Apr 15, 2007, 6:56 PM
Post #1562 of 2667
One of the things that makes Goucher seem so appealing to me (even apart from the excellent faculty) is that I can commute to the residencies, meaning that I have a decent chance of arriving home before my kids' bedtimes each evening and getting to read *Click Clack Moo* with them for the 97th time... I'm wondering if any other low-residency MFA folks (current or prospective) find it painful or just inconvenient to balance (or to think about how to balance) writing and family commitments and pleasures. Are the residencies a torture? Are they a joy? Is the financial investment something you worry about, as money that could pay for your children's education rather than for your education, ongoing as it is?
I have two residencies under my belt and can tell you that I personally would find it tremendously distracting and disjointed to have to (or be able to ) arrive home each night. There is so much internal momentum, introspection and just plain thinking that goes on while I am at a residency, I would be loathe to interrupt that. Also, I find so much rich discussion (and a bit of fun) occurs after hours amongst students and faculty.
The first time away was difficult - it was summer and I really missed being home w/my children, but after the first 3 days, I settled in, used my cell phone and email a lot during lunch and at night, and then by day 11, I found I wanted (and took) and extra R&R buffer day between the intensity of the residency and coming back home to kids, chores, summer activities, etc. On the other hand, my kids are older than yours, so that makes a difference I'm sure, in being able to take some pressure off your significant other who has to handle a lot while you are away...
Yes, I get the guilts about spending $$$$ that could go toward their education, but then again, if Mama ain't happy....as they say, and I waited a long time to pursue this. That said, undertaking this involves scurrying to make every extra dime I can, forsaking sleep, and no vacations, big purchases, etc. for at least 2-3 years, probably more, since my husband's income keeps us going, but that's it.
I think my kids are gaining something valuable too, seeing that education is important at any age and that a mom who loves what she is doing is a lot more fun to have around.
Good luck. Goucher has a wonderful reputation and I was waitlisted there, but opted to get going right away in another program and have not regretted it. There are folks in my low-res program who do commute from their homes each day and there are mixed reactions. At the winter program, two who live close by nevertheless chose to stay in the housing provided to have a total immersion experience.