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poetastin


Mar 2, 2006, 2:38 AM

Post #26 of 172 (5871 views)
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Re: [brooklynpoet] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

Hopefully, the program I choose will let me meet women who don't find it disgusting that I'm not, at 26, a doctor or lawyer like everyone else in my graduating class... (Damn you, private high school!)

Do I put that in my statement of purpose?


(This post was edited by poetastin on Mar 2, 2006, 2:41 AM)


RedFaerieGirl21


Mar 2, 2006, 3:35 AM

Post #27 of 172 (5857 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] Age of MFA students? Can't Post


In Reply To
Yay for the young ones!

I also look noticeably younger than twenty-one--more like seventeen/eighteen unless I make an effort to age myself. I'm vaguely worried about teaching because of this. I'm also 5'2", which doesn't help.



I know how you feel. I'm 21 as well, 5'2", and most people think I'm 18 when they first meet me. I'm currently a tutor for elementary school children and it's sad that I have a 6th grader who is taller than me (5'4"). I also used to be involved in this program where I dealt with junior high and high schoolers in a fairly large group, and I once had this teenage boy who thought he could hit on me just because he was bigger and figured I might like a 'younger man.'

But I have to say that overall, I've never had any real authority issues (at least not because I look young and am short), and it's true that as long as you do have an "air of authority," you should be fine. Heck, I wear jeans and casual shirts and I still have no problems (though I do, for the most part, wear heels to give me some height along with some eyeshadow and gloss.) I even joke, laugh, and have a 'friend-like' approach with my students, and yet I make it clear, when necessary, that I am in charge. You just have to be confident, and know you have the qualifications and ability to be in your position. Of course dealing with undergraduates will probably be different so...


darredet
Darren A. Deth


Mar 2, 2006, 5:47 AM

Post #28 of 172 (5847 views)
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Re: [knjay] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

When I went to Vermont College for a tour last year, I saw students of various ages, some of them in their sixties. I was relieved to see that age span. It lends to the experience of learning.


soulzenful


Mar 2, 2006, 10:54 AM

Post #29 of 172 (5807 views)
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Re: [jennatelesca] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

27. Just graduating with my undergrad. Glad I waited to go back to college because I appreciate school in a way I never would have if I hadn't spent time having horrible 9 to 5 jobs. Which makes getting into grad school even more insanely important to me, because I am not ready to give up the school life yet. (Ever.)


theapplepicker


Mar 2, 2006, 11:06 AM

Post #30 of 172 (5800 views)
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Re: [darredet] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

I'm very relieved to see people here of a variety of ages. I'm 27, and lately I've been feeling like I got started so late. (I was not focused during most of the years I spent in undergrad. Unlike a lot of writers who say they always wanted to be a writer, I wasn't sure what I wanted to be. I had always loved writing, and it seemed so natural--it felt like that was the only thing I could do, but I still kept looking: botanist, exercise physiologist, musician.)

It reminds me that as long as you're doing it, it doesn't matter when you get started.


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 2, 2006, 11:33 AM

Post #31 of 172 (5777 views)
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Re: [jennatelesca] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

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.

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!

:)
Steph.


kcole7
Kristin

Mar 2, 2006, 12:10 PM

Post #32 of 172 (5759 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

    I would never show up in a suit - nice jeans or cargo pants sound fine to me - but I'm reminded of a TA I had freshman year. She was studying Renaissance lit. Although she was very smart, I always wondered what the professors thought about the way she dressed (like Britney Spears, except cheaper.) All the students noticed, so I doubt the professors were blind to it.

For those of you in your thirties, don't feel old. :) I'm 25, but my husband is 36, and I don't even notice the age difference. I doubt any of the 20-somethings will notice your age. If anything, they might be intimidated. I, for one, am relieved that I won't stand out too much because I have a kid. I get really sick of 18 year old girls chirping, "You have a kid?!?" and treating me like an alien.


flatiron10


Mar 2, 2006, 2:32 PM

Post #33 of 172 (5716 views)
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Re: [kcole7] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

Hey, I just asked about age to see if I had a chance of getting in at 23, or if I should wait a couple years. It seems pretty evenly split.

As for older people in workshops, I've had a wide range of ages just in my undergrad workshops. There is a 33 year old in my class with 21 year olds. No one cares about her age. She's probably my favorite person in the class too, because she's the most thorough and thoughtful with her comments on our stories. I've had 45-55 year olds in my lit classes too. Not weird at all, for anyone. As long as people are engaged in the class, it doesn't matter to fellow classmates how old or young they are.

I didn't mean to get people self conscious about their age!


