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The Waiting Game...Have you heard yet???
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Zuleika Dobson


e-mail user

Jan 13, 2010, 12:52 AM

Post #5876 of 6279 (23006 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] Re:The Waiting Game...Have you heard yet??? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yep, looked at that page too. Quelle horreur, en effet. Fortunately, I'll have a different mailing address starting February, so I'll have the option to remain blissfully ignorant and optimistic for an extended period of time.

I'm still a bit unsettled about all this logistical stuff/ varied requirements for each school. They're probably cursing those of us on the younger end, because I kind of Common App'd the merde out of all this and realized today that I had left out a few details here and there. Errare humanum est, perhaps.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


umass76


Jan 13, 2010, 1:05 AM

Post #5877 of 6279 (22999 views)
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Re: Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi all,

There's been a change in plans. Admissions response data will be collected here for the 2009-10 application season.

At some point during the application season the data may be transferred to another party and another website (at which point a link to same will be immediately provided), but for now it looks likes the data will be on TSE and gathered by yours truly.

Best of luck to all, and please do read through the very brief Introduction/Key (at the link above) before posting in the TSE comment-fields. Many thanks!

Be well,
Seth


WanderingTree


Jan 13, 2010, 1:21 AM

Post #5878 of 6279 (22988 views)
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Re: [umass76] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, we're just a few weeks away from game time.

Here's a thought:

In the event that you are accepted (by phone), how would you respond to the news without sounding really cheesy or too indifferent?

Program director: I'm calling to tell you that you've been offered a slot at The National Lampoons School of the Arts.

Applicant: Oh, wow! um, thanks - for - the - news. (awkward silence) So, what's the weather like over there?

Program director: You know what? I think I have the wrong number.


gg.scholastica
Gena Goodman


Jan 13, 2010, 1:26 AM

Post #5879 of 6279 (22986 views)
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Re: [umass76] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Seth, we're in your debt yet again.


PS- As a related thought, would you consider posting the paypal button back up sometime during this app season?


(This post was edited by gg.scholastica on Jan 13, 2010, 1:28 AM)


umass76


Jan 13, 2010, 1:33 AM

Post #5880 of 6279 (22979 views)
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Re: [gg.scholastica] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Gena,
I might, but I'm not sure -- I took a lot of flak last year from some people (curiously, almost none of whom were MFA applicants!) when I had a button up because it caused them to think I was doing this for the money. In fact I've never done any MFA stuff for the money, though I've always welcomed donations because I'm a student living on a student budget, so if people do want to/are willing to help me out I've always appreciated it enormously. It's definitely a "need" not "greed" sort of situation (anyone who's ever been a TA while in a graduate program will know what I'm talking about here). In any case, we'll have to see. Thanks for thinking of me, though!
Be well,
Seth

PS Looks like the link above isn't working. Try this one.


(This post was edited by umass76 on Jan 13, 2010, 1:36 AM)


Zuleika Dobson


e-mail user

Jan 13, 2010, 2:53 AM

Post #5881 of 6279 (22960 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

Last year, I received a phone call acceptance--unrelated to MFAs--during which I uttered the most awkward response possible. The timing was quite unexpected (sooner than anticipated), and the situation was aggravated by the fact that I was on a very packed train. I believe the words were: "Oh my God, I feel like I'm accepting an Oscar." I beseech you, learn from these mistakes.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


Trilbe



Jan 13, 2010, 6:25 AM

Post #5882 of 6279 (22942 views)
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Re: [umass76] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

@Seth -

Is there anything that I (we?) can do to help you with this? To relieve your burden? This project clearly takes an enormous amount of work -- and you aren't even applying this year! What, if anything, can we do?


umass76


Jan 13, 2010, 9:26 AM

Post #5883 of 6279 (22924 views)
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Re: [Trilbe] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Trilbe,

I do appreciate the concern! Keep in mind, though, that -- for whatever reason -- I do also enjoy gathering MFA-related data. While it's time-consuming and definitely not always fun, and while I did think I might pass on the torch (at least as to this aspect of data-gathering) to someone else this year, I also want to make sure it's done right, so I'm okay doing it myself if need be. As Gena suggested, I might at some point put up a link where readers can contribute whatever nominal sum they think the work is worth, or I might not -- I really don't know yet, and of course the big thing for me would be to have folks understand that such a link would be totally optional. But we'll see. My hope is that people will (more than anything else) be willing to share their application lists as well as their admissions info, as that really continues to be an interesting area of research for me even if I've scaled back my research project somewhat. Anyway, again, thanks for thinking of me!

