, or academia- I do what I need to do to get through it. That is until grad school started looming on the horizon of my college career-- that's when I realized that, though I may perform well under stress, it just wasn't worth it at the time. Piling the stress of trying to decide what I would do after I graduated on top of the already daunting task of ensuring that I did, indeed, graduate was just too much. So, on one fateful day in late winter (February 19, 2008 to be exact), I decided that I would take a year off between undergrad and grad school. TA DA! Stress gone. I felt freer than a blue bird, I swear! I figured that by the time application season rolled around again I'd be able to handle the stress of applications, recommendations, portfolios, manuscripts, essays, and such because I'd be at home in LA with the hassle of graduating behind me. It would be a breeze . . .


It's about 5 am here in LA and I haven't been asleep yet. For folks that know me, you're probably thinking, "And? This is what you do." and you're right. Not sleeping like a regular human being IS what I do, unfortunately, I am not up simply because I am not sleepy-- I am up and

Granted, not as stressed as I was back in late 07 and early 08 . . . but stressed all the same. Why?
  • I need to get on my recommendation game, I only have 2 professors that I would like to ask for recs and I need 3 for most programs. Also, I need somebody familiar with my creative writing . . . why not just ask the only CW professor at my Alma mater, you say? Well, because he is intimidating as hell and already turned me away once for not having a good manuscript together or a substantial list of poets that I read (and I can't blame him, but DAMN!).
  • I don't think that my "manuscript" or "portfolio" or "whatevertheadmissionpacketwantstocallit" are up to par. I mean, some of these MFA programs only accept 2,3, maybe 4 new poetry students a year so our "samples" have to be superb to say the least. They need to see both potential and promise- potential meaning that they feel that you will do well in the program and promise meaning that they feel that you will do well after the program. And, I don't know if my little amateur poems can do all that . . . YET.

Thanks to the MFA Blog, Poets & Writers, and a host of other online resources, I have learned that I can remedy this lack of recs as well as beef up my creative sample by enrolling in Creative Writing Workshops/Courses! GREAT! The course that I really want to get into hosted by UCLA is freakin expensive for just one course so I'm enrolling in an online CW course @ a community college around my way-- it's only like 20 bucks a credit/unit so it wouldn't hurt. So, I have clearly identified my stressors and a solution, right? So, all should be well.

BUT (isn't there always a but?)

Something in my heart is telling me to beg, borrow, and steal my way into this UCLA course-- mainly because it actually focuses on poetry but also because it comes highly recommended and is widely recognized while my course at the CC is a general CW and in the end is just a course at a CC (not that I think it will be easy, b/c I am sure it will not). It costs damn near 10x the amount of the CC course and I'm nervous about asking my folks for the dough (I have to pay upfront, so no time to wait until after I get a job and can pay myself as I have planned to do with the CC class). I know that they're probably already struggling with what exactly an MFA is and why on earth I am even wasting time on becoming a writer (though I have that ambition hidden under the cleverly orchestrated guise of becoming an English professor) and now, this? An expensive writing course that doesn't really guarantee anything?

my mom gets back from Louisiana tonight, so I'm going to ask them while we munch on a tasty welcome home dinner . . . let's pray that they don't laugh in my face, lol.

::au revoir::

1 comment:

  1. From one Howard grad to another: I wish I would have taken a year off from everything after college. Maybe I would have actually GONE to grad Don't stress. :)



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