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plumagemour


Oct 12, 2006, 12:33 PM

Post #51 of 115 (4040 views)
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Re: [franz] GRE Subject Test [In reply to] Can't Post

hi franz, i'd love to hear anything you have to say about poetry at john hopkins


BridgetB


Oct 12, 2006, 1:12 PM

Post #52 of 115 (4027 views)
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Re: [plumagemour] GRE Subject Test [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Franz,

I'm fiction. I' love the thought of cheap rent in Charm City. (Sigh... as I think of housing cost in DC.)

I don't have a car so I'm unlikely to make it to Baltimore any time soon, though perhaps at some point I'll come to visit campus. In which case, I'd love to sit down for a spot of tea.

Bridget


renapoo


Oct 12, 2006, 1:56 PM

Post #53 of 115 (4018 views)
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Re: [franz] GRE Subject Test [In reply to] Can't Post

First off, hats off to you (and Hop & Sib), who take time out of your busy grad student schedules to dole out wisdom to those of us currently applying. I've been unsure about the J.H.U. statement for months, but I think your comments cleared up what I need to do for that. I was also worried that the atmosphere at J.H. would be stuffy, so it's great to know that your experience has been otherwise.

But I can't believe they have you teaching poetry!!! This seriously freaks me out. I know NOTHING about poetry. I'd probably have trouble teaching fiction written before 1850, but POETRY? Forget about it. I hope they give you a cheat sheet or something before tossing you to the wolves--er, undergraduates.


augustmaria


Oct 12, 2006, 3:49 PM

Post #54 of 115 (4002 views)
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Re: [renapoo] GRE Subject Test [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a first-year fiction student at Indiana and I'm teaching poetry in an introductory creative writing course, and it's not as bad as I thought it would be. Teaching is actually my favorite thing about the program so far.


renapoo


Oct 12, 2006, 5:27 PM

Post #55 of 115 (3989 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] GRE Subject Test [In reply to] Can't Post

I wouldn't mind teaching poetry in a creative writing class so much. But if it were more of a survey course, I don't know what I'd do. It's not that I expect it to be so bad for me, I just don't feel like I'm an appropriate teacher for that subject, and the kids taking the class would be getting kind of screwed over.

I'd be interested to know--when they assigned you to teach a class at Indiana, were your particular skills and experience taken into consideration? Or is it more of a crapshoot?


augustmaria


Oct 12, 2006, 7:42 PM

Post #56 of 115 (3965 views)
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Re: [renapoo] GRE Subject Test [In reply to] Can't Post

All the first-years teach the same course. That's one of the big pluses of the program here, I think--we're all getting the same amount of money and the same teaching load (for the first year, anyway).


plumagemour


Oct 12, 2006, 9:58 PM

Post #57 of 115 (3952 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] GRE Subject Test [In reply to] Can't Post

just out of curiousity, how much money are you all getting?


augustmaria


Oct 13, 2006, 10:14 AM

Post #58 of 115 (3930 views)
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Re: [plumagemour] GRE Subject Test [In reply to] Can't Post

We get $5,000 in fellowships for the first year, plus about $750 (maybe a little more? I can't remember) a month for teaching. Tuition and most fees are waived, plus health insurance.


augustmaria


Oct 13, 2006, 2:55 PM

Post #59 of 115 (3899 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] GRE Subject Test [In reply to] Can't Post

And in response to the question that has since disappeared about whether or not that's enough to live on, the answer is a definite yes. I'm single and only providing for myself, but I think you'll find that $12,000 - $13,000 a year is pretty darn good in the world of MFA funding.


BridgetB


Oct 13, 2006, 4:03 PM

Post #60 of 115 (3888 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] GRE Subject Test [In reply to] Can't Post

augustamaria, just to clarify, the funding your talking about is for Indiana, not Hopkins, right?



franz

e-mail user

Oct 13, 2006, 5:33 PM

Post #61 of 115 (3880 views)
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Re: [BridgetB] GRE Subject Test [In reply to] Can't Post

At Hopkins, we all get $14,000 a year, full tuition paid, and health insurance. I think it's reasonable, considering Baltimore isn't that expensive. Some of my classmates are also tutoring for extra cash. Regarding teaching, we were all stressed about it before we started, but it's really not too big of a deal. Three weeks ago I didn't even know what scansion was, or the difference between a stressed and unstressed mark. Well, now I do, and I was able to teach it well enough. I have no problem admitting to my students that scansion and poetry isn't my strong point-- fiction is. And I always remind myself that however little I think I know, I do know more than my students, who are only 18 or 19 years old. Plus, we have a lot of support if we need it. In many ways, teaching is the best thing about my program. Sure, I prefer to be in workshop or off on my own writing. But it's the teaching that makes me feel I'm really getting something from this, that having an MFA really will qualify me to do something other than sit at my desk and write.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


Banyon


Nov 21, 2006, 9:52 AM

Post #62 of 115 (3808 views)
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Re: [franz] GRE Subject Test [In reply to] Can't Post

Franz,

I'm applying to Johns Hopkins, and I was curious about how you handled the personal statement/critique. I'm pretty sure mine blows. Any chance you would be willing to e-mail me a copy of your statement? I apologize if this is an incredibly rude request:o) I'm at aopenn @ yahoo.com.

