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motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

Mar 6, 2006, 8:19 PM

Post #1 of 1632 (39409 views)
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Damn! I didn't get in... Can't Post

This thread is for venting, sharing and commiserating because you didn't get into the MFA program you wanted.


clarabow


Mar 6, 2006, 2:49 PM

Post #2 of 1632 (39696 views)
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I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and like I should spen [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the title says it all :)

Congrats to those for whom the waiting game is (at least partly) over!

Those who fear the worst, enter this thread. Let us lurk on the darkside together. No more floating above the Waiting Game thread alone, cold, silently, & in limbo!!!

OK, we can't keep you out of limbo, but can help with the rest.

Ha.


clarabow


Mar 6, 2006, 2:51 PM

Post #3 of 1632 (39693 views)
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Re: [clarabow] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and lik [In reply to] Can't Post

PS: The office title of the thread is:

I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting Game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and like I should spend the rest of the day in bed. This thread is for those of us who feel like we're out in the cold!


duderedman


Mar 6, 2006, 3:09 PM

Post #4 of 1632 (39697 views)
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Re: [clarabow] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and lik [In reply to] Can't Post

couldn't have said it better myself.

although you use a lot less obscene language than I would have, and I might have put something about getting uproariously drunk rather than going to bed.


clarabow


Mar 6, 2006, 3:13 PM

Post #5 of 1632 (39688 views)
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Re: [duderedman] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

I can accept not getting in. I have friends who are incredible writers who didn't get in their first try. What is hard to deal with is all the other stuff - esp. wondering what I'm going to do next year. I'm not 21 years old, like some of the prodigies on the other thread :)

I'd totally get drunk all the time right now, if I could afford it. So I just make a lot of coffee.


kodi


Mar 6, 2006, 3:18 PM

Post #6 of 1632 (39678 views)
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Re: [duderedman] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
couldn't have said it better myself.

although you use a lot less obscene language than I would have, and I might have put something about getting uproariously drunk rather than going to bed.

I understand. Today I received a rejection from JHU. Last year I made the waitlist--there were only two of us on the list, but they couldn't offer admission because everyone enrolled. Apparently it's possible to get worse over the course of a year. I can't decide whether to have some vodka or crawl into bed.


sanssoleil
Chris
e-mail user

Mar 6, 2006, 3:25 PM

Post #7 of 1632 (39661 views)
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Re: [clarabow] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for starting this thread. I have been hesitant to infect the rest of the Speakeasy with my vitriol and negativity. I wallowed and whined all weekend, and everyone in my life is sick of it. I am doing teenage-y things like lying under the covers, listening to Elliott Smith bootlegs really really loud. I am becoming resentful and bitter. From here on out I will never read anything ever written by anyone who teaches at any school that rejects me. Even if it was Flaubert--if he taught at Syracuse I'd be emailing him right now to tell him to take a flying fuck. This attitude is poisonous, I know, and no good art will come of it--but I need to get it out of my system.


ciaosamin


Mar 6, 2006, 3:30 PM

Post #8 of 1632 (39650 views)
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Re: [kodi] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

let's see--here's my tally:

rejected at 3 schools

another school has notified everyone they wanted, so i am probably rejected there, too

and waiting on two more, one of which is brown.

i was just thinking the same thing about the waiting game thread this morning, and how lame i felt posting on there when everyone is talking about columbia's funding and should i get a second mfa.

so thanks for starting this thread, so we can all wallow in self-pity together for awhile. that's what i need, mostly. i am sick of people telling me i am smart and that i'll get in somewhere. i just want to mope.


clarabow


Mar 6, 2006, 3:32 PM

Post #9 of 1632 (39646 views)
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Re: [sanssoleil] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

Poor George Saunders! I bet he was campaigning for you (just by reading yours posts!). Unless you're a poet, of course!

Man, oh man, nothing is better than Elliott Smith when you feel like a reject. Or are a reject :). I also recommend Johnny Cash to get you out of bed and acting like a renegade, and Nick Drake when you want to feel strangely at peace with your angst.


sanssoleil
Chris
e-mail user

Mar 6, 2006, 3:39 PM

Post #10 of 1632 (39630 views)
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Re: [clarabow] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd like to think George Saunders was campaigning for me...then maybe I could read his stuff again without feeling bitter. Yes, I am that much of a baby. When I got the rejection I was all "Well his latest Harper's stories weren't even that good, they were too didactic and precious." Which is, you know, bull, but I felt better for about a second. But yeah, I should bust out the Nick Drake, and maybe a little Leonard Cohen, take some Vicodin and eat a bag of Cheetos. Then return in earnest to jabbing at my Mary Gaitskill voodoo doll.


boy named sue


Mar 6, 2006, 3:39 PM

Post #11 of 1632 (39628 views)
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Re: [sanssoleil] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

hah, chris, i defniitely don't have your generosity in not infecting the speakeasy community with negativity. so, as a public apology, i'm really sorry everyone.

i hadn't even realized i *wanted* to do an mfa so much; i thought i would be content plodding along on my own for a while doing my other stuff.

(and i also succumbed to elliot smith yesterday.)

thanks for this thread, clarabow.


gingembre


Mar 6, 2006, 3:52 PM

Post #12 of 1632 (39605 views)
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Re: [clarabow] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and lik [In reply to] Can't Post

I want to be next to thank you for this thread.

Ok, so I only applied to 2 schools, and the process itself was rushed because I had dropped out of law school this past October and finally came to terms with the fact that I wanted To Beee a Writerrr!

The only school I can possibly attend (where my bf is attending law school right now) has, I think, already notified all the applicants it wants. What am I going to do with my life for the next year? I can't write because I'm too busy checking this board and other internet forums for acceptance decisions (my obsession won't die a graceful death until I receive the official rejection letter, apparently)...I really can't even stand to think about another round of scrounging for LORs, last-minute cramming for the GRE, and trying to cobble together a writing sample that doesn't make me want to tear my hair out.

What next???


commanda
Amanda

Mar 6, 2006, 5:36 PM

Post #13 of 1632 (39510 views)
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Re: [gingembre] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and li [In reply to] Can't Post

I applied to nine schools for fiction. Granted, the nine schools I chose all range from painfully competitive to extremely choosy. So far, I've been rejected by Iowa, Michener, Michigan, UMass, Montana and JHU. I got the first four letters on Friday, and the remaining two today. Still waiting to hear from Brown, Indiana and Arkansas.

Lately, I've been partial to dark places: movie theatres, bars, sleep. I suggest completely avoiding discussing the rejections with your parents, (who will either marvel at length about what could have possibly gone wrong, or just say "I told you so."), and keeping the verbal self-pity to a minimum around significant others and friends.

Hey. There's other options. At least, I think there are. And I suppose there's always next year.


clarabow


Mar 6, 2006, 6:25 PM

Post #14 of 1632 (39472 views)
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let's talk about options, ba-by. let's talk about next year. [In reply to] Can't Post

so.

i talk to spinderella and she says that salt told her should all come up with one alternative plan for the next year. and peppa says that even if it's something you can't do yourself, or aren't that into, throw it on the board. i will contribute, as well.

my idea: travel for a year. with what money? i don't know. maybe that can be another suggestion.


poetastin


Mar 6, 2006, 6:33 PM

Post #15 of 1632 (39465 views)
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Re: [sanssoleil] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't worry, sanssoleil--with your skinny little mod suit and relaxed posture, you're much too cool for Syracuse school. You're better off hanging in out in Portland, anyway, running into Stephen Malkmus at Powell's.

Besides, Saunders last book didn't stack up. And have you read Gaitskill's interviews lately? Wah! I don't have a pile of money to sleep naked on! Just a teaching gig and a "smallish" two story house...and oh yeah, lots of published books. I hate you, general public!

Who needs those guys?


sanssoleil
Chris
e-mail user

Mar 6, 2006, 6:50 PM

Post #16 of 1632 (39443 views)
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Re: [poetastin] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

poetastin--
You're right in a way. Powell's, in some respects, is a better place for writers than many universities. Cheaper, too--if you have some self-control when it comes to money-matters (I don't). And it is a town fit to burst with literary songwriters, so maybe I should just start busking.
Sadly, though, Malkmus doesn't quite stack up anymore. I'm in the minority with that assessment, however.


viviandarkbloom


Mar 6, 2006, 7:03 PM

Post #17 of 1632 (39426 views)
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Re: [sanssoleil] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm with all of you. This blows. Five rejections. Iowa, Washington U, UMass, Montana, and Syracuse.

Elliott Smith is hitting the spot.

One thing I hate more than rejections: people telling me, "Of course you'll get in somewhere. You're you!"

And yes, the Syracuse letter did seem a bit condescending. Christopher Kennedy is on my shit list. Along with Judith Butler, Gary Busey, my neighbor, and God.

And the Montana letter said they could only accept one in ten people. That hurts. Their acceptance rate is ten percent? That really ain't that selective. I could understand one in fifty, but one in ten?


fictiondec


Mar 6, 2006, 7:28 PM

Post #18 of 1632 (39395 views)
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Re: [clarabow] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and lik [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, it was a banner day for rejection-- Syracuse, Montana and Cornell all arrived today. And while I knew they were coming, it didn't make it any better to rip open the envelopes. By the way, I don't actually read the letters until days later -- just sort of skim them-- because I know that how they're worded will just piss me off. Funny, my boyfriend put some Elliott Smith on earlier today, and I didn't even think about it at the time. I'm a teacher and am focused on getting grades finished. They're due tomorrow. So, now here I sit, sipping (gulping down) a whiskey sour and writing narrative comments. I mean, please, how can you expect me to say substantive things about my students while completely sober when my future hangs in the balance? I am on the waitlist at Michigan, but the chances of actually getting in seem extremely slim to me.

So, thanks for starting the thread -- we deserve to have a good pity party. We all worked our asses off in an attempt to make our dreams happen, and we are watching our prospects slowly slip away. I'd rather all the letters came on one day-- one big day of rejection rather than this drawn out, painful, ultimately irritating process. I vacillate between not caring and caring desperately. I'm sure you all know what I mean.


JosephC


Mar 6, 2006, 7:51 PM

Post #19 of 1632 (39368 views)
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Re: [fictiondec] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been rejected from Johns Hopkins, Cornell and Iowa. Montana and Indiana don't look too hopeful for me, as others were called or emailed last week. I'm holding out for a few others but they're very competitive, so we'll see. Thanks whoever gave us this thread to commiserate in, I'll need it (plus that whiskey sour you were just talking about, fictiondec.) Stir me up one!

*edited for spelling


(This post was edited by JosephC on Mar 6, 2006, 7:53 PM)


clarabow


Mar 6, 2006, 8:35 PM

Post #20 of 1632 (39293 views)
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Re: [JosephC] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

Someone told me that Jhumpa Lahiri didn't get into an MFA program when she first applied. Is that true? Who else? :)


sanssoleil
Chris
e-mail user

Mar 6, 2006, 8:52 PM

Post #21 of 1632 (39273 views)
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Re: [clarabow] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

Nabokov, Borges, Genet and Proust all got rejected by Iowa, if that's any consolation to you all. (Of course, they later got accepted to Syracuse, Brown, Washington and Irvine, respectively)*

I'm feeling better, having gained some perspective. I'm going to get through the night with some help from my friends: "Friends." Syndicated sitcoms are salves for sucky days.

*I also read an interview with Arthur Bradford (Dogwalker) where he talks about his Iowa rejection.


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 6, 2006, 9:31 PM

Post #22 of 1632 (39239 views)
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Re: [sanssoleil] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

I got my rejection letter from Brown, and I know my rejection letters from Emory and NYU are on the way.

(I have my MFA already--I'm applying to PhD programs in American Studies)

I have no idea what BU will bring.

But I have hope. Last minute hope. It turns out that Umass Boston has a kickass master's program in American Studies--and that their deadline is June 1 (it was March 1 for assistanceship consideration, but I have a meeting on Wednesday morning with the grad program director to talk about my VERY recent knowledge of the program, my background, my interests, and my application--and I will make a very strong appeal to her for being considered with the funding applicants).

And though I want to be in a doctoral program right now--it might not be a bad thing at all if I take a couple years for another master's degree and get some program-specific experience under my belt.

That's what's up with me.

And those of you who are getting rejection letters--it's nervewracking. Sing it loud with me! And it's frustrating! And enough to drive you to a depressed state where you're skipping going to the gym and curling up in a ball on your sofa or ordering more pizza than you thought you could handle eating in a month because it's comfort food and you can't BEAR the thought of using energy on anything other than checking your e-mail and opening envelopes that come in the mail.

BUT

Chin up. I have some friends who didn't get in anywhere their first time around--poetry and fiction--and they are amazing writers. Sometimes it's really this big thing in helping you shape your outlook and what you want from a program--and what you realistically have to GIVE to a program--and what you want to WALK AWAY WITH after a program--for those rejections to come.

And I wish all of you luck. I've been in and out of the rejection-game anxiety with my doctoral program rejections, and I got rejected EVERYWHERE but one MFA program (though it worked out so amazingly well--only program that accepted me was the program I dreamed of going to, so it was a total no-brainer and THE BEST academic experience of my life).

Sending all of you warmth, energy, and whatever endurance and strength I can muster to shove through the cyber-ether...


viviandarkbloom


Mar 6, 2006, 9:31 PM

Post #23 of 1632 (39239 views)
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Re: [clarabow] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Someone told me that Jhumpa Lahiri didn't get into an MFA program when she first applied. Is that true? Who else? :)


Her collection of stories was also rejected by tons of publishers before it went on to win the Pultzer.


clarabow


Mar 6, 2006, 9:44 PM

Post #24 of 1632 (39221 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, I wish you so much luck!!!! Deadlines? No problem!

Good luck!!! :)


gingembre


Mar 6, 2006, 10:30 PM

Post #25 of 1632 (39184 views)
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Re: [clarabow] let's talk about options, ba-by. let's talk about next year. [In reply to] Can't Post

My next move is to start applying to summer writer's conferences. Most notably the Indiana conference, the school that rejected me from my only chance at escaping from a mind-numbing job for the next few years.

Though, of course, it's hard to warrant spending more money on applications when said mind-numbing job doesn't give me extra $$ for "indulgences" like getting writer rejections--yes, you detect more bitterness about job options from a rather limited B.A. degree...I guess I can look at it as practice for achieving yet another "worthless" degree, the MFA.

Gosh...the more I think about it, the more I wanted to start working on an MFA this coming fall.


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 6, 2006, 11:33 PM

Post #26 of 1632 (10858 views)
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Re: [gingembre] let's talk about options, ba-by. let's talk about next year. [In reply to] Can't Post

Summer conferences/workshops/programs can be GREAT for giving you another chance to really examine your writing and at a "destination" of sorts--and to be around other writers.

One thing I recommend, rather than automatically thinking that you'll go to Indiana's summer conference (which I will admit I know nothing about), is to look at where faculty members who teach at Indiana will be teaching with regards to summer programs and trying to get into those. Who knows--you might wind up in a workshop with a professor from Indiana and have a great experience--and know that htis person will read your work (and find the guts to ask for a recommendation even if it might seem awkward)--or you might realize that this person who you were so enamored with is really the worst teacher for you.

And use the summer workshop/conference/program--wherever you go--as a time for you to challenge your writing as far as you possibly can. It's the writing sample--and what the admissions readers assess as being "teachable" or "workable" with their areas of expertise and guidance--that will do the MOST for your admissions application when it comes to any program that is serious enough to consider its (potential) students' best interests first and foremost.

I wish you all the best!


poetastin


Mar 6, 2006, 11:40 PM

Post #27 of 1632 (10852 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] let's talk about options, ba-by. let's talk about next year. [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds good at first, but, from the perspective of someone who won't be attending the conferences of those I'll submit to, please keep the application process fair and anonymous!


RogahDodgah


Mar 7, 2006, 11:05 AM

Post #28 of 1632 (10769 views)
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Grrrrrr [In reply to] Can't Post

Man, yesterday I checked on my UofAL online status page, and it finally changed to. . . "Decision Made, Decision Letter Mailed"

What!?! Look, I have now accepted that I did not get in, as others have already gotten "the call". But why couldn't they simply put "rejected" or even "not accepted" on the website?! Do they think it's impolite to reject me online as opposed to with a form letter? All this does is allow me a ridiculously minute delusional hope for a few more days. That is just cruel. It's like I know I'm going to be executed soon, but there's still that chance the governor could call, but of course the governor isn't going to call, he's decided to take a hard-line stance against mediocre writers.

Grrrrr... ok, alright, serenity now, think happy thoughts, one more school left that maybe might theoretically possibly not reject me....


(This post was edited by RogahDodgah on Mar 7, 2006, 11:29 AM)


tfortney


Mar 7, 2006, 12:58 PM

Post #29 of 1632 (10722 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] let's talk about options, ba-by. let's talk about next year. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi guys,

I may have something in the way of options, for at least one person. I'll explain briefly: All my life I have been going to this island in canada, and in recent years I've summered there to write. I found out five or six years ago that Margaret Atwood has a summer home there. So last year when I graduated from school I was looking for summer internships and whatnot (I hadn't gotten into a program and needed a way to pass the time) and found out that Atwood owns an organic farm on the island, and they were looking for summer volunteers. So I said to myself, 'what the hell,' and I went and volunteered for the summer and the fall. It was great for the writing, and good to get outside and exercise working on the farm. Didn't see as much of Atwood as I might have liked, but all in all a positive experience. Anyway, over the winter I've been in contact with my boss and they are looking for a paid intern for this summer. Probably six months, low pay, but it's an ideal atmosphere for writing, and I know you could get a lot of work done and regenerate for next years app process (it's what I did). I'd be glad to tell anyone who's interested all about it, or you could go to the farm website www.meadowlarkfarm.org and email colin weibe, who's the guy that runs it. Tell him Travis told you about it, but don't mention Atwood, as they are a little sensitive about her privacy. Peace, and sending good vibes to those of you that still haven't heard from places, TJF


Aubrie


Mar 7, 2006, 4:27 PM

Post #30 of 1632 (10642 views)
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Re: [sanssoleil] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'd like to think George Saunders was campaigning for me...then maybe I could read his stuff again without feeling bitter. Yes, I am that much of a baby. When I got the rejection I was all "Well his latest Harper's stories weren't even that good, they were too didactic and precious." Which is, you know, bull, but I felt better for about a second. But yeah, I should bust out the Nick Drake, and maybe a little Leonard Cohen, take some Vicodin and eat a bag of Cheetos. Then return in earnest to jabbing at my Mary Gaitskill voodoo doll.

Mmm. Vicodin and Cheetos?
Sign me up. I've heard jack and have decided that means I'm done. Time for Plan B.
Which is probably Vicodin and Cheetos.


imightbechad


Mar 7, 2006, 5:56 PM

Post #31 of 1632 (10590 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

got the Cornell (Poetry) rejection today via snail mail...

that's two down, four to go -

holy shit am i nervous

[but i did just have class with lucille clifton
which is making it impossible, as of now, to frown]

chad


theapplepicker


Mar 7, 2006, 7:24 PM

Post #32 of 1632 (10540 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

Aubrie, NYU hasn't actually sent out letters yet, have they? Two years ago, my rejection letter was dated March 23rd. So there's still time for some acceptances, as far as I'm concerned.


viviandarkbloom


Mar 7, 2006, 8:12 PM

Post #33 of 1632 (10516 views)
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Re: [theapplepicker] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser a [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm taking all my rejection letters, tearing them into pulp, putting that into a bowl and adding a mixture of water and glue. I will stir it all together to make papier-mache. I will then make a papier-mache hat out of my rejection letters, and call this hat my Fun Hat. I will wear it everywhere. I will do my best writing while wearing my Fun Hat. I just need about five more letters to make enough papier-mache. Which leads me to my question: has anyone heard anything from Indiana?


theapplepicker


Mar 7, 2006, 9:13 PM

Post #34 of 1632 (10482 views)
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Re: [viviandarkbloom] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser [In reply to] Can't Post

I wrote to Indiana's program secretary today, and she said that notifications will be sent out within the next two weeks. I hope it happens sooner than that. And if all hope isn't lost, I really hope I'm in.


clarabow


Mar 8, 2006, 6:32 PM

Post #35 of 1632 (10359 views)
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Re: [gingembre] let's talk about options, ba-by. let's talk about next year. [In reply to] Can't Post

You got rejected from Indiana? Which genre? I haven't heard anything yet!


clarabow


Mar 9, 2006, 1:59 AM

Post #36 of 1632 (10294 views)
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Re: [clarabow] let's talk about options, ba-by. let's talk about next year. [In reply to] Can't Post

JHU rejected me
JHU rejected me
What's that?
JHU rejected me!


commanda
Amanda

Mar 9, 2006, 12:49 PM

Post #37 of 1632 (10225 views)
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unfortunate tease [In reply to] Can't Post

I just got an e-mail whose subject line was "Welcome Letter for Your Records." It was not, however, a warm greeting from one of the three schools who haven't yet rejected me. It was instead spam promising penile enlargement which is, according to the e-mail, "senssational!" How diabolical and sadistic can spammers get?


gussy

e-mail user

Mar 9, 2006, 8:03 PM

Post #38 of 1632 (10143 views)
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Re: [commanda] unfortunate tease [In reply to] Can't Post

That would be hilarious if it weren't somewhat cruel, as you say, given that one is waiting for all these damned letters. Still, your "senssational" penis-enlargement program goes well with what a student wrote as part of my teaching evaluations: "He is a great instructor. And also, is hott." (Barring the fact that she's a student, which is sufficient to reject the whole idea, does anyone else feel they couldn't date someone who made such blatant mistakes, or am I a total snob?)


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 9, 2006, 8:11 PM

Post #39 of 1632 (10132 views)
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Re: [gussy] unfortunate tease [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually, from what I have heard and read, it seems that hotT is an extra-special honor. Like--you're hot enough to earn an extra T.

Though it's still just spelled wrong.

And aside from the student-ness of this young woman (eew--I can't fathom going there...), um, at least for me, one of the BIGGEST turn offs in the world is improper spelling and grammar.

But that's me. And I'm a bit crazy if I do say so myself. I mean--to me a perfect date is a pot of tea, comfy clothes, and said date and i reading books or the Sunday paper while flopping on the sofa. Potential for footsies and flirtatious looks, but not required. My coworkers laughed at me when I told them that one today. They already think I'm a freak (they're computer folk and pick on me, the liberal arts major/writer of the crowd).

Whatever.

I say give me books and proper spelling and grammar any day!

(I have, um, a slight obsession with holding books in my hands by the way...a good-feelin' book is so hot that one might call it hotT...)


gussy

e-mail user

Mar 9, 2006, 8:17 PM

Post #40 of 1632 (10125 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] unfortunate tease [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, Steph, reading your reply was very comfortting (yes, with an extra "t", i.e. very, very comforting :))


clarabow


Mar 10, 2006, 2:01 AM

Post #41 of 1632 (10068 views)
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Re: [gingembre] let's talk about options, ba-by. let's talk about next year. [In reply to] Can't Post

ahhh i need some information ahhhhhhhh


poetastin


Mar 10, 2006, 3:10 AM

Post #42 of 1632 (10058 views)
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Re: [gussy] unfortunate tease [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
"He is a great instructor. And also, is hott."

Doesn't the second sentence kind of invalidate the first?

I say she's still got some learnin' to do.

I say you ignore that she's a student.

You must teach her. Hard.


(This post was edited by poetastin on Mar 10, 2006, 3:12 AM)


augustmaria


Mar 10, 2006, 10:34 AM

Post #43 of 1632 (10009 views)
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Re: [poetastin] unfortunate tease [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


You must teach her. Hard.



Now that's hott.


candyann


Mar 10, 2006, 3:03 PM

Post #44 of 1632 (9949 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] unfortunate tease [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote

They already think I'm a freak (they're computer folk and pick on me, the liberal arts major/writer of the crowd).

Quote

I am with you there, stephkarto.

I do not have a bunch of of MFA applications out there, but wandered onto this board, saw Leonard Cohen and Cheetos, and thought I'd stick around for moral support. Also, I heard posters here were hott ;-)



http://www.jeknowles.com


emptymug


Mar 12, 2006, 11:44 PM

Post #45 of 1632 (9839 views)
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"damn, i didn't get in" is right! [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't get into Madison!!! I am so bummed.

I read somewhere on these boards or maybe another board, about someone who IS TURNING DOWN A FICTION OFFER FROM MADISON??? WHO IS THIS CRAZY PERSON?!?!?? TAKE THE OFFER!!! FOR GOD'S SAKE! THAT PROGRAM IS AMAZING!! HELLOOOOOOOOOOOO LORRIE MOOOOOOORE!!! I can't understand why anyone would ever turn down an offer from Madison. They only accept fiction writers every two years! You won't have this chance again next year. Also, Madison ROCKS.

OK, I feel a bit better now.

Congrats to the guys who got into CalArts. That program is outta sight. Fascinating faculty. Your experience there will be unlike every other MFA students' in America. Cool program, cool part of the world, cool everything!


sanssoleil
Chris
e-mail user

Mar 13, 2006, 9:09 PM

Post #46 of 1632 (9748 views)
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Re: [emptymug] "damn, i didn't get in" is right! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey emptymug--
I'm one of the Cal Arts guys. I'd be curious to know what you know about the program. I just jumped onto this board to start complaining that Cal Arts is the only school I've gotten into so far. Not that I don't totally want to go--it's high up on my list--but it's just really expensive. So anyway, I was happy to see your post, with good things to say about the school that wants me. The only person on the faculty whose work I'm very familiar with is Steve Erickson. Could you tell me what you know about the program? Thanks a lot.
Chris


gblackwe

e-mail user

Mar 15, 2006, 5:57 PM

Post #47 of 1632 (9614 views)
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Post deleted by gabeblackwell [In reply to]

 


commanda
Amanda

Mar 17, 2006, 7:41 AM

Post #48 of 1632 (9517 views)
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Anyone there? [In reply to] Can't Post

Reading the Waiting Game is making me crazy. Please tell me there's someone else still around with no acceptances?


Logann


Mar 17, 2006, 9:02 AM

Post #49 of 1632 (9493 views)
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Re: [commanda] Anyone there? [In reply to] Can't Post

Not only no accepances, but I haven't heard from anyone at all.


mayfly


Mar 17, 2006, 9:45 AM

Post #50 of 1632 (9469 views)
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Re: [commanda] Anyone there? [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't heard from anyone at all either--and it is definitely driving me crazy! Granted, I didn't apply to most of the schools that people did here, but still I have begun to question if I may have dreamt it all--maybe I didn't send any applications out? Oh wait, I must be mistaken--they all cashed my checks!


clarabow


Mar 17, 2006, 10:03 AM

Post #51 of 1632 (10428 views)
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Re: [mayfly] Anyone there? [In reply to] Can't Post

Where's everyone waiting to hear from? I am waiting to hear from:

University of Hawaii
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
California College of the Arts
Houston
University of San Francisco
American University
Indiana

No acceptances so far at the other places I applied.


mayfly


Mar 17, 2006, 10:10 AM

Post #52 of 1632 (10422 views)
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Re: [clarabow] Anyone there? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am waiting to hear from:

Brooklyn College (I seem to remember reading that someone heard, but it was fiction I believe, and I'm poetry)
University of Oregon (I don't expect to get in here--not exactly my style, but I would love to live there)
SFSU (they say that they don't notify until the last week in April--wtf?)
Brown (I am still holding on to my last thread of hope, even though I know that they have already made calls--to be honest, I just want the rejection letter for closure)

I really do wish that I applied to more than four schools. If only I found the speakeasy more than a couple of weeks ago!


commanda
Amanda

Mar 17, 2006, 1:00 PM

Post #53 of 1632 (10371 views)
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Re: [mayfly] Anyone there? [In reply to] Can't Post

Today I got two letters from University of Montana, a school which rejected me summarily about two weeks ago. Did they realize the error of their ways? No, no, no. They wanted to let me know they got my FAFSA, and then they wanted to let me know that I was not in the financial aid system -- probably because I had not been admitted for a degree program. Gee, thanks guys. It was like being rejected all over again. Twice.


