Thursday, July 29, 2010


My life as a graduate student began June 27th as I pulled up to Vermont College of Fine Arts' campus in Montpelier, Vermont.  I spent ten days living in a dorm with one hundred and fifty other writers of fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction ranging from twenty-two year olds to, well, graying-hair year olds. From the cafeteria to the non-airconditioned dorms to the nightly boozing, the residency was in every way a college experience.  Oh, I suppose I should include the lectures, workshops and readings.  But those ended up being periphery to the core of my stay.

I met some fascinating people (like "Mayor Dave", who procured the nickname after only two days of schmoozing and making friends with even the "5th Semester Students", who are equivelant to the high school popular kids on campus) and some not so fascinating people (like "Angry Dave", who earned his nickname after reading his misogynistic, bitter poetry...I started locking my dorm door after hearing him read.) Is that bad that I just posted that on a public space? I mean, I didn't post his last name. And you also can't be that sure that he is in fact a he. He may be a her.  We just might happen to call her "Angry Dave" cause she might look like "Mayor Dave", just angrier.  But, I digress...

Since returning from Vermont, I have been a camp counselor for a week, unpacked myself and family, taught a summer course at Vanderbilt (which ended yesterday) and now am packing to head to Philadelphia for a week. I am really looking forward to returning home to begin a routine! School starts August 12 for the kids...Hallelujah! I will have more time to schedule my writing and not just have to sneak off and write as many pages as I can before one of my children demands to be fed (I hate that! They can be so demanding sometimes.  You'd think popcorn would be enough, but children these days are so entitled.) Needless to say, my life in academia has started much like my first attempts at driving a stick-shift, in fits and starts. I hope the smooth driving starts soon. 

Now that I am starting this academic season of life, I look foward to sharing some of the wealth of knowledge.  My first piece of wisdom is this. "Just do it. " Okay, I realize this is Nike's wisdom, but it's all I got.  My first packet of writing is due August 5, one week from today.  The packet is to include a 2-3 page critical essay (on something craft related), a book review (also 2-3 pages)...oh shit,  I just realized as I am typing this out that it's 2-3 pages double spaced. I think i have 3-5 pages, single-spaced. oh, nothing like an overachiever...shoot. I guess I have some editing to do...Anyway, that's not all... and 30 pages of creative writing! Yikes! I can write 30 pages, but I cannot guarantee that it will be creative.  I will have to turn in that same amount each month this semester. So, feel free to try and keep up (my writerly friends). I am paying about $7,000 this semester for someone to force me to do this much writing.  Just think, you could do it FOR FREE!

Well, just thought I should update my blog. I was really getting tired of the "Proudly Serving Bologna" title on my last post. I thought it was cute when I wrote it, but now it's just embarrassing. Here's to hoping the Vermont photo makes my blog look a bit less piggy.