Jan 9, 2007, 9:55 PM
Post #270 of 764
Here are the eight schools to which I applied, listed in order of how badly I want to be accepted:
1. Michigan ... One great professor can change your life in areas that you never thought needed change. Maybe Peter Ho Davies will be that professor, maybe he won't. Otherwise, the funding is amazing, it's five hours from my family, Ann Arbor seems like a nice little town, and Detroit (a ghetto paradise that is oddly majestic and stimulating to me) is a half-hour away.
2. Florida ... I love, love, love this faculty (Padget Powell, David Leavitt, Mary Robison). And I love, love, love the beach.
3. Johns Hopkins ... Stephen Dixon's leaving is very poopy news, but perhaps he'll drop by for a visit. I can't wait to call Baltimore my home; it is a beeeeautiful fucking city. But this school is here mainly because of the name, I have to admit.
4. Washington U in St. Louis ... This program is all about letting you write. Just write. Plus, the architecture on campus is really lovely. St. Louis may be the nation's most violent big city, but it has a remarkable literary history (Twain Chopin Eliot Tennessee Williams Burroughs Nemerov Marianne Moore Inge Angelou Franzen Pulitzer).
5. UMass ... I can't wait to live in New England. Plus, I am liking this faculty the more and more I hear about them.
6. Bowling Green State ... A peaceful location for writing, a great program for teaching. They keep spitting out MFA program directors (Indiana, Alabama, Massachusetts, more to come).
7. Illinois ... A five-year-old program that funds every student, has a large and diverse faculty, and is associated with a top-notch English department. And it's like 90 minutes from my mommy.
8. Southern Illinois ... This is, I suppose, my safe school. I have a friend who goes there and loves it. They fully fund all students and offer great teaching opportunities. But Carbondale doesn't have any great ghettos.
I must say, if I'm not able to go to a school that communes peacefully with nature, then I want a school that is within driving distance of the most devastated slums. You may wonder about my fascination with impoverished innercity places (or my choice to continue to refer to them as "ghettos"). Abandoned buildings and neglected streets are, to me, full of stories: What kind of lives used to be lived there? How are the people there now different from the people that were there before? Why did things change? What does the future hold? What other secrets are concealed beneath those consuming images? (But for all the inspiration that I extract from the innercity, I can't say that I haven't paid some of my dues there; in a previous lifetime, working to provide social services and to organize in the iconic slums of Indianapolis.)
Here are the schools that I seriously considered but did not apply to, and the reasons why:
Iowa ... This I regret immensely. I was completely duped by the negative hype started by Tom Kealey and some disgruntled (unsuccessful, I presume) graduates. I would pay a $250 late fee if I could apply by the end of the week.
Indiana ... I love Bloomington dearly, but I got to get out of this place.
Minnesota ... I was scared by the cold. Has global warming hit Minneapolis yet?
Arizona ... I truly believe that their funding does not warrant my traveling 2000 miles to go to school.
Oregon ... I truly believe that their faculty does not warrant my traveling 2400 miles to go to school.
Arizona St., Colorado St. ... These also were too far from home, despite my liking them very much.
Syracuse ... I simply lost interest.
Mississippi ... I don't know exactly why I didn't apply here. Maybe I forgot.
Brown, NYU, Cornell ... I couldn't make the deadline.
(This post was edited by jargreen on Jan 9, 2007, 10:22 PM)