Windiciti



Mar 20, 2006, 11:39 PM

Post #54 of 1632 (10256 views)
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Re: [gingembre] let's talk about options, ba-by. let's talk about next year. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello, Gingembre!
Today I got a call from a gentleman at Indiana about fiction writing in June w/Amy Bloom. He told me there is still room in the class!
Also some scholarships for the workshops.
They were on vacation last week, but they're in the office now, so you cd. call and check it out.
I am not going bcause I got nervous and registered for something else in June.
Good luck!


Aubrie


Mar 21, 2006, 2:43 PM

Post #55 of 1632 (10168 views)
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This is me... [In reply to] Can't Post

...trying to be positive.

I found out I stole the last spot in Tom Barbash's workshop at Iowa in July. I'm really excited to work with him and for the whole Iowa experience.
I also registered for a Fiction II class at NYU over the summer with David Levinson.
The cost of this class, the Iowa class, and my accomodations in Iowa are still less than the tuition at Kenyon. I'm feeling better and better about turning them down.

Columbia has stated that they've contacted "most of their accepted students."

I've given up hope on going to school this year and have decided that I will devote this year to improving my craft, and hopefully my applications for next year.
Anyone else in the "guess it's not going to happen this year" boat with me?

What else will you be doing in the interim before apps. in the fall?

p.s. - Sibyline - keep me updated on the NYC meetup. I"m not positive I can go but I'd like to! (and it kinda sucks that it got dragged out of the MFA thread)


imightbechad


Mar 21, 2006, 6:22 PM

Post #56 of 1632 (10087 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] This is me... [In reply to] Can't Post

Aubrie,

I too am in the "guess it's not going to happen" boat...although I've only heard from 2 of 6 schools, the others have been calling in acceptances and my phone has been silent. There is faint hope of the rare acceptance by mail...but i'm not holding my breath. As for the interim, I have no clue! Teach English in Argentina? Bum off parents and eat bon-bon's? Cry in the shower like Tobias? Who knows? It's such an awful process!


Aubrie


Mar 21, 2006, 6:28 PM

Post #57 of 1632 (10081 views)
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Re: [imightbechad] This is me... [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh my god I'll definitely be crying in the shower like Tobias.
You just made my night.
Cause that's just plain f*cking hysterical.
I just need a hand held shower now.


Aubrie


Mar 21, 2006, 6:30 PM

Post #58 of 1632 (10080 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] This is me... [In reply to] Can't Post

Woah.
That could be taken the wrong way.
The whole hand held shower thing.


imightbechad


Mar 21, 2006, 6:38 PM

Post #59 of 1632 (10077 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] This is me... [In reply to] Can't Post

...glad that I could be of some pleasure to someone. It doesn't help, in my case, that I'm surrounded by brilliant and brilliantly successful poets and professors all day.

I think I could use a hand-held something...


Aubrie


Mar 21, 2006, 6:53 PM

Post #60 of 1632 (10065 views)
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Re: [imightbechad] This is me... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Chad (if you might be him):
Are you in school now? Or do you regularly spend time with brilliant-type folks just because?
Where did you apply?


imightbechad


Mar 21, 2006, 7:09 PM

Post #61 of 1632 (10058 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] This is me... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in school at Emory. I applied to Brown, Cornell, Iowa, Indiana, UVA, Hollins. I know, right?

Anyway, I really only applied to the schools that I knew I would love, though I've realized I looked over some great programs. If nothing works out, next year I'll apply to Alabama, Houston, Montana, and Oregon as well. I'm kind of frustrated, only because I've had a "successful" undergraduate poetry career, and was somewhat led to believe that I would have "no problem" with MFA acceptances. I should have researched more, found this board sooner, and not relied so much on my professors for advice.

On the other hand, it's impossible to comprehend just how competetive this MFA process is on the first go 'round. Also, I do think many programs are apprehensive about accepting students straight out of undegrad (but maybe i'm just self-medicating). It's going to be a major blow if I'm rejected across the board...even a waitlist would be nice!

Chad


sibyline


Mar 21, 2006, 10:04 PM

Post #62 of 1632 (10004 views)
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Re: [imightbechad] This is me... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm in school at Emory. I applied to Brown, Cornell, Iowa, Indiana, UVA, Hollins. I know, right?


Have you heard from Cornell? Word on the street is that #1 on the waitlist is a guy. It might be worth calling them and checking if it's Chad.


imightbechad


Mar 21, 2006, 10:16 PM

Post #63 of 1632 (9995 views)
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Re: [sibyline] This is me... [In reply to] Can't Post

not this guy!

cornell and iowa are my two rejections...the rest are in the air.


perfunctory

e-mail user

Mar 21, 2006, 10:17 PM

Post #64 of 1632 (9995 views)
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Re: [imightbechad] This is me... [In reply to] Can't Post

chad...the same exact thing happened to me (i did my undergrad at oregon). i am fearing six rejections and trying to figure out what will come next. it's hard for me to wrap my mind around it all. forcing myself to realize that it's essentially a crapshoot is even tougher.


Aubrie


Mar 23, 2006, 2:01 PM

Post #65 of 1632 (9855 views)
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Re: [perfunctory] This is me... [In reply to] Can't Post

Damn.

(sorry, just felt like saying that.)


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 23, 2006, 5:30 PM

Post #66 of 1632 (9803 views)
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Re: [clarabow] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and l [In reply to] Can't Post

For some reason, I'm really curious about this Jhumpa Lahiri business.

Did she really get rejected from a bunch of MFA programs? I don't know why this surprises me so much. Perhaps it's because her style is so resolutely plain and she is so adored by the "right" people these days. "uncommon elegance and poise." I just can't imagine her rejected.

I know she has several graduate degrees. Did she just jump from program to program, refining her creative work in the meantime? Maybe I should do that. Get another degree after this degree.

I have a love hate relationship with JL. I actually recommend her to all my friends, but I can't figure out of The Namesake is a good book or not.

Another rejection success story to consider--David Benioff (25th Hour). Check out his picture; he's pretty cute. He's marrying Amanda Peet, I think. But yeah, his second novel got rejected from every publisher in America, and his first round of MFAs--he got rejected all over the place. Now his books are made into movies, and he's a screenwriter raking in tons of cash, and I think he's been in the Best American series.


augustmaria


Mar 23, 2006, 7:06 PM

Post #67 of 1632 (9766 views)
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Limbo :( [In reply to] Can't Post

I may have landed myself a kickass acceptance (Montana) and three cool wait-list positions (Bowling Green, Indiana, Lousiana State), but the limbo is worse than ever before.

Montana gives funding to "about half." I've heard nothing concerning funding and it's now officially getting under my skin. I've fallen in love with the program and now the prospect seems to be dissipating.

And, though the wait-lists are great, I could easily be at the bottom of each and receive no offers because of them.

"But you're twenty-one years old!" you say. "You have your whole life!"

Which is true, of course, but that doesn't make it hurt any less. I want my MFA and I want it now. I'm in the perfect position to get it, and I want it SO BADLY, but now I'm feeling as though my applications were almost there, but not quite. In short, I feel like a failure.


(This post was edited by augustmaria on Mar 23, 2006, 7:07 PM)


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 23, 2006, 7:19 PM

Post #68 of 1632 (9752 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] Limbo :( [In reply to] Can't Post

You can just wait another year and apply again if the funding doesn't work out?????

It's totally okay to try a second time. I applied to Ph.D programs last year and didn't make it. I had to wait around all this year.... and it S U C K E D. There's no other word for it. It was like being in prison. Worse than being in prison. At least you can write about being in prison. You can't write about hanging around at home waiting for an MFA acceptance.

That said, it's doable. Time passes.

You could go to a writing colony in the meantime. Get a job, accumulate some life savings, build up your experience level, get more publications.... man, I wish I were 21!! That's what I would do.

But of course you may still get funding. :-)


(This post was edited by rapunzel1983 on Mar 23, 2006, 7:22 PM)


augustmaria


Mar 23, 2006, 7:27 PM

Post #69 of 1632 (9743 views)
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Re: [rapunzel1983] Limbo :( [In reply to] Can't Post

You're right--of course you're right. But, still, it doesn't make it hurt less.

Though this hasn't been affecting the belief that I'm a capable, beautiful writer (both meaing that I write beautifully and that I am beautiful--hah). Yesterday I wrote a personal essay that I've already forced onto some of my fellow writing students and one of my professors, and I've received wonderful feedback ("Send this to Riverteeth!") and I'm fifty pages into the novel I've started this semester and it's going absolutely wonderfully.

And the thought of going out and getting a job excites me and I know it wouldn't be that bad--I make the most out of everything (I'm an extraordinary machine)--but I'll still be heartbroken. Which, I think, is okay.


(This post was edited by augustmaria on Mar 23, 2006, 7:28 PM)


gussy

e-mail user

Mar 23, 2006, 8:03 PM

Post #70 of 1632 (9724 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] Limbo :( [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey,

Like rapunzel suggested, being heart-broken makes for good writing. Well, she didn't suggest THAT, but, you know, the writing in or from prison thing can be generalized :)

And, to dissipate the ambiguity (can one dissipate ambiguity? Dispel it? Obliterate it !! :)) why don't you ask current Montana students how they make ends meet? Maybe the MFA program funds only half their students, but other Departments are receptive to job applications. And I'd definitely call the other programs which have waitlisted you and diplomatically ask about your position in the waitlist, how many people decline their offers on average, etc.

Good luck, and keep us posted !!

Gussy


duderedman


Mar 23, 2006, 8:08 PM

Post #71 of 1632 (9714 views)
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Re: [gussy] Limbo :( [In reply to] Can't Post

Beautiful AND an extraordinary machine? Next day personal essay accolades? You don't even need an MFA program!


uadelta21


Mar 29, 2006, 3:31 PM

Post #72 of 1632 (9586 views)
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Re: [clarabow] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and lik [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad I'm not the only one who has been silently shaking my fist at people who are complaining about being accepted to multiple schools.

I finally heard from all of mine today - a resounding "thanks but no thanks" across the board.

And man, it's hard to be at work when I'm stuck in the mires of rejection in addition to not being able to move because of my first "basic" yoga class a few days ago. Basic my a*#. Aaarg!


Kcchen


Mar 29, 2006, 3:38 PM

Post #73 of 1632 (9578 views)
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Re: [uadelta21] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and li [In reply to] Can't Post

dude, I HEAR YOU. I can't get any work done cos I'm too busy hitting refresh for this website and my email website as well as glancing down at my cell phone and willing it to ring (it's on silent). I've got one waitlist, two rejections and two more rejections in the mail. bleh.


Windiciti



Mar 29, 2006, 5:20 PM

Post #74 of 1632 (9507 views)
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Re: [Kcchen] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and li [In reply to] Can't Post

oH, God, I'm so sorry!

I did get into 2 places, but was rejected by Bennington this Saturday.

I know it's insane, but I've been calling all afternoon to ask WHY!!!
What do I have to lose, right?
I put an enormous amount of work into the essays for Bennington which were different from those of other schools, etc., etc. I sent the same Writing Portfolio to all schools.
WHAT DID I DO WRONG?
I AM SO PO'd, that I must talk to them!
I want to ask what in my application or portfolio turned them off!
I was rejected at UIC for political/personality issues. Fine, mea culpa.
Columbia College thought my writing wasn't gritty enough, OK.
But Bennington?

I'm planning to keep on calling until someone answers and gives me a cogent answer.
Perhaps thi sounds CRAZY, right? But I've got to know!


sarandipidy


Mar 29, 2006, 5:35 PM

Post #75 of 1632 (9494 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and li [In reply to] Can't Post

What do you mean "political/personality" issues? They said that? What did they mean? And sorry about Bennington..


kcole7
Kristin

Mar 29, 2006, 9:40 PM

Post #76 of 1632 (10250 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big loser and li [In reply to] Can't Post

Windiciti,
Kudos to being tough enough to call the schools that rejected you. I don't think I want to know why Michigan rejected me. (I know why Miami of Ohio rejected me. They didn't get some of my materials in time.) I figure that I was accepted at one school and waitlisted at another, so I must not be a talentless loser. That's enough for me. :)

(Also curious about why "personality/politics" means. I'm guessing it was a matter of fitting in with the faculty.)


Windiciti



Mar 29, 2006, 11:04 PM

Post #77 of 1632 (10208 views)
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Re: [kcole7] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big los [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok here it is:
I requested the GRE requirement be waived---I had my old scores. The Director of Grad English Studies refused--although he tantalized me by telling me he COULD waive it!

I walked in my application and materials on Feb 1. I suggested that I perhaps they cd. maKE AN EXCEPTION. He did not seem to care that by not giving me an unconditional acceptance I wd. not be a contender for free tuition and a 20k stipend a year!

I requested that I be considered on a student at large basis until I cd. retake the GRE's.

He responded I cd take them 3/11/06. I asked when they wd. render a final decision. He said 4/15/06.
I told him, politely but unwisely it seems, that the test cost $150, and since UIC was the only school requiring it, and I didn't want to spend 6 hrs. of my life sweating it out at a computer, esp. the Math part, I would wait until the Committee had seen my portfolio.
It was downhill from there. He eschewed my lack of English courses, I have an MPA with a high GPA from UIC, and I told him he wd. find my writing was as competent as that of other cands.
Then I met with the CW Director who was much more welcoming, said she cd. probably let me know a little sooner, etc. etc., and that the Director was new, and not so easy to get on with.
When I called her for the promised appt. she clammed up and said very coldly she was just one member on the Committee, and had no special influence, etc. I suspect she doesn't have tenure yet!
Anyway that is the sad pathetic story. I was too assertive, not compliant enough.
I'm a well-spoken, well-groomed female in my fifties, and I was treated like a beggar!
I got a cheesy rejection form letter from Grad Admissions, not even from the department.
SO I AM VERY P'OD!


(This post was edited by Windiciti on Mar 29, 2006, 11:09 PM)


kcole7
Kristin

Mar 30, 2006, 12:22 AM

Post #78 of 1632 (10178 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow. That's just...horrible. It sounds like you may be better off somewhere else. You would have had problems if one of the professors ended up on your thesis committee.


Windiciti



Mar 30, 2006, 2:15 PM

Post #79 of 1632 (10105 views)
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Re: [kcole7] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big [In reply to] Can't Post

They were a bunch of snobs! Don't know why...I speak and write English very well, and I have it on good authority the haven't accepted too many Latinos in the last 5 years---we are sorely underrepresented---and as I said I wd. be a credit to most programs. I'm bilingual/bicultural, high GPA, high GRE verbal scores, etc.
I think I unwisely enterd into a power struggle with the vain, shallow Director, and that was dumb on my part.

Just called Bennington ---yes I'm still very assertive---to find out why I didn't get in. Priscilla said she could not comment, she just takes jher cue from the readers. I asked whether it was based solely on the portfolio, and she said no, they look at the whole application! (I know my essays for Bennington were great, several people looked at them for me---so I guess they just didn't like my stories!)

I asked how many candidates they had for Fiction. She said they had 80 and 13 were accepted.

That's my story.


zyzzyvas1


Mar 30, 2006, 3:58 PM

Post #80 of 1632 (10062 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Ok here it is:
I requested the GRE requirement be waived---I had my old scores. The Director of Grad English Studies refused--although he tantalized me by telling me he COULD waive it!

I walked in my application and materials on Feb 1. I suggested that I perhaps they cd. maKE AN EXCEPTION. He did not seem to care that by not giving me an unconditional acceptance I wd. not be a contender for free tuition and a 20k stipend a year!

I requested that I be considered on a student at large basis until I cd. retake the GRE's.

He responded I cd take them 3/11/06. I asked when they wd. render a final decision. He said 4/15/06. I told him, politely but unwisely it seems, that the test cost $150, and since UIC was the only school requiring it, and I didn't want to spend 6 hrs. of my life sweating it out at a computer, esp. the Math part, I would wait until the Committee had seen my portfolio.
It was downhill from there. He eschewed my lack of English courses, I have an MPA with a high GPA from UIC, and I told him he wd. find my writing was as competent as that of other cands. Then I met with the CW Director who was much more welcoming, said she cd. probably let me know a little sooner, etc. etc., and that the Director was new, and not so easy to get on with. When I called her for the promised appt. she clammed up and said very coldly she was just one member on the Committee, and had no special influence, etc. I suspect she doesn't have tenure yet! Anyway that is the sad pathetic story. I was too assertive, not compliant enough. I'm a well-spoken, well-groomed female in my fifties, and I was treated like a beggar! I got a cheesy rejection form letter from Grad Admissions, not even from the department.
SO I AM VERY P'OD!



Let me get this straight. You:
1. Asked if you could circumvent the school's application rules and guidelines -- these the same guidelines everyone else has to follow.
2. Asked politely and was told told no, but then continued to argue the point.
3. Were surprised when they weren't pleased by this.

Yes, sounds like you got a raw deal.


imightbechad


Mar 30, 2006, 4:31 PM

Post #81 of 1632 (10036 views)
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Re: [zyzzyvas1] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a big [In reply to] Can't Post

haha, exactly what i was thinking.

also, i would say the school should not have to defend their decision. for you to ask them, fine. but to expect a response is a bit much.

i mean, i'm an accomplished poet, academy of american poets prize, small publications...and i've been rejected from 5 of 6 schools...and the last one's not looking too hot. but i would never dream of calling a school to ask "why?", it's obviously so subjective that it hurts!

chad


commanda
Amanda

Mar 30, 2006, 5:38 PM

Post #82 of 1632 (9999 views)
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Indiana [In reply to] Can't Post

I just an e-mail from Indiana. It did not contain the words "we regret..." or "thank you, but..." It did however inform me that my letter of notification had been sent and thanked me for my interest in the program. Wish they'd come out and say it, or not send the e-mail at all. I'm a paper-is-god type of girl and this vague e-mail business does nothing but suck. Hard.


amys27


Mar 30, 2006, 7:17 PM

Post #83 of 1632 (9963 views)
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Re: [imightbechad] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a b [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually, one of my writing teachers here suggests calling schools to ask why you didn't get accepted, in order to see if it's worth applying again next year. If it's a school you're really interested in, I don't think it can hurt, and you may be able to glean some good information despite the fact that this is a very subjective process.

I once applied for funding for a short documentary and the funding group did a really great thing with each and every applicant who was denied: they scheduled a 15-minute phone call with them to go over comments on their proposals. There are parallels here, because a doc treatment is essentially a "short story" of the film and so judging it is subjective, right? Interestingly, two of the three judges who denied the proposal did so for exactly opposite reasons. (Judge A wanted to see less of something; Judge B wanted to see more of the exact same thing.)

I took away some helpful information from that phone call, so I think it's possible to get some good info on one's MFA app too.

My 2 cents.

/a


viviandarkbloom


Mar 30, 2006, 9:47 PM

Post #84 of 1632 (9911 views)
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Re: [amys27] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like a b [In reply to] Can't Post

In my rejection letter from Irvine, it said that they got 300 applications in fiction. While that's a lot for most places, I guess I was expecting something closer to Iowa's 700 or UMass' 500. Also: Geoffrey Wolff has the signature of a crazed stroke victim.


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 31, 2006, 1:44 AM

Post #85 of 1632 (9849 views)
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Re: [viviandarkbloom] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post

iowa receives 750 for just fiction alone? i thought that was just everything combined.


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 31, 2006, 2:24 AM

Post #86 of 1632 (9840 views)
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Re: [rapunzel1983] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post

for all those people who said they had outstanding undergrad careers and felt terrible to get rejected--

i know exactly how you feel. last year when i was receiving my Ph.D wake-up calls, i just felt sick, like i had no identity. after harvard, yale, berkeley, and chicago came, i stopped checking my mail altogether and just let it build up. i had always thought of myself as an academic, as a brilliant student--to discover that my undergrad career was insignificant in the eyes of the larger world was terrible, unnerving. i was in the running for valedictorian basically; my whole life was school. to come up with nothing senior year made me want to vomit. so many all-nighters and caffeine pills and so much planning and organization and sacrifice for absolutely nothing; i started to have nightmares about dying--cause that's what it was like--nothing i did had any effect whatsoever; i just couldnt get anything. i was under tremendous stress, and it was senior year of college and everyone was drinking and partying and congratulating everyone else on job offers and law school, and i wanted to join them so much it made me hurt. in a way, i will never join them. as a writer, i probably won't be able to have that conventional success in any way. ever. things have gone better this year with mfas; i have choices, but it's not like they didn't take about 2 yrs of killing myself to obtain. and now that i'm home alone and there's no one to really share the joy and im stuck with a difficult choice to make and realizing that either way i have to publish or perish, somehow it doesn't feel like that much has changed. that's when i realized that the reason it hurts so much now is because i had the wrong attitude to begin with. delusions of self-importance.

i think the best way to look at is numerically, just plain probability-wise. Okay, so there are 400 apps for 6 slots. honestly, i don't know if i could ever say i deserve to get in to ANYTHING more than 394 people. i have too much respect for people. so the only way you can really hope to have choices is if you apply to more places. the rates are simply too low to apply to so few schools. just imagine 400 apps realistically, stacks and stacks of manuscripts. there are so many clever little stories, some already published, some workshopped for terms already, some ironed out by advisors and agents. once i recognized the physical reality of the process, my blinders came off--i buckled down, applied to a spectrum of places, expected the worst, and never ever gave myself the benefit of the doubt. i kept on saying, "Rapunzel, you are not special. Do you hear me? NOT SPECIAL. if you don't make this manuscript shine all by itself, leap off the page, it's not going to magically glow just because you are you."

hahahha, that doesn't mean i don't dream of having one of those exceptional exceptional good days when the world surprises you and you get a phone call, and you can't stop jumping up and down and screaming and tipping the waiter: "everyone, drinks on me!!!!" too bad those days only happen a few times in your whole life.


mingram
Mike Ingram

Mar 31, 2006, 11:04 AM

Post #87 of 1632 (9779 views)
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Re: [rapunzel1983] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post

I wouldn't suggest calling programs and asking why you didn't get in. I can see why that idea might be appealing in the wake of rejection, but I just don't see what you stand to gain. I can definitely see the potential downside -- making a nuisance of yourself, and putting your name on the school's radar for the wrong reasons. It's not the school's job to act as your critiquing/editing service.

If you're going to be a writer, you have to get used to rejection. When you send your story to The New Yorker and they send you a brief, fairly impersonal rejection, are you going to call their offices and demand to be told why you're not being published?


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 31, 2006, 11:29 AM

Post #88 of 1632 (9763 views)
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Re: [mingram] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post

I've actually had a lot of friends who have done this. And the profs have responded with substantial advice. I think if you are kind about it and courteous, everything is fine. You can just say, quite honestly: "I really admire the program, and I'd like to know why I wasn't accepted so I can prepare for future applications.... Thank you; I appreciate it."

I think it's worth a shot. If you're going to apply again, you might as well do it. Nobody can call you a nuisance if you're nice, and you ask things respectfully. It's why you pay an application fee!! So that your app will be handled with respect. You should always, always be allowed to question anything. I mean, honestly, it's just a part of being a rational person in this world.

If they're rude or impolite or politely state that they can't tell you.... in response to YOUR politeness then you should just drop it. How can they hold it against you for asking? And if they do hold it against you, then they're just stupid--and i don't care if they're the best program in the world--there are other great programs.

Just because a program is all big and powerful and you're just a lowly writer, doesn't mean that you have to cower before them and be afraid to ask questions.

Also, many programs say things like "If you have any questions, please contact us...." You should take them up on the offer if you want.


sibyline


Mar 31, 2006, 12:21 PM

Post #89 of 1632 (9733 views)
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Re: [rapunzel1983] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post

i feel like it's totally different in academic fields than in writing. really, the only thing that can be said in writing is, "we preferred other people's writing sample over yours." i try to be mindful of professors' time. also, most programs explicitly state that they can't give you feedback. that seems pretty self-explanatory.


(This post was edited by sibyline on Mar 31, 2006, 2:17 PM)


mingram
Mike Ingram

Mar 31, 2006, 12:25 PM

Post #90 of 1632 (9732 views)
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Re: [rapunzel1983] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, rapunzel, when you put it that way it does sound somewhat more reasonable. But there's a big difference between a polite inquiry (the kind you've suggested) and DEMANDING to know why you weren't admitted. A lot of these schools get between 200-800 applications; it seems a bit presumptuous to expect a busy professor/program director to go digging through that pile to find your application and then explain exactly what they didn't like about your writing sample. My guess is that, at best, you'd get a polite but vague response (and not one that would really help your writing); at worst, depending on how unrelenting you were in your demand for a response, you might get your name stuck in that person's head, and not in a positive way.


LookUp


Mar 31, 2006, 10:12 PM

Post #91 of 1632 (9652 views)
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Re: [rapunzel1983] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post

Rapunzel, just so you know: a friend of mine was in the same position as you, had been preparing herself for grad school since she was 15, went to a VERY well regarded school, graduated with honors, etc. and was rejected from all of the top PhD programs she applied to. She took a year off, she applied again, she was accepted somewhere great. This happens.

Anyway -- you sound on fire about your writing so this isn't meant to make you apply for PhD's again, it's just to let you know that this is just the way the game works -- for totally, totally unknown reasons.


rapunzel1983
Marisa Lee

Mar 31, 2006, 11:04 PM

Post #92 of 1632 (9638 views)
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Re: [LookUp] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I agree with what minigram said and yes, it is different for creative writing, sibyline--I agree. I personally would not call. I've never done something like that in my life. Mainly because I think it would just hurt. But if you have the guts to do it, I don't think it's a bad impulse. Besides, you can usually guess the reasons:

1. age/experience
2. subject matter of sample (might be juvenile or uninteresting)
3. extremely poor scores/grades
4. didn't vary the sample enough (short stories work better than excerpts)
5. writing style doesn't match any of the profs'
6. said something stupid in personal statement
7. then after that, it's all just writing issues which are too many to list here


edwriter



Apr 2, 2006, 3:56 PM

Post #93 of 1632 (9531 views)
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Re: [rapunzel1983] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post

Or, perhaps there was something in the recommendations that didn't resonate favorably.

Or, perhaps one didn't submit all the required information--like GRE scores.

A number of years ago I had a similar impulse, and unfortunately I was pretty stubborn about it. I didn't see why I had to retake the GRE (general exam) for an MFA program, given that my first set of scores had been pretty good and that I'd earned three other graduate degrees (including a Ph.D.) from top-tier grad programs in the meantime. If at least part of the purpose of the GRE (as I still understand it) is to indicate readiness/potential for success in graduate school, it didn't seem I needed another standardized test to prove I could handle the work.

But sometimes programs have requirements for reasons we may not know or understand. Someone later suggested to me, for example, that it was possible that the school in question (a public institution) might have been required by law (perhaps for funding?) to require GRE scores. So it seems that to expect programs to make exceptions, as I did (and as Windiciti seems to have done), can turn into self-sabotage. At the very least, it can limit one's options.

No matter how "right" we may have thought we were considering our individual circumstances, we just didn't follow the rules. And that can have consequences.

Best,
Erika D.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 2, 2006, 4:14 PM

Post #94 of 1632 (9522 views)
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Re: [mingram] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post

Re: calling about rejections, I just don't see the point.

If a school gets 600 applications, are they going to remember every one of them?
No. Most likely your application was forgettable to the readers and that's why you didn't get in or waitlisted.

