So this has been a pretty eventful semester. Now that it’s nearly over, I feel like I can share some of the wonderful publicly. My followers on Facebook already know much of this, so I will skip some of the fascinating details and just hit the high points.
In September, I worked up the gumption to apply for graduate school. There was really only one choice for me right now, and it was the Red Earth MFA through Oklahoma City University. It’s a fantastic program, and it’s low-residency, which means that I just go twice a year for two weeks at a time, with one final residency at the end of term. This leaves the rest of my schedule flexible, which means I can get a job. This has become something of a necessity. Still, I worked up the courage and sent in the application.
Then, near the end of the month, by the request of Dr. Mackie, our poetry professor at Rogers State University(Who also happens to be the English department head,) Dr. Mish, who is the program’s director and also the current Oklahoma Poet Laureate, was scheduled to come to our school to talk to the class and to give a reading that night in the performance center. (Gasp!) I got to meet her one on one between classes, and she asked me a few questions and told me a little bit about the program. I was enchanted to say the least. It felt like the universe singled me out for a moment and graced me with a pat on the head. Then there was the reading. Some readings you listen to, and some you feel. Maybe I was already suffering some overbearing sentimentality, but I still believe it was just the authenticity and gentle power of her poetry that moved me to tears. Literally. I think there was mascara on my shirt at the end of it all.
Anyway, I finished up all the paperwork, and on November 2nd, I got an email from Oklahoma City University saying that I was accepted into the program. I flipped. I tried not to attach too much to whether I got in or not, but in the end, I was so ecstatic people probably got sick of me walking on air. I still get all giddy when I think about it, because I never thought I could even get as far as an Associate degree. And I had spent all that time telling myself that if I didn’t get it, it didn’t matter, because I would just go to work and write anyway, and practice. Well.
It did matter. It mattered in a big way. Now it matters even more. It’s the end of a tough semester. I am pretty much exhausted with school altogether, and yet here I am, getting ready to double-down. It’s not like I’m a twenty-something. I get bone tired and I get brain tired, and things just stop working.
But then I think about how much better the writing will be if I put the extra effort into it and learn more from people who have been doing this so much longer and more in depth than I have. It can only get better from here, right? Then I get excited, and the adrenaline kicks in, and I’m hyper-productive. For about thirty minutes– and then it’s nap time.