-Banyon


jargreen

e-mail user

Nov 22, 2006, 10:07 PM

Post #63 of 115 (3747 views)
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What does it take? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello Writers,

I'm new and was wondering if anyone who's been accepted to Johns Hopkins' fiction MFA program has shared their work with the forum. I'm curious to know if there are particular styles or themes that appeal to the faculty/reviewers.

Best,
Ryan
jargreen@indiana.edu


(This post was edited by jargreen on Nov 22, 2006, 10:10 PM)


blueragtop


Nov 23, 2006, 2:41 PM

Post #64 of 115 (3712 views)
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Re: [jargreen] What does it take? [In reply to] Can't Post

There's no way of knowing what anybody wants. If they like your work, they'll take you, if they don't, you don't have a chance.


Fear&Loathing


Nov 23, 2006, 7:48 PM

Post #65 of 115 (3694 views)
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Re: [melos] What does it take? [In reply to] Can't Post

I got a look at the JHU site. There's a place to upload a Sample of Work, and there is also a place to upload a Statement of Purpose or Writing Sample (in the case of ...blah, blah, blah... MFA candidates). If anyone's been on this site yet, are you uploading the Statement and Writing Sample as one document into the last option where you upload a Statement of Purpose or Writing Sample? That seems like the place to put it, but I could be stupid here. Thanks.


franz

e-mail user

Dec 1, 2006, 2:41 PM

Post #66 of 115 (3609 views)
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Re: [jargreen] What does it take? [In reply to] Can't Post

Last year I think it was Alice McDermott and Stephen Dixon who decided on the composition of the workshop here. For fiction, I'm guessing that Alice will be a big part of the decision this coming year but I don't know about Stephen since he's retiring at the end of the year. We do have a wide range of styles in workshop. That includes both experimental voices and traditional voices. I will say Alice is into strong characterization and subtlety, but then who isn't? Don't assume because you have a certain type of voice you won't fit here. For those of you who are experimental, remember that John Barth spent his career here, and Dixon has also had a huge influence. It looks like the program might be taking a turn for the more traditional (it seems to be the direction that the chair, who is one of the Poetry Faculty, wants to take it). Hopefully, though, we'll keep a mix.
Of course the most important thing is good, polished writing. Show the work you're planning on submitting to as many different people as you can and get their opinions. I moved here from Portland, OR., and I was part of a workshop there. I don't think I would have gotten into this program if I hadn't gotten my fellow workshoppers' valuable feedback.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


Fear&Loathing


Dec 3, 2006, 1:57 PM

Post #67 of 115 (3552 views)
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Re: [franz] What does it take? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Franz for taking part in this forum. Has Johns Hopkins had many foreign writers or nationals in the program before, either as students or faculty? I'm a US citizen, but my mother is of another nationality. My writing has reflected a lot of that. I liked the curriculum and read McDermott's Charming Billy several months ago, and I decided to apply primarily on these two things. My application has been sent, so it doesn't really matter. But I was, nonetheless, curious, especially since you have a connection to SE Asia, et cetera. Again, thank you for this and the informative blog The Inner Ear.


franz

e-mail user

Dec 3, 2006, 2:25 PM

Post #68 of 115 (3547 views)
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Re: [Fear&Loathing] What does it take? [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally I would like it if the program at Hopkins had a more multi-cultural perspective in terms of who is in the workshop. I certainly don't think the international will work against you. Overall the writing itself is the most important thing. I can say that last year I wasn't sure if my deafness would work for or against me-- would programs consider this perspective to be a unique cultural voice that hasn't been represented in fiction? Ultimately I don't know how much of an impact this had, though my application was heavily weighed towards the Deaf perspective. I will say that from my own perspective, the way your worldview is unique should help your application, and I hope others feel the same way.
I'm glad you like the blog-- I've been so busy with the program I haven't updated it for a while, but I will soon.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


plumagemour


Dec 3, 2006, 3:52 PM

Post #69 of 115 (3534 views)
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Re: [franz] What does it take? [In reply to] Can't Post

if you don't mind my asking, what happens when people workshop your pieces? or when you have insight on someone else's work that you want to share with the rest of the class?
i mean, assuming that not everybody knows sign language.