I used to be fiction editor for a magazine and if I had every person call me whose story I'd rejected months earlier, I doubt I could remember more than a few of them in any detail.


Windiciti



Apr 3, 2006, 1:55 PM

Post #95 of 1632 (9398 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post

I called WWC today and found out I'm not in for Fiction.
Sad but glad to know. All decisions have not been made yet,
only a prelim list of who is in. I wasn't on it.

Now I can go on with the rest of my life, and plan for the schools that did accept me!


Windiciti



Apr 4, 2006, 10:24 AM

Post #96 of 1632 (9293 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post

To set the record straight:
Just wanted to let you know that in this case the GRE requirement could have been waived. One of the Graduate Admissions Officers told me that if the English Dept. had requested it, it could have been done.

I had taken the GRE's but they were old. However I had an official copy that had been mailed to me when I took it, and the head of the English Grad studies, who was obnoxious in every way, carefully made a copy of the results for my file.

I also offererd to take them at a later date if I were accepted as a student at large. This was not much to ask. I have a great GPA, received my MPA there, I am more than a competent writer, bilingual at an academic level, I would have been a credit to their program--- this is a realistic assessment of my skills and abilities in EVERY grad course I have taken---and a minority to boot!

It is not my habit to go against the rules. But this was incredibly dumb! I found out too late about the program and walked my papers in on the last day. I also wd. have been a great PH.d candidate in the same program, and would have applied for that after one semester.

However, the man who interviewed knew NOTHING about me when I left his office, not even that I spoke 3 languages!


sibyline


Apr 4, 2006, 10:38 AM

Post #97 of 1632 (9283 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] [In reply to] Can't Post

As dumb as I think the GRE's are, I think it's unreasonable to try to get out of requirements that apply to everyone else, regardless of how special one thinks one is.

I have a stellar academic record, got into English Ph. D. programs before, took the GRE's a long time ago and got 90+ percentile scores, a minority, speaks three languages, blah blah blah. The fact is that when a school is dealing with that volume of applications, it might just be reasonable to ask once. But arguing about it and then complaining when denied smacks of a "my needs are more important than anyone else's" mentality.

One would hope that everyone who goes to the programs they're going to is a credit to that program.


HopperFu


Apr 4, 2006, 10:42 AM

Post #98 of 1632 (9277 views)
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Re: [sibyline] [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd also argue that one of the things schools are looking for when they select a class is some sort of cohesiveness and workability. In other words, the faculty want to like the students.
I mean, fairly obviously from all your other posts, Windicity, you are a nice, likeable person, but when you are the admissions person dealing with a large group of people, I can see why somebody come in and asking for an exemption of some sort would trigger those little warnings.
As I'm sure you - and anybody who has gone to college - knows, a decent part of academia is simply jumping through hoops.
And for the record, I speak one language and am not all that special, so I'm pretty thankful the admissions committee didn't take the time to get to know me....


Windiciti



Apr 4, 2006, 11:03 AM

Post #99 of 1632 (9261 views)
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Re: [sibyline][Edwriter] [In reply to] Can't Post

But after all that, they could have waived it...ie. it was intimated to me that they had done so in the past in a couple of cases. This was confirmed by someone pretty high up in the grad college who is a friend.

Although I didn't say it, I did score in the 94 percentile.
I'm also in my late fifties, and don't have quite the same stamina I had eight years ago when I first took it. The test costs $150, and not one of the other five schools required it.
When the guy suggested I take it on 3/11 and said he would let me know on 4/15, the most outside date that they can use to reply, I should have know he didn't give a rip about me as a candidate or an alumna, and walked out without turning in my application.

I have been deprived from obtaining a low-cost public education in my state because of this capricious, pompous, individual. Although it was never my first choice, I am still resentful. After all, I did agree to take the GRE's after I was admitted on a probationary status.

Regardless, I felt that my portfolio was never given any real consideration because of this initial conversation, and my assertiveness in seeking a meeting with the Director of CW, resulted in the punitive action of no real consideration of my application.

You know, in essence you are correct, Erika and Sybilline, this is a requirement for application at UIC.
I'm quite sure that if I had not been so rushed, I wasn't applying until another on-campus friend suggested it, I would have taken the test in time, etc.
It was just that this man was barely courteous to me, and I had put in quite a bit of work into the application.


(This post was edited by Windiciti on Apr 4, 2006, 11:19 AM)


Windiciti



Apr 4, 2006, 11:12 AM

Post #100 of 1632 (9252 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] [In reply to] Can't Post

You're right, Hopperfu! He didn't like me and I came off as high maintenance.
And I really am a nice person. After this interview, which for some reason made me feel like a beggar, that's how cavalierly and poorly I was treated, I called my friend on campus, and over a cup of tea sobbed out the whole story to him!

I'm having trouble accepting what happened, probably because I hadn't felt so humiliated in a long time. It was tough to be turned down by my alma mater, and in my bones I know it had NOTHING to do with my writing talent.

Thank you.


kcole7
Kristin

Apr 4, 2006, 11:29 AM

Post #101 of 1632 (9125 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] Sarandipity I haven't gotten in anywhere yet. I am happy that you have, but I can't read your posts about how hard it is to choose between schools right now. I used to go the Waiting game for comfort, but now it makes me feel like [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote

Quote
I have a great GPA, received my MPA there, I am more than a competent writer, bilingual at an academic level, I would have been a credit to their program--- this is a realistic assessment of my skills and abilities in EVERY grad course I have taken---and a minority to boot!


But how was your writing sample? Not to sound harsh, Windiciti, because I do feel for your situation, but things like your MPA and ability to speak three languages should have no bearing on your application for the MFA. (Unless you were going for translation.) In the end, it comes down to the writing because, really, what matters more than that?

Obviously, if they didn't read your writing sample, then I'd say you got a raw deal. Plus, I've heard of students enrolling at schools "at large," and I don't see why they closed that door for you.

Congrats on getting into several wonderful programs and having the option to do two degrees at once .


(This post was edited by kcole7 on Apr 4, 2006, 7:25 PM)


sibyline


Apr 4, 2006, 11:31 AM

Post #102 of 1632 (9125 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] [In reply to] Can't Post

there are different kinds of intelligence and you, hopperfu, clearly have the kind needed to write amazingly well. and i refuse to believe you don't have plenty of all the other kinds too. :)


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 4, 2006, 11:39 AM

Post #103 of 1632 (9123 views)
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Re: [sibyline] [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I have a stellar academic record, got into English Ph. D. programs before, took the GRE's a long time ago and got 90+ percentile scores, a minority, speaks three languages, blah blah blah. The fact is that when a school is dealing with that volume of applications, it might just be reasonable to ask once. But arguing about it and then complaining when denied smacks of a "my needs are more important than anyone else's" mentality.


I agree with sibyline. It sounds like you expect special treatment, and for fairly odd reasons. You said you were upset you didn't get in for reasons other than your writing, and yet all the reasons you've given for why you should get in had nothing to do with your writing (They didn't even get to learn I speak three languages! I'm even a minority! etc.)

The GREs might be a stupid measurement, but most schools require them and, other than a 100 dollar fee, they are pretty painless to do. Only take a short period of time.


viviandarkbloom


Apr 4, 2006, 11:49 AM

Post #104 of 1632 (9110 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And for the record, I speak one language ....


Me too -- which is why I didn't apply to Johns Hopkins, Michigan or Houston. Damn their language requirements. I'm such a monoglot. Merde!


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 4, 2006, 12:01 PM

Post #105 of 1632 (9100 views)
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Re: [viviandarkbloom] [In reply to] Can't Post

Is it really a requirement at JHU? The website is kind of vague, something like "Its a good idea for students to have at least enough second language skills to pass a test showing second year college level understanding."


sarandipidy


Apr 4, 2006, 12:05 PM

Post #106 of 1632 (9098 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] [In reply to] Can't Post

I just want to say that I understand how you feel. You paid your dues to GTS and jumped through their ridiculous 150 dollar-hoop already. I also understand why the admissions office couldn't help you out, but your frustration is warranted. To be forced into paying that stupid, monopolizing company any more money--thus giving them 300 dollars and hours of your life--for an MFA DEGREE, as in FINE ARTS, is a frustrating situation. I guess they just had to follow their own rules but really, who gives? The appropriate reaction here is to just go elsewhere: that's their policy and it really wouldn't be fair to other applicants. In-state tuition aside, did you really want to attend a program that puts SO much weight on the GREs? It seems like their perspective on what writing is, and what it entails, might differ from yours anyway. I deliberately applied to programs without GRE requirements for that reason--even if it's just a formality, it's an expensive formallity that supports a business of which I want no part. Let's just say that in terms of academics, I'm a progressive.


bighark


Apr 4, 2006, 12:12 PM

Post #107 of 1632 (9094 views)
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Re: [sarandipidy] [In reply to] Can't Post

That UIC degree is an MA with a concentration in creative writing. I'm no great lover of ETS and five-year expiration dates of standardized test scores, but creative writing manuscripts aren't the only thing considered in MA programs.


sarandipidy


Apr 4, 2006, 12:15 PM

Post #108 of 1632 (9088 views)
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Re: [bighark] [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for clearing that up; I didn't know it was an MA degree. :)


Windiciti



Apr 4, 2006, 12:42 PM

Post #109 of 1632 (9068 views)
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Re: [bighark] [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you all for allowing me to vent here, and responding even if I may not like all your answers.
I was also required to do a fairly sizable analytical paper. I chose The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. It was an analysis on the romantic sensibilities of the main character. It got me into Northwestern.

Yes, the writing portfolio I submitted was the same for every school, and I know committees have their own tastes, but I feel strongly that the Committee of eight plus individuals never saw it.

Yes, the Director was one of the committee members, and I have this strong intuition that in spite of our discussion to consider me as a student-at-large for the Fall, 2006 semester because of my lack of timely GRE scores, he used his authority to keep my portfolio from being considered. I believe the Committee never saw it.

Am I crazy to trust my intuition and be angry? Perhaps, but just as I was reluctant to take the GRE on 3/11, until I found out if I had a chance to get in, I think he was capricious and resented my assertiveness. He never discussed my talents: the whole meeting was about ticking off everything I had in my file, and telling me I didn't have any previous English courses. So, I guess he resented my saying that when the Committee read my file, they wd. find out that I was as "competent" a writer as the other candidates, even though my undergrad and grad degrees were not in English.

As I write this fruitless response, I realize I am still pretty mad about being deprived of the chance of a doctoral degree in CW at my local low cost institution.
That's all.


Windiciti



Apr 4, 2006, 12:43 PM

Post #110 of 1632 (9063 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] [In reply to] Can't Post

I did not say this at all! This is a quote from Edwriter's post.


Windiciti



Apr 4, 2006, 12:45 PM

Post #111 of 1632 (9060 views)
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Re: [sarandipidy] [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for validating my feelings.


sibyline


Apr 4, 2006, 12:52 PM

Post #112 of 1632 (9040 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Is it really a requirement at JHU? The website is kind of vague, something like "Its a good idea for students to have at least enough second language skills to pass a test showing second year college level understanding."


Talked to Franz about this over the weekend (and for those of you in NYC who didn't go to the meetup, you totally missed out :). They do make you take a translation exam and you probably won't pass it if you don't have any second language training at all. But it's not supposed to be that hard, so probably one semester or summer's worth of study would satisfy the requirement. Kapish?


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 4, 2006, 12:52 PM

Post #113 of 1632 (9039 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what you mean? I was quoting syb quoting you, not edwriter. If I was confusing, here were the two parts of your posts I was referencing:


Quote
It was tough to be turned down by my alma mater, and in my bones I know it had NOTHING to do with my writing talent.



Quote
I have a great GPA, received my MPA there, I am more than a competent writer, bilingual at an academic level, I would have been a credit to their program--- this is a realistic assessment of my skills and abilities in EVERY grad course I have taken---and a minority to boot!
[..]
However, the man who interviewed knew NOTHING about me when I left his office, not even that I spoke 3 languages!



edwriter



Apr 4, 2006, 12:53 PM

Post #114 of 1632 (9037 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I did not say this at all! This is a quote from Edwriter's post.


Actually, it is not a quotation from my post. I think you'll find clench had responded directly to another poster's post, quoting from it.

I know it can be difficult when we feel our feelings have not been "validated." But it's still important to read carefully and try to be as accurate as possible in our own responses, especially when publicly ascribing statements to others.

Thanks very much.

Best,
Erika D.


Quiet Americans: Stories
http://www.erikadreifus.com



Clench Million
Charles

Apr 4, 2006, 12:57 PM

Post #115 of 1632 (9028 views)
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Re: [sibyline] [In reply to] Can't Post

Guess if I get in off the waiting list *fingers crossed* I'll have to bone up on my french...


Windiciti



Apr 4, 2006, 1:07 PM

Post #116 of 1632 (9021 views)
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Re: [edwriter] [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, a couple of people collapsed the info on two different posts!
I have never applied to or completed any PH.d program. That is not something I said.

I believe you, Edwriter, mentioned your feelings about all this on a previous post, and said you were somewhat stubborn about not retaking the GRE, and one of the reasons was that you had been accepted in and perhaps completed another PH.d program?

No offense meant, just clarifying what was attributed to me incorrectly.


(This post was edited by Windiciti on Apr 4, 2006, 1:19 PM)


edwriter



Apr 4, 2006, 1:23 PM

Post #117 of 1632 (9008 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Yes, a couple of people collapsed the info on two different posts!
I have never applied or completed any PH.d program. That is not something I said.

I believe you, Edwriter, mentioned your feelings about all this on a previous post, and said you were somewhat stubborn about not retaking the GRE, and one of the reasons was that you had been accepted in and perhaps completed another PH.d program?

No offense meant, just clarifying what was attributed to me incorrectly.


Windiciti:

But I'm not sure you understand that your "clarification" in turn misattributed another statement. Yes, I weighed in on the subject--and I think my regret for my stubbornness regarding not taking the GRE rather than a clearcut affirmation (or "validation") of your position might have upset you.

For the record--though I think it was fairly simple to relocate my original post to see exactly what I did say--here it is:

"Or, perhaps there was something in the recommendations that didn't resonate favorably.

Or, perhaps one didn't submit all the required information--like GRE scores.

A number of years ago I had a similar impulse, and unfortunately I was pretty stubborn about it. I didn't see why I had to retake the GRE (general exam) for an MFA program, given that my first set of scores had been pretty good and that I'd earned three other graduate degrees (including a Ph.D.) from top-tier grad programs in the meantime. If at least part of the purpose of the GRE (as I still understand it) is to indicate readiness/potential for success in graduate school, it didn't seem I needed another standardized test to prove I could handle the work.

But sometimes programs have requirements for reasons we may not know or understand. Someone later suggested to me, for example, that it was possible that the school in question (a public institution) might have been required by law (perhaps for funding?) to require GRE scores. So it seems that to expect programs to make exceptions, as I did (and as Windiciti seems to have done), can turn into self-sabotage. At the very least, it can limit one's options.

No matter how "right" we may have thought we were considering our individual circumstances, we just didn't follow the rules. And that can have consequences.

Best,
Erika D."

Again, for the record, I did not talk about my foreign language abilities, my test score percentiles, the subject matter of my previous graduate studies, "minority" status, or anything else that you implicitly attributed to me. So, I'm not sure how any careful reading of the posts could have conflated my statements with the one you attributed to me, and my request for care in attributing statements--a concern you appear to share in your own case (although I understood that Clench was not quoting you directly; maybe others did, too)--remains.

Thanks again.

Best,
Erika D.

(This post was edited by edwriter on Apr 4, 2006, 1:27 PM)


zyzzyvas1


Apr 4, 2006, 2:28 PM

Post #118 of 1632 (8967 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] UIC GRE Lament [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess the thing that really rubs me the wrong way is that you keep bringing up the fact that you're in your late 50s, you have other degrees from UIC, and that you're a minority. While I am not so naive as to think those things don't factor into someone being admitted into a MFA program (and in this case, an MA), I'm curious as to why you think they *should* matter any more than if the wind was blowing from the east that day.

In my mind you should have to submit the same application packet as everyone else, and be judged accordingly: that is, primarily on the merits of your writing sample. Also, I find it curious that out of one corner of your mouth you say you didn't want to spend the $150 to take the GRE, but yet at the same time you bemoan the fact that you were denied a chance at inexpensive in-state tuition. Wouldn't it have been worth buying a $150 lottery ticket to save thousands down the line? Especially if you thought you were such a slam-dunk to be accepted?


Windiciti



Apr 4, 2006, 3:05 PM

Post #119 of 1632 (8933 views)
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Re: [edwriter] [In reply to] Can't Post

I did not say you spoke about your foreign language abilities, percentile, etc. at all.
But you were the one who mentioned haVing earned some other degrees, including a PH.d, etc. not I.
That is why I said a couple of people had "collapsed" our comments.


sovietsleepover


Apr 4, 2006, 3:07 PM

Post #120 of 1632 (8931 views)
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Re: [viviandarkbloom] [In reply to] Can't Post

Those language requirements at Michigan & Houston are fairly iffy. I got into both last year without meeting their 2nd language requirements (I think my GRE scores might've been right on the line, too) and no one there so much as mentioned it.


Windiciti



Apr 4, 2006, 3:38 PM

Post #121 of 1632 (8911 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] [In reply to] Can't Post

This is definitely not a quote so why label it as such!!


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 4, 2006, 3:44 PM

Post #122 of 1632 (8906 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] [In reply to] Can't Post

Windi, you need to realize that no one knows what posts you are referring to when you keep saying "this is X" or "this isn't Y."

I'm not sure what all the confusion is, but I explicity quoted what I was referencing in your posts above. I'll copy and paste it for you (note: If your problem is that I said sib was quoting you, you are correct, he was paraphrasing not quoting. My bad.):

Re: [Windiciti] [In reply to]
I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what you mean? I was quoting sib quoting you, not edwriter. If I was confusing, here were the two parts of your posts I was referencing:


Quote
It was tough to be turned down by my alma mater, and in my bones I know it had NOTHING to do with my writing talent.



Quote
I have a great GPA, received my MPA there, I am more than a competent writer, bilingual at an academic level, I would have been a credit to their program--- this is a realistic assessment of my skills and abilities in EVERY grad course I have taken---and a minority to boot!
[.]
However, the man who interviewed knew NOTHING about me when I left his office, not even that I spoke 3 languages!




edwriter



Apr 4, 2006, 3:50 PM

Post #123 of 1632 (8901 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I did not say you spoke about your foreign language abilities, percentile, etc. at all.
But you were the one who mentioned haVing earned some other degrees, including a PH.d, etc. not I.
That is why I said a couple of people had "collapsed" our comments.


Am I missing something here? Isn't it clear that since clench's comment was headed "Re: sibyline"--followed by a verifiable quotation--clench had quoted directly from sibyline's post, then added his own comments directed toward you based on comments you made (which presumably had inspired sibyline's response).

Sibyline mentioned having applied to English Ph.D. programs. I don't see how anyone had "'collapsed' our comments," or anyone else's, for that matter.

Again, all you have to do is reread the posts. And again, I'm concerned that your dismay is getting in the way of your ability to approach and respond to others' posts appropriately. It's not a sin to make a mistake--we all do it--but it is a little disturbing to me that you seem to keep blaming others (first me; then, I'm guessing, clench; maybe someone else?) for it.

Thanks again. I really hope this has cleared up any remaining confusion. Unless, again, I'm really missing something here. If so, let me know. Otherwise, please just accept my original point--that I know from my own experience it isn't wise to go against application requirements--and the good wishes you've received on your other achievements, which I second.

Best,
Erika D.

(This post was edited by edwriter on Apr 4, 2006, 3:51 PM)


HopperFu


Apr 4, 2006, 3:57 PM

Post #124 of 1632 (8887 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] language requirements [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Is it really a requirement at JHU? The website is kind of vague, something like "Its a good idea for students to have at least enough second language skills to pass a test showing second year college level understanding."



Holy shit, this thread has gotten confusing on this page.
Guys: reference by either using quotes or specifically mentioning what you are referening to.
Like here, for instance. I'm answering Clench Million's question about language requirements.
It's worth checking with the individual programs about language requirements. I don't speak a second language and have failed miserably both times I've tried to learn. One of the programs I wanted to go to had a language requirement and when I asked about it, the program director said something to the effect of, "seriously? We have a language requirement?"
Some programs stick to it, other's don't care. Sounds like JHU (from what Sib said) sticks to it, but not super harsh.


sibyline


Apr 4, 2006, 3:59 PM

Post #125 of 1632 (8886 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm not sure what all the confusion is, but I explicity quoted what I was referencing in your posts above. I'll copy and paste it for you (note: If your problem is that I said sib was quoting you, you are correct, he was paraphrasing not quoting. My bad.):


just to clarify: i was actually talking about myself. it just so happened that my academic record is quite similar to WindiCiti's, but i didn't request special consideration, sucked it up, and took my GRE's.

and i'm a girl! well, more like a grrrrl. :)


Windiciti



Apr 4, 2006, 4:05 PM

Post #126 of 1632 (10553 views)
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Re: [zyzzyvas1] UIC GRE Lament [In reply to] Can't Post

MMM... I wonder why your messages sound so hostile?
The facts are that I am a minority, was a grad of the institution, am in my 50's etc., had great scores, etc.

And yes, all this does make a difference whether you like it or not, because minorities have been and still are underrepresented in writing and English graduate programs. Check Peterson's Guide to Grad Programs in the Humanities and Social Sciences, don't take my word for it. It list number of candidates, acceptances, and grads, by race and sex.

BTW I applied at the last minute because a minority recruiter on campus mentioned they had the MA in CW program, and encouraged me to apply.

By not giving me at least a chance to apply as a student at large since it was too late to take the test, I was not eligible for a state fellowship for free tuition and a 15k stipend.
This grant is called Diversifying Faculty in Illinois. Wow the state and its institutions fund it because African Americans, Latinos, and some Asian groups are underrepresented on university faculties in Illinois!
Fortunately, I am in the running for this because I was accepted by another institution which will top it off to almost 20K, if I am selected. Oh, and it's quite tough to run for it. There will be 500 candidates, preselected by the schools that accepted them, ie. not everyone who applies is in this cut: the school decides whom to send based on their essays to the DFI committee, scores, grades, LOR's (3), etc.
They pick 30 or 50 people depending on the funds. I don't know if I will get it, but at least I am in the running.

And yes, you are correct, it would have been a good investment to take the test, and thus get in and pay in-state-tuition.

Also, I never said I should have been accepted on the basis of my nationality, but on my merits as a candidate. I just find it interesting that given the facts I stated above, they could not have let me in as a student at large. I had agreed to take the GRE after my acceptance.


zyzzyvas1


Apr 4, 2006, 4:25 PM

Post #127 of 1632 (10539 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] UIC GRE Lament [In reply to] Can't Post

"

In Reply To
MMM... I wonder why your messages sound so hostile?
The facts are that I am a minority, was a grad of the institution, am in my 50's etc., had great scores, etc. "


I apologize for sounding hostile, that's not my intention. I just can't for the life of me figure out what the gripe is here. I know all of the things you say above are true. I don't care. Just as I think the admissions committee shouldn't.

The point I was trying to make is that those things shouldn't matter any more than if I walked into the same admissions office with my incredible scores, thinning blond hair, bi-lingualism, and my 34 years on the planet. If I followed the rules -- these the same rules everyone else had to follow -- and my writing sample was among the best ("best" being decided by the applications committee), then I should get in. Just as you should. Nothing else should matter.

But the way I see it (and tell me if I'm getting this wrong) you admittedly didn't follow the rules, you asked nicely if you could circumvent them, was told no, and then argued about it. Then you were surprised when they gave you the cold shoulder.

What am I missing here? Yes, it sucks, and I can see how you'd be disappointed, but if I'm one of the other applicants at UIC (which I'm not), I'm quite honestly very happy to hear that you (or anyone else) didn't get special treatment. If I'm an applicant who got all my stuff in on time, why should the pool be diluted with people who didn't? The deadlines are there for a reason.


Windiciti



Apr 4, 2006, 5:52 PM

Post #128 of 1632 (10501 views)
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Re: [sibyline] [In reply to] Can't Post

I knew you were a girl! And I love that name.

BTW I'm done with this subject---it's become annoying in tone--- from the sanctimonious to the argumentative and sarcastic.
So that's it for me.
Thank you all for your input.


Stroudb

e-mail user

Apr 4, 2006, 7:38 PM

Post #129 of 1632 (10457 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] language requirements [In reply to] Can't Post

On Michigan's language requirement: It's not required to have a second language to get in, but you have to either take a translation exam or two terms of a foreign language when you join the program. The exam isn't too difficult. I'm terrible at languages and managed to pass after going back over my college Spanish textbooks.


murasaki
Marie Mockett
e-mail user

Apr 4, 2006, 9:46 PM

Post #130 of 1632 (10389 views)
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Re: [sibyline] [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
there are different kinds of intelligence and you, hopperfu, clearly have the kind needed to write amazingly well. and i refuse to believe you don't have plenty of all the other kinds too. :)



He has great hair.


murasaki
Marie Mockett
e-mail user

Apr 4, 2006, 9:52 PM

Post #131 of 1632 (10383 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Windi, you need to realize that no one knows what posts you are referring to when you keep saying "this is X" or "this isn't Y."

I'm not sure what all the confusion is, but I explicity quoted what I was referencing in your posts above. I'll copy and paste it for you (note: If your problem is that I said sib was quoting you, you are correct, he was paraphrasing not quoting. My bad.):

Re: [Windiciti] [In reply to]
I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what you mean? I was quoting sib quoting you, not edwriter. If I was confusing, here were the two parts of your posts I was referencing:


Quote
It was tough to be turned down by my alma mater, and in my bones I know it had NOTHING to do with my writing talent.



Quote
I have a great GPA, received my MPA there, I am more than a competent writer, bilingual at an academic level, I would have been a credit to their program--- this is a realistic assessment of my skills and abilities in EVERY grad course I have taken---and a minority to boot!
[.]
However, the man who interviewed knew NOTHING about me when I left his office, not even that I spoke 3 languages!




You'd probably make a good trial lawyer, Mr. Million. Are you sure you haven't missed your calling? (This is a joke, by the way).


betp


Apr 4, 2006, 10:31 PM

Post #132 of 1632 (10353 views)
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Re: [zyzzyvas1] UIC GRE Lament [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know if this helps the conversation any, but I applied to UIC and didn't have my GRE's in time, and they said they wouldn't consider me for admission without the GRE's. No excpetions.

-Beth


viviandarkbloom


Apr 14, 2006, 2:22 AM

Post #133 of 1632 (10200 views)
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Things to do while waiting for next year's MFA application season: [In reply to] Can't Post

Things to do while waiting for next year's MFA application season:

1. Go on safari and shoot...
-- an elephant; write an Orwellian essay about it
-- a documentary film entitled "So Far, Safari" featuring fornicating wildebeests, spider monkeys, tourists
-- my translator; apologize.

2. Get a job...
-- on an off-shore oil rig; write short story about it entitled, "Black Gold, Black Heart"
-- as a Beverly Hills surgeon; look into job requirements (degrees needed?)
-- as a novelist; look into job requirements (degrees needed?)

3. Write...
-- letters to God; ask, Why?
-- an epic poem in heroic couplets about my neighbor's sex life (thin walls); find a rhyme for "octogenarian"
-- short stories, and make them good this time


BlueVelveeta


Jun 18, 2006, 6:05 PM

Post #134 of 1632 (9976 views)
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Re: [viviandarkbloom] Things to do while waiting for next year's MFA application season: [In reply to] Can't Post

This made my day, vdb; I'm going to print it out and hang it on my wall to ward off the tendency to take life (MFA applications included) too seriously...


