Oct 12, 2006, 11:00 AM
Post #50 of 115
Re: [BridgetB] GRE Subject Test
[In reply to]
Thanks Franz, it's really helpful to have an insiders' viewpoint. Just wondering: I know there are only 6 fiction applicants in each incoming class; do you know how many applicants are vying for those positions? (Congrats on being one of the lucky few.) Also, what are you teaching and how many students do you have?
I live in DC, so I'm passingly familiar with Baltimore, aka Charm City. Maybe this is the wrong way to be thinking, but at least rent it cheap, right? (Cheaper than DC anyway...)
We have 9 1st year students this year, only 2 second year students (this is fiction--poetry is more balanced in 1st/2nd year students). This is because Hopkins switched from a one-year to a two-year program three years ago, and many of of the people in the one-year program ended up in the two-year program. (Yes, a little confusing.) I'm not sure how many will be admitted next year, since the program is still balancing out.
How many applicants? I think there were about 200 or so for fiction last year?
I'm teaching Intro to Fiction and Poetry (we all are). The great thing about this class is that we get a lot of structure but we're free to be flexible in the way we teach it. We need to be, since so much is crammed into the class. This semester I'm teaching Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, Seamus Heaney, Nabokov, Welty, Henry James, with a few theoretical books thrown in. That's on top of the students writing creative assignments (everything from memoir to short story to iambic pentameter), and everyone gets workshopped twice. (Quite likely I'll be teaching IFP-2 at some point, which includes the likes of Calvino-- IFP-1 is realist/metrical stuff, IFP-2 more fabulist/experimental stuff.) I really like that I'll be getting two years of teaching experience, and will have experience with teaching creative writing, workshopping, and standard lit, all in one. I have 17 students, which is the max. Some of my classmates have only ten students. The students here are amazing, and this is something to consider for any teaching job. I went to Iowa for undergrad, and my classmates in the English department just didn't work as hard or participate as much as the students do here. I'd recommend to anybody to take that in consideration in terms of teaching-- how good will your students be? Because having students this great makes my job more enjoyable, fulfilling, and inspiring.
Yes, rent is cheaper than it is in D.C. Expect to pay in the range of $500-700. I pay $600 and I have an awesome two-bedroom rowhome with one of the other fiction students. Charles Village, Hampden and Mount Vernon are all close to Hopkins and are relatively hip (compared to the rest of the city anyway, but not compared to Portland, Oregon, where I came form-- so it's all relative).
For all of you considering Hopkins-- this was the one school I thought I absolutely wouldn't get into. I thought it would be stuffy, considering how the website is worded, and Hopkins does have that reputation. But this is not the case at all with the program. As far as styles, we have a wide range. There are definitely several more experimental students, and a few more conventional. I think Alice's advice has been amazing regardless of what style we write in. She always gets to the nuts and bolts of a piece.
Bridget, since you live in D.C., you should visit at some point. I'd be happy to meet up over tea (in Baltimore, not D.C.) I'm in fiction, which are you? I could give some info about poetry, though I'm not quite as informed.
Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels