Mar 2, 2006, 11:33 AM
Post #31 of 172
1. I turned 24 the summer I moved to Gainesville for UF's program. (Actually, it went like this: 1. I graduated from college, 2. 5 days later I turned 24, 3. 9 days after that I flew to Florida, 4. 2 months after that I began my MFA program). I graduated 1 month before my 26th birthda.
Re: [jennatelesca] Age of MFA students?
2. Right now I am 28 (I turn 29 in June for anyone in the Greater Boston area who wants to be included in my invite list for my bacchanalian fete), and I am hoping in my highest of hopes to return to school.
3. I graduated from a prestigious college and am not a lawyer, CEO, consultant at Bain, CFO, media planner, marketing exec, doctor, ETC ETC ETC, or MARRIED WOMAN like all of the people I graduated high school with. My parents, quite unfortunately, sent me ("scholarship girl") to some prissy, hoity-toity all-female Catholic high school. Every alumni newsletter is filled with notes on how such-and-such person just got married or just popped out larvae or just got another corporate job. It's not that I hate that--I mean live your life however you are happy--but every time that newsletter comes, there is mention of it and why am I not married? Why am I not a '21st century kind of woman who wants a nice car and a nice, safe, stable job,' as my mother told me when I chose to go to an MFA program?
4. Oh brother!
5. I look INCREDIBLY young. I am 4'11". I am more prone to jeans, sneakers, and hair shoved behind my ears and gallavanting around town with a messenger bag or backpack and my earbuds popped in than anything else.
6. My looking young was NOT a problem when I was a TA in Grad School, nor is it a problem now. Students in college can be quite cynical, yes, but there's an immediate acceptance that you are the teacher and they registered for your course. The school I went to was incredibly informal--dressing business casual was certainly fine, but you would've likely gotten laughed at if you wore a suit or anything really fitting of a corporate environment. Lots of people wore jeans and nice sneakers/decent shoes and a reasonable top or khakis or cargo pants or whatever for teaching.
7. Brooklynpoet--one of my friends who is a UF/MFA alum and a delightful poet lives in Tampa. I don't know if he's still single, but he is incredibly striking and young-looking for his 50-something age. He really looks more like 40. And he is hilarious and a great writer and a very delightful person.
8. Word to the wise: if you are in a small MFA program, it can get VERY incestuous. Be careful of that, especially if you find yourself really liking the sense of community that's built when everyone's buddies. If you are in a CRW program within an English department that seems pretty cohesive (either by nature or by the fact that you're in a huge university with five million undergrads and you need to know some people who are around your age and education level), it can also get incestuous, but with a twist. Be careful about department politics that tend to exist with the professors and whether or not, by professor influence and biases, this trickles down to the grad students and what they really think of each other. Many times people seem cool--you are who you are--but sometimes a situation can arise where you are your program/focus/major/discipline or you are considered an extension of your thesis advisor. That can get uncomfortable.
(I'm just sayin'...)
This is long and verbose. Procrastination time over!