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Zash
Zachary Ash

Aug 20, 2008, 1:51 AM

Post #51 of 60 (2229 views)
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Re: [rppohl] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings Can't Post

I am forty-seven. I no longer have a passion for writing; it seems trivial and self-indulgent. BEsides the program I"m slated to begin in september is a three-year committment. This is out of the question. UPon graduation I'd be fifty years old with no job prospects. Also I can't teach: I have a severe social anxiety disorder. Why did I get into this?
And in my opinion, UMass is an ill-designed and ugly state campus. It looks nothing like Iowa or UClA. Just being on this campus brings me down.

Sowhat will I do? I"M looking into online library school programs. Jobs are plentiful. And I can return to the SB mountains where I've lived the past three years. This is my home, a small town in the national forest. I miss the pines and white fir and incense cedars, along with the granite rock outcropping. Hawks in flight. New England, so far,is nothing but suburbs. I'm miserable here.


vorgefuhl


Aug 20, 2008, 9:26 AM

Post #52 of 60 (2197 views)
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Re: [Zash] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings Can't Post

it sounds like you know yourself well and have made a good decision. you can't be happy, no matter what you're doing, if you hate the place. I hope you don't stop writing, though.


RaoulDuke
Cobra Cobachi

Aug 20, 2008, 5:48 PM

Post #53 of 60 (2141 views)
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Re: [Zash] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings Can't Post

I wonder how many UMass waitlisters are simultaneously cursing and cheering your decision right now. I assume it's a mixed bag.


writerteacher


Aug 21, 2008, 11:15 PM

Post #54 of 60 (2071 views)
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Re: [Zash] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings Can't Post


In Reply To
I am forty-seven. I no longer have a passion for writing; it seems trivial and self-indulgent. <snip> I'm miserable here.


Aw, man. I'm sorry to hear that. Both the being miserable part and the lost passion part. I admire your will. I can understand how you came to feel writing is trivial and self-indulgent; when your nose is pressed right up against the window of writing as a vocation, I can imagine the frame of the whole endeavor could become warped. As an avocation, writing fits the bill perfectly; hobbies are by definition self-indulgent.

I hope you regain your enthusiasm for writing when you're free to do it in your own way, at your own pace and in a place that feels right to you. And if you turn away from writing permanently, surely it will be because you've discovered something else more fulfilling.

Thanks for answering our (nosy) questions here.

Best wishes,
WT


umass76


Aug 22, 2008, 12:41 AM

Post #55 of 60 (2050 views)
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Re: [Raysen] Can't Post

Raysen,

In response to your question about Massachusetts: western Massachusetts is gorgeous, New England is anything but all suburbs, and Amherst is a fantastic town in which to be a writer--it's both pretty and progressive. UMass is also one of the top three creative writing programs in the United States, and (therefore) possibly in the world. There is absolutely zero connection between Zash's personal life decisions/attitudes and any deficit, of any kind, of the CW program at UMass.

A program which, last I checked, hadn't even come into session yet at the time of Zash's decision.

I'm sorry Zash is upset, honestly I am. That said, his views on New England after a couple of weeks don't really compare to--hold a candle to--the fact that I spent 30 years living in New England (Massachusetts and New Hampshire), and have spent many happy days in Amherst, as my oldest sister went to college there. The only thing Zash has right is that the campus proper is not particularly attractive (at UMass; the Amherst College campus, just a mile or so away, is stunning, and a classic example of how New England has more top-notch colleges and universities per capita/per square mile than any American region).

I wish Zash best of luck, certainly in his life, his writing, and in all his other endeavors, as well as in finding a single region in the United States more spectacularly beautiful than New England, in fall or any other season.

Cheers,
Seth


(This post was edited by umass76 on Aug 22, 2008, 12:45 AM)


Zash
Zachary Ash

Aug 22, 2008, 10:27 PM

Post #56 of 60 (1985 views)
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Re: [umass76] Can't Post

Seth,

I think, for whatever reason, I was in shock the first few days. I may have come out here too early. Each day gets a little better. I have a place in Belchertown which is lonesome and isolated. Until yesterday I didn't have a car. I will make an effort to do well in my workshops and seminars; no, I'm not withdrawing. That was panic talking. I am trying to have a better attitude.

zash


umass76


Aug 23, 2008, 1:56 AM

Post #57 of 60 (1954 views)
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Re: [Zash] Can't Post

Zash,

I think you're making the right decision. I think you can always change your mind and withdraw if, after a month or two, your feelings haven't changed. But I suspect they will; not necessarily because you weren't/aren't experiencing valid and real emotions, but because you will be won over by the faculty, the community, and (eventually) the region.

Best of luck,
Seth


libbyagain


Aug 23, 2008, 9:06 AM

Post #58 of 60 (1932 views)
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Re: [Zash] Can't Post

Omigosh, Zash, I just want to give a shout out of sympathy about arriving soon-ish to a campus. I did that when I started my doctorate at Madison. WHAT a mistake! There was such a different vibe to the summer school than to the fall semester when it started up. I thought, "I'm crazy--I HATE Madison, and everyone says how great it is. . . " Then the semester started, and, well, it wasn't smooth as a chocolate frappe, but it was SO MUCH BETTER. If you end up not liking the program, leaving, then that happens. But I think you're SO wise not to decide until you've had a taste of the real deal. Summer school/atmosphere on campus. . . well, some people like it. I do NOT.

Elizabeth


ejdifili
Emily

Aug 24, 2008, 12:03 AM

Post #59 of 60 (1863 views)
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Re: [Zash] Can't Post


In Reply To

I think, for whatever reason, I was in shock the first few days.

Adjustment is a challenge. I have just arrived at a new MFA program as well, and while I am basically content, there have been moments of fear and doubt. Living on a new campus and in a new place is usually not exactly what you expected it to be. My university, for example, seems far more conservative than I previously realized. Also, the town is just as lame as everyone warned me. Not that I am planning to drop out, by any means, but it's definitely a process of adjustment. That is, it's not like I fell madly in love with this place from the moment I arrived, as I thought perhaps I might. Still, I'm here to write, and I feel confident that I will be able to accomplish that objective.


__________



Aug 24, 2008, 8:58 AM

Post #60 of 60 (1827 views)
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Re: [ejdifili] Can't Post

If my days in Austin are any indication, I can tell you being in tiny, boring town will be much more productive than being in a fun city with a buncha folks who like to tell you they're writers as they prepare for the next Jell-O shot.

:)


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