Ya’ll are probably too young to remember the intro to the Mary Tyler Moore Show, hell I’m probably too young to be remembering that intro! But when my friends ask me how I’m liking UC Riverside, I imagine I feel the same way MTM felt when she runs into that busy New York intersection, spun around and threw her little hat into the air!
I am blissed out. Totally overjoyed. My cohort is the greatest. There’s 19 of us across screenwriting, playwriting, poetry, fiction and nonfiction. There’s none of that competitiveness or cattiness I’ve heard about in other programs. Everyone just seems to be genuinely happy to be here and happy to be surrounded by other happy people. There’s a wide range of ages and experiences in my cohort and I’m very pleased with all of the diversity. The faculty isn’t there to churn us out of a writer factory, they have more of a writer’s colony approach and they are there to guide us along the way.
I’m taking 3 classes (Writer’s Life, Regional Fiction and Nonfiction workshop) and reading a book a week and chapters or essays from a few other books or handouts. I was nervous that I wasn’t writing much the first few weeks, but I guess a lot of people were in the same boat and with my first workshop deadline looming I seem to have regained my ability to sit and write. I’ve been out of school 7 years so I was really worried about being back in the classroom. Funnily enough I’ve fallen right back into my old role as the girl who raised her hand too much.
We’ve also started meeting for UCR’s graduate Literary Mag, Crate, and I’m the Nonfiction Sub-Editor. We’re going to start accepting submissions this week or next. I’m looking forward to reading submissions (hint, hint submit!) and learning how a literary mag runs.
Friends and family keep asking me how Riverside is, but honestly, I’m realizing I could have probably gone to school anywhere because I’m mostly at home, on campus or at the grocery store. I suppose I’ll have more time to explore over winter break, but my limited routine has also been helping to stick to my budget.
Sorry for all the gushing, I feel like a little girl with her first crush 🙂 Next month I’ll tell you all how my first round of workshopping goes!!