HopperFu


Mar 2, 2006, 2:37 PM

Post #34 of 172 (5711 views)
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Re: [jennatelesca] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

Of course you can get in at 23. Getting in doesn't have anything to do with age, it has to do with writing samples. The real question is, are you ready for an MFA program now? Plenty of people are ready for MFA's out of undergrad, but just as many - and I'm a good example of this - would have wasted that opportunity.
For me, having some time out of undergrad has changed the way I approach things, and I know how incredible the opportunity is that I have. That's not something I would have recognized earlier.


flatiron10


Mar 2, 2006, 2:58 PM

Post #35 of 172 (5691 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

Hopperfu, you're very right about the question to ask myself. I'm already taking a year off next year to work, so I have some time to think about everything realistically. Thanks for your input.


bighark


Mar 2, 2006, 3:00 PM

Post #36 of 172 (5691 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

I don't think I would have made the best out of the MFA experience if I were to have been accepted straight from undergrad.

Now that I'm older, I think things will be different. If I'm lucky enough to get in some place, I think I'll be hyper-senstitive about not squandering the opportunity.


HopperFu


Mar 2, 2006, 3:11 PM

Post #37 of 172 (5678 views)
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Re: [bighark] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

Jennatelesca, I think that's a great idea to take that year off. And I apologize to anybody if it sounded like a lecturing email, 'cause it wasn't intended to be. You'd think that as a writer I'd be more concious of tone in emails and message boards.

Bighark: I hear you. I actually took some time off work and lived off savings when I was in my mid-twenties, trying to write. I wasted so so so so much time, it kills me now. I've got two young girls now though, and man, any second I get to write is precious. I try so hard to make the most of my writing time now. Not to mention that my writing when I was 22 pretty much sucked.


maanprophet


Mar 2, 2006, 3:25 PM

Post #38 of 172 (5656 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

Just to throw my 2 cents in, taking time off after college has allowed me to do the following:

1. Gain perspective on the academic world and why I do/don't want to be a part of it.
2. Learn to set my own writing schedule.
3. Read anything I want!
4. Interact with different people in different working environments.

This year has helped align me to the necessity of being driven and able to produce when there's no requirements, when you are truly and fully doing it for yourself (as opposed to for a professor, or a class, or an application, or whatever).

That's truly what I'd recommend figuring out--not just if you want to devote yourself to writing, but if you can. If you're not ready for such a commitment, wait till you are.

--Avimaan


kodi


Mar 2, 2006, 3:29 PM

Post #39 of 172 (5648 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Age of MFA students? Can't Post


In Reply To
Jennatelesca, I think that's a great idea to take that year off. And I apologize to anybody if it sounded like a lecturing email, 'cause it wasn't intended to be. You'd think that as a writer I'd be more concious of tone in emails and message boards.

Bighark: I hear you. I actually took some time off work and lived off savings when I was in my mid-twenties, trying to write. I wasted so so so so much time, it kills me now. I've got two young girls now though, and man, any second I get to write is precious. I try so hard to make the most of my writing time now. Not to mention that my writing when I was 22 pretty much sucked.


I'm 23, and I hope to be enrolled in a program this fall. I've also done the 9 to 5 thing for almost two years now. I'm itching to go back to school and be surrounded by other writers--if anything, I think these two years will make me appreciate the (relative) luxury of grad school that much more.


brooklynpoet


Mar 3, 2006, 1:56 AM

Post #40 of 172 (5572 views)
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Re: [gussy] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

But you're 4 years younger than me. You got a thing for older women?

Financially secure because, of course, I'm not. But I suppose I could forgo that one requirement; I wouldn't want to be hypocritical. Exactly how cute are you?

BP


gussy


Mar 3, 2006, 2:17 AM

Post #41 of 172 (5562 views)
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Re: [brooklynpoet] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

Do you have a thing for younger men? :)

I have dated -- seriously dated -- women who were 10 years older than me, and (perhaps due to an obsessive, caliginous search for symmetry? :) ), also women who were 10 years younger than me. (Freak out not, ladies and gentlemen: for the most part, I date women in my age-range).

Exactly how cute I am? Immensely, incommensurably, overwhelmingly, intoxicatingly cute. Women flock to me like in those Axe commercials -- only I am cute, unlike the dude in the commercials.


Excerpt from my writing sample.


-----------------

(Do I need to add that I applied for fiction? :) )

------------------
OK, I gotta stay away from this forum for a while. It's not only driving me mad; it's driving me silly :)


[hotwax]


Mar 5, 2006, 10:50 AM

Post #42 of 172 (5479 views)
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Re: [jennatelesca] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

I happen to be 29 years old. Oh, dear.


pongo
Buy this book!