Be well,
Seth


Trilbe



Jan 13, 2010, 10:15 AM

Post #5884 of 6279 (22912 views)
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Re: [umass76] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, Seth, I will stop feeling like a leech!


rain_raine


Jan 13, 2010, 10:38 AM

Post #5885 of 6279 (22896 views)
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Re: [umass76] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you, Seth, for doing this! The response times, etc, are such an amazing resource.

And here are some responses to various other questions/topics that have been posted in the thread thus far:

What major themes are you interested in exploring in your work? Did this affect your choice of schools?
My work would probably be categorized as magic realism, surrealism, slipstream, or one of those various category types, depending on the story and the personal biases of the reader. I like all of those categories, so I'm not complaining. I like to write as if common metaphors are literal (usually in shorter pieces), insert the fantastic into everyday situations, and exaggerate the everyday to the point that it feels fantastic. I would like to include more exploration of social forces (sociology major!), but with all the social/political theory bouncing around in my head I've found it difficult to do so without it coming off heavy-handed. But I'm working on it.

I paid some attention to places that might be a bit more welcoming to magic realism/surrealism, but I primarily chose my schools because I liked how they presented themselves on their websites, and how people talked about them online (here, the mfa blog, and elsewhere).

Re: WanderingTree's question: In the event that you are accepted (by phone), how would you respond to the news without sounding really cheesy or too indifferent?

I am terrified of phones, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to write up a set of questions (like, how can I get in contact with current students? Is there anything I need to know about financial aid? do you have a visiting day or have any recommendations about when would be good to visit?). I plan on keeping that set of questions with me at all times, because otherwise I'll probably end up sounding indifferent despite the fact that I'll commence jumping up and down as soon as I'm off the phone call.

(How this call will go without the questions:

Program Director: Congratulations! You've been accepted to the Super-Awesome Masters of Fine Awesome Program!

Me: ....

Program Director: Hello?

Me: That's...great.

Program Director: Um...

Me: I mean, really...great.

Program Director: Ok...um. Goodbye?)


Colder


Jan 13, 2010, 2:20 PM

Post #5886 of 6279 (22822 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Wow, we're just a few weeks away from game time.

Here's a thought:

In the event that you are accepted (by phone), how would you respond to the news without sounding really cheesy or too indifferent?

Program director: I'm calling to tell you that you've been offered a slot at The National Lampoons School of the Arts.

Applicant: Oh, wow! um, thanks - for - the - news. (awkward silence) So, what's the weather like over there?

Program director: You know what? I think I have the wrong number.


I think I'll just express my gratitude and not say much beyond that. I'll just let them handle the call.

When I'm better composed and thinking more clearly, I'll probably email/phone them my questions.

Personally, I think it's much better to err on the side of foolish enthusiasm than to sound too serious and ungrateful. I bet it's a kick for them to hear people get excited about their program.


Colder


Jan 13, 2010, 2:43 PM

Post #5887 of 6279 (22810 views)
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Re: [umass76] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Hi Gena,
I might, but I'm not sure -- I took a lot of flak last year from some people (curiously, almost none of whom were MFA applicants!) when I had a button up because it caused them to think I was doing this for the money. In fact I've never done any MFA stuff for the money, though I've always welcomed donations because I'm a student living on a student budget, so if people do want to/are willing to help me out I've always appreciated it enormously. It's definitely a "need" not "greed" sort of situation (anyone who's ever been a TA while in a graduate program will know what I'm talking about here). In any case, we'll have to see. Thanks for thinking of me, though!
Be well,
Seth

PS Looks like the link above isn't working. Try this one.


It's really irritating that people were giving you grief for having a paypal link. It's not like you're asking for a credit card up front. (Even though you probably should for all the work you've done as long as it was cheap.) I would completely ignore those people.