In Reply To
Things to do while waiting for next year's MFA application season:

1. Go on safari and shoot...
-- an elephant; write an Orwellian essay about it
-- a documentary film entitled "So Far, Safari" featuring fornicating wildebeests, spider monkeys, tourists
-- my translator; apologize.

2. Get a job...
-- on an off-shore oil rig; write short story about it entitled, "Black Gold, Black Heart"
-- as a Beverly Hills surgeon; look into job requirements (degrees needed?)
-- as a novelist; look into job requirements (degrees needed?)

3. Write...
-- letters to God; ask, Why?
-- an epic poem in heroic couplets about my neighbor's sex life (thin walls); find a rhyme for "octogenarian"
-- short stories, and make them good this time



plumagemour


Sep 25, 2006, 10:32 PM

Post #135 of 1632 (9790 views)
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Re: [clarabow] let's talk about options, ba-by. let's talk about next year. [In reply to] Can't Post

my god, you're nuts; i love it


bastedos


Dec 12, 2006, 7:11 PM

Post #136 of 1632 (9602 views)
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Re: [motet] Damn! I didn't get in... [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a sort of preemptive "I didn't get in" question. On the verge of applying to ten schools, I find that I am at a quandary as to what I should do if I don't make the cut this round. Of course I would be trying again in the future--that is unless I manage to get published, land a writing gig for a TV show, etc--but, I really need to get out of town.

I am currently living with my parents making a pittance as a substitute teacher in rural Michigan. I want to move to one of the northern coastal cities (preferably in the Northwest), but I wouldn't know where to begin. My only real experience is in academics--having degrees in English and Telecommunications (as in video production)--and, of course, as a substitute teacher, which should be approximately one school year by the time I get all my rejections and/or acceptances.

What I would like to know from my fellow writers is where I can find the best job opportunities for me to keep going as a writer. That is, pathways that can lead me to paying internships, writing/editing related positions, etc. I would like to move to Seattle, if possible, but the majority of book publishing and related careers seem to all be in the New York or Boston areas. What is essential, though, is a university nearby that I can still take graduate courses as a "lifelong student"--as they like to put it--and, either within the college or within the accessible area, some sort of writing conference I can join.


renapoo


Dec 12, 2006, 7:26 PM

Post #137 of 1632 (9596 views)
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Re: [bastedos] Damn! I didn't get in... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Why don't you try to get an admin job in an academic setting? As I understand it, most academics are pretty good about people in their offices who do other, creative-type jobs on the side. And you'd probably get a discount for any classes you were taking. I've heard from several people who had jobs in publishing that it actually didn't afford them any time to write, although you do make connections.


In Reply To
That is, pathways that can lead me to paying internships, writing/editing related positions, etc.



SweetJane


e-mail user

Dec 13, 2006, 1:46 PM

Post #138 of 1632 (9515 views)
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Re: [renapoo] Damn! I didn't get in... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Why don't you try to get an admin job in an academic setting? As I understand it, most academics are pretty good about people in their offices who do other, creative-type jobs on the side. And you'd probably get a discount for any classes you were taking. I've heard from several people who had jobs in publishing that it actually didn't afford them any time to write, although you do make connections.




I'd second this. I work in an academic library and, while it's basically a sinecure and certainly not all academic assistant librarian positions are like this, it affords me plenty of time to write and doesn't occupy too much brain space while I'm not at work. There are also the benefits of having most holidays off and being able to take free courses at the school (it's a community college, but if I wanted to take library science master's classes at a local university for free, I could). Academic places take care of their support staffs in ways that a lot of other offices don't. I'm also making a much more livable wage than I would be were I working an entry level position in publishing.

My co-workers seem to view my writing as a cute oddity, but there are also a lot of serious readers and one other person who considers himself a poet on the library staff. I think that that's a better ratio than a lot of other places would offer.

As a warning though, working in libraries basically requires some type of experience. I knew I wanted to try this kind of job, so I started volunteering once a week at my local library to learn the ropes. If you think you'd have any interest, I'd recommend doing the same.


SJ

"Oh, all the poets they studied rules of verse
and those ladies, they rolled their eyes"


Moonshade


Dec 13, 2006, 2:24 PM

Post #139 of 1632 (9501 views)
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Re: [bastedos] Damn! I didn't get in... [In reply to] Can't Post

Bastedos, you have my empathy. I too have and English (literature) degree. I didn't get into any of the schools I applied to last year and spent months being outraged. This year I quit doing dead-end office jobs for low pay and started subsitute teaching (for next to no pay!!!) and yep, I've also become one of those boomerang kids.

So what's the bright side to all of this? I've been writing like crazy. After NOT getting in anywhere last year, this year I said to hell with it, and started writing my first novel. I'm working on the second draft now. Good luck and I hope you get into your first pick school.


wilmabluekitty
Wilma Weant Dague

Dec 13, 2006, 5:09 PM

Post #140 of 1632 (9453 views)
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Re: [Moonshade] Damn! I didn't get in... [In reply to] Can't Post

When can you expect to hear on those early applications?


mrsriley72


Feb 28, 2007, 11:08 AM

Post #141 of 1632 (9217 views)
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NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

So, this thread kind of degredad last year. I get it, we're all starting to feel that bitterness. Ignore last years post and post here to comiserate with one another. If that school you had your heart set on dissed you, if you have heard nothing and time is slipping away, if you got rejected and need to vent.... whatever! This is the place for Pity Parties without any annoying "congrats" getting in the way.

(yeah yeah we're happy for you... but your joy is begining to interfer with my feeling sorry for myself)


ANYWAY--


(This post was edited by mrsriley72 on Feb 28, 2007, 11:13 AM)


Tapeworm


Feb 28, 2007, 12:11 PM

Post #142 of 1632 (9144 views)
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Re: [mrsriley72] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

I have gotten dissed by:

University of Arizona
New Hampshire
Southern Illinois

But I feel fairly unphased about the entire thing. If anything, I just feel bad because my parents were so excited when they heard I applied to all these distant colleges. I guess they felt I was really making it, or something. Ah well.


SevenFreckles


Feb 28, 2007, 12:27 PM

Post #143 of 1632 (9116 views)
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Re: [Tapeworm] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

I still haven't heard anything from the eleven schools I applied to. Most of them have already made calls or sent out acceptance emails, so at this point I'm assuming the worst.

Yesterday I got an email from UT Austin. Apparently they never received my study abroad transcript. I called them and they managed to locate it and send it off to the right place. My hands were shaking for about a half an hour after this exchange. I can't help reading into it... if I was rejected, why would they bother getting in touch with me? It was the graduate school, not the program so it probably has nothing to do with being accepted or rejected. But... yeah, I was a mess anyway. At least they know I'm alive.

I'm wondering if there is any record for the number of rejections received in one day? The longest wait without hearing anything? Or the total number of schools rejected from? Worst rejection story?

If I'm not going to get accepted anywhere, I'd like to do it in style.


madelinek


Feb 28, 2007, 12:36 PM

Post #144 of 1632 (9099 views)
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Re: [SevenFreckles] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

I still haven't heard from any of my 17 programs, but I'm expecting disses from Michigan, Iowa, and UMass real soon. UT Austin did the same thing to me last week, Sevenfreckles. Not sure what to make of it.


jobieh
Jobie Hughes
e-mail user

Feb 28, 2007, 12:42 PM

Post #145 of 1632 (9087 views)
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Re: [SevenFreckles] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

I got the shaft by three in one day last year. Doubt that's the record but made me feel rather super nonetheless.


papichulo


Feb 28, 2007, 12:44 PM

Post #146 of 1632 (9085 views)
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Re: [mrsriley72] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for resurrecting this thread for all of us Bitter Barneys. Well, I didn't get an acceptance email from Michigan, and apparently the "you are high on the waitlist" emails went out today...and still no love. I guess I'll just wait for my rejection letter in my snail mail. Which BTW arrives to me 2-3 weeks after everyone else because I am living overseas and everything gets here from the States VERRRYYY slowly. Arghhhh.

Here's to a pint of chocolate ice cream and a whiskey on the rocks. My favorite tragic combination.


EastCoastPoet


Feb 28, 2007, 2:07 PM

Post #147 of 1632 (8981 views)
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Re: [papichulo] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Have heard nothing from my schools whatsoever, which means to me that UMass, Emerson, and Indiana are going to be rejections soon. And "waiting for final dean approval" at New Hampshire just means they're about to notify you according to the Graduate School. So I'm thinking big fat no from them. Which leaves me with Arizona State and Bowling Green. ASU is such a good program that I cannot fathom being accepted there if I'm rejected everywhere else and BGSU is pretty decent as well, but I'm not too keen on possibly living 25 miles from the closest city. Meh...here's to moving back home and becoming a furniture mover.


brownie07


Feb 28, 2007, 2:09 PM

Post #148 of 1632 (8977 views)
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Re: NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


Sigh.



(This post was edited by brownie07 on Feb 28, 2007, 5:02 PM)


nachocheese


Feb 28, 2007, 2:16 PM

Post #149 of 1632 (8951 views)
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Re: [brownie07] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Brownie07,

I am not sure if you are fiction or poetry, but have you considered a low-res program, such as Warren Wilson, Bennington or Lesley? It may be a good option if you have geographic constraints. I know that WW has separate admissions for Fall and Summer sessions, so you can always consider applying in a few months to the next session?

NCheese


In Reply To

In Reply To

My pity party?

I only applied for 2 MFAs because I cannot leave the region. I have not heard from one and the other rejected me. I wish I were able to use the shotgun approach that many emply (applying to 12 different schools) but it is not an option.. I am limited to places I can commute to.

The thing that gets me most? The school that rejected me only got 70 applicants and had space for 12 people.
I have an Ivy league degree with honors in creative writing and a very strong writing sample (my honors thesis for the ivy). When I think about the rejection, I am like , but WHY? Is there some mistake? I thought I was an ideal candidate.

Crushed.

Here's to next year, I guess. But, I hate to "waste" a year when I could be working toward the degree-- SO the question is, what to do over the next 12 months? Yeah, I know, keep writing... thats a no brainer. But, honestly,
maybe I will find some classes to take at large somewhere for transfer later.

Sigh.




Elika619


Feb 28, 2007, 2:18 PM

Post #150 of 1632 (8947 views)
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Re: [madelinek] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

I too am assuming an imminent diss from UMass, Michigan and Iowa. Oh yeah, and Cornell too. For some reason the ABBA song lyric "take a chance on me" keeps running through my head. Probably because my little cousin makes me listen to the Mamma Mia soundtrack on the way to and from pre-school. Who knew they were talking about MFA grad programs!??!


jchilder42


Feb 28, 2007, 2:24 PM

Post #151 of 1632 (9338 views)
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Re: [brownie07] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

   
which school had 70 applicants?

how do you even find out how many applicants a school had?


madelinek


Feb 28, 2007, 2:31 PM

Post #152 of 1632 (9322 views)
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Re: [madelinek] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, I'm definitely not new-agey, but I read my Feb horoscope this morning and it said this at one point: "The very worst days to initiate actions are the "bookend" dates of Mercury retrograde, i.e., February 13 and March 7, plus or minus three days, for destructive static is high at that time."

I found the P&W Speakeasy on Feb. 13. I think this blog is enabling the destructive static.

It also said this of the Mercury retrograde: " Mercury is the planet of communication and negotiation, so when Mercury moves backward, you find that people tend to be forgetful, unfocused, and unreliable. The circumstance in which you are working now is in flux even if it does not seem that way, so keep your options open. Refuse to nail down any decisions or agreements until mid-March. You'll be sorry if you do. Others are dealing with the same confusing set of mixed messages and shiftily moving circumstances as you are."

Sorry if I'm bothering anyone with this stuff. I actually can't believe that I posted it. Sort of zany though.


piratelizzy


Feb 28, 2007, 2:52 PM

Post #153 of 1632 (9285 views)
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Re: [Elika619] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Stoicism, ABBA style:

"The winner takes it all,
The loser has to fall."

Thanks, A to the B to the B to the A!

And you know, I had a good lunch, having a good cup of coffee, and life goes on with or without MFA.

Anyone see any good movies lately?


'sup?!


BlueVelveeta


Feb 28, 2007, 3:14 PM

Post #154 of 1632 (9241 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I too am assuming an imminent diss from UMass, Michigan and Iowa. Oh yeah, and Cornell too. For some reason the ABBA song lyric "take a chance on me" keeps running through my head. Probably because my little cousin makes me listen to the Mamma Mia soundtrack on the way to and from pre-school. Who knew they were talking about MFA grad programs!??!



I'm feeling tragic today, so I'm going to go with Fernando: "Though we never thought that we could lose, there's no regret."

I had my first official REFUSAL from UWisc, and am assuming the advent of same from the 4 you mentioned as well as Washington U at St. Louis. I'm am on a rejection roll. A rolljection. On the bright side, though, I'm being taken out for sushi for the second time this week, Shamrock beat John Brown on VH1's the White Rapper show, and I have 4 bottles of wine chilling in my wine rack. Yeehaw.


jobieh
Jobie Hughes
e-mail user

Feb 28, 2007, 3:18 PM

Post #155 of 1632 (9227 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, life does indeed go on without the MFA. Last year I was denied at nearly every school I applied (Brown, Michigan, Columbia, and Oregon) and accepted to one, my fall back (American) but decided against going there to try again this year. And I will say, it's been a productive year and I managed to finish my second novel and am going to be sending out queries at the end of March. So life goes on and who the hell says you need an MFA to write anyway?

Last movie I saw was Pan's Labyrinth. Absolutely loved it. Wasn't what I expected though. Very Hemingwayesque as it took place during the Spanish Civil War and was precisely what I envisioned while reading For Whom the Bell Tolls...


In Reply To
Stoicism, ABBA style:

"The winner takes it all,
The loser has to fall."

Thanks, A to the B to the B to the A!

And you know, I had a good lunch, having a good cup of coffee, and life goes on with or without MFA.

Anyone see any good movies lately?



piratelizzy


Feb 28, 2007, 3:25 PM

Post #156 of 1632 (9199 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Awww, sorry to hear that, Bluey. "Fernando" is a brilliant choice, though! And where there's wine there's hope, right? What kind of wine do you have?


'sup?!


BlueVelveeta


Feb 28, 2007, 3:34 PM

Post #157 of 1632 (9182 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Awww, sorry to hear that, Bluey. "Fernando" is a brilliant choice, though! And where there's wine there's hope, right? What kind of wine do you have?



Thanks, pirate---and I've got the good kind. My friend, a struggling novelist who accidentally got wealthy, went to Napa and brought me back a fancy pants viognier, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and zinfandel. I was so happy, I knocked over my remaining 3 wine glasses, causing them to shatter in the sink. Never mind. I'm going to go to the Goodwill on my lunch break and see if anyone's dropped off any Waterford.


commanda
Amanda

Feb 28, 2007, 3:34 PM

Post #158 of 1632 (9181 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Obviously Shamrock won. I made a deal with my roommate: If I promise not to bring my laptop to New York this weekend (and avoid checking the message boards, MFA blogs, and my e-mail on my boyfriend's computer), he promises to drive me to the Metro North stop in New Haven and thus give me an escape hatch from a 4 - 5 hour bus ride. Sweet. Milk this as much as you can, guys. There are people in your life who care about you and believe in you, and they will give you as much as they can to avoid hearing you whine one more day about online application status checks and rejections letters. I promise. It works.


BlueVelveeta


Feb 28, 2007, 3:42 PM

Post #159 of 1632 (9150 views)
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Re: [commanda] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
There are people in your life who care about you and believe in you, and they will give you as much as they can to avoid hearing you whine one more day about online application status checks and rejections letters. I promise. It works.


True...hence all the sushi this week. I guess my friends figure that if they cram my mouth with albacore sashimi, it'll spare them a few minutes of my whining about my temporarily thwarted ambitions.


jobieh
Jobie Hughes
e-mail user

Feb 28, 2007, 3:48 PM

Post #160 of 1632 (9134 views)
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Re: [jobieh] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Who the hell am I kidding, if I have to wait another year I'm going to slit my own throat.

Yes, I responded to my own post.


piratelizzy


Feb 28, 2007, 4:21 PM

Post #161 of 1632 (9067 views)
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Re: [jobieh] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

No, don't go down that road, jobie. Think of the children! No idea whose children, but think of them! Erm... So, yeah Pan's Lab I heard was good. But I hear it's gory, too. I'm going to wait for the DVD on that one, so I can fast forward through the torture, etc. But... But... I did recently catch Eric Rohmer's Le Rayon Vert on DVD and have to say that it is one of the best movies I have ever, ever, ever seen. Rohmer is a god.


'sup?!


a2poet


Feb 28, 2007, 4:27 PM

Post #162 of 1632 (9044 views)
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Re: [commanda] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Ya know what, you're right. A friend of mine randomly paid for a reservation at a decent hotel in South Bend and made me register for this Cave Canem workshop/retreat at Notre Dame to get me out of her hair. I'm starting to forget about the rest of my "in-limbo" applications already (although I'm clearly still checking this site and currently wondering if I can network my way into an acceptance with Cornelious Eady at the conference).... hopefully there won't be a computer in the hotel lobby.


http://mwicker.blogspot.com/


jobieh
Jobie Hughes
e-mail user

Feb 28, 2007, 4:34 PM

Post #163 of 1632 (9038 views)
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Post deleted by jobieh [In reply to]

 


bighark


Feb 28, 2007, 4:46 PM

Post #164 of 1632 (9018 views)
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Re: [jobieh] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, I don't mean to interrupt your offensive stereotyping or anything, but pissing on somebody's acceptance just because it's an MA is muy uncool.

This is a supportive community. Even for Ohio U. grads.


jobieh
Jobie Hughes
e-mail user

Feb 28, 2007, 4:55 PM

Post #165 of 1632 (8981 views)
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Re: [bighark] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

You're right. My apologies. Go Redskins, I mean red hawks, or whatever their name of the week is.

My suggestion is to stock up on Christina Aguilera, Abercrombie and Fitch, and blonde hair dye early because it'll fly off the shelves once school starts...


In Reply To
Hey, I don't mean to interrupt your offensive stereotyping or anything, but pissing on somebody's acceptance just because it's an MA is muy uncool.

This is a supportive community. Even for Ohio U. grads.



EastCoastPoet


Feb 28, 2007, 5:00 PM

Post #166 of 1632 (8961 views)
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Re: [bighark] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

No Bighark, Jobie is right about Miami OH. All the way...I live there as we speak, so I can back it up the whole way. Not poo pooing the acceptance, just the school. Plus, this IS an MFA site. So...hmmm...


amday8


Feb 28, 2007, 5:20 PM

Post #167 of 1632 (8933 views)
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Re: [mrsriley72] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Just wanted to add my woes to the pile. Applied to 6 programs last year foolishly unaware of their crazy low acceptance rates. I was planning to take 2 years before reapplying, but I got bit by the application bug again and threw my hat (and newly revised novel chapters) into the ring at Iowa, UFlorida, and UNCW. Of course, no news from any of them and I'm starting to resign myself to a more serious, full-fledged application group next year.

I guess my question is... Should I keep tinkering with the same novel chapters or send entirely new stuff next year? Common logic says send new stuff, but I've gotten some pretty good feedback from readers saying they think the novel has "legs" to stand on. Also, I guess I hate the idea of letting some silly MFA rejections keep me from keepin' on with a story I love even if the writing academia may never love it (the novel does have a bit of an adventure pop fiction feel at times).

Thoughts?

P.S. Might also care less about my 2nd year of MFA rejections if I wasn't unemployed as well:(


bighark


Feb 28, 2007, 5:45 PM

Post #168 of 1632 (8888 views)
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Re: [EastCoastPoet] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Bullshit.

I don't care where you live, you do not have the right to judge twenty thousand people.

Grow up.


malber


Feb 28, 2007, 5:49 PM

Post #169 of 1632 (8873 views)
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Re: [amday8] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

amday - i dunno. i think i might consider whether or not your chapters are self-contained enough. they should work as a self-contained piece... so when someone asks that kind of question, this is the first thing I think of. and if it feels a little "genre-y" i might consider writing something new, a couple of short stories, even more strongly...


amday8


Feb 28, 2007, 6:30 PM

Post #170 of 1632 (8824 views)
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Re: [malber] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
amday - i dunno. i think i might consider whether or not your chapters are self-contained enough. they should work as a self-contained piece... so when someone asks that kind of question, this is the first thing I think of. and if it feels a little "genre-y" i might consider writing something new, a couple of short stories, even more strongly...

Malber, thanks for the feedback. Interesting point about novel chapters needing to be self-contained enough to work cohesively in the writing sample. I hadn't given tons of thought to that.

Thoughts from others?


kekaczor
Kim


Feb 28, 2007, 6:38 PM

Post #171 of 1632 (8809 views)
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Re: [jobieh] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

One of my major points was while I am WAITING ON MY MFA ACCEPTANCES I am very glad to know that I am accepted somewhere full ride.

So, really, take a run around the block to cool your head. There's no need to be such a whiny *****. You hate the school? Fine. Write me a message in language that's not entirely degrading.


panettone


Feb 28, 2007, 6:41 PM

Post #172 of 1632 (8802 views)
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Re: [amday8] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

I disagree to a certain extent. My own writing sample was made up of novel chapters and a short story. The chapters weren't "self-contained" and I didn't feel the pressure for them to be. Lots of programs indicate that novel excerpts are welcome in applications. Perhaps having the short story in there, though, showed that I could end something.


jobieh
Jobie Hughes
e-mail user

Feb 28, 2007, 6:49 PM

Post #173 of 1632 (8786 views)
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Re: [kekaczor] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

ha. I figured that would cause quite a stink. And way to go in taking it as a personal affront. You have a long way to mature once you get into workshops, I will say that. And I never once said anything about you, so I suggest you be the one to cool your head. Christ, have a drink or something. I don't like Miami, that's it. Good for you for getting in if that's where you want to go. Miami is red, too red for me, and I'm not talking about the school colors, which happen to also be red. That's a personal reflection on me. I'll never go to a school in a conservative state. Bottom line. But congrats. You researched, you applied, you obviously know what the place is about, so get off my ass for stating the obvious.


In Reply To
One of my major points was while I am WAITING ON MY MFA ACCEPTANCES I am very glad to know that I am accepted somewhere full ride.

So, really, take a run around the block to cool your head. There's no need to be such a whiny *****. You hate the school? Fine. Write me a message in language that's not entirely degrading.



(This post was edited by jobieh on Mar 1, 2007, 9:05 AM)


brownie07


Feb 28, 2007, 7:33 PM

Post #174 of 1632 (8742 views)
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Re: [jobieh] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


In Reply To



ok ok, I know this is the bitter thread. But, lets not start in-fighting. (at least not so early!)
All let it go...
like water under the bridge.


Arkinese


Feb 28, 2007, 7:56 PM

Post #175 of 1632 (8712 views)
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Re: [madelinek] Horrorscopes? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Ok, I'm definitely not new-agey, but I read my Feb horoscope this morning

Madeline, you're welcome to talk astrology all you want because I love it! And I know what Mercury retrograde is all about and they can be terrible. But keep checking your daily horoscopes because they might negate some of the bad Mercuryness.

On Monday, my daily said: "You have more going for you than you realize. You have some great ideas that will fly if you put an offer on the table. Don't let your emotions stand in your way." Hmmmm....
Tuesday: "You have been pondering what to do for far too long. You will do far better than you think, so stop pussyfooting around and make the necessary alterations in your life." OK, maybe that just meant to get my entire house cleaned which I've been putting off.
Today: "Don't trust everything that someone you are close to tells you. Read between the lines to get to the bottom of a brewing situation. Don't let others' needs cause you to miss out on a chance to make a professional change."

Professional change! Woo! So, Arizona rejected me but I won't let their "needs" screw up my self-confidence!

Or something.... so far, Arizona is the only actual rejection but I'm expecting one from Cornell and Indiana any day now... Bah. Come on, professional change. CHANGE!


EastCoastPoet


Feb 28, 2007, 8:32 PM

Post #176 of 1632 (9408 views)
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Re: [jobieh] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmm..uneasiness. All Jobie and I were saying was that the school is, mostly, less to be desired. No one is being mean to you or poo pooing your acceptance. You, as he said, must have done all sorts of research to even apply there, so fine. I can't speak for him, but I was just trying to be honest about the school to you. But if all you and "bighark" want to do is take offense and become snotty, fine. Congrats again. Perhaps if you do come here you'll fit right in.


bighark


Feb 28, 2007, 11:32 PM

Post #177 of 1632 (9315 views)
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Re: [EastCoastPoet] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

East Coast,

What you and Jobie have said about Miami is asinine.

This isn't a matter of being overly sensitive or "snotty." This is a matter of grownups behaving like grownups. Grownups do not make value judgements about other people because of their fashion choices or their taste in music or the voting patterns of the state in which they happen to live or where they went to college.

Have either one of you nitwits considered the possiblity that Miami students or alumni visit this forum? Who the hell do you think you are that you can go around and say that anybody from anyplace is "less to be desired"? It would seem to me that you two are the ones being "snotty." It would seem to me that you two are the ones that are "less to be desired."

Furthermore, I must commend the both of you for being the first in the history of this community to respond to someone's acceptance news with anything other than "congratulations." Jeeze Louise, with all the "Oh, will I ever get in somewhere!" blubbering that the two of you have been doing, you'd think you'd feel happy for a community member who got in some place. You can protest the nature of the degree and where it comes from all you want, but the fact of the matter is that Kim can say that she's going to attend a fully funded creative writing program next year.

How about you?


EastCoastPoet


Feb 28, 2007, 11:48 PM

Post #178 of 1632 (9288 views)
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Re: [bighark] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

*sigh* you're not worth my time. However, to simply prove a point, go read my initial comment on page 97 of the "Waiting" thread. I've said congrats a number of times now. Enough said.


bighark


Feb 28, 2007, 11:54 PM

Post #179 of 1632 (9282 views)
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Re: [EastCoastPoet] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

This is what you wrote.

----

Unfortunately the program at Miami OH is a MA not an MFA, but congrats nonetheless. I currently live in Oxford, OH and it's kinda nice here. Very small town with a bunch of bars and places to eat. Other than that, though, there isn't much. The undergrad population is very snobby and full of rich kids, which becomes annoying. The closest anything is 25 miles away. Cincinnati is about 30 miles or so, which is nice. The writing faculty is good, however, so if you think you can make something out of a good faculty, good funding, and you make friends easily I say come to Oxford. PM me if you'd like any info, etc. Congrats!

---


If that is a sincere note of congratulations then I'd love to see one of your insults.



jobieh
Jobie Hughes
e-mail user

Feb 28, 2007, 11:55 PM

Post #180 of 1632 (9280 views)
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malber


Mar 1, 2007, 12:07 AM

Post #181 of 1632 (9264 views)
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Re: [jobieh] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

this is the worst, dumbest argument i've ever seen.

if you continue, any of you, i'm going to report this. and maybe nothing will happen, but it will cause me to stop posting/viewing here. and maybe others. seriously, you're all dragging the tone down. even for this thread.


jargreen

e-mail user

Mar 1, 2007, 1:08 AM

Post #182 of 1632 (9218 views)
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Re: [jobieh] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats, Jobie! Where'd you get in?? Sorry, I must have missed the post.


jobieh
Jobie Hughes
e-mail user

Mar 1, 2007, 9:03 AM

Post #183 of 1632 (9134 views)
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Re: [jargreen] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Alright, it's another day and I have about as much desire to continue arguing as others here have in reading it. So let's put it behind us. My original message was blown out of context. I probably shouldn't have continually swung back but I'm a prideful, arrogant bastard, so what do you expect? Congrats, Kim, on getting accepted.

