Jan 11, 2010, 3:25 AM
Post #27 of 59
I'm currently sitting pretty at OSU with full funding, critiquing poems and responding to my students' work but thought I might chime in here with can best be described as my pears o'wisdom.
Re: [bighark] What Have You Learned From the Application Process?
What I Learned:
1. There are no guarantees (accept that everyone applies to Iowa): Well, almost everyone. You cannot predict what will happen. I applied to 12 schools, accepted at 3. One school got 50 applications in poetry, another got 200, an another got closer to 400. I made into the top 6 picks for all of them. The other 9? Flat out rejections. It's like shooting blindly into a cave. You may or may not hit something.
2. Research matters: I am crazy and obsessive. I plan things out in advance. I figured out where I was applying by July of last year before I applied, and turned in my apps to all my schools two weeks ahead of the earliest deadlines. I knew the schools inside and out, their requirements, their pluses and minuses, how much their stipends amounted too. Now with Seth's blog effectively out of commission, your jobs all got a lot harder, but there's still ways of getting info when and where you need it.
3. Apply to schools that matter to you for whatever reasons they do: I applied to OSU because the idea of working with Andre Hudgins and Henri Cole, plus the guarantee of full funding, in a part of the country I've never lived (but could definitely live) in, the guarantee of a teaching job, and the chance to be affiliated with a large university, mattered a lot to me. It seems to me OSU will become (and is becoming) a very respected program that applicants just haven't discovered yet. I have no delusions that prestige short of Iowa will help me get a job anywhere, but it gives me satisfaction to know that others covet what I have. I guess I am just a sick bastard who likes to know others are jealous, hah!
4. The GRE is bullshit: case closed. Especially the math. That crack is whack! Stressing out about that test at the expense of any other part of your application is the dimmest move you can make. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT, ETS HAS A SHIV PRESSED AGAINST THE THROAT'S OF MANY UNIVERSITIES. THEY WANT THEIR BLOOD MONEY. "THEY FEED THEY LION, AND THEY LION GROW" (extra credit if you know where that quote came from)
5. Online statuses are also bullshit: case double closed. Always email or call human beings. They are still there behind their wall of emails and automated phone menus. You just might have to circumvent the system to contact an actual breathing person, and not just their unemotive, listless, monophonic voice.
6. Have a distraction: for me it was still BEING IN SCHOOL AKA POTTY TRAINING AND PLAYING WITH LEGOS...that joke was for the agists out there. I hear you making your juvenile remarks about juvies like me. Other options include watching LOST, MAD MEN, 30 ROCK, THE OFFICE (BBC OR US OR BOTH), BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, BREAKING BAD, GLEE, MODERN FAMILY, FUTURAMA or some other lovely show on DVD. Drinking, murder, dog whispering, picking up a new language, fornicated with strangers abroad, or building a model airplane should do the job too. Oh, writing always helps too, unless, like me, you were PETRIFIED WITH FEAR THAT YOU WERE A FAILURE AFTER TURNING IN YOUR APPS AND VOWED AS GOD AS MY WITNESS I WILL NEVER WRITE AGAIN...a vow you announce immediately after (fingers crossed) your first acceptance, at which point you rapidly conclude that, far from a failure, you are actually THE SHIT...at least until you show up to your first grad workshop. Hahaha.....oh I made myself sad.
7. Your online friends are now your best friends: because they know exactly what you are going through and (this is critical) CARE, or at least pretend to as they conduct voodoo rituals and pray to Aries, Anubis, Quezacoatl or Kali to take you out of the equation. Sure your friends and family and non-writer peeps and paramours and mistresses (or as it was in my case) manstresses are there for you, but they don't know why this little arts degree is so important to you. We do, and we want to welcome you into our cozy bosom. We love you...just so long as things work out for all of us. Don't be surprised when things go sour for some and people start contemplating existential ennui and ritualistic seppuku publicly while cursing you out in the broadest way possible. It's just what happens, the name of the game as the dull cliche goes.
Good luck kids! Oh and if you applied to OSU...just know you'll be hearing from us real soon. The scuttlebutt around here is that acceptances across all genres should go out by the end of the month. But then if you looked at what's left of Seth's blog, the pattern he has recorded would make that very clear to you.
See y'all on down the trails!
Who told you I was a racist? Was it...a minority?
-T-Rex, qwantz.com Dinosaur Comics