Personally, I hope the donations made you rich and you're living in a McMansion in Wisconsin having champagne and caviar for breakfast. I mean, why not? If people like what you do and want to give you money for it ...


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Jan 13, 2010, 2:50 PM

Post #5888 of 6279 (22805 views)
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Re: [Colder] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

"If you're good at something, never do it for free." The Joker


Hans Landa: You'll be shot for this!
Aldo Raine: Nah, I don't think so. More like chewed out. I've been chewed out before.


Colder


Jan 13, 2010, 3:02 PM

Post #5889 of 6279 (22797 views)
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Re: Question about personal rejection [In reply to] Can't Post

While I'm waiting, I was wondering what people thought about this.

I just got my second personal rejection from the Michigan Quarterly Review. As much as I want to get published there, I think I want to go to their school even more. I applied to Michigan's MFA program, so I'm not sure if this letter is good or bad or doesn't mean anything at all.

Good: There are people working at Michigan that like my writing and know my name and stories.

Bad: They don't like my writing enough to publish me. I've heard of applicants getting published at certain University mags and not getting admitted, but I think this is pretty rare. However, maybe the writers they admit have stories that they would have published had they been sent to MQR.

Immaterial: The people working for the lit mag have nothing to do with the first round of reading for the MFA. Or perhaps nothing to do with it at all. The letters I've received were signed by Michael Byers.

(A humorous side note: Michael Byers' signature cracks me up. It's a scribble that is so abstract that it does not resemble any language in the history of human civilization.)


WanderingTree


Jan 13, 2010, 3:33 PM

Post #5890 of 6279 (22779 views)
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Re: [Colder] Question about personal rejection [In reply to] Can't Post

I think acceptance or rejection from a lit mag has little bearing on acceptance or rejection to an MFA program. First of all, acceptance to a lit mag includes so many more factors including but not limited to: the actual space in the journal, the possibility that your story just didn't fit aesthetically or otherwise into upcoming issues, too many edits required etc. While polish, talent and originality are great to have in a portfolio, admissions committees know that applicants are coming from a wide range of skill/experience levels. Some applicants may be O. Henry or Pushcart material right off the bat while others are promising writers who are still finding themselves. Committees probably aren't looking for the same level of polish and assuredness of voice as a journal editor, and I'm assuming that committees don't just want a class of writers that are already at "top" level - they want some diversity including people that need some help and would benefit from a program in getting to where they want/need to be.


WanderingTree


Jan 13, 2010, 4:32 PM

Post #5891 of 6279 (22750 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] Question about personal rejection [In reply to] Can't Post

And in an interview, Eileen Pollack of Michigan said that they looked for writers that they can help. So obviously not every admitted person has a sprawling novel like The Historian (Elizabeth Kostova) already well in the works.

For me: I need help turning those personal rejections - those "we really enjoyed this", "This one came really close", "Greatly admired here" - into acceptances at well-regarded print journals and magazines. I've only placed one story in such publications (Bellevue Literary Review) and, to tell the truth, I worked with the editor on what they called minor revisions on the piece in question. The story received over twelve rejections before being accepted. I just kept sending it out because of those stories of people being accepted by the Paris Review and their ilk after even twenty rejections. I considered the story polished and "finished", but after working with an editor, my definition of how "finished" a story needs to be before I send anything out changed dramatically. Even after all the edits and being published, I no longer consider that story anywhere close to being my best work. Still, I keep getting those little slips of paper with a few handwritten sentences. I need help getting my work to the next level, and I need time to figure out how to get from those little slips of paper to having a at least a few contracts in my mail box every year instead of just the occasional hit. I think an MFA program can help me in my journey to achieving these goals as well as challenging me to look at my work from different perspectives. I'd wager a lot of other applicants are applying for similar reasons.

(This post was edited by WanderingTree on Jan 13, 2010, 4:39 PM)


v1ctorya


Jan 13, 2010, 4:44 PM

Post #5892 of 6279 (22733 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Wow, we're just a few weeks away from game time.

Here's a thought:

In the event that you are accepted (by phone), how would you respond to the news without sounding really cheesy or too indifferent?


