Month: March 2015

An Open Letter to the Writers who Read Boudinot’s Article

Dear Reader/Writer, Everyone’s writing open letters to Boudinot himself, but honestly, I don’t want to write to him. He wrote his article in a way that would get attention and people talking, and yes we are talking, but I don’t really want to talk to him. He is cool with himself, he has his clout, and I’m not worried about him. I’m worried about you. As a teacher and as a writer and as an MFA student, I want to make sure you understand how this teacher is wrong. I could pull from my own examples of my students and me, but I’d rather point to better teachers. So let’s talk about Mrs. A and Professor Z. I had Mrs. A when I was in seventh grade. I’d spent the entire summer typing out this awful bloated whale of a high fantasy series. I brought it to my teacher on the first day of school. I asked her to read it. She took it home, she read through the whole thing, and she brought it …

February

February: the shortest month, always proving to be a whirlwind. Here at Alaska-Fairbanks, February means comps (or, if you will, comprehensive exams.) The second-year MA’s and MFA’s all gathered in a computer lab on Valentine’s Day (of all days) for the exams. Two longer essay questions in the morning, a two-hour lunch break, and three shorter questions in the afternoon. Afterwards, we first- and third-years always host a little ceremony to honor the examinees involving champagne and Doritos (no one knows why this combo, but it’s how it’s always been done.) Then, a student in my program who lives in my building threw a party to celebrate the completion of the exams. The party was fun (one of my cohortmates, a fantastic cook, brought incredible pork tacos,) and it was a great chance for me to socialize with the others in my program. We’re pretty good at socializing, actually, and that close-knit quality is one reason I’m glad I’m here. I’ll be taking comps a year from now. The comps list, thankfully, has shrunken some; …