All posts tagged: working

MFA Mailbox

Image: Wayne Stadler Today contributors Ignacio Peña, Lauren Sharkey and Cady Vishniac are answering two questions from a potential MFA applicant. If you have questions about the application process or the MFA/MA in general, send them to themfayears@gmail.com. We’d love to answer them! Let us know if you’d like your question(s) published on the blog. First, thanks so much for putting this site together! I love the different perspectives each blogger has on their MFA program and their writing life. I’m considering applying for an MFA in a year or two, and this blog has been so informative. I have a couple question for the bloggers: Many MFA applicants cite “time to write” as one of the main reasons they want to get an MFA. I can definitely relate to that; it’s HARD to be creative while working 60 hrs a week! But after reading the posts here about teaching and working on literary magazines, I’m thinking, “Where’s the writing time?” How much time do MFA students actually get to write? I would love to see a …

First Month in Review

Image: Heipei In the Pacific Northwest, we do things little differently. Instead of the semester system that I am used to, we work under the quarter system. We have the year cut into three sections: Fall- Oct-Dec, Winter- Jan-March, and Spring- Apr-June. I am over half way through my first quarter in my MFA. Time is flying, and homework is piling up around me. The quarter system is a bit unforgiving when it comes to homework. I am taking two classes- Nonfiction Form and Theory III- Profiles and Memoir and Nonfiction Workshop. I am also involved in three internships: Willow Springs Magazine (I am a nonfiction reader), Writers in the Community (I work in a high school), and Get Lit! Festival (I am an assistant writer and editor for content.) So far, I have been almost overwhelmed by the amount of stuff there is to do in the MFA. Not only in terms of class work (though that is challenging), but also internships I can work with, my job, and still sleeping and cleaning my …

I Quit my Job Yesterday

This post has caused a lot of anxiety on my part, because it’s very personal. I’m an MFA candidate. I also worked full-time at a job that was in no way writing-related and expected me to work ten hours a day with a vigorous passion for others. This last month, I made a decision to leave that job in order to completely focus on my studies. My job involves other people, including about a hundred children who depend on me being there at my job. There is a lot of guilt that has come with leaving them. They don’t understand why I need to do what I need to do, and on some days, I doubt myself in my selfishness. But this is the way things have to be right now. When I got into my low-res program, I thought I could balance both. It became apparent on both sides pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to happen. Both needed me. My program needed me. My job needed me. And they were each getting half …

Daniel Go

Breaking the Lull: A New Term Begins

So the end of last term was a desperate time for me. I had a bad case of the holiday blues, not to mention the very real cold sickness I was nursing, and financially I was in a really bad place. Luckily, things fell into place. I managed to pick up a job in a call center just as December rolled in, and it couldn’t have come any later. Just a week later, I heard back on the GAship I phone interviewed for, and I got it. Can’t tell you how happy I was. Tuition covered, a stipend, free health insurance. Again, just what I needed. So while everyone else was enjoying presents, holiday treats, and family, I was working. Working a lot. Working so much I barely remember December. I wasn’t bitter for any of it. It would have been nice being able to see some of my family, but I had a lot of catching up to do as far as bills went, so I was glad to be saved in a sense. …

On Wishing & Leaving

“I wish you weren’t leaving.” I get this not from my friends and/or boyfriend but my coworkers. This is the case, I think, for two reasons. First, my friends aren’t ones for IWYWL because now is the time to leave.  Also, to possibly return to a brighter and more bubbling Boston in two years. But mostly to acknowledge that, while I’ve worked since graduating (TWO WHOLE YEARS!) to become an adult and pay for my own health insurance and wipe down my stove-top, realistically I have no responsibilities. I say this with confidence because the hardest thing I’ve done to prepare for my imminent departure is sit in my boss’s office and tell him I’m leaving. Which leads to number two. I really like my job, and my job likes me back. Here’s the takeaway: it’s inherently satisfying and rewarding to be to be great at something. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be life-changing or liberal-arts-approved meaningful; I’m not distributing books to low-income orphans, I’m not publishing the wide-eyed try-hard innovators of tomorrow. I’m working for …