Here's a confessional - when I got the call last year I was on day three of no sleep (I get wicked insomnia) and had been on the phone with my doctor for about an hour going over ways to help get to sleep. Finally, with the aid of ambien and a hot shower, I fell asleep to be awoken an hour later by 'the call.' I had very little idea what the call was about at first, and did have him repeat his name at least once, and finally just said, "I think I'm about to cry" (which was really becuase of the lack of sleep). But then adrenaline kicked in and I was able to have a coherent conversation about financial aid, the fellowship offers, etc AND get them to fly me out to visit the campus.

The point of this? don't worry too much about how you sound over the phone, I can't forsee them rescinding unless you say something really, uhm, socially unacceptable and highly illegal (Dude yeah, I got in, time to gather my sister, me, a keg and some ecstasy to have a real party!)



WanderingTree


Jan 13, 2010, 4:49 PM

Post #5893 of 6279 (22728 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] Question about personal rejection [In reply to] Can't Post

Also, PLENTY of applicants get accepted to places like Iowa, Cornell, Michigan etc with no publications at all. So, I don't think it really matters.


Zuleika Dobson


e-mail user

Jan 13, 2010, 5:08 PM

Post #5894 of 6279 (22717 views)
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Re: [v1ctorya] Application Response Data for 2009-10 Application Season [In reply to] Can't Post

Ha! I can't even imagine how paranoid I'm going to be about phone calls. Every time an unknown number pops up I'm going to have a heart attack.

WanderingTree, I love your posts. Also makes me feel quite decent about the whole thing knowing Kostova was almost 40 when she applied for her MFA. If it doesn't work out this round, there's still a lot of attempts left.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


Colder


Jan 13, 2010, 5:49 PM

Post #5895 of 6279 (22682 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] Question about personal rejection [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And in an interview, Eileen Pollack of Michigan said that they looked for writers that they can help. So obviously not every admitted person has a sprawling novel like The Historian (Elizabeth Kostova) already well in the works.

For me: I need help turning those personal rejections - those "we really enjoyed this", "This one came really close", "Greatly admired here" - into acceptances at well-regarded print journals and magazines. I've only placed one story in such publications (Bellevue Literary Review) and, to tell the truth, I worked with the editor on what they called minor revisions on the piece in question. The story received over twelve rejections before being accepted. I just kept sending it out because of those stories of people being accepted by the Paris Review and their ilk after even twenty rejections. I considered the story polished and "finished", but after working with an editor, my definition of how "finished" a story needs to be before I send anything out changed dramatically. Even after all the edits and being published, I no longer consider that story anywhere close to being my best work. Still, I keep getting those little slips of paper with a few handwritten sentences. I need help getting my work to the next level, and I need time to figure out how to get from those little slips of paper to having a at least a few contracts in my mail box every year instead of just the occasional hit. I think an MFA program can help me in my journey to achieving these goals as well as challenging me to look at my work from different perspectives. I'd wager a lot of other applicants are applying for similar reasons.


Yeah, I agree. As I stated in an earlier post, I'm getting an MFA for the same reason you are. Last year, I wasn't really sure if I wanted to get an MFA, but now that I know how hard it is to break into these mags with my best work, I'm unsure how to get to the next level. I need some guidance, and thus, I'm applying this year.

I noticed that you took NYU off your list even though you were pub'd in Bellevue. Did you see your work going in a different direction or did living in NY as a dirt poor grad student scare you off like it did me?


Colder


Jan 13, 2010, 6:07 PM

Post #5896 of 6279 (22663 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] Question about personal rejection [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Also, PLENTY of applicants get accepted to places like Iowa, Cornell, Michigan etc with no publications at all. So, I don't think it really matters.


I know that publications don't really matter when trying to get into a program, but I think my situation is a little different. I've already been rejected a couple of times by (possibly) the same people on the admissions committee. I guess this is sort of like applying again after having been waitlisted the year before. And while it's harder to get published in their lit mag than it is to get into their MFA program, I don't know if it's harder to get a personal rejection than it is to get on their waitlist. Duotrope has their personal rejection rate at about 35% which is high, although form rejections are generally under reported.

Regardless, it's probably better to believe that it doesn't matter. That way I won't get my hopes up or get too down about it.


xataro


e-mail user

Jan 13, 2010, 6:15 PM

Post #5897 of 6279 (22657 views)
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Re: Community [In reply to] Can't Post

Longtime lurker, first post. I threw this up at MFA Blog and thought someone over here might get a giggle. I'm sure we're pretty much feeling like this about each other.