Good luck to everyone who are still waiting. March 1 was a huge day last year, so let us hope it is again this year.

Jargreen, I was accepted to American last year but declined. I applied to one school this year and that's Columbia. Optimistic and quixotic? You betcha. But doesn't it take a dose of both of those to be a writer?



In Reply To
Congrats, Jobie! Where'd you get in?? Sorry, I must have missed the post.



Glinda Bamboo


Mar 1, 2007, 9:19 AM

Post #184 of 1632 (9119 views)
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let's pay attention to me and my depression now, k? thnx. [In reply to] Can't Post

Allow me to change the topic from this argument and instead direct it at my own depressed whining over not getting into my first choice MFA program. I REALLY wanted to get into this program. It was perfect for me in all ways, and I knew someone who once went there (not in the connection sense of him hooking me up to get in...I wouldn't want to get in that way, anyway!) who shared all the glories of this program, and who told me I would be a shoo-in. Well, the only "shoe" in this case is the program's boot in my butt when they rejected my ass.

Is anyone else actually hoping to get rejected by all schools so you can try again next year? When I didn't get into this certain program, I could only think, "But I don't WANT to go anywhere else!!" Very mature, I know. Attending any other program means I'd have to move far, far away from my long term significant other, which we could handle but it would still be tough. Part of me wouldn't mind staying right where I am, continuing to work and save money, continuing to write, not having to move out of my sweet pad, etc. Of course, I'd have to tell everyone I got rejected everywhere (except for one school that did not come through with funding, at least not yet) and have to go through the application process again next year...but I don't think it would be so bad. I waited a long time before deciding an MFA was definitely what I wanted to do, and I can wait another year. (And get another chance to apply to The Program, with a better writing sample.)

Yes, I know it's foolish to set your heart on one program, and I know if I get into Syracuse or Oregon or somewhere else I'd be really excited. My point is that I can actually see the good in getting rejected from everywhere else.

In other news: the number of slots available in the remaining programs I applied to is dwindling. All the larger programs I applied to seem to have made their decisions, and now I'm down to programs that only accept 6 people (or 2 -- thanks, JHU!). Last fall, Syracuse's 6 students seemed huge compared to Cornell's 4, but now I'm thinking, crikey. That's practically the same number. (Math major I was not.)

Sigh. Good luck to everyone.


Banyon


Mar 1, 2007, 9:54 AM

Post #185 of 1632 (9087 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] let's pay attention to me and my depression now, k? thnx. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Is anyone else actually hoping to get rejected by all schools so you can try again next year? When I didn't get into this certain program, I could only think, "But I don't WANT to go anywhere else!!" Very mature, I know. Attending any other program means I'd have to move far, far away from my long term significant other, which we could handle but it would still be tough. Part of me wouldn't mind staying right where I am, continuing to work and save money, continuing to write, not having to move out of my sweet pad, etc. Of course, I'd have to tell everyone I got rejected everywhere (except for one school that did not come through with funding, at least not yet) and have to go through the application process again next year...but I don't think it would be so bad. I waited a long time before deciding an MFA was definitely what I wanted to do, and I can wait another year. (And get another chance to apply to The Program, with a better writing sample.)

Now that I have finished my thesis (!) and am thinking rationally again, I too am vaguely hoping to be rejected by all schools. Not because I had my heart set on a particular school, but because I'm frightened by the possibility of moving far, far away from significant other. SO is an entry-level engineer, so he really needs to just take whatever job he can get. He's applied to an MIT lab (near enough to UMass and BU), a JHU lab, and a job with Caterpillar in Peoria, IL (few hours from Iowa, U of Illinois, and Wash U St. Louis). I have more or less abandoned my selfish quest for MFA acceptance this year; I just want him to get a nice job somewhere in the vicinity of a few MFA programs, and then I'll go from there. Also, insanely enough, part of me wants to apply for poetry AND fiction next year. Of course, my pride is still wounded, but I'm doing all right:o) Would anyone be interested in having some kind of workshop this summer for poetry and/or fiction? We could set dates when we would turn in writing and provide comments for each other. We could also have some mini writing assignments (of the I remember/I don't remember variety); it would be a good way to get the material flowing for next year's applications. Thoughts? -Banyon


prosaic70


Mar 1, 2007, 10:08 AM

Post #186 of 1632 (9067 views)
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Re: [jobieh] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

in general, from what I have seen and read on this website, i would pretty much always trust bighark to be my moral compass. Regardless of anyone's political affiliation, he has been unfailingly decent and good-natured about a crazy process which as and of itself breeds jealousy and competitiveness. so say what you will, but I will stand by the man.


lculli18


Mar 1, 2007, 10:50 AM

Post #187 of 1632 (9014 views)
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Re: [prosaic70] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreed.


jobieh
Jobie Hughes
e-mail user

Mar 1, 2007, 10:53 AM

Post #188 of 1632 (9008 views)
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Re: [prosaic70] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

If you can't be your own moral compass then what the hell can you possibly expect from a writing career?


In Reply To
in general, from what I have seen and read on this website, i would pretty much always trust bighark to be my moral compass. Regardless of anyone's political affiliation, he has been unfailingly decent and good-natured about a crazy process which as and of itself breeds jealousy and competitiveness. so say what you will, but I will stand by the man.



lculli18


Mar 1, 2007, 11:10 AM

Post #189 of 1632 (8971 views)
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Cool it [In reply to] Can't Post

Let's stop with the bashing of our fellow writers and MFA hopefuls. Personal insults and attacks are not going to get you accepted to a program any sooner. We can be bitter about not being accepted or not hearing anything, but please, please, please stop being bitter and snarky toward each other! :)



PS: In terms of MFA applications and programs, bighark has doled out some very compass-esque advice and I trust that he knows this process and what he's talking about.


madelinek


Mar 1, 2007, 11:12 AM

Post #190 of 1632 (8968 views)
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Re: [jobieh] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Did Bighark ever even say he liked George W.? Your feud is good comedy, guys, but it's getting a little tired. Good luck to everyone today.


bodhayogi


Mar 1, 2007, 11:24 AM

Post #191 of 1632 (8943 views)
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Re: [Banyon] let's pay attention to me and my depression now, k? thnx. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd be interested in a summer workshop thing.

Thanks to everyone for posting. I've been quietly buoyed for a few anxious days by the humor and intelligence I've found here. I only applied to 2 schools (UMass and UVa). Anticipating rejection. BTW, anyone know the total number of students that are accepted into the UMass program?


jobieh
Jobie Hughes
e-mail user

Mar 1, 2007, 11:30 AM

Post #192 of 1632 (8922 views)
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Re: [bodhayogi] let's pay attention to me and my depression now, k? thnx. [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to the conversation. According to the P & W site, UMass enrolls 80 - 85 students, though that number may be a bit deceiving as we aren't sure if that is for the MFA alone. You can find it here: http://www.pw.org/mag/0611/MFA%20Listing.htm#MA

Good luck!


In Reply To
I'd be interested in a summer workshop thing.

Thanks to everyone for posting. I've been quietly buoyed for a few anxious days by the humor and intelligence I've found here. I only applied to 2 schools (UMass and UVa). Anticipating rejection. BTW, anyone know the total number of students that are accepted into the UMass program?



augustmaria


Mar 1, 2007, 11:37 AM

Post #193 of 1632 (8895 views)
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Re: [jobieh] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Please, just let it go. Don't make things personal, don't be combative. Please, please, please just let it go.


LateApplicant


Mar 1, 2007, 1:54 PM

Post #194 of 1632 (8779 views)
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Re: [bodhayogi] let's pay attention to me and my depression now, k? thnx. [In reply to] Can't Post

UMass's MFA program takes 7-10 people in each genre.


EastCoastPoet


Mar 1, 2007, 2:31 PM

Post #195 of 1632 (8729 views)
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Re: [LateApplicant] let's pay attention to me and my depression now, k? thnx. [In reply to] Can't Post

What was I thinking applying to a degree with such low acceptance rates?! I should have listened to Mom...Law School here I come!

On a less comedic note, I really identify with you on the whole first choice axing thing/wanting complete rejections to try again. It felt worse than what I imagine getting dumped feels like. I remember getting hit in the nads with a ping pong paddle once, and that felt better than getting rejected by my #1. Anyways, I think I'll just drop out of my MA program and become a furniture mover. I hear they sometimes get free drinks if it's a hot day out.


BlueVelveeta


Mar 1, 2007, 3:38 PM

Post #196 of 1632 (8656 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] let's pay attention to me and my depression now, k? thnx. [In reply to] Can't Post

I, too, am feeling increasingly ambivalent toward acceptance and rejection. The first "no" (and the only offical one so far) was hard to swallow despite the fact that it came from a school outside of my top 5. After the first whammy, and in conjunction with a perpetually silent phone, empty mailbox, and bereft email account, I have started to feel less concerned and even as if universal rejection might be best; I've just started a new job that I really like and that affords me a lot more time to read and write, I'd like to apply to some places I overlooked last year, I'd like another year to work with my mentor, and I might have a better shot next year with a less slapdash portfolio. Also, as I've prattled on about endlessly, I'm getting married in 3 weeks and I'd like to have a year with my spousy during which we can do something other than stress ourselves out with moving to a new and possibly less exciting location (the Bay Area, despite insanely high housing costs, is a wonderful place to live).

Then again, I'd probably still pee myself if Cornell called and said they'd reconsidered.


strangelet


e-mail user

Mar 1, 2007, 3:40 PM

Post #197 of 1632 (8646 views)
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Re: [EastCoastPoet] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm new to this forum as of this week. Can anyone tell me what makes some programs "less to be desired"? I didn't know there was that much of a pecking order-- all MFA programs are so small, and therefore so competitive, that I kind of assumed aside from funding or lack thereof, most people consider themselves lucky to get in...


Hallelu you're the girl who whispers through the wall
I'd build you a hammer with a thick head and long claws
-- Grant-Lee Phillips


BlueVelveeta


Mar 1, 2007, 3:59 PM

Post #198 of 1632 (8608 views)
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Re: [strangelet] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm new to this forum as of this week. Can anyone tell me what makes some programs "less to be desired"? I didn't know there was that much of a pecking order-- all MFA programs are so small, and therefore so competitive, that I kind of assumed aside from funding or lack thereof, most people consider themselves lucky to get in...



What makes a program desirable or undesirable is largely a personal thing. Are you looking for a teeny program in a rural location where you'll be mentored and fully funded? Columbia is probably not for you. Is funding less important to you than networking with highly accomplished professors in a creative and opportunity-filled urban environment? Columbia is where it's at.

Rankings are, in my never-humble opinion, bogus vis a vis any fine arts programs. You should know what you want, whether it's top-notch facilities or the ability to man volunteer workshops with inner-city kids or any other variety of elements, and that should guide which programs you find more or less to be desired. For reals.


jobieh
Jobie Hughes
e-mail user

Mar 1, 2007, 4:01 PM

Post #199 of 1632 (8604 views)
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Re: [strangelet] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh no, not this string again. If you've applied to a program, and you get in, then you are luckier than hell and should where a coat of fanaticism for weeks. If you didn't apply to a school then obviously there was some reason why not, and on a personal level for you that school would be less than desired. Is there a pecking order of schools? Maybe, maybe not, depending on who you ask. People create rankings on things such as location, funds, acceptance rates, faculty, success of alum, etc... Are they worth a damn? Again, maybe, maybe not. But MFA programs, like writing itself, is a very personal decision.



In Reply To
I'm new to this forum as of this week. Can anyone tell me what makes some programs "less to be desired"? I didn't know there was that much of a pecking order-- all MFA programs are so small, and therefore so competitive, that I kind of assumed aside from funding or lack thereof, most people consider themselves lucky to get in...



strangelet


e-mail user

Mar 1, 2007, 4:13 PM

Post #200 of 1632 (8575 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, Blue :-) I have found this forum to be an extremely positive and supportive place so far, and I'm happy about that. I hope I can help other people on here in return. I try to when I know something abt a specific school.

In Reply To

In Reply To
I'm new to this forum as of this week. Can anyone tell me what makes some programs "less to be desired"? I didn't know there was that much of a pecking order-- all MFA programs are so small, and therefore so competitive, that I kind of assumed aside from funding or lack thereof, most people consider themselves lucky to get in...



What makes a program desirable or undesirable is largely a personal thing. Are you looking for a teeny program in a rural location where you'll be mentored and fully funded? Columbia is probably not for you. Is funding less important to you than networking with highly accomplished professors in a creative and opportunity-filled urban environment? Columbia is where it's at.

Rankings are, in my never-humble opinion, bogus vis a vis any fine arts programs. You should know what you want, whether it's top-notch facilities or the ability to man volunteer workshops with inner-city kids or any other variety of elements, and that should guide which programs you find more or less to be desired. For reals.



Hallelu you're the girl who whispers through the wall
I'd build you a hammer with a thick head and long claws
-- Grant-Lee Phillips


jargreen

e-mail user

Mar 1, 2007, 5:57 PM

Post #201 of 1632 (11982 views)
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Re: [strangelet] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

I get your point, strangelet. I fully expected to be the first person called by Michigan, then I received a rejection letter from my safe school not ten days after my writing sample arrived. All of these programs are exceptionally competitive, and the faculties deciding who fills those precious few spots are published, experienced writers. Though I've felt that some programs are "less to be desired" (a phrase that doesn't make very much sense to me--did the original author mean "less than desirable," perhaps?), I do believe that the people make the program, and the people involved in all the writing programs to which I applied are apparently better writers than I.


BlueVelveeta


Mar 1, 2007, 6:28 PM

Post #202 of 1632 (11940 views)
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Re: [jargreen] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...and the people involved in all the writing programs to which I applied are apparently better writers than I.



Not necessarily. One of the more maddening things about this process is that you'll never know if you were, say, 1 person away from making the wait list. Past a certain point, this process is so incredibly subjective that you can't use it as a means to judge the quality of your writing. Some programs are looking for writers with diverse portfolios because they perceive such writers as being more open to experimentation. Other programs consider the same diversity evidence of not yet having found one's voice. Additionally, not all readers are going to respond favorably to the same material. There's generally a few candidates that generate consensus, but beyond those few it's a toss up (assuming that the real competition is among people who write, workshops, and take writing practice seriously).

Illustrative story: When I worked at the Antioch Review, it was my job to go through the slush pile to ensure that the poetry editor hadn't for whatever reason overlooked something worth publishing or at least sending back to the author for revision. We ended up publishing about 10% of the poems that ended up in the slush pile on the first round.

You never know. Besides, even if you get in everywhere and publish everything and sell a billion books, your satisfaction is not assured. There's no guarantee that you'll be happy with what you've written; there's no guarantee that you'll sleep easier knowing that you just made Random House, Barnes & Noble, and Oprah just a little bit wealthier.

If possible, don't take this too seriously. In fact, I officially declare that those of us who have not yet heard from programs have simply overwhelmed the admissions committees with our towering fortressi of talent. Boo yeah.


Arkinese


Mar 1, 2007, 6:44 PM

Post #203 of 1632 (11918 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] No news is...no news [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
the first "no" (and the only offical one so far) was hard to swallow despite the fact that it came from a school outside of my top 5. After the first whammy, and in conjunction with a perpetually silent phone, empty mailbox, and bereft email account, I have started to feel less concerned and even as if universal rejection might be best; I've just started a new job that I really like and that affords me a lot more time to read and write, I'd like to apply to some places I overlooked last year

That's exactly how I am, BlueV. My only official no is from Arizona where I figured I'd at least have a shot since they accept 15% of their applicants (as opposed to 2% *cough*Brown!*cough*). If I don't get in this year, I'll find a decent job, now that I have my Bachelor's, and give it a whirl next year. I'll probably read a LOT of the different faculty works too to try and find which writing styles are similar to mine and give myself a better idea of who I'd really like to work with.

However, there are still 13 more schools I haven't heard from, so we'll see how it goes. 47 days until the "must accept" offers deadline. Maybe I'll get an offer after that! Woo!

Congratulations on your impending wedding, Blue!


strangelet


e-mail user

Mar 1, 2007, 7:34 PM

Post #204 of 1632 (11869 views)
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Re: [jargreen] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I don't know if ALL of the people in MFAs now are better writers than me! I sure hope not ;) LOL I think a lot of them are probably further along in their development than me, but not all. I worked pretty constantly on revising my 2 writing sample stories for the past 6 months and I'm much better than I was when I applied last year. (The first year I applied, however... yikes! I am SURE everyone in was tons better than me. Really. You know how it is when you look back at your old work.) And actually the reason why I worked so much on those 2 revisions this past year was because I read my stuff from last year and realized how amateurish it actually was. I just realized, yeah, I need to put more work in before I can expect someplace to want me.

But I still think... if someone gets in, you just congratulate them. It is hard to get in. And you do want to make the person feel good about what they accomplished. Especially since we're all in the same boat ;)


Hallelu you're the girl who whispers through the wall
I'd build you a hammer with a thick head and long claws
-- Grant-Lee Phillips


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 1, 2007, 9:42 PM

Post #205 of 1632 (11761 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

That's me, just another heartbreaking work of staggering genius (loved the title, couldn't get past the first page). I am sure Lan Samantha Chang is just too intimidated to call me. Yeah, that's it. I think I'll just give old Ben Marcus a call now...

Oh, I tried to go to the Columbia Faculty Selects tonight, but the crowd was out the door and I couldn't even hear. No more emails in my box until that acceptance, Columbia!

unbearably yours,
TL

Edited to remove HTML, old web designers die hard.


(This post was edited by tenderloner on Mar 1, 2007, 9:50 PM)


BlueVelveeta


Mar 1, 2007, 10:00 PM

Post #206 of 1632 (11743 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Washington U in St. Louis has just become the most recent program to cower in the face of my deeply brilliant artistry (ie, I have received an official rejection). Poor, poor Washington U St. Louis.


SevenFreckles


Mar 1, 2007, 10:48 PM

Post #207 of 1632 (11706 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Blue,

Sorry that you got bad news from St. Louis. I also applied and it was one of my top choices. Can I ask what form your official rejection came in? I'm sure I'll be getting mine soon and I'd like to know what to look out for. Letter, email, or website? (I can't even remember right now if they have a status check on the website.)

Thanks!


BlueVelveeta


Mar 1, 2007, 10:52 PM

Post #208 of 1632 (11697 views)
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Re: [SevenFreckles] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

It materialized in the form of a skinny little letter in my mailbox. But if you get a letter from them, don't give up hope until you've actually opened the envelope; apparently, some folks got Wustl acceptances in the form of thin, rejectiony envelopes.

Good luck!


jargreen

e-mail user

Mar 1, 2007, 11:13 PM

Post #209 of 1632 (11670 views)
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Re: [SevenFreckles] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

Freckles,

Mine also came in a thin envelope. It was a form letter. Which is fine. I understand that they've got 400 of those to send out, or whatever. But it was such a basic, unpersonal, unfeeling letter. Any one of us could take fifteen minutes and write a unique, sympathetic, hopeful, appreciative paragraph that would leave us with a better impression of their writing program. Why is it that some brilliant, published, celebrated writers and professors don't approach this part of the process more thoughtfully?

Ryan

P.S. - Over in the I'M IN forum, someone proposed that we circulate our writing samples - folks who got in, folks who did not. I'm one of the ones who did not get in. Anyone want to swap stories, PM me! This could be much fun!


(This post was edited by jargreen on Mar 1, 2007, 11:15 PM)


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 1, 2007, 11:33 PM

Post #210 of 1632 (11651 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

What I originally meant to in response to BlueVelveeta...one of my Columbia classmates went straight from undergrad to the MFA there. Her work is so so. It's well written, but it was nothing special and didn't touch me or anyone we had workshops with. I suspect she had some inside connections, as the undergraduate chair liked her a lot and she is very skilled at endearing herself to people without really doing much to earn it. She was actually upset one of our better known profs gave her a B, her flirting didn't work on him! But talent? Not so much with the writing.

This gets me into one of my fears about this whole process. Regular people love my work and it speaks to them. Academics cite a lack of arc or transformation or find things too fantastical. I often couldn't finish things we were assigned to read or the work of classmates because it was too pretentious and didn't have any relation to reality. Sometimes I wonder if the literary world I'm going after is the right one for me. I rarely read lit journals because I can't relate to the writing in them.

On the other hand, after finishing my apps, I finally had a chance to read some of the November Missouri Review and loved the interview with Jeffrey Eugenides. The interviewer kept asking about The Virgin Suicides, but when it did get around to Middlesex, Eugenides talked about how he interwove sex, identity, immigration, civil riots, Detroit's automotive rise and fall into one cohesive story about a hermaphrodite. I cared about the characters, which is the most important thing to me about a novel.


jargreen

e-mail user

Mar 2, 2007, 12:39 AM

Post #211 of 1632 (11612 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

T.L.,

You speak directly to my heart. I too wonder if academic writing environments (the likes of which we're so desperate to climb into, burrow in, so scared to leave, or to be tossed out of without fully-formed wings) are after something that you and I don't do. Because fiction means something different to us than politics and word games.

In my current writing class we're reading Amy Hempel, and now I know what might drive those young girls on that 20/20 segment to cut themselves. Just tell the goddamn story, Amy. I went to Borders just after the New Year to buy a George Saunders collection, as several of my writer friends had suggested, and I left with a delicious cup of Seattle's Finest. I much prefer my classmates' writing, which is earnest, honest, and sometimes enjoyable, whereas I just can't connect with the work in literary journals. I'm convinced that it can only be enjoyed as an observation of other people's struggles to come up with good ideas and to make something lovely out of bad ideas.

I think it's great what you said about caring for the characters in a story. I recently took another look at some of Flannery O'Connor's lectures on fiction writing and noted some of her most stunning (and commonsense) bits of wisdom:

"Fiction operates through the senses."

"You cannot appeal to the senses through abstractions." I agree. Some writers are not writing stories, they're keeping a diary. They should keep it to themselves (if they weren't already getting published, awarded, and anthologized).

"Fiction writing is very seldom a matter of saying things; it is a matter of showing things." Show, don't tell. We all know this one. Do we always remember it?

"Every detail has to be put to work for you." Save trees. Stop wasting my time. If it ain't serving its purpose, you know what to do.

And, here's my favorite this month; it totally reminded me that I need to keep the philosophizing for my Myspace blog, not my storytelling:

"... the student is wholly interested in his thoughts and his emotions and not in his dramatic action ... he is too lazy or highfalutin to descend to the concrete where fiction operates." I love that word highfalutin, don't you? I think what she's saying here is that too many writers, especially young and beginning writers, feel possessed by something other than the majesty and mystery of human life when they write. There's some kind of message they're trying to get out, an assortment of games they're trying to play with the reader. And, often, it doesn't even matter that a reader is there, except that they eventually want to be published, paid, and patted on the back.

I'd love to read something of yours sometime, T.L., because I think you're actually a storyteller. I'll tell you what I read (AHEM) stories for: Characters, characters' dialogue, their personalities, the places where they live, the drama in their lives, the tension created by that drama, their stories!

Best of luck to all the storytellers out there. Hope you find a home.

Ryan


(This post was edited by jargreen on Mar 2, 2007, 12:53 AM)


Arkinese


Mar 2, 2007, 1:33 AM

Post #212 of 1632 (11587 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Regular people love my work and it speaks to them. Academics cite a lack of arc or transformation or find things too fantastical. I often couldn't finish things we were assigned to read or the work of classmates because it was too pretentious and didn't have any relation to reality.

Here's a question for everyone here (and probably every writer in general) with regard to people relating to a writer's work: Do you put any aspects of your own life into stories? And, if so, what types of aspects and how much are they a part of the story?

I know people often go to the old adage of "write what you know" and I think most everyone does put aspects of themselves into writing, based on what I've read from authors' works and their lives.

The reason I ask is a selfish and insecure one: I had a friend who had become increasingly negative after we worked on a college newspaper together and she eventually just stopped writing for them while I continued working. The culmination of her negativity was a verbal diarrhea email to me telling me that she wasn't a negative person, that I was the one with the problem. I was "psychologically fragile" and "used [my] writing as therapy" and she was tired of reading "about sports and [my] alcoholic father." These were two aspects of my life that I'd used in fiction stories (not nonfiction) but because she knew me as a friend and not just a person in workshop, she knew these were aspects of my personality.

I was really hurt that she attacked me through my writing (which had nothing to do with the issue at hand) but I'm one of those people who does impression management and doesn't want to be that person where everyone is all: "Well, it's obviously just a thinly-veiled version of her life—I mean she changed one letter of her name and tried to pass it off as fiction..." (I'm exaggerating here :)

What does everyone here think about aspects of writers' lives in their fiction stories? An example off the top of my head would be Dorian Gray where Oscar Wilde stated within a year after he wrote it that each character represents different aspects of his persona. Does that take away from the story when you know that it was totally personal for Wilde and wasn't just something he made up? Does it make it a lesser work than, say, the Harry Potter books where, as far as I know, J.K. Rowling does not have any wizardry in her background (I could be wrong...)?

No news today. Insecurities are piling up though.


__________



Mar 2, 2007, 6:23 AM

Post #213 of 1632 (11537 views)
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Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

An excellent question and a huge topic; one I suspect motet will move somewhere else...

I have a feeling the short answer is just to do what works best. You could be the one teenage girl with daddy issues and razor blade cuts who should write about it, if that person's not already Elizabeth Wurtzel.

These things are incredibly hard to generalize.

But there's different degrees of 'writing about yourself'. Some of my faves, like Vollmann, often write strict biography. However, they tend to put themselves in volatile towns and situations, acting more like a human camera, rather than going into strict confessional mode (What those skinheads said about my hair really hurt me, man!).

There are ways to write about yourself, about your experience, indirectly. Probably every manual says something like, You may not know what it's like to be president, but you do know what it's like to shoulder great responsibility, so use that, Mr.! We are so narcissistic that even when we do succeed at "inhabiting another's consciousness", as our blurbs might one day state, it's always going to be about us, whether or not the facts measure up. It's how we're wired. The mechanism that makes us look at this ;) and see a winking face is the same one that lets us find ourselves in who we write about, and also those we read about. It's never Margaret that you mourn for. I think that's how fiction generally works.


six five four three two one 0 ->

(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Mar 2, 2007, 6:28 AM)


Glinda Bamboo


Mar 2, 2007, 8:49 AM

Post #214 of 1632 (11494 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Beautiful post, Junior Maas. And Arkinese, I'm glad you raised that question, because it's something I've been thinking a lot about lately. Some of the elements in my last two stories totally match up to my own life -- yet the plot is completely made up. For example, say I grew up with parents who flew hot air balloons for a living. I probably know a lot about hot air balloons, and I probably have a lot of experiences relating to those hot bags of air that strongly affected me. So maybe I write a story that involves hot air balloons...but the actual events and plot are fiction. I guess that's how I might describe one way I use my life in writing.

I have to admit that at times I worry people will look at one of my stories, recognize parts of me, and dismiss it on those grounds. ("Oh, the father in this story died of a heart attack -- didn't her father die of a heart attack? Blah! Pure confessional drivel.") But I like the way Junior Maas put it, that there's always something of ourselves in there, or we see something of ourselves, in any case.


Arkinese


Mar 2, 2007, 9:23 AM

Post #215 of 1632 (11468 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

You guys are so sympathic. It's so nice in the midst of all these insecurites about rejections to have everyone responding positively to insecure questions. I never thought of myself as an insecure writer when I worked for newspaper because my editors all praised my work (as did many other teachers/classmates before them) but now with the imminent rejections, it's not quite the same.

To expand a little bit on how my question relates to not getting into programs, I was struck by the paragraph tenderloner wrote:

In Reply To
This gets me into one of my fears about this whole process. Regular people love my work and it speaks to them. Academics cite a lack of arc or transformation or find things too fantastical.