Fear&Loathing


Dec 3, 2006, 4:38 PM

Post #70 of 115 (3526 views)
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Re: [plumagemour] What does it take? [In reply to] Can't Post

Deaf does not = mute.
Some people who are deaf can read lips.
Lots of interesting technologies too. Speech recognition technology is coming along, but it hasn't hit the mass market except when you call your local phone company to ask a question.
I'm only speaking for myself here. I don't know much. Use your imagination.


franz

e-mail user

Dec 4, 2006, 2:50 PM

Post #71 of 115 (3476 views)
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Re: [plumagemour] What does it take? [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate the comment from Fear and Loathing. It's a wild assumption that I can't hear anything and that I communicate using only sign language. Many deaf people aren't 100% deaf-- to compare it to other cultural backgrounds, if I were half black and half white, wouldn't I still identify myself as African American? If I were mostly attracted to men but had some attraction to women, wouldn't I still identify myself as gay? So if I'm 90% deaf and I call myself deaf, that doesn't mean I'm 100% deaf. I read lips, I speak, and I've played guitar for ten years. Granted, I need a hearing aid to do all of this, and I will eventually get a cochlear implant. And unfortunately, I'm not even that proficient in sign language, though I'm working on it.
I'm not easily offended, but many deaf people would be by these kinds of assumptions. Deaf culture, like any other culture, is not an all or nothing black and white issue.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


plumagemour


Dec 4, 2006, 10:07 PM

Post #72 of 115 (3441 views)
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Re: [franz] What does it take? [In reply to] Can't Post

i wasn't aware that people who weren't completely deaf referred to themselves as such. anything to a different degree i've only known to be referred to as a hearing impairment. i guess my assumption came from the fact that you expressed curiousity in how your deafness would be received. my basic thinking being, why would anyone care or hold anything against you in terms of choosing you for their program the basis of your program, thus leading me to believe you were infering that your [complete] deafness would complicate the workshop process.
in any case, given the vague nature of your post, i don't really appreciate your implication of my being disrespectful.
but in the interest of keeping on topic, i'm going to drop this


Glinda Bamboo


Dec 5, 2006, 12:37 PM

Post #73 of 115 (3404 views)
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Re: Baltimore [In reply to] Can't Post

I couldn't help but notice that some people seem down on this program because it's located in Baltimore. What's so wrong with Baltimore? Maybe it's not the greatest city in the country, and maybe it has its share of crime, but it's really not so bad. I never lived in Baltimore, but I did spend several years in Maryland and I think there are many redeeming qualities to the area. You've got the Chesapeake Bay, beaches within a short drive, and you can easily hop a train or bus to DC or Philly. I wouldn't want to live in Baltimore forever, but if I got into JHU I think I'd actually be excited to spend a few years there. It's really not so bad.


plumagemour


Dec 5, 2006, 2:03 PM

Post #74 of 115 (3387 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Baltimore [In reply to] Can't Post

hey glinda, yeah i feel the same way. aside from the crime, which for whatever reason, a lot of the areas surrounding the schools i'm applying to have high rates of, i dont understand all the negative views of baltimore. of course i've never been there. but from what i read up on it and via some casual google imaging it doesnt seem bad at all. a girl i met who was raised in baltimore and had some negative opinions but no real concrete complaints. maybe my tastes are just different from the general public. people always talk about what a hellhole san jose, ca is and i was raised there and have no ptoblems with it.


franz

e-mail user

Dec 6, 2006, 1:55 PM

Post #75 of 115 (3339 views)
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Re: [plumagemour] Baltimore [In reply to] Can't Post

Baltimore is not that bad, but my take is that it's not that great either. There's more than enough stuff to keep you busy for a couple of years, though. I was born and raised in Iowa City, and there's more going on here than there (Iowa applicants, take note). Yeah, there's a lot of crime here, but it's pretty safe around Hopkins. Hampden, Charles Village, Mt. Vernon, Federal Hill and Fells Point are all relatively cool areas. Rent's not bad, the winter weather is pleasant (the summers are supposedly hellish), the campus is lovely. The students here work incredibly hard and it's definitely not a party school, which is a good thing, but for people who want more of the arts scene, there is MICA and Bolton Hill. It's close to D.C. and not that far from Philly or NY either. The hardest thing for me is just not living close to nature anymore. I moved out here from Portland, OR., which is absolutely wonderful, so it was a big step down for me.

btw, one last thing about the whole Deaf issue. I used to call myself "hearing-impaired," but it's the equivalent of being called "non-white." In other words, being termed what I'm not (hearing) versus being part of a vibrant culture with its own language (Deaf). That's really the whole distinction now. And now to return to the thread.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels

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