======

Wishes for My Fellow Applicants:

I hope you fall into a bottomless well
(of patient respect for your own writing sample, leading you to easy sleep each night).

I hope you are subsumed and drown
(in joy at the volume of fat envelopes in your mailbox).

I hope your head splits in two, right down the middle
(from having to choose between potential lovers, your top choice programs).

I hope your eyes fall out of your face
(on seeing the generous funding package you receive, that you live on more than ramen).

I hope your heart immediately stops
(listening to people who brush aside your aspirations like broken staples).

I hope you die
(at peace with yourself after a long and fulfilling career as an accomplished writer).

I hope you burn forever
(with passion for your art, no matter where you end up next year).

=======

Disclaimer: This is not a serious poem. I wrote it in ten minutes for a chuckle while my students were taking a test.

BTW, there was an acceptance announced over at MFA Blog. Open season?


Colder


Jan 13, 2010, 6:19 PM

Post #5898 of 6279 (22651 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] Question about personal rejection [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm assuming that committees don't just want a class of writers that are already at "top" level - they want some diversity including people that need some help and would benefit from a program in getting to where they want/need to be.


Yeah, I've always believed that. They're teachers, and they want to make a difference. Based on that, I hope my personal rejection would make me a good candidate then. Or maybe it's just an omen for more personal rejection.

Anyway, this is getting ridiculous. I need to stop thinking about grad school. I really didn't think I'd obsess over my applications at all until about two weeks ago.

Thanks for the help anyway, WT. You've given me a lot of advice throughout the process.


Colder


Jan 13, 2010, 6:31 PM

Post #5899 of 6279 (22646 views)
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Re: [xataro] Community [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Longtime lurker, first post. I threw this up at MFA Blog and thought someone over here might get a giggle. I'm sure we're pretty much feeling like this about each other.

======

Wishes for My Fellow Applicants:

I hope you fall into a bottomless well
(of patient respect for your own writing sample, leading you to easy sleep each night).

I hope you are subsumed and drown
(in joy at the volume of fat envelopes in your mailbox).

I hope your head splits in two, right down the middle
(from having to choose between potential lovers, your top choice programs).

I hope your eyes fall out of your face
(on seeing the generous funding package you receive, that you live on more than ramen).

I hope your heart immediately stops
(listening to people who brush aside your aspirations like broken staples).

I hope you die
(at peace with yourself after a long and fulfilling career as an accomplished writer).

I hope you burn forever
(with passion for your art, no matter where you end up next year).

=======

Disclaimer: This is not a serious poem. I wrote it in ten minutes for a chuckle while my students were taking a test.

BTW, there was an acceptance announced over at MFA Blog. Open season?


YOUR POEM SUCKS
(the seriousness out of the discussion, leaving behind a levity I truly appreciate).

Btw, I can't find the acceptance.

Edited: nevermind, I found it. thanks.


(This post was edited by Colder on Jan 13, 2010, 6:33 PM)


WanderingTree


Jan 13, 2010, 7:05 PM

Post #5900 of 6279 (22617 views)
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Re: [Colder] Question about personal rejection [In reply to] Can't Post

Re: NYU

I would love to be in a workshop with Lethem, and the program seems to be large enough to accept pretty much any kind of aesthetic (the faculty is all over the place). I have a lot of friends in New York and it would be awesome to see them again. BUT, as you mention, I just don't see myself surviving on the financial aid NYU provides, and I don't feel like gambling on a school that charges an $80 fee (or whatever it is) for the small chance that I might get a fellowship that covers everything with all the trimmings (even then it would be tight). NYU does have an incredible transitional fellowship (for minorities with terminal degrees seeking work/working on a project) which lasts 2-3 years and has INCREDIBLE funding. That's something to keep on the back burner for the future. Until then, my eyes are mainly on the midwest where I'll still be able to hold onto my magazine subscriptions, buy environmentally friendly toilet paper, lavish myself with Pabst, and eat out once in a while. : - )

(This post was edited by WanderingTree on Jan 13, 2010, 7:11 PM)

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