And understood the fears because after the attack on my writing AND Arizona's rejection of both my fiction and nonfiction, I have that fear too. "Maybe I really do suck..." and so on and so forth. Even though we all know we're not bad writers and we're not going to fail miserably if we remain persistent, it's still not fun to have a bunch of important and many-times-published writers reject you when you just want a chance, dammit! (/melodramatic voice). Perhaps I should go check my status on Iowa's sign in thingy.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 2, 2007, 11:17 AM

Post #216 of 1632 (11398 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, I am glad to have sparked such a debate! What I saw at Columbia was a lot of talented people get railroaded for various reasons, but the suck ups and "hot chicks" got ahead. It was disheartening. Yes, I'm in my 30s and know the world is like that, but this was in the extreme and the last place I expected it. After all, I went to an Ivy to be around the best and the brightest, not the hottest and most manipulative.

Anyway, the flipside of my fear is the hope that there is a place for me, where my voice will be welcomed and encouraged to blossom. I mean, if there's room for Middlesex, there must be room for ME! Also, how many times do we hear of a novel or script being rejected 25 times and then it becomes the breakout hit of the year? You just need to find the right agent/publisher/audience. It's out there, somewhere.

Much of my work is autobiographical, I've stopped apologizing for it. It's natural. Now, that is not to say it's always something that happened verbatim. However, friends have told me for years, when something painful or wacky happened to me, "Write that down!" Most of the time, there is a kernel of something that actually happened, but then I turned it into something else. I'm totally outting myself here, but for example, one of my stories is about living in a hotel for women and how difficult that makes it to get laid in New York City, since men tend to want the woman to host, as it were. Yes, I have lived in hotels for women most of the time I've been in New York and have struggled with that issue. I love the community of women, but I also love sex and the city being what it is, my actual relationships have been few and far between. Now, did I actually sneak a guy upstairs? Nope, too afraid of the consequences.

Oddly enough, the things that were usually questioned as too fantastic were the couple of nuggets that were true. I took a massive hit on a screenplay because everyone insisted the rock band would not have a platonic relationship with a teenage girl. For me, that was the heart of the story -- both because it's the opposite of what you expect from a band and because they were good to me and encouraged my creativity. Those guys made the writing path a viable one for me to choose, where my parents encouraged me to get a job I hated and stick with it (OK, so actually, it's been a mixture of the two -- writing while working meaningless jobs). Nearly everything else in the story was made up, but few could accept that it was possible for a band not to screw this minor. It was aggravating for me, because that's what the focus became, rather than the things I was concerned with making real -- esp. having a dead mother, while mine is very much alive 20 years later.


amday8


Mar 2, 2007, 11:39 AM

Post #217 of 1632 (11362 views)
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In Reply To
This gets me into one of my fears about this whole process. Regular people love my work and it speaks to them. Academics cite a lack of arc or transformation or find things too fantastical. I often couldn't finish things we were assigned to read or the work of classmates because it was too pretentious and didn't have any relation to reality. Sometimes I wonder if the literary world I'm going after is the right one for me. I rarely read lit journals because I can't relate to the writing in them.

This is a great conversation point. Often when reading for fun I don't finish about half of the books that I start. If I don't connect with what a writer is saying in the first 25 pages I just put it down and pick up another one. This low tolerance for boredom has affected my writing in that I want regular people to have a reason to turn the page and be invested in my work. I definitely don't dumb down my writing for a wider audience, but I also try not to take it too seriously. For me, they're all just interesting stories I'd like to tell. As for how much what I write is taken from my life...I like it to be about half and half. I need to have some idea of what I'm talking about (in the form of real life experiences), but also enough room to make plenty of **** up. I find if I had a life experience too close to something I'm writing about, all of the creative energy disappears. The story always has to be something new for me as writer and reader. P.S. I'd be happy to do a story swap with some of those posting here as I'm really enjoying this little conversation.


lculli18


Mar 2, 2007, 12:14 PM

Post #218 of 1632 (11312 views)
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Re: [amday8] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

I would argue that this discussion is one that suits all of the arts, not just literature. I heard a discussion once about music and how if I were to ask you to list what our society considers "good" music, most people would mention the classics (Mozart, Bach etc.) but if you ask those same people what the top 10 most played songs on their MP3 players are, very few would include a mass or requiem. Does that mean that no one listens to good music? I think we have the highbrow (or as Flannery O'Connor would say, "highfalutin") definition of what contitutes "good" literature and then we have the type that flies off the shelves and even the types that fall somewhere in between. The good news, as far as I can tell, is that there is room for all types. For every Mozart fan there is also a Britney Spears devotee (though these days, I hope the number of Mozart-heads outweighs Britney's fan base). Hopefully, within the walls of prestigious (and average) MFA programs, there are at least some writers who get this concept.

In Reply To
This gets me into one of my fears about this whole process. Regular people love my work and it speaks to them. Academics cite a lack of arc or transformation or find things too fantastical. I often couldn't finish things we were assigned to read or the work of classmates because it was too pretentious and didn't have any relation to reality. Sometimes I wonder if the literary world I'm going after is the right one for me. I rarely read lit journals because I can't relate to the writing in them.



strangelet


e-mail user

Mar 2, 2007, 12:57 PM

Post #219 of 1632 (11256 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey TL,

That was a great post. I think you deserve an acceptance letter for such a post. Ha... I know just what you mean. Even my fiction prof, who wrote one of my recs all 3 years I've applied, sent me a "I don't like your story...but good luck" email last year b/c she objected to the subject of one of my stories, which is about a girl who used to start fires, is not crazy anymore, but doesn't know how to cut loose from where she is. She becomes attracted to the fire eater at a passing carnival and leaves town with the carnival. It's not about the carnival really, it is about what's going on with the girl, but I got all this stuff from my prof (whose opinion obviously I very much respect) about overused tropes, mental illness and circuses, etc. that made me feel (naive as I am) quite disillusioned. [Edit: Oops-- now that I see the thread is about semi-autobiographical work, I feel I should clarify... I have never started a fire or run away with a circus ;) Although, I have wished I could run away and join a circus, but then I read Josser, by Nell Stroud.]

Now, that is not an example of "talented people getting railroaded", but I think it does speak to the subjectivity involved in some of this decision making about our acceptances/rejections. I also believe that schools tend to want to accept people whom they believe will make the school look good later on-- that maybe that's become more of a priority at some places than getting good, unique writers. I know that's not the case everywhere, like at the smaller or quirkier programs, but I do honestly think it works that way at some places.

In Reply To
Wow, I am glad to have sparked such a debate! What I saw at Columbia was a lot of talented people get railroaded for various reasons...




Hallelu you're the girl who whispers through the wall
I'd build you a hammer with a thick head and long claws
-- Grant-Lee Phillips


(This post was edited by strangelet on Mar 2, 2007, 1:06 PM)


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 2, 2007, 1:11 PM

Post #220 of 1632 (11225 views)
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Re: [strangelet] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

From your fingers to LSC's and BM's/AZ's eyes! I do hope there is a place of me and part of me believes it, while part of me fears it's more style over substance. I guess I've seen too much of that the past few years and seen it pay off far too frequently. The stories I mentioned, btw, aren't the ones I sent in with my applications, except Cal Arts where I sent in fiction, non-fiction and photos because that seemed to fit their aesthetic and Michener, which specifically requires students to work in multiple genres (it's other big plus for me, beyond the money, warm weather and location much closer to home).

Anyway, here's wishing us all luck...especially since we haven't heard. A friend just called me with a new 212 number I didn't have in my cell. I coulda killed him, but since he's treating me to lunch, I won't!



In Reply To
Hey TL,

That was a great post. I think you deserve an acceptance letter for such a post. Ha...


ghostracer


Mar 2, 2007, 1:49 PM

Post #221 of 1632 (11182 views)
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Re: [amday8] NEW NEW NEW FOR 07 the new unbearables [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you hit on a truth about the element that makes writing "good." The last book I stopped reading midway through was "The World According to Garp," which I didn't think was bad, but I just didn't want to finish it as much as I wanted to start reading "The Fall" by Camus. Even though it was really weird (maybe because it was really weird), I regard "The Fall" as a much more interesting piece of literature than "Garp," even though it is about 1/4 of the size.

Too often though, I'll go on all the way until the end of the book (this is what I'm doing currently with Infinite Jest by the way) and form some kind of ambivalent opinion about it. I.e. why i felt I needed to finish it, but obviously not tearing through the pages one after the other. This also might be why I secretly like reading Bret Easton Ellis, though it seems to me that his books aren't "serious" for one reason or another I can't pin down. I like the idea of highly commercial literature in today's world.

Your point about not being able to write too closely to your life experiences (maybe the sentiment but not the actual object) because it dispels the creative energy, I find to be very true. It's too frustrating to make something up and not have it happen exactly as it happened in real life. It automatically seems wrong. What is worse is when you do creative non-fiction, or your vision of reality disguised as fiction, and someone reads the story and they start talking about how they don't like the character, or they don't like the way it ends, or there is no true solution to a true problem, or the problems are too trite for literature...

Sometimes its hard for me to tap into my creative energy because I imagine all my subject matter is extremely tedious and nonsensical. Enough. I'm sorry if this was not MFA related. The notion of required reading I think is the only connection.


flyinghouses.blogspot.com




bktv


Mar 2, 2007, 2:00 PM

Post #222 of 1632 (11159 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, suck-ups and hot chicks get ahead in any field. Perhaps it bothers writer-types more because they truly believe in the integrity/quality of artistic creation as a measure of success. Or, we could all just go cynical. I hate you, world; I mean it this time!

In the era when James Frey tries to sell a novel (A Million Little Pieces) and no one wants it, and then it becomes a best-selling (false) memoir, this is an especially pertinent question. No one writes in a vacuum of personal experience. On the other hand, I think it is important to think about what kind of writer you are, and whether or not the best means for the story is fiction or non-fiction. If you find yourself just "fictionalizing" a true event by changing the names or something, you might ask yourself why you're writing it as fiction. For me, I think the tendency has been to assume "nothing significant enough has happened to me to write memoir." I think I'm right in terms of a saleable book-length project, but not in good quality essays.

I've just never written any. Several stories that I wrote, in retrospect, might have been better essays. I could have added more personality and emotion through rendering my own experience rather than distancing myself from them through the filter of a character who is not exactly me. That kind of emotional depth and genuine experience is, I think, what makes memoir so popular today.


(This post was edited by bktv on Mar 2, 2007, 3:52 PM)


BlueVelveeta


Mar 2, 2007, 2:02 PM

Post #223 of 1632 (11153 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, all---I write poetry, and still this discussion of purely invented fiction versus fiction inspired by events or feelings experienced in reality has been interesting; I think the poetic version is confessional versus narrative poetry. Maybe.

As for style over substance, I have the same concerns about poetry. Contemporary poetry is read almost exclusively by people who write poetry, and I see this as a failure of the art. (Perhaps I erred in discussing this in my personal statement!) I have many friends who are intelligent and devoted to the arts---friends that will excitedly buy $2 same-day tickets to the symphony, who will take a class in Buto dance then go home and work on their sculpture installations---who have simply given up on poetry. They see it as masturbatory at best, smug at worst. And these are not people who dislike poetry as a form; they have dogeared copies of collections on their shelves, but within those shelves I never see anything written within the past decade.

Now, I don't believe, and neither do they, that good work isn't being written now. However, so much is being published regardless of quality that it has become nearly impossible to sift through it all and have a life at the same time. Furthermore, there is an overarching "voice" that seems to emerge again and again from mainstream literary journals and anthologies that often makes me unsure whether I've read a certain poet's work before or if I've simply read quite a lot of work that sounds almost exactly the same. People are frustrated, even those that would like to be reading and enjoying poetry more frequently. And I can't blame them.

I also don't blame MFA programs for this or I wouldn't be trying to get into one, but I do think many of them are not helping. In most academic scenarios, we are going to be sequestered from the world of "regular" people (a phrase I don't like, by the way---I'd prefer to use "people not involved in academia"), so how are we supposed to write work that reaches them? Would Walt Whitman have ever written "Song of Myself" if he had been pent up at the University of X? And if universities sell slots based on the accomplishments of alumni, then how can we assume there isn't at least some ulterior motive to produce students who will best serve that interest? Perhaps it differs...perhaps some schools want to produce the most cutting-edge writers while some want to produce the best-selling ones...but it's there.

Plus, there are certain things that just kill me. For instance, a poet that I am not alone in admiring is Dorianne Laux; she ascended to literary celebrity on work she generated as a single mother working as a waitress. She didn't pursue an MFA...but now she teaches in one. She is the main reason I'd want to study at Oregon, and yet, that seems terribly contradictory. I'm going to an MFA program to learn from someone who got to where she is by avoiding them?

Blah. Boy can I ramble when I'm anxious. ; )


piratelizzy


Mar 2, 2007, 2:14 PM

Post #224 of 1632 (11121 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

For my money, this is the best conversation going on in the MFA portion of the Speakeasy right now. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and honesty.

My contribution is this: We need to be selective about whose criticisms we allow past out gates, so to speak. I won't--repeat, I WON'T--let anyone tell me what I should write about, how I should write about it or what's believable or not UNLESS they have earned my respect by demonstrating their good intentions. No one's going to destroy my writing heedlessly, thanks. And by that I mean, if the intention of the comments is to be helpful (and you usually know this instinctively) then I pay attention. If the intention is to destroy, with whatever motive, then I am going to want to protect my work and try to find other readers. The way I see it, constructive criticism always springs from a baseline desire to help the other person grow, not to make them over in your own image. And when you benefit from your readers bringing that good faith to their critique of your work, you take on the responsibility of treating their work seriously in return; that is, to try to understand what the work is trying to be, and to try to facilitate its progress somehow for the other writer. IF that somehow means helping the other person see how their work needs to be torn down to its foundations in order to be rebuilt, then do it. I think the comment of the professor that tenderloner (I think it was she) mentions above, who explained about the "tired tropes"... for instance, I think THAT is helpful. She explained why and how things could be better. But to say "I don't like this and it's not believable..." Hrmph!

What's believable? IS waking up to find that you've turned into an insect believable? (Kafka) Is it believable that a thirty-something-year-old man could be forced to return to the fifth grade because of a clerical error? (Barthelme) Is it believable that Chekhov's doctor rang for an emergency glass of champagne instead of more medicine right before the writer died? (Carver, using the journals of Chekhov's wife as a source, if I'm not mistaken). Everybody's a critic, but few people are Aristotle.

Write on, writers! Write on!


'sup?!


strangelet


e-mail user

Mar 2, 2007, 2:25 PM

Post #225 of 1632 (11094 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

This is my new favorite post :-) Everything you just said about when to listen to someone and what is believable and trusting your imagination, because the technique will follow if you read closely and work hard enough, is what I believe too. (Although, just for the record, it was my prof who gave me the "trope" comment, and I don't think she had read the story that closely-- it was during rec-writing time-- b/c my prof at Emerson loved the story and understood it was about someone's state of mind and not about a cliche of 'only crazy people join the circus' or whatever. He encouraged me to use it in my applications. Now, if NOBODY who read the story got it, I'd have to bow to my first prof and say my execution sucked... but that was not the case.) No, not sensitive about my writing... not I...! LOL ;)


Hallelu you're the girl who whispers through the wall
I'd build you a hammer with a thick head and long claws
-- Grant-Lee Phillips


(This post was edited by strangelet on Mar 2, 2007, 2:38 PM)


Glinda Bamboo


Mar 2, 2007, 2:32 PM

Post #226 of 1632 (9127 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

piratelizzy, your post reminds me of the "feedback" I received at a workshop last year. A new member -- who showed up once and never again, btw, which is always a sign -- told me I was too young to have anything to write about yet, that my story read like all the MFA stories he'd ever read, and that it was too obviously based on personal experience to warrant his time reading. Okay. So at the end, I asked what specifically made it sound like an "MFA story." He had no answer. I asked him which other "MFA stories" it sounded like. Again, he couldn't answer, and instead just replied that maybe I needed to wait until I was at least in my 40s before starting to write.

This gentleman just happened to be in his forties. He had just started to write -- or one can only assume, since he never showed up again and never submitted any writing.

I've been struggling with less-than-helpful writing groups for years now, ever since I left undergrad, and I'm sorry to say that even with guys like that, they are sometimes better than nothing. (One person with good feedback makes all the difference.) But yes, I feel I've become quite good at filtering through the comments and realizing what I can use, what is total garbage, and what is just someone trying to put me down to make himself feel better about his own writing. This is something I think all writers need to learn how to do, especially if they want to enter an MFA program.


piratelizzy


Mar 2, 2007, 2:56 PM

Post #227 of 1632 (9100 views)
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Re: [strangelet] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, of course. Picture yourself forty years from now letting someone read a story that your one prof hated, and that new reader LOVES it. Imagine you let that first reader's comments discourage you out of writing for forty years! You'll be sorry when you're eighty, buddy!

Write on, strangelet, write on!


'sup?!


jargreen

e-mail user

Mar 2, 2007, 2:58 PM

Post #228 of 1632 (9096 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ah, more words of wisdom from Flannery O'Connor on the way:

"The fact is that anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days."

I think what she's saying is that a keen understanding of human nature and the human struggle is what a good writer must possess. Not age.

That guy sounded like a real asshole. I'm sorry you had to have an experience like that, Glinda.

I wish everyone could be a part of the wonderful writers' workshop group we have in Bloomington. I've learned from workshopping with intimate friends that the best criticism to offer a writer is that which figures out what the writer is attempting to do and then nudges her in what seems like the only direction she could go. Workshopping, to me, is about finding the story.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 2, 2007, 3:31 PM

Post #229 of 1632 (9050 views)
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Re: [jargreen] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, some really good input. While I often thought at Columbia that the traditional-age students didn't have as much to offer in terms of life experience, they HAD just read the classics and other lit with the critical eye taught in the core curriculum. I feel fortunate to have had both that type of input and the perspective of non-traditional students from 17 to 70 in my workshops. It gave me a fuller picture of what was working and not working structurally, emotionally and in every other important way.

Lizzy, I said nearly the same thing in my MFA SOPs -- that what I strive to do in a workshop is to help other students write their story and make their voice come across clearly, rather than mimic mine or that of an established writer. Really enjoying the turn this thread has taken. At least we're distracted from whether or not we've getting in. Sorta.


duchess919


Mar 2, 2007, 3:40 PM

Post #230 of 1632 (9036 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry to introduce an element of harsh reality, but the rejection letter from Cornell materalized in my mailbox today. I live in NYC, and it took approximately 2 days to get here.


bktv


Mar 2, 2007, 3:40 PM

Post #231 of 1632 (9036 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Glinda,

Maybe that guy was Thomas Pynchon!

(OK, probably not.)


BlueVelveeta


Mar 2, 2007, 3:50 PM

Post #232 of 1632 (9012 views)
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Re: [duchess919] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry to hear it, duchess. I live in CA so I always get a nice couple of days' ignorance before receiving my rejection letters. Still, I have a strong feeling that Cornell's big REFUSAL is coming tonight.

So what are you all going to do with your rejection letters? I'm thinking of sewing mine into a new writing notebook. Or converting them into papier-mâché and building something cute and harmless, like a squirrel or a knight's helmet.


duchess919


Mar 2, 2007, 3:53 PM

Post #233 of 1632 (9002 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

The letter? I ate it already.


BlueVelveeta


Mar 2, 2007, 4:03 PM

Post #234 of 1632 (8989 views)
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Re: [duchess919] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

With some fava beans and a nice chianti?


In Reply To
The letter? I ate it already.



SevenFreckles


Mar 2, 2007, 4:12 PM

Post #235 of 1632 (8970 views)
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Re: [duchess919] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

I got my thing envelope from Washington U. in St. Louis today. I was hopeful for about fifteen seconds that it might be a waitlist, but it turned out to be a rejection after all. "Our decision should not be taken as a reflection of your work, but rather of the level of competitiveness in this field." Sure, sure. I'm trying not to be too upset. It just stinks that my whole family saw the letter before I opened it and were waiting for me to get home from work. So everyone wants to know what it says and I'll hate having to put on the "Oh, I'm not really disappointed" act for them.

But at least I have heard something. And I guess I still have ten more chances... even though the silence isn't really a good sign at this point. Sigh...


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 2, 2007, 4:15 PM

Post #236 of 1632 (8967 views)
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Re: [duchess919] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry to hear that, Duchess. Guess mine awaits. Not sure if that's preferable to the 2 nights of no mail whatsoever and 2 of magazine and Netflix. I guess it all beats bills, but still, it would be nice to know.

As for me, maybe I'll add them to the 8 law school rejections and call it an art installation and make millions of dollars, so I can do an MFA anywhere...


duchess919


Mar 2, 2007, 4:21 PM

Post #237 of 1632 (8944 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Naw, it was more like a ravenous binge. Ate it raw, no frills.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 2, 2007, 7:50 PM

Post #238 of 1632 (8844 views)
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Re: [duchess919] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the warning, Duchess. I got fired and came home to the Cornell rejection letter. Both blows were expected and delivered graciously. Cornell put a bit more class into their rejection than other school's seem to have, from posts here. I hope not to receive multiple copies.

Now I must do my taxes (thanks to a late W2 from a job I worked in 2005 that didn't give me the last week's pay until January '06) and get them postmarked for Cal Arts' financial aid deadline today. Which I thought I could skip, since one of the requirements was admission. Maybe that's their roundabout way of saying I've been admitted!


duchess919


Mar 2, 2007, 8:26 PM

Post #239 of 1632 (8808 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry about your being fired, Tenderloner. I hope for your sake that you either went out with a bang or engineered the firing yourself.
Aight, I'm hitting the hot toddies and resigning myself to a year farming in Corsica/picking grapes in the Loire...I mean, when I put it like that, acceptance to some shoddy MFA program seems like a DISAPPOINTMENT.


amday8


Mar 3, 2007, 12:19 AM

Post #240 of 1632 (8718 views)
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Re: [jargreen] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I've learned from workshopping with intimate friends that the best criticism to offer a writer is that which figures out what the writer is attempting to do and then nudges her in what seems like the only direction she could go. Workshopping, to me, is about finding the story.



Well said! That's the type of workshop setting (and writing program) that I'm looking for. Here's hoping that all of us find people to help us polish our diamonds in the rough! (or various stages of roughness...sorry for the high cheese factor of this sentiment.)

TL, sorry about the job situation. I commiserate with you in my own unemployment. Hopefully great acceptance letters/phone calls will lift our spirits soon!


__________



Mar 3, 2007, 2:20 AM

Post #241 of 1632 (8681 views)
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Re: [amday8] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Law schools reject folks from Columbia?


six five four three two one 0 ->


papichulo


Mar 3, 2007, 4:27 AM

Post #242 of 1632 (8656 views)
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Another rejection warning [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry to hear about the Cornell rejection, Duchess...I'm still waiting to get mine...

Heads up to everyone like me who didn't realize that Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars were only accepting 2 people to fiction this year and thoughtlessly (hopefully?) applied anyway: the rejections are out (at least, that's my excuse/denial way of coming to terms with the rejection!).

I got my rejection today via email. The program director emailed me mine upon my request for email communications since I live abroad. She stated that the formal letters were mailed out to everyone yesterday and attached a copy of the letter.

So for a couple lucky people, congrats in advance! For everyone else like me, better luck in the next round of mail.


Arkinese


Mar 3, 2007, 7:20 AM

Post #243 of 1632 (8640 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It's too frustrating to make something up and not have it happen exactly as it happened in real life. It automatically seems wrong. What is worse is when you do creative non-fiction, or your vision of reality disguised as fiction, and someone reads the story and they start talking about how they don't like the character, or they don't like the way it ends, or there is no true solution to a true problem, or the problems are too trite for literature...

I agree with this. I used to say I had a hard time with fiction because I felt like I was playing God and I didn't want to do that. Then I realized my fiction was probably just as strong as my nonfiction. So now I write fiction to work on my writing and write nonfiction more just for fun and to see what comes about.


In Reply To
I won't--repeat, I WON'T--let anyone tell me what I should write about, how I should write about it or what's believable or not UNLESS they have earned my respect by demonstrating their good intentions. No one's going to destroy my writing heedlessly, thanks. And by that I mean, if the intention of the comments is to be helpful (and you usually know this instinctively) then I pay attention.

And I totally agree with this as well. When you run across someone like the guy in Glinda's one workshop who compares your story to work he hasn't even read or someone who bitches about the story topic in their manuscript marks at the top of the first page (as my "friend" did), you have to just delete those comments from your brain and write that person off (no pun intended) an asshat.

This dialogue has really, really helped me to do that and I feel very lucky to have this group of supportive writers who I can "talk" to everyday through out this agonizing process. Yay!

Re: Cornell -- I also got a rejection from today but it was a very nice rejection. I liked where they said: "we had to turn down a number of very talented people with very impressive records, many of whom no doubt will go on to distinguished careers..."
Translation: "
Just because we didn't want you doesn't mean you're not the next Steinbeck/Morrison/Hemingway/Rowling/etc. etc. and we would appreciate you not throwing it in our faces with a big fat 'I told you so' when your fortieth critically-acclaimed book hits #1 on the best-seller list."

At least I like to think of it that way....


(This post was edited by Arkinese on Mar 3, 2007, 10:09 AM)


SweetJane


e-mail user

Mar 3, 2007, 9:42 AM

Post #244 of 1632 (8598 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Blue,

Thanks for writing this. I have to say that I agree with almost everything you wrote here; honestly, the only time I read poetry in literary journals is when I'm considering submitting my work to those journals, and I don't think that I'm the only poet who would admit to this. The modern poets who I've come to admire (Jeff McDaniel, Richard Siken, Daniel Nester) were discovered in ways outside the academic poetry "system"--friends recommended them, or leant books. It makes me doubtful of the whole notion of journal publishing as we know it, and of the institutions that support it, including, but not limited to, MFA programs, university workshops, and some conferences. That's not to say that any of these things are inherently bad, but I do think that they all often encourage a certain uniformity of voice that's alienating to a lot of potential readers.

Of course, I'm buying into this system by applying to MFA. But personally I remain skeptical that it's in workshops, and workshops alone, that I'll experience poetic growth, since their value for me has previously been in providing a way to meet a few other writers with whom I foster stronger working relationships with after the workshop itself is over. Rather, I hope that it's the whole experience--living in a new city, being around other writers, taking other graduate courses--will be what helps me experience writerly growth. But god help me if I give in to "the MFA voice"!

Anyway, they're all interesting questions to consider for poets who are considering an MFA.


In Reply To
As for style over substance, I have the same concerns about poetry. Contemporary poetry is read almost exclusively by people who write poetry, and I see this as a failure of the art. (Perhaps I erred in discussing this in my personal statement!) I have many friends who are intelligent and devoted to the arts---friends that will excitedly buy $2 same-day tickets to the symphony, who will take a class in Buto dance then go home and work on their sculpture installations---who have simply given up on poetry. They see it as masturbatory at best, smug at worst. And these are not people who dislike poetry as a form; they have dogeared copies of collections on their shelves, but within those shelves I never see anything written within the past decade.

Now, I don't believe, and neither do they, that good work isn't being written now. However, so much is being published regardless of quality that it has become nearly impossible to sift through it all and have a life at the same time. Furthermore, there is an overarching "voice" that seems to emerge again and again from mainstream literary journals and anthologies that often makes me unsure whether I've read a certain poet's work before or if I've simply read quite a lot of work that sounds almost exactly the same. People are frustrated, even those that would like to be reading and enjoying poetry more frequently. And I can't blame them.



