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Marisa Lee

Mar 25, 2006, 4:00 PM

Post #26 of 26 (1772 views)
Re: [soft petal] Previous Degrees Can't Post

"Surely the Associated Writing Programs don't hate highly academic people. I've heard of a mutual disrespect between English and Creative Writing faculty at many places, but I've never heard of an admissions committee dinking someone for education. There are so many MFA students from Ivy League backgrounds, it makes me wonder if I should've sent my family into huge debt back when I had the opportunity."

Hmmmm.... I don't think my IL background helped me either way for admissions. Maybe for a teaching assistantship? Maybe for a bit extra funding? But not in terms of actual yes or no. Something like what Sibyline said. Once they know your stuff is up to snuff, they might look at your grades and degree to determine where you stand in terms of funding, if it's tiered. Since I have such a strong academic background, it probably assured them I could teach. But that's just on a practical level.

What I mean is that I had difficulty at first winning creative writing contests in undergrad because I was more of an essay-writer, and I was over-literary in an academic sense. A lot of my narrative action was obscured by literary overlay. I just couldn't tell a straightforward story for some reason. That's why I dallied in poetry and nonfiction for a long time and really had a lot of trouble writing until recently. And then I had a reputation for being a good student--you know, responsible and diligent and all--and I always felt insecure about not being "artsy" enough. All the other creative writing majors were tree-hugging, outdorsy types who wrote about trailer parks and smoking up... you know, they were the kind of kids who pretended they didn't care about money, success, reputation, etc. I just didn't have the same kind of material. Or the same approach to life.

Also, I tend to come across as very precocious in my materials. This often makes people want to smack me down. This literally came from the mouth of the Asian American advisor at my undergrad institution: "These cute Ivy League girls who come in thinking they know everything--they really irritate me." She's supposed to be a mature adult. I can't believe she said that. That's a verbatim quote, too.

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