Hello, blogging family! The first fall weather of the San Jose year had our apartment smelling like cornbread and chili all week, and I selected this moment to write so I’m not tasting the pumpkin bread as it cools off. (No, curious minds, I’m not a baker. Trader Joe’s has wonderful mixes and Ivan is a wonderful helper in his spare time.)
This past month was not just the first month of Fall for everyone who doesn’t live in California. This past month was also my first month of graduate school. Last October I got a nagging curiosity about going to grad school after my English degree. I tried to talk myself out of that insanity: I have a brain injury even if you ignore the other neurological drama. Still, the thought wouldn’t go away. Ivan and I began praying about the idea and I started researching graduate schools. Not two weeks later, one of my CBU professors who didn’t know about my accident at the time, wrote me to ask if I was interested in continuing my education. We took that as God’s confirmation that my grad school idea wasn’t so insane after all.
I compiled a list of potential schools and decided to target two degrees: an MA in literature and an MFA in creative in writing. The MA in literature was a realistic choice since it was a standard degree in an area I enjoyed, and my CBU faculty felt confident I could get accepted to some good programs. The MFA in creative writing was a long shot. While “MFA” stands for “Master’s in Fine Arts,” it’s a terminal degree and is only called a masters because there’s no foreign language requirement. Furthermore, CBU only offers one creative writing course, so applying to MFA programs meant I’d have to submit work I’d done outside of school. I added a couple of MFA’s to my list because creative writing was my dream, but prepared to do an MA in literature.
My longest of the MFA long shots was the Savannah College of Art and Design. Yes, they are located in Savannah, GA, and yes, my family is from Savannah. But SCAD is also home to one of the top online MFAs in the country. Their program is 90 units long, and their thesis requirement is a publishable manuscript. I applied because – well, why not? But I knew my odds were scanty and went back to filling out the other applications on my list. You can imagine my surprise when my acceptance letter arrived three days after Christmas.
School started on September 6th, and I can honestly say I feel like I got hit by a….oh wait, I did. 😉
I haven’t been stretched this far by something I love since I left Eastman, and I do find myself working for around 7 hours every day just to keep up. But I love it! It’s a blessing and a wakeup call to learn from excellent faculty and classmates who are more experienced than I am. After all, the best way to improve is interacting with people who are farther along than you are.
I’m very grateful to God for a blessing that I called insane this time last year, and I’m thankful to my parents and Ivan for all the extra study time and encouragement they give me every day. Can’t wait to see where this next path will lead!