SJ

"Oh, all the poets they studied rules of verse
and those ladies, they rolled their eyes"


__________



Mar 3, 2007, 10:52 AM

Post #245 of 1632 (8563 views)
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Re: [SweetJane] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The modern poets who I've come to admire (Jeff McDaniel, Richard Siken, Daniel Nester)




Oh, man... apologies up front, but I must ask: do you know or have you met or have you been tutored by or have you sung karaoke with Daniel Nester? Because that might make sense. Otherwise, can't anyone write poems like these:

Because that might
make sense. Can't
anyone write poems like
these?

It's funny, because he's like the product of the very networking you're kind of holding him up against, in bass relief, I guess. Not trying to be mean, but still...


six five four three two one 0 ->

(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Mar 3, 2007, 10:56 AM)


SweetJane


e-mail user

Mar 3, 2007, 11:39 AM

Post #246 of 1632 (8527 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I admit, some of my fondness for him might be because I'm a Queen fan. His prose poems in the God Save My Queen books are pretty good. I'd be hard-pressed to say whether I even remember any of his versier stuff. Also, ironically, I terribly offended him by sending him a snotty e-mail about the background of his webpage. It was pretty jerky of me, and I promptly had a panic attack about my lack of networking skills. And then I realized that, if I'm going to make it in poetry, I want it to be on the merits of my writing, anyway, and offending one poet (even one that I admire) shouldn't ruin me forever. Even if sending jerky, flippant e-mails about people's webpage backgrounds are bad for the karma, which they are.

But, didn't work with him, and have never met him. A friend of mine worked for Soft Skull, and passed his books along to me.



In Reply To


Oh, man... apologies up front, but I must ask: do you know or have you met or have you been tutored by or have you sung karaoke with Daniel Nester? Because that might make sense. Otherwise, can't anyone write poems like these:

Because that might
make sense. Can't
anyone write poems like
these?

It's funny, because he's like the product of the very networking you're kind of holding him up against, in bass relief, I guess. Not trying to be mean, but still...



SJ

"Oh, all the poets they studied rules of verse
and those ladies, they rolled their eyes"


piratelizzy


Mar 3, 2007, 2:34 PM

Post #247 of 1632 (8427 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Received my Cornell rejection last night. I was surprised that I felt very little, only a brief sniffle of regret about losing $70. I guess I was prepared for the "no." Oh, there's certain sting of loneliness, too, you know. But that's not specific to this school. Writers want company, don't they? I certainly don't want to keep writing alone for the rest of my life! But if I'm not right for them, they're not right for me, and that's that.

Au revoir, Cornell! See you around, kid.

=====

I wanted to add that this whole application thing has been about learning. Each school seems to have a personality. It was not easy to tell what schools would be good fits for me from the websites and from reading and asking around before I applied. Going through the application process--well, let's just say I feel less clueless than I did several months ago. So though I could use the $1000 back that I spent on the whole casserole, I've definitely picked up some knowledge in return along the way. This board has been great, too.


'sup?!

(This post was edited by piratelizzy on Mar 3, 2007, 2:53 PM)


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 3, 2007, 4:42 PM

Post #248 of 1632 (8351 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Not so lonely, there are a lot of Cornell rejects, hundreds! I say we have regional benders this weekend.




In Reply To
Received my Cornell rejection last night. I was surprised that I felt very little, only a brief sniffle of regret about losing $70. I guess I was prepared for the "no." Oh, there's certain sting of loneliness, too, you know.
=====

I wanted to add that this whole application thing has been about learning. Each school seems to have a personality. It was not easy to tell what schools would be good fits for me from the websites and from reading


Absolutely. I had a friend chew me out for applying to 10 schools. She said I didn't know my value and should've applied to the 2 schools I wanted. How could I tell from the web sites and even THREE MFA books? I had to use Tom Kealy's 1. Geography, 2. Funding, 3. Teaching scale. I really wish the schools were more clear on their sites. It's just not true that they don't have preferences about types of writing, so either they need to get past those preferences or state them a bit more clearly. It seems a shame to waste so much money applying to a program that isn't right for you in the first place. I guess if I'd found the board earlier, I might've known better. At least I qualified for fee waivers, but still the GREs and transcripts and gray hairs from missing LORs were enough of a cost!


(This post was edited by tenderloner on Mar 3, 2007, 4:44 PM)


prosaic70


Mar 3, 2007, 4:51 PM

Post #249 of 1632 (8338 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

yup. cornell= heartbreakers.

whatever. it is not gorges in ithaca. it is cold and everybody's dead from committing suicide.

thank god i'm being mature about this.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 3, 2007, 4:56 PM

Post #250 of 1632 (8328 views)
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Re: [prosaic70] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Prosaic (which I read, given the past 24 hours, as Prosac), thanks for a much-needed laugh. I was indeed worried that I wouldn't be able to make it through the 12 feet of snow, might slip while racing across a bridge, fall into a gorge rushing to class and die. And it would be taken for a suicide, creating a huge, posthumus demand for my work. My other would rush to sell my journals, not unlike Anna Nicole Smith's friends and family and I would finally be published.

I like Ithaca, actually, but damn what a sprawling campus to be trudging through during its 7 months of winter!


(This post was edited by tenderloner on Mar 3, 2007, 4:56 PM)


aybewell


Mar 3, 2007, 5:10 PM

Post #251 of 1632 (9208 views)
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Re: [prosaic70] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

i received my cornell rejection today... ;( sad, but not horribly sad. i still have hope for the other schools!!! good luck to everyone!


molybdenum


Mar 3, 2007, 6:20 PM

Post #252 of 1632 (9165 views)
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Re: [aybewell] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Am I the only one who got the 3-letter rejection from Cornell (3 of the exact same rejection letter, dated the same day, arrived at my home on the same day)? Perhaps it was a random computer glitch or something...or my sample was just that awful. Definitely saw it coming, so it wasn't much of a blow.

Also got my rejection from Alabama by mail this afternoon.


eesa


Mar 3, 2007, 6:25 PM

Post #253 of 1632 (9158 views)
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Re: [aybewell] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post

I got my Cornell rejection yesterday and it didn't really affect me at all. Today I got my Hopkins rejection and I cried in the mailroom. It was my top choice. I live about 45 minutes from Baltimore and every phone call that came in from unknown 410 numbers really got my hopes up. No more.


jgarbe

e-mail user

Mar 3, 2007, 7:58 PM

Post #254 of 1632 (9101 views)
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Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) rejection [In reply to] Can't Post

Today it was bright and sunny, the perfect conditions for a rejection.

Half a 40 of Pabst and a Cinnabon later, I'm cycling and wondering what this changes, if anything.

~Jacob


(This post was edited by jgarbe on Mar 4, 2007, 2:10 PM)


Arkinese


Mar 4, 2007, 5:09 AM

Post #255 of 1632 (8982 views)
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Re: [jgarbe] Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) rejection [In reply to] Can't Post

Did your UIUC rejection say they received "over 61" applicants?

Over 61? .....huh?

Thanks for the Cornell laughs, Prosaic. A friend of mine goes there for science-related grad school (after he got rejected from Harvard and MIT... he's so smart) and he likes the place but says the weather is often terrible. And he has on-street parking (which I personally HATE); we once talked on the phone for 30 minutes while he was driving around trying to find a parking spot after coming home from the laundromat.

Give me UCI anyday and their guaranteed MFA housing with huge parking lots, cable TV included in the rent, and a freaking Olympic-sized swimming pool.


apelavin

e-mail user

Mar 4, 2007, 5:24 AM

Post #256 of 1632 (8977 views)
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Re: Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Give me UCI anyday and their guaranteed MFA housing with huge parking lots, cable TV included in the rent, and a freaking Olympic-sized swimming pool.



Yes but it is Orange County...and not just OC, but Irvine, a town where no one can own the land they live on (99 year leases) and they bus homeless people to the next town over (really). And you damn well need those parking lots, because you can't get anywhere on foot (not even the closest bar, which can make things a bit tricky).

On the other hand it's really close to Newport and Laguna. And it's my first choice by a pretty big margin, so I must see a lot of mitigating factors...


(This post was edited by apelavin on Mar 4, 2007, 5:31 AM)


Arkinese


Mar 4, 2007, 5:33 AM

Post #257 of 1632 (8974 views)
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Re: [apelavin] Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Yes but it is Orange County...and not just OC, but Irvine, a town where no one can own the land they live on (99 year leases) and they bus homeless people to the next town over (really). And you damn well need those parking lots, because you can't get anywhere on foot (not even the closest bar, which can make things a bit tricky).

On the other hand it's really close to Newport and Laguna. And it's my first choice by a pretty big margin, so obviously I think there are a lot of mitigating factors...

I see your point and I remember hearing something about the bussing deal. How do you know about the bar business (not that it's most important but I figure the leasing and bussing can be researched whereas you have to be there or have someone there to know about the bars)?

Maybe if all of us get into UCI, we can start a citizens' action group to have Irvine not be such a jackass city. I assume they have Wal-Marts and we can make a big stink about those too. And then go swim in the pool after our meetings...



tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 4, 2007, 10:59 AM

Post #258 of 1632 (8913 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

Wait, I didn't realize there was guaranteed MFA housing. That, and the looming Iowa rejection, move Irvine way up my list. Now that Wal-Mart's going solar, I'm torn on that issue.

I find it ironic that I'm not qualified to be a CA resident. My permanent residence is 30 miles from Irvine, I went to school from kindergarten through college (all public schools, in fact, the last in the OC) -- but since I've been trapped in New York the past year after finishing at Columbia, I am not a Californian (alas, was not born there, moved when I was 3). I'm going to show off my first BA with the Governator's signature and beg for resident tuition!


mrsriley72


Mar 4, 2007, 11:18 AM

Post #259 of 1632 (8902 views)
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Re: [eesa] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I got my Cornell rejection yesterday and it didn't really affect me at all. Today I got my Hopkins rejection and I cried in the mailroom. It was my top choice. I live about 45 minutes from Baltimore and every phone call that came in from unknown 410 numbers really got my hopes up. No more.



Sorry, Eesa, I know how tough that is


Arkinese


Mar 4, 2007, 11:43 AM

Post #260 of 1632 (8885 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Wait, I didn't realize there was guaranteed MFA housing. That, and the looming Iowa rejection, move Irvine way up my list. Now that Wal-Mart's going solar, I'm torn on that issue.

I find it ironic that I'm not qualified to be a CA resident. My permanent residence is 30 miles from Irvine

And not only is it guaranteed housing, it's freaking fabulous guaranteed housing, as shown here: Vista Del Campo (Vista Del Campo North is family housing; grad housing is VDC).

While I was stoked about the pool, cable and electricity included and the fitness center, I've had all those things at my undergrad school (I had an apartment where elec. was included in the rent and we had $120 automatically tacked onto our tuition for the student fitness center). The thing that really got me excited about the VDC housing complex was the washer and dryer in the apartment. Clearly, I've already been in college way too long.

If your permanent residence is in CA, doesn't that make you a CA resident even if you were in NYC for however long? That really doesn't make any sense if it's still your permanent residence.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 4, 2007, 1:05 PM

Post #261 of 1632 (8842 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

That's the argument I hope to make. I have lived in a million student and temporary housing situations, but never had an actual apartment. The only lease I've signed is with Columbia and I never bothered to get a NY State ID. I have, however, filed taxes here since my last joint filing in 2002 (moved to NY in 2001). Since I have lived in CA for 24 of my 35 years and my parent's house is my only real, permanent home, I do still consider CA my home state. Shhhh...Don't tell Hunter!

Based on the requirements I read at the time, it seemed I would not qualify. But honestly, all I've wanted to do since I was midway through Columbia was move back home.


In Reply To

If your permanent residence is in CA, doesn't that make you a CA resident even if you were in NYC for however long? That really doesn't make any sense if it's still your permanent residence.



Arkinese


Mar 4, 2007, 1:35 PM

Post #262 of 1632 (8818 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But honestly, all I've wanted to do since I was midway through Columbia was move back home.

Were I on a magical California residency board, that statement alone would make me vote in your favor. "They're in freaking New York City, the most famous city on earth and all they want to do is go to California! I mean, my God, if that isn't better tourist promotion than those commercials with Clint, Teri, Steven, Ahnuld and that crazy screamy lady by the Golden Gate Bridge, then I don't know what is!"

(I love California, but I got really really tired of that lady screaming "WE BELIEVE IN NIRVANA!" during every Mariners' game commercial break....)


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 4, 2007, 1:47 PM

Post #263 of 1632 (8808 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, to be honest, Columbia was hell for me. I didn't have money for silly things like rent or food, I'm not hot or an ass-kisser and being only half black, I don't know how to shuck and jive or flirt and manipulate to please The Man. Silly men, I thought it was about being smart. As one of my friends put it, "I thought Columbia was a place for smart people, but it's really for rich kids with really good memories." I couldn't completely appreciate what segregation and being a second class citizen were until I was a non-traditional student at Columbia.

Oh yeah, I said it.

I've no idea what you're talking about, though, that's how long since I've gone to CA. I think Christmas 2005 was my last trip and I spent most of that crying, as my best friend had a still born baby. Can't wait to get back home. One of the big perks of Michener, beyond the resources, Austin and the funding is that it's closer to home and with that kind of funding I could go home for long weekends and holidays. All the CA talk makes that imminent Iowa rejection ("Acceptance!" one friend insists) letter seem not so bad. New York is a great place to be if you are young and don't mind starving, if you are hot and don't mind being a prostitute of some sort, but I'm at the point in my life that I want to save, nest, move ahead, have a child, etc. And I don't want to work at an investment bank!

Edited to add: Thanks, Arkinese, if only you were on the residency committee! I'm hoping that I can appeal.


(This post was edited by tenderloner on Mar 4, 2007, 1:56 PM)


jgarbe

e-mail user

Mar 4, 2007, 2:22 PM

Post #264 of 1632 (8783 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) rejection [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Did your UIUC rejection say they received "over 61" applicants?

Over 61? .....huh?



Yeah, I was confused too. It's as if they wanted to apply marketing phraseology as some sort of consolation. Or maybe just to emphasize how even locking down something as objective as how many people are competing for how many spots is impossible.

~Jacob


Arkinese


Mar 4, 2007, 4:00 PM

Post #265 of 1632 (8729 views)
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Re: [jgarbe] Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) rejection [In reply to] Can't Post

I just now remember that I predicted I would be rejected from UIUC a couple weeks ago when we were all writing our story synopses on the board. I keep forgetting and then it keeps slamming into my brain. So here's my excuse for why UIUC rejected me: One of the stories I sent them was about a father and son who had a distant relationship. The father was an alcoholic diehard Chicago Bears fan while the son was rehab-ing his arm to get back into the Chicago Cubs farm system. At the end of the story, the two watch the Chicago Bears lose the Super Bowl and then the father is so upset that he verbally attacks the son and thus basically ends their relationship.

So, yeah. I wrote before it even happened that Chicago would lose the Super Bowl. And so Illinois was like "Screw that business. We don't want that negative jerk in our program!" I shot myself in the foot from the get-go. Hopefully Indiana will take kindly to me though... ;)


apelavin

e-mail user

Mar 4, 2007, 4:33 PM

Post #266 of 1632 (8700 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I find it ironic that I'm not qualified to be a CA resident. My permanent residence is 30 miles from Irvine, I went to school from kindergarten through college (all public schools, in fact, the last in the OC) -- but since I've been trapped in New York the past year after finishing at Columbia, I am not a Californian (alas, was not born there, moved when I was 3). I'm going to show off my first BA with the Governator's signature and beg for resident tuition!



I don't know if you applied anywhere else in CA, but for Irvine your residency status won't matter -- they fully fund everyone.


kiiro


Mar 4, 2007, 4:59 PM

Post #267 of 1632 (8668 views)
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Rejections [In reply to] Can't Post

I've had time to calm down, thank goodness. One of my rejections (NMSU) hit me hard for multiple reasons. My reaction was to go to bed and just shut down for a long time.

I've been rejected from New Mexico State and University of Alabama thus far.

Those are both first-tier programs, if I recall correctly, so it's not too surprising.

If I get rejected from the other eight, I'm going to have to wait a few years to apply again.


jgarbe

e-mail user

Mar 4, 2007, 5:15 PM

Post #268 of 1632 (8652 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) rejection [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I just now remember that I predicted I would be rejected from UIUC a couple weeks ago when we were all writing our story synopses on the board. I keep forgetting and then it keeps slamming into my brain. So here's my excuse for why UIUC rejected me: One of the stories I sent them was about a father and son who had a distant relationship. The father was an alcoholic diehard Chicago Bears fan while the son was rehab-ing his arm to get back into the Chicago Cubs farm system. At the end of the story, the two watch the Chicago Bears lose the Super Bowl and then the father is so upset that he verbally attacks the son and thus basically ends their relationship.

So, yeah. I wrote before it even happened that Chicago would lose the Super Bowl. And so Illinois was like "Screw that business. We don't want that negative jerk in our program!" I shot myself in the foot from the get-go. Hopefully Indiana will take kindly to me though... ;)


Damn...that's pretty rough. My sample had child-eating, drug abuse and carpentry in it. I think it was the carpentry that did me in. And I'll cross my fingers for you if you cross yours for me, re: Indiana. Surely they'll be more open-minded...

~Jacob


Arkinese


Mar 4, 2007, 5:44 PM

Post #269 of 1632 (8627 views)
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Re: [jgarbe] Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) rejection [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And I'll cross my fingers for you if you cross yours for me, re: Indiana. Surely they'll be more open-minded...

Sounds like a plan! And Bill Swerski's Superfans from SNL would say that child-eating is nuthin' compared to the blasphemy of thinking the Bears would lose any game—let alone the Super Bowl (Chris Farley's character once predicted Bears over Giants 79-0 because the Bears' defense is "a wall!"). I can't understand how UIUC could compare the two at all....


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 4, 2007, 10:27 PM

Post #270 of 1632 (8511 views)
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Re: [apelavin] Irvine [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice, I guess I missed that little tidbit and was just taking the grad school site's tuition rules at face value. All the schools are a muddle in my head at this point. With full funding and guaranteed graduate housing, Irvine moves to the top of the list!


Tapeworm


Mar 5, 2007, 1:42 AM

Post #271 of 1632 (8432 views)
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Re: [kiiro] Rejections [In reply to] Can't Post

You said you were rejected from Alabama. Did they send you a letter? How long ago was this?


kiiro


Mar 5, 2007, 2:29 AM

Post #272 of 1632 (8416 views)
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Re: [Tapeworm] Rejections [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
You said you were rejected from Alabama. Did they send you a letter? How long ago was this?

The letter was dated Feb 28th. I got it March 2nd. You'll either receive a rejection from the graduate school or an acceptance from the English Department from Alabama. They don't notify for wait lists, they said, so if you don't hear from them, you might be on one. Call them if you're uncertain.


Arkinese


Mar 5, 2007, 3:48 AM

Post #273 of 1632 (8399 views)
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Re: [kiiro] Rejections [In reply to] Can't Post

Rejected from Iowa Nonfiction via their website and soon their lovely letter. Guess I'll be calling to switch my online app over to the Writers' Workshop tomorrow (since they have all my other stuff) and then IWW can reject it as well.... Then once both Iowa programs have rejected me, it'll be four down, ten to go. Looking forward to it. Time for sleep.


switchthai


Mar 5, 2007, 4:01 AM

Post #274 of 1632 (8392 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] Rejections [In reply to] Can't Post

wow, i guess i didn't get accepted to Iowa NF either - i just checked the website and saw "Admission Decision: Not Accepted" on my profile. Oh well, at least this way I don't have to debate whether an Iowa degree is worth languishing in the middle of nowhere for. Arkinese, is this what you see on your page?

Here's my situation so far...

Pittsburgh - Accepted in Nonfiction (have to call for funding)
Iowa - Sorely dissed in Nonfiction
Columbia - Still waiting on NF decision
The New School - Still waiting on NF decision

(This post was edited by akivaf on Mar 5, 2007, 4:03 AM)


stellalovers


Mar 5, 2007, 9:04 AM

Post #275 of 1632 (8341 views)
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Re: [akivaf] Rejections [In reply to] Can't Post

also given the middle finger by iowa for nonfiction. moving right along ....

so far:

waitlisted: wyoming, umb
accepted: emerson


blair_violet


Mar 5, 2007, 9:20 AM

Post #276 of 1632 (9236 views)
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Re: [stellalovers] Rejections [In reply to] Can't Post

I was also rejected from Iowa Nonfiction...

My results so far:

Ohio State-Accepted with funding
Pittsburgh-Accepted without funding
American-Accepted, funding decisions made by the end of March

Michigan-Rejected
Iowa-Rejected
Minnesota-Presumed rejection
Western Michigan-Have not yet heard back...

Unless American miraculously comes through with funding, it looks like I'll be headed to Ohio State in the fall!


OneWriter


Mar 5, 2007, 12:12 PM

Post #277 of 1632 (9117 views)
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Re: [blair_violet] Rejections [In reply to] Can't Post

Unofficial rejection today at Oregon. My application was apparently incomplete – missing my statement of purpose – and I never checked the application status on their website until today, which I was told made it too late for me. Oh well, nobody to blame but myself. :-/


madelinek


Mar 5, 2007, 12:19 PM

Post #278 of 1632 (9100 views)
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Re: [OneWriter] Rejections [In reply to] Can't Post

That really stinks, OneWriter. Did they cash your check? Seems unfair that you did all that work and nobody got in touch to let you know you were missing stuff. :(


OneWriter


Mar 5, 2007, 12:33 PM

Post #279 of 1632 (9080 views)
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Re: [madelinek] Rejections [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, madelinek. Yeah, the check was cashed and everything. They weren't my number one choice, but I would have liked going there. I'm just racking my brain trying to figure out how I never included a statement of purpose. It's surprising because, if anything, I was nervous that the second transcript sent to the graduate school (and not the creative writing program) would be the thing that got lost somewhere along the way.

I'm taking solace in the fact that if they were really interested in my writing sample they'd have nudged me and said, "We, uh, notice your application is incomplete. But do you mind sending us that statement of purpose?" I'm assuming it would have been a rejection anyway.

Now I've heard back from four schools (two good, two bad). Seven to go!


amday8


Mar 5, 2007, 1:38 PM

Post #280 of 1632 (8995 views)
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Adios lowa [In reply to] Can't Post

Just got my Iowa (fiction) rejection in the mail. Actually impressed that it showed up today as the US Postal Service is habitually slow in my neck of the woods. Not very upset since the info on this board let me know a while back that accepted applicants had already been contacted. When I told my dad, he said, "Well, I'm not too upset. Didn't you say it was a pretty competitive environment and you only applied there 'cause it was the most prestigious program?" Not 100% true, but it did make me feel better.


Elika619


Mar 5, 2007, 4:59 PM

Post #281 of 1632 (8873 views)
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Re: [amday8] Adios lowa [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, what a Monday. Three rejection letters arrived today; bye-bye to Michigan, Cornell, and Iowa!!


mlpurdy
Moriah Purdy

Mar 5, 2007, 5:25 PM

Post #282 of 1632 (8842 views)
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Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

* Sigh *

Offically rejected from Wash U (too bad, I took a workshop with Carl Phillips over the summer and he was wonderful), U Mich (and I even had a former MFA-er vouch for me), Syracuse (didn't want to live in all that snow, anyway!), and Cornell (no surprise there)

The only acceptance is Geoge Mason - so far. I'm still optimistic, and YOU SHOULD BE TOO!

I still have eight schools to hear from:

Brown (probably not though), Indiana (maybe I'm on a wait list?), UNCG (I know I'm through the first round!), UNH (website still says app. is with the department), U Mass (can't find my letter to check for the ID), UVA (doubt it though), or Hollins (though I couldn't afford to go there from what I've learned about their funding since I applied).

Seriously though, congrats to everyone who is getting in, and even more congrats to those who are getting into their top choices. We have to expect more rejections than acceptances... just the name of the game!


sarahc


Mar 5, 2007, 5:57 PM

Post #283 of 1632 (8788 views)
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Re: [mlpurdy] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yup. Iowa rejection today. One rejection down, eight awkward silences, and still, the faint glimmer of unemployment in my future. I still haven't heard from Cornell--hoping that's a good sign and not just a postal mishap.


Arkinese


Mar 5, 2007, 6:25 PM

Post #284 of 1632 (8755 views)
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Re: [mlpurdy] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

*Sigh* is right....

Official rejections: Arizona (both fiction and nonfiction), Cornell, UIUC, and today: Michigan and both Iowa programs. So I applied to 14 schools (16 programs) and have been rejected by 5 schools (7 programs). Ugh. I didn't put a lot of effort into my nonfiction apps so I don't feel really badly about those. Based on fiction alone, I'm at 35% rejection rate and 0% acceptance.

The good news (is there really any?): I had a < 2% of getting into Cornell, 3% chance of getting into IWW, < 5% chance of getting into Michigan, 6% chance of getting into UIUC and 15% chance of getting into Arizona. And 80% of those schools are in the north and I would prefer a warmer climate. That makes me feel a little better and I know that in the baseball world, I'd still have a chance because everyone plays percentages there.

Snottiest letter so far? Michigan, hands down: "It is simply our collective judgment that others have first claim on our attention at present." This fits right in with their image though since they wanted a personal statement, a statement of purpose, stuff to be in 2-3 weeks before their January 1st due date AND their application status website is automatically taken offline from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. everyday. Since when does the internet go away? Michigan, of all the schools I applied to, was the one I least hoped to get into because I hated all their red tape.

Nicest letter... probably Iowa Nonfiction. They seemed the most encouraging.

In Reply To
When I told my dad, he said, "Well, I'm not too upset. Didn't you say it was a pretty competitive environment and you only applied there 'cause it was the most prestigious program?"

That's exactly what my dad said! He's been saying along "Wow, you're really not playing percentages with some of these..." (Our family lives for baseball....)


(This post was edited by Arkinese on Mar 5, 2007, 6:29 PM)


jargreen

e-mail user

Mar 5, 2007, 6:57 PM

Post #285 of 1632 (8709 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

I too got that very decent rejection letter from Michigan today ... which almost redeems them in my eyes; their English office is the most unpleasant group of ingrates I've ever dealt with.

I was surprised to see what Johns Hopkins wrote in their letter, which also came today: "Get the #%@& out of here with that $#~*!"


wildflowerfever


Mar 5, 2007, 7:03 PM

Post #286 of 1632 (8697 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
"It is simply our collective judgment that others have first claim on our attention at present."


Hah. I wonder if they realize just how snotty that sounded.

I'm on spring break right now, so I don't have access to my mail all week. I assume this is sort of what hell feels like.

I bet I have that lovely little note from Michigan waiting for me when I return.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 5, 2007, 7:40 PM

Post #287 of 1632 (8660 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

My IWW dream is officially dead. May I have as much good luck with warm weather schools as I've had bad luck with cold weather schools thus far.

At least I'm in good company with Iowa and Cornell rejections this year. Thank god for the boards.


BlueVelveeta


Mar 5, 2007, 8:06 PM

Post #288 of 1632 (8628 views)
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Re: Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think I might be the winner! I just received not 1, not 2, not 3, but FOUR rejections: Cornell, Iowa, Michigan, Syracuse. My god, my papier-mâché backlog is getting huge.


6 down, 6 to go.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 5, 2007, 8:29 PM

Post #289 of 1632 (8600 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

Congratulations on your dubious distinction, Blue Velveeta! I thought I also got the first Cal Arts rejection, but it was a letter for financial aid. Whew! Eight rays of hope left, though Columbia is cut down to a glimmer, since notifications are probably complete and I can't afford it anyway. I think the hope for me was that either they would do something about funding this year or that it could help in getting funding elsewhere. Oy, I've become one of them!


jrosello
Jarod
e-mail user

Mar 5, 2007, 8:30 PM

Post #290 of 1632 (8595 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

When was the Syracuse letter postmarked?