Mar 5, 2006, 11:51 AM

Post #43 of 172 (5464 views)
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Re: [gussy] Age of MFA students? Can't Post


In Reply To
I have dated -- seriously dated -- women who were 10 years older than me, and (perhaps due to an obsessive, caliginous search for symmetry? :) ), also women who were 10 years younger than me. (Freak out not, ladies and gentlemen: for the most part, I date women in my age-range).


At my age, from ten years older to ten years younger is women in my age range.

dmh


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


gussy


Mar 5, 2006, 1:04 PM

Post #44 of 172 (5447 views)
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Re: [pongo] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

OK, I suggest that we officially accept RL as a replacement for the old LOL. (For those of you who, like me, just learned about these things, LOL is internetese for "laughing out loud."). And hereby RL stands for "Roaring laughter." Which is exactly what happened when I read Pongo's reply. Man, how old are you? :) The only context in which I can think that +/- 10 years is one's age range is when the person is, say, 113 years old. OK, not that much, but, let's say, 80. And picturing myself as being 80 is, well, science-fiction to me (of course, 33 was equally fictional to me not so long ago, alas :). Mind you, I don't have anything against people of different age-ranges getting into romantic relationships. Actually, one of my best friends is 35 and his wife is 24; they are the best couple I've ever seen. (I know, this sounds like "I don't have anything against [insert a minority]; actually, I have friends who are [same minority]. But, despite this funny (in a black-humorous way) resemblance, I mean it. Not only do I mean it, I did in fact date women +/- 10 years than me. And besides, I love Nabokov :)

OK, this is a long, irrelevant rant. All I meant to say is, Pongo, you made me laugh a lot with your witticism. And, in a cold, sunless, mail-less Sunday, that means a lot. Alright, following the example of someone else out in the forum, I decided I will try to write again -- isn't that what all this MFA thing was all about? I'm out.


lytonyawename



Mar 5, 2006, 4:15 PM

Post #45 of 172 (5418 views)
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Re: Age of MFA students? Can't Post

just 29 last month and trying to ignore that it makes me feel like i'm approaching a cliff. completely irrational. i swear i've started becoming paranoid about my heart rate even... i'm at the point where i'm suspicious because my heart rate is too SLOW considering i'm not in great shape (65/minute is normal for an athlete... it's what i had in highschool on cross country... but now? now way)... i have concluded, based on poor reading and presumptuous flights of fancy and webmd.com that i have an enlarged heart that will die from holding it's breath or blowing up.
the end. and why does this upset me? other than that i can't stand the idea of what that would do to my daughter... it means i wouldn't have a shot of becoming a great writer. neurotic? oh, yes, yes, please, some more.


motet
Dana Davis / Moderator

Mar 5, 2006, 7:41 PM

Post #46 of 172 (5380 views)
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Re: [gussy] Age of MFA students? Can't Post


Quote
The only context in which I can think that +/- 10 years is one's age range is when the person is, say, 113 years old. OK, not that much, but, let's say, 80.



Ah, thinkin' like a 30-something!

Just wait, sweetie, your turn will come and when it does may I suggest a side dish of humble pie with those words? ;)



poetastin


Mar 5, 2006, 9:03 PM

Post #47 of 172 (5353 views)
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Re: [lytonyawename] Age of MFA students? Can't Post


In Reply To
i swear i've started becoming paranoid about my heart rate even...

Whoo! Thanks, lytonyawename! I don't feel like so much of a freak now. I developed the same paranoia a few months ago. I can happily tell you, from my internet research, that you should be worried about a resting heart rate over 74. 65 is expected. (In 8th grade, my tennis pro classmate had a jump-roping heartrate of about 65 per minute, so I'm sure you're fine). Isn't paranoia the mark of a true writer? One of the marks? Does it get us anything?


pollyannaglassy


Mar 13, 2006, 12:14 AM

Post #48 of 172 (5272 views)
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Re: [poetastin] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

haha age ain't nuthin' but a number


Windiciti



Mar 13, 2006, 6:33 AM

Post #49 of 172 (5244 views)
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Re: [pollyannaglassy] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

If you are always learning and open to new experiences that is true!

I do believe, however that I may be the oldest poster tring to get into a Writing Program for FICTION. This may matter as far as receiving funding.


rooblue


Mar 13, 2006, 8:09 AM

Post #50 of 172 (5231 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] Age of MFA students? Can't Post

sorry to disappoint, Windiciti, but in my time at WW so far there have been at least three people in their late -- I mean late -- 50's. Yes you're leaning toward one end of the demographic but you're not at the end of the curve, not yet anyway.

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