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Aug 16, 2007, 4:08 PM

Post #26 of 36 (5423 views)
Let the panic attacks begin. Can't Post

T-minus two weeks until I move to Eugene to start my new life as an MFA student. My husband has learned that his employment contract requires him to remain in the Bay Area through March, I've just received a phonebook-sized batch of readings, and my car finally bit the dust for real. And so the excitement of acceptance slowly transmogrifies into a heinous and drooling colossus of anxiety. It has now been three weeks since I've slept through the night, ate a normal meal, or remembered to do anything I was supposed to be doing (call my mother, pay my bills, brush my teeth...). Short of mainlining chamomile, I'm not sure what to do so I thought I'd launch my panic on this poor, unsuspecting forum.

Does anyone else have the pre-program jitters? Has anyone else decided s/he is a talentless hack who was admitted to his/her program based solely on the psychotic break of one of the faculty? Is anyone else dreaming nightly of falling through fluffy clouds of piranha? Do tell.


Aug 16, 2007, 4:34 PM

Post #27 of 36 (5421 views)
Re: [BlueVelveeta] Let the panic attacks begin. Can't Post

I'm getting a little frazzled myself.

Wife and I are buying a new home a baby. Going to art school now seems very self indulgent. I'm going to try to keep my full time job while going to school full time also, but I'm really worried about how to juggle all those responsibilities. Oh, and I've never felt like more of a hack.



Aug 16, 2007, 11:16 PM

Post #28 of 36 (5369 views)
Re: [BlueVelveeta] Let the panic attacks begin. Can't Post

I've been in Tallahassee for almost two months now. Classes start in less than two weeks. I dealt with pre-moving stress by not thinking about it at all. Then I spent three weeks hustling rabidly to get everything done, plus three weeks scrambling once I landed here, to get myself a place to live, etc. Been pretty relaxed since then, and trying to rest up and do some writing before fall. On the other hand, I secretly still believe that the admissions committee must've made a mistake in admitting me. As in, through a slip of an index finger, the letter of admission was sent to me rather than the next person on the list.

However, the rational me appears to know that this is madhatter thinking, and allows that it's possible I'm here because I deserve a chance to work on my writing and see where I can take it. Hopefully it will be a fun and challenging trip.

Congrats on the baby, bighark.


(This post was edited by piratelizzy on Aug 16, 2007, 11:23 PM)


Aug 16, 2007, 11:23 PM

Post #29 of 36 (5366 views)
Re: [piratelizzy] Let the panic attacks begin. Can't Post

Hey Piratelizzy!

I think you'll do fine in your first semester at FSU. Have you mingled with the other MFAers (both newbies and oldies)?


Aug 16, 2007, 11:39 PM

Post #30 of 36 (5365 views)
Re: [piratelizzy] Let the panic attacks begin. Can't Post

Keep posting, piratelizzy! FSU is one of my top choices, so I'd love to hear your initial impressions of the program.


Aug 16, 2007, 11:50 PM

Post #31 of 36 (5358 views)
Re: [seemingmeaning] Let the panic attacks begin. Can't Post

Hey Guy,

Yeah, I've mingled a lot with other MFAers, actually, because I spent most of the last two months doing this TA-training thing. I haven't spent a lot of social time with my peers, but went to a cookout or two and had lunch here and there with a handful. It was a busy summer for all of us doing TA-training.

Hope all is going well for you.


Jessie Carty

Aug 17, 2007, 2:37 PM

Post #32 of 36 (5313 views)
Re: [BlueVelveeta] Let the panic attacks begin. Can't Post

Lord I was a nervous wreck! I won't go into the whole story but I still feel sometimes like I am waiting for someone to tap me during residency and say--oh wait, you weren't supposed to get in, you were the first person we meant to turn down!

Good luck everyone and enjoy your time. I have completed I guess 7-8 months now of my low res program and it is the best gift I have given myself :)



Aug 17, 2007, 9:40 PM

Post #33 of 36 (5274 views)
Re: [bighark] Let the panic attacks begin. Can't Post

Congratulations to you and your wife, Hark. Regardless of what happens with your writing, a baby is a project worth doing. Good luck with it all.


Sep 15, 2009, 3:57 PM

Post #34 of 36 (4996 views)
New MFAs -- how's it going so far? Can't Post

I decided to resurrect this old thread for a tangential topic -- I guess most of us who started programs this year are in the first few weeks of classes now. How's it going for everyone?

I am taking two classes (and working full-time) and I am completely swamped with homework. It's definitely in a good way, because there's nothing I'd rather do, but I really dread going to my job now. There's no way I can pay for school without working, though -- I get tuition remission. So the pace of my life has suddenly picked up a lot, and I'm trying to adapt.

I absolutely love my poetry workshop. The best thing, so far, is being in workshop with other people who can actually write. I mean, ALL people who can actually write, not just a couple of them like in undergrad workshops. I don't have to be fake-nice to spare anyone's feelings, thank god. My program is non-competitive with a real focus on collaboration and experimentation. It's perfect for me. No giant egos, and the professors are really into teaching. I feel so blessed to have lucked into the exact right place.


Sep 15, 2009, 4:33 PM

Post #35 of 36 (4983 views)
Re: [Juliet73] New MFAs -- how's it going so far? Can't Post

Hey Juliet, a few of us who just started in different programs are talking about it over on The MFA Chronicles.

I know exactly what you mean about everyone in the workshop being serious about their work and yours and how that differs from undergrad workshops. It's a relief, but also a shock that took some adjusting to. I feel like I lucked into the right place too and I'm even starting to think that they didn't make a big mistake by letting me in lol! - Follow us as we begin our 1st years in MFA programs!


Jun 8, 2010, 2:42 AM

Post #36 of 36 (3949 views)
Re: [GDClark] About to start MFA Can't Post

In Reply To
I read somewhere [...] that the MFAers that don't grow much are the ones who don't get risky enough with their work while they're in the program.

That's a big chunk of what's on my mind too, with just a few weeks to go before I head to Swannanoa. (I'm kind of in love with that place name. SWANNANOA! It's so much more fun to say than plain old Warren Wilson.)

I want to be exact and truthful. I want to be as zany and open as I am when I'm drifting off to sleep and images crowd in. At the same time I want to be calmly alert to everything I already know about language and shape, and I want to develop keener senses of both, and stronger intuition about storytelling. Not to mention all the things I don't yet know I need.

I feel a nutty urge to ask you all for...I don't know what. Not reassurance, exactly. Blessings, or their secular equivalent? A bent bobbypin and a twenty-year old pack of matches from a dive bar in Wichita, both of which will turn out to be invaluable down the road in some improbable way? Advice?


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