P.S.Did anyone else's Johns Hopkins rejection letter appear to be smeared with human excrement along the bottom? It's not chocolate, I checked.


aybewell


Mar 5, 2007, 8:36 PM

Post #291 of 1632 (8582 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh BlueVelv!!!

four in one day is rough. you seem to have a good sense of humor about it though... and that's probably the one trait that will save us all in the end.

;(


razmatazmilfoil
Sara

Mar 5, 2007, 8:47 PM

Post #292 of 1632 (8560 views)
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Re: [jrosello] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh no! I thought Johns Hopkins was trying to ease the smart of rejecting me on my birthday (along with Cornell, Iowa, and Michigan) by smearing the letter with birthday cake. I guess I shouldn't lick it afterall. At least I'm in good company though...


BlueVelveeta


Mar 5, 2007, 8:48 PM

Post #293 of 1632 (8559 views)
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Re: [aybewell] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

The Syr letter was postmarked March 1st (and, I might add, was easily the kindest letter so far). Hope that puts some minds at rest.

And I must confess that I am astounded at how little I have been bothered by these rejections. I've never felt so relentlessly positive in my life; I was just sitting here thinking, "Hey, I've got my first wall full of rejections---I'm in good company!" What the hell is that all about?! ; )


kiiro


Mar 5, 2007, 9:08 PM

Post #294 of 1632 (8523 views)
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Regarding NMSU [In reply to] Can't Post

I got in contact with someone at NMSU today, and it turns out that they only had TWO spaces this year because three people deferred last year! There was no way I'd get in with those odds!

But he did say he remembered evaluating my application. I nearly cried with happiness at that. Maybe I don't suck after all?


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 5, 2007, 9:22 PM

Post #295 of 1632 (8500 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

Me too, BV. When you get fired at 6 and receive your first MFA reject at 7, the next rejection doesn't pack the same punch. However, I am having flashbacks to the great 8 law school rejections of 2005. I hope somebody loves me and I'll find a home.


larsonb23


Mar 5, 2007, 10:27 PM

Post #296 of 1632 (8461 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey BlueVelveeta, Where do you live? Not like 'what street so I can come see you,' but what city, so I can know how long 'til I get my rejection letter from Syracuse. I'm holding out hope, as my main recommender is friends with George S and wrote me an extra rec to him specifically(!), which I was hoping might do something, but seeing as someone has already heard from them, my hopes have begun to fade. Oh well, I'm holding out hope. 1 rejection (Michigan) down, 9 more responses left!


BlueVelveeta


Mar 5, 2007, 10:47 PM

Post #297 of 1632 (8436 views)
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Re: [larsonb23] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

No worries larsonb21---I'm in Oakland. Hope your thus-far absent letter is a sign of good things to come!


larsonb23


Mar 5, 2007, 10:52 PM

Post #298 of 1632 (8425 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

C'mon, it's larsonb23, not 21! Just kidding, 23s my lucky number, and 21 was my worst year, so lets hope that was slip up and not an omen regarding these damn apps. I'm in Tucson (or at least my mailing address is, where I have a clan of paid mail-openers), so I figure the letter not showing up by tomorrow COULD be a good thing. Although this same thing happened last year, my rejections came late, and when I called the schools they said it was because I was near the very end at all of them, part of the last widdling down of sorts, so it's driving my crazy this year! Anyways, good luck Velveeta!


apelavin

e-mail user

Mar 5, 2007, 11:09 PM

Post #299 of 1632 (8406 views)
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Re: [larsonb23] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

Got my first actual response today (out of 15 programs -- I seem to have had a knack for picking late responders). Looks like I'm not going to Michigan. Seeing as how I haven't heard from Iowa or Syracuse, rejections are probably not far behind from them, but one never knows (someone posted to Tom Kealey's blog on Saturday that they got an acceptance letter from Iowa w/o ever getting a phone call). Still, unlikely. At least none of these programs were too close to the top of my list (although Iowa could be/have been--I'm somewhat ambivalent--and Syracuse certainly would have been but for geographic factors). Trying not to read too much into the fact that I was spared from the recent spate of Arizona rejections, but one way or another I'm still pretty optimistic that I'll end up somewhere, if for no other reason than the sheer force of probability.


SweetJane


e-mail user

Mar 5, 2007, 11:20 PM

Post #300 of 1632 (8393 views)
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Re: [apelavin] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank goodness for the internet. Knowing that my Iowa rejection was on its way really helped soften the blow (of course, admittedly, word from Florida earlier this afternoon didn't hurt, either).


SJ

"Oh, all the poets they studied rules of verse
and those ladies, they rolled their eyes"


kiiro


Mar 5, 2007, 11:23 PM

Post #301 of 1632 (9406 views)
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Minnesota State Mankato [In reply to] Can't Post

Rejection letter received today by my parents. Fiction. This was not unexpected.

I don't know why they sent it to my parents' house, though. That's just weird.

That's three rejections.


thera


Mar 6, 2007, 12:15 AM

Post #302 of 1632 (9374 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

cool! 2 rejections.
syracuse & michigan. bummercity.

i am in sf, and just got my letters today. ugh.


razmatazmilfoil
Sara

Mar 6, 2007, 12:37 AM

Post #303 of 1632 (9362 views)
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Re: Application Retractions [In reply to] Can't Post

Dear Cornell, Michigan, Iowa, and Johns Hopkins,

After giving your programs careful consideration, I'm sorry to say that I will not be able to attend your workshops and seminars. I hereby retract my applications. This was a difficult decision. I applied to an unprecedented eleven schools. Please know that my decision is meant to negate neither your programs nor you reputations--it is simply my personal judgment that other universities have claims upon my attention at present. I can only attend one workshop and must turn away many promising programs even though they all seem uncommonly good. If my experience is any guide, many creative writing workshops that I can't attend go on to facilitate fine graduate careers without me.

I do thank you for your interest, and wish you the very best.

Sincerely,
Sara Keilholtz


Arkinese


Mar 6, 2007, 12:57 AM

Post #304 of 1632 (9343 views)
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Re: [razmatazmilfoil] Application Retractions [In reply to] Can't Post

Ms. Keilholtz, that letter is freaking brilliant! It made my month and now every time I get a rejection, I will come back and read it. Let's just hope I only have to read it once or twice more. Can we start a pool to pay you to actually send this to, say, Michigan (because I hate them most and should have never applied there in the first place)? I'd LOVE to see if the director would actually respond if you mailed it to him.


girlinblack

e-mail user

Mar 6, 2007, 1:18 AM

Post #305 of 1632 (9323 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And I must confess that I am astounded at how little I have been bothered by these rejections. I've never felt so relentlessly positive in my life; I was just sitting here thinking, "Hey, I've got my first wall full of rejections---I'm in good company!" What the hell is that all about?! ; )


I put my rejection letter from Michigan on my fridge, next to the ding letter I got from some university IT position I interviewed for a long, long time ago ... signed by one of my current supervisors. At least he didn't autopen it!

Also, someone at Angell Hall really needs to check the printer they used to print off the letters, as there's smudging all over the page. I think I was more offended by that than by the actual rejection itself.


soozybleu


Mar 6, 2007, 9:32 AM

Post #306 of 1632 (9245 views)
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Re: [razmatazmilfoil] Application Retractions [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Dear Cornell, Michigan, Iowa, and Johns Hopkins,

After giving your programs careful consideration, I'm sorry to say that I will not be able to attend your workshops and seminars. I hereby retract my applications. This was a difficult decision. I applied to an unprecedented eleven schools. Please know that my decision is meant to negate neither your programs nor you reputations--it is simply my personal judgment that other universities have claims upon my attention at present. I can only attend one workshop and must turn away many promising programs even though they all seem uncommonly good. If my experience is any guide, many creative writing workshops that I can't attend go on to facilitate fine graduate careers without me.

I do thank you for your interest, and wish you the very best.

Sincerely,
Sara Keilholtz




I just laughed so hard that coffee came out my nose.

You should send this.

It'll probably change their minds. :)


punchinella


Mar 6, 2007, 9:41 AM

Post #307 of 1632 (9233 views)
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Re: [razmatazmilfoil] Application Retractions [In reply to] Can't Post

Ms Keilholtz you are the king, the king.
Did anyone else notice a big black handwritten 'R' on the back of their Cornell Envelope of Rejection? hissssssss i thought that was deep


amday8


Mar 6, 2007, 9:54 AM

Post #308 of 1632 (9212 views)
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Re: [soozybleu] Application Retractions [In reply to] Can't Post

I second that! Who knew that reading these message boards and drinking coffee could be such a hazard for poor little laptops all over the country!


In Reply To

I just laughed so hard that coffee came out my nose.

You should send this.

It'll probably change their minds. :)



piratelizzy


Mar 6, 2007, 10:35 AM

Post #309 of 1632 (9155 views)
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Re: [larsonb23] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
21 was my worst year,


In late spring 1921 I hitchhiked the Klondike--not an easy feat back then, mind you, when you consider that Ford was still a foreign word that far up north in those years... no, sir, it was mules and carts all the way, and then only in summer (why, if I told you the story of an old timer who lost most of his pack in an early blizzard and had to eat his last mule--Eulah, I think he called her--trying to push on to the Yukon in late October!)--on my way to join the Army's 82 airborne, which was stationed (or stranded, depending on how you see it) out near a little post that would come to be known as Fairbanks. Only, along the way I met a family of placer miners who took me in--suffering from an excess of mosquito bites, I was--and nursed me and fed me so well I couldn't make up my mind to leave. Eventually I took up with their daughter and got run out of town (trading post, if you really want to know). I finally made it to Fairbanks when a family out of Eagle offered me a place on their river barge as a trade for my boots, and floated me on in as far as Cache Creek--from there it was only a week's walk to good old Bankie. I never did find the 82nd, but '21 was a fun year, all right.

======

Iowa rejection last night.


'sup?!


strangelet


e-mail user

Mar 6, 2007, 11:56 AM

Post #310 of 1632 (9082 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey guys.... So... I still have not heard from ANYWHERE, except for being waitlisted at Southern Illinois... and I am starting to get scared that I will not get in anywhere this year. I really think I should, I just felt like my writing reached a certain level this year that it hadn't before, and I was accepted last year (but without funding, which in my head amounts to the same thing as a rejection). Anybody want to take bets?? :(


Hallelu you're the girl who whispers through the wall
I'd build you a hammer with a thick head and long claws
-- Grant-Lee Phillips


thera


Mar 6, 2007, 12:06 PM

Post #311 of 1632 (9055 views)
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Re: [strangelet] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

I am in the same boat. Accepted to 1 place last year w no funding, and worried that i won't get in ANYWHERE this year. what's wrong with these programs? probably they got the people with the world's worst taste to read the apps. Or my secret enemies at all the schools got together and submitted really shitty poems about puppies in the rain in place of my stuff.

just got a mystery phone call, turned out to be some lady from the transit system out here doing a follow up call. boo!


strangelet


e-mail user

Mar 6, 2007, 12:12 PM

Post #312 of 1632 (9041 views)
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Re: [thera] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

ugh, boo is right. I'm in fiction. here's my list:

UNCG
Boise State
Purdue Florida State
Southern Illinois
Notre Dame
Cleveland State
South Carolina
Miami (FL)
BU
Bowling Green


Hallelu you're the girl who whispers through the wall
I'd build you a hammer with a thick head and long claws
-- Grant-Lee Phillips


madelinek


Mar 6, 2007, 12:19 PM

Post #313 of 1632 (9022 views)
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Re: [strangelet] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

don't worry, strangelet, it seems early to panic. not to be a stalker, but didn't you mention in an earlier post that you applied to montana? that's my top choice, so my ears perk up when someone posts about it.


strangelet


e-mail user

Mar 6, 2007, 12:31 PM

Post #314 of 1632 (8996 views)
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Re: [madelinek] Raining rejections! [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks... good luck to you too... no, I applied to Montana my first year b/c my adviser is from Montana, but not this year. altho apparently I applied to Purdue Florida State, an interesting school that even I've never heard of before ;)


Hallelu you're the girl who whispers through the wall
I'd build you a hammer with a thick head and long claws
-- Grant-Lee Phillips


thera


Mar 6, 2007, 1:31 PM

Post #315 of 1632 (8888 views)
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early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post

don't stress yet! well, or at least don't stress more than you already are. I have it on good authority that many programs are still reading manuscripts. Or at least reading poetry ones. so that's good. no news doesn't mean rejection, it could just mean one of the profs stole your writing because they love it so much... or that the school has a different timeline.


lculli18


Mar 6, 2007, 2:42 PM

Post #316 of 1632 (8798 views)
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Re: [thera] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh man-- I love your sentiment. I am one of the lonely writers apparently left out in the cold as I have heard NOTHING. Zip. Zilch. Nada. It's driving me FREAKING nuts! I've even resorted to using my lunch hour to zip home and check the mail every day. Nothing there yesterday and nothing today... well, nothing pertaining to MFA programs.

Perhaps my writing is so uninspiring that it doesn't even elicit any reaction at all... :(



In Reply To
don't stress yet! well, or at least don't stress more than you already are. I have it on good authority that many programs are still reading manuscripts. Or at least reading poetry ones. so that's good. no news doesn't mean rejection, it could just mean one of the profs stole your writing because they love it so much... or that the school has a different timeline.



strangelet


e-mail user

Mar 6, 2007, 3:13 PM

Post #317 of 1632 (8758 views)
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Re: [lculli18] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't feel bad. I just called a school b/c they emailed me and said they never rcv'd one of my recs. (Apparently something went wrong at my old school's post office and half my recs from one prof never went out on time.) But they said I could still send it in, there's still time apparently. So anyway I asked the guy, "Do you know if there's any decision on my application yet?" Of course he wouldn't really answer... just said that they won't send any notifications out til the end of the month (their deadline was feb. 15). So now I'm wondering if he really knows I was rejected and didn't tell me ;) LOL I just wish the schools would all switch to online accounts where you got notification. Enter your ID/pw, and find out as soon as the decision's been made. Because checking the mail sucks, I hate the letters, getting them is traumatic. I'd rather just have it be short and to the point-- transitioning to online makes more sense anyhow, as most places have online apps at this point. Also, it would be great to know that every school used the same method, so you didnt have to wonder about phone calls, letters, envelope size/thickness, blah blah blah. Anyone else think the same thing?


Hallelu you're the girl who whispers through the wall
I'd build you a hammer with a thick head and long claws
-- Grant-Lee Phillips


lbland818


Mar 6, 2007, 3:37 PM

Post #318 of 1632 (8713 views)
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Re: [strangelet] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post

I completely agree with you, strangelet. It was nice of that school to notify you that they hadn't received your letter of rec...I, on the other hand, have not been so lucky. I found out that the online service I used to send my letters didn't send them to Oregon, so I called them today and they basically told me it's too late and there is nothing they can do - they wont even touch my application without that letter, and won't let me overnight it. As you can imagine, I was less than pleased to find this out so late. Ugh.


jrosello
Jarod
e-mail user

Mar 6, 2007, 6:49 PM

Post #319 of 1632 (8591 views)
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After rejection... [In reply to] Can't Post

I am organizing a pilgrimage (in the spirit of The Razor's Edge) to Africa, open to anyone who does not get in to any MFA.

The truth is, I've already put my home up for sale and packed up my belongings (except the computer) and made up my mind that I'm leaving Miami. So MFA or not, I'm moving somewhere.


Moment of encouragement: "I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeaveors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."

- Henry David Thoreau




evadrednow


Mar 7, 2007, 11:22 PM

Post #320 of 1632 (8375 views)
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Re: [jrosello] After rejection... [In reply to] Can't Post

Whoever you are, you're fantastic. I'm moving, too. It doesn't matter whether or not I'm admitted anywhere (I have heard nothing yet)--this summer, I'm traveling through South America. And next year, I will live somewhere else.

Your spirit is inspiring, Jrosello! Move towards your dream!


strangelet


e-mail user

Mar 8, 2007, 11:18 AM

Post #321 of 1632 (8234 views)
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Re: [lbland818] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post

Yuck. I'm sorry. There's no consistency among schools as to how they process these things, so unfortunately the onus is on us to follow up a week or two after applying and confirm that all materials have been received. Applying to MFAs is all about being an administrative assistant to yourself ;) I say that in all seriousness. Getting the writing sample on their desk is 99% admin skills and followup (bo-ring!!!!).

How does Oracle (moi) know this? The same thing happened to me last year. At least they agreed to read my stories-- I mean I was very professional and very nice in all my correspondence with them, which definitely influenced them-- but they are also rumored to do rolling admissions so I think that I just got lucky.



In Reply To
I completely agree with you, strangelet. It was nice of that school to notify you that they hadn't received your letter of rec...I, on the other hand, have not been so lucky. I found out that the online service I used to send my letters didn't send them to Oregon, so I called them today and they basically told me it's too late and there is nothing they can do - they wont even touch my application without that letter, and won't let me overnight it. As you can imagine, I was less than pleased to find this out so late. Ugh.



Hallelu you're the girl who whispers through the wall
I'd build you a hammer with a thick head and long claws
-- Grant-Lee Phillips


(This post was edited by strangelet on Mar 8, 2007, 11:20 AM)


piratelizzy


Mar 9, 2007, 11:19 AM

Post #322 of 1632 (7982 views)
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Re: [strangelet] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post

Rejection from Syracuse last evening. Of my three "no" letters thus far, this one showed the most empathy. "I know this news disappoints you... This should in no way discourage you from pursuing your writing," it said.

And what do you suppose the following means?

"The committee members have to feel like they can work with a student to help their writing progress."

I am trying to decipher whether it's an outright "You stink!" or more of a "We prefer other styles/subject matter/something else."


'sup?!


Arkinese


Mar 9, 2007, 11:42 AM

Post #323 of 1632 (7941 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
"The committee members have to feel like they can work with a student to help their writing progress."

I....have no idea. I'm torn because you said the rest of the letter was really empathizing and so I'm thinking that, if it's in that vein, they just mean "we picked the students who we thought we could help progress the most" or "your work didn't need to progress as much as others' works...."

But it sure does seem to smack of "You seem like you'd be difficult..." Or, as a socially-inept friend once said: "You are kind of hard to live with..."


commanda
Amanda

Mar 9, 2007, 11:55 AM

Post #324 of 1632 (7921 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post

I get the feeling that for MFA faculty members reviewing applications is not only taking out the "good enough" measuring stick, but also somewhat of a curatorial process.


piratelizzy


Mar 9, 2007, 12:13 PM

Post #325 of 1632 (7887 views)
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Re: [commanda] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post

How do you mean curatorial, commanda?


Aside

I'm considering changing my name to Juana Updike. Or something. Anything. Ay, Chihuaha!


'sup?!


commanda
Amanda

Mar 9, 2007, 2:25 PM

Post #326 of 1632 (9666 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post

Curatorial, as in...faculty choosing writers based not only on the quality of their writing, but also what they (bot the faculty and the appplicants) are most magnetized to when it comes to the pursuit of writing. It makes more sense to send experimental writing to Brown than it does to Iowa, for instance. I imagine (and have heard as hearsay) that faculty members choose applciants based on the material they as teachers would most like to work with, support and nuture. So when one doesn't get chosen to be in a program, there might be some credence in the "please don't take this as a reflection on the quality of your writing" moments in rejection letters. It might simply be that a person's writing just isn't a good fit for a particular program.


(edited to make slightly more sense)


(This post was edited by commanda on Mar 9, 2007, 2:29 PM)


a2poet


Mar 9, 2007, 4:46 PM

Post #327 of 1632 (9575 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel your pain lizzy, ma'am. Just got back from a two day conference at Notre Dame where I heard Komanyaka read, only to find a rejection in my mailbox from Syracuse. At this point it's hard to gage who's going to think you're genius or full of shit. In any event, here's my scoreboard:

In at Indiana (with funding) and Kansas (not sure about funding but I wouldn't go there anyway).
Out at Michigan and Syracuse.

7 more schools to go :(


http://mwicker.blogspot.com/


stellalovers


Mar 12, 2007, 2:33 PM

Post #328 of 1632 (9348 views)
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Re: [a2poet] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post

two rejections today, from umass amherst and alabama. they were my top two, but i actually feel a litle relieved. getting used to the idea of emerson.


dunnkc


Mar 12, 2007, 5:13 PM

Post #329 of 1632 (9252 views)
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Re: [stellalovers] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post

Got my first response today - rejected by Hollins University in fiction. Very, very short letter. I'm a little sad, but still holding out hope for my other four schools. Houston, I'm still waiting for your call!


mrsriley72


Mar 12, 2007, 7:32 PM

Post #330 of 1632 (9177 views)
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its now late in the game. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It seems like everyone is "in" somewhere. Is that the case or are there a whole bunch of hangers on who have not yet heard a positive word? Say I am not the only one! I only applied to 3 MFA programs, got one "no" and still waiting on two schools, neither of which has sent out anything to anyone so far as I can tell.



Keegan


Mar 12, 2007, 7:49 PM

Post #331 of 1632 (9150 views)
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Re: [mrsriley72] its now late in the game. [In reply to] Can't Post

I've also not heard anything positive yet. I'm applying in poetry, and I've received an official no from Cornell and University of New Mexico, but haven't heard from anyone else (UNC-Wilmington, Houston, Indiana, Notre Dame, Minnesota and Florida). All of my schools have accepted at least one person so far, so I'm starting to plan for next year assuming I haven't been accepted anywhere. Whatever happens, I'm moving out of Kalamazoo. If anyone's applying to Western Michigan, I'm more than willing to answer questions (or just ramble at length) about the city.


Arkinese


Mar 12, 2007, 7:49 PM

Post #332 of 1632 (9149 views)
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Re: [mrsriley72] its in the middle of the game... Halftime, if you will [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in the same boat, MrsRiley. Five rejections, nothing from nine others. So that's why I say it's "halftime" -- it's not even the Ides of March and most schools say they notify in March, right? ....Right....?


mrsriley72


Mar 12, 2007, 8:32 PM

Post #333 of 1632 (9116 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] its in the middle of the game... Halftime, if you will [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm in the same boat, MrsRiley. Five rejections, nothing from nine others. So that's why I say it's "halftime" -- it's not even the Ides of March and most schools say they notify in March, right? ....Right....?



Ok, ok, so we should have a big halftime shebang. No wadrobe malfunctions, please!


papichulo


Mar 13, 2007, 6:30 AM

Post #334 of 1632 (8970 views)
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Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, it's halftime and the other team has just scored:

Michigan, Iowa, and JHU rejections have finally arrived in my mailbox!

I know someone already commented on the snotty tone of Michigan's: it's completely mean-spirited, implying that those who were rejected were definitely not part of a small group they found "exceptionally well prepared and compelling" (in other words: you are part of the masses who suck and we found your application about as exciting as an empty paper sack).

But what annoyed me more was that they couldn't be bothered to have a real person sign the rejection letter. They actually used scanned jpeg signatures where you could see the outline of the cut and pasted images...so tacky! At least for Iowa, LSC had the class to sign it herself (or thoughtfully instructed her assistant to do so; the mysterious LSC/jz at the bottom is the clue). I guess if Michigan doesn't find you well-prepared or compelling, you are surely not worth the 0.3 seconds it takes to autograph a rejection letter! Ouch!!!


Mainer


Mar 13, 2007, 7:52 AM

Post #335 of 1632 (8951 views)
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Re: [papichulo] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

Does it really matter what the rejection letter says, or how long it is, or whether the director signed it? Just be glad you actually received a letter and get over it. MFA programs have better things to do than artfully craft and sign rejection letters. It's easy to over-think every bit of minutiae in the process as we sit and wait on pins and needles, but I think dissecting letters for "clues" and critiquing and interpreting the language used is a bit much. The signature, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with your worth as a person or a writer. And to consider it an indication of how "rude" a program is seems a little silly to me.


EastCoastPoet


Mar 13, 2007, 10:45 AM

Post #336 of 1632 (8877 views)
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Re: [Mainer] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know, I'm sort of with "papichulo" on this one but only because for the roughly $100 it costs to apply to a school, the least they can do is send me a nice piece of paper with multitudes of ink and thought. It isn't like they have to do a personalized letter for each applicant, but to sign 500 pieces of paper might take 10 total minutes. For my $100 the professors rarely read any of it, they make up some half hearted rejection letter that doesn't really ease the blow, and then they have the secretary forge the signature. If I hadn't been accepted somewhere I'd have felt a lot more cheated by the whole process. Just my two $.02 (all the change I have left from the post office.)


Mainer


Mar 13, 2007, 11:53 AM

Post #337 of 1632 (8820 views)
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Re: [EastCoastPoet] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

My response is based, in large part, on my experience working as a student employee at an MFA program. The fact of the matter is that right now these programs have to focus on getting commitments from the applicants they accepted, not stroking the egos of those they rejected. They are doing this while also taking care of the day-to-day administrative work for current students and faculty. University programs are notoriously understaffed and underfunded. The application fees don't go to the MFA program, they go to the university, and they're used to pay the football coach's salary. There are issues of timeliness to consider, too. The director of a proram may not be in the office when the letters need to go out, so they're stamped or signed by a surrogate. Big deal.
As for "professors rarely read[ing] any of" your writing sample before making a decision, that's hogwash. If the writing sucks, they may only read a page, but in my experience working for a program, I was impressed by how thoughtful and detailed the process is. Each applicant was evaluated and a detailed explanation justifying the decision of the reader was articulated. Further, manuscripts and applications were judged not just as "accept" or "reject", but by gradation: "High accept", "accept", "marginal accept", etc. If there was a deviation in reader opinions, the entire application went to at least one more reader before the committee met to discuss the manuscripts that received any level of "accept" from any individual reader.

If it salves your bruised ego to think the process is callous and random, then cling to your conspiracy theory hypotheses, but I know from experience that the entire process is not treated lightly.

For the record, I was impressed that LSC signed every letter. The "clue" stated above as "proof" that her signature was forged is absurd. It merely shows that someone TYPED the letter on her behalf, not that the signature was forged.

Anybody with skin too thin to handle rejection during the MFA application process might want to consider another career path. This won't be the end of terse rejection letters if you plan to write for a living.


(This post was edited by Mainer on Mar 13, 2007, 11:55 AM)


gasolinefight


Mar 13, 2007, 12:03 PM

Post #338 of 1632 (8801 views)
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Re: [EastCoastPoet] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree too. I don't think the lack of signature on my Michigan rejection reflected my talent as writer (I almost didn't even apply there, but decided, "ah, what the hell" at that point in the process).

I just think the lack of actual signature was a little tasteless. I know these people are busy, but I don't even ask that they sign it themselves--just have someone put that little bit of effort into it. We took the time to apply to that program, to work with those people. And paid a lot of money to do so.

I guess it really doesn't matter. It just looks bad, the signatures are all jagged and of bad quality. Kind of like the signature on my college diploma.


papichulo


Mar 13, 2007, 12:16 PM

Post #339 of 1632 (8776 views)
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Re: [Mainer] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow. I'm not sure what I did to draw your ire or an attack about who I am as a writer or a person. You don't like my complaint about a rejection letter? That's a little silly, considering the topic of this thread.

My complaint about Michigan's letter has nothing to do with "thin skin" or ego. I've been in plenty of brutal writing workshops, grew up in an area most people are afraid to even drive through, etc. Since you don't even know anything about me, your personal attack is out of place and unnecessary.

I just have higher expectations about common courtesy and respect for others. If someone took the time and spent their hard-earned money to go through the application process, the least a program can do is treat someone with consideration and be tactful. It's just an appreciated social gesture, an acknowledgement of the