Feb 15, 2006, 8:36 AM
Post #19 of 56
First, congratulations on having a great set of options! Seems to me that speaks not only to the quality of your work so far, but also your ingenuity in positioning yourself to be able to MAKE such a choice.
Re: [waughwaugh] M.A. vs. M.F.A.
It sounds like you're happier about the M.A. program. I'm ignorant, I confess, about the difference between a creative writing M.A. and an M.F.A. Does the former involve more lit classes? From my (admittedly prejudiced) pov, I think MORE lit classes are good things.
I also sure as heck don't blame your for keeping one eye trained in a pragmatic direction! I think Hopperfu's points about what one gets from a writing program are really good ones--time, time, time, and the opp. to enrich one's writing. YES.
Since/if you're ingenious, I'd totally encourage you to keep an eye peeled for certain opps that will make your vita look smashing, in addidtion to great creative material, and these don't necessarily involve a particular degree, but just taking advantage of what programs your school may contain. Often, English programs will run summer stuff for international, and "historically underrepresented" populations, and if you can participate in these you'll catch the eye of prospective employers who will be seeking to fill several niches with a new hire (that's just often the way things go, in hiring these days, with down-sizing, and needs to have new hires wear several hats, at least initially). EOP programs are often looking for participants from across the curriculum who are strong writers; I myself am going to go to Singapore for a semester and teach, though I don't have international ed. experience per se. Such-like could also give you some valuable material for writing--and in this era of strong interest in international fiction/poetry, that might really be a great pragmatic as well as creative effort. If your M.A. program is at a school with lots of such-like opps, that's great; if it's even close to a university that does, that can also work well.
I'll back off now, because I really don't know too much about this-all, esp. from a more purist approach to the development of one's craft--the "great MFA" plus "all the great reccs for fab workshops" and "wonderful mentoring opps" thang. Me, I've totally pieced together my creative life. . . and aside from 3 mornings a week and summers, don't really have time for it. At Breadloaf, Bharti Mukherjee told me, sadly, "You just don't have the time you need." Joan Silbur said "You do--but just don't have children, whatever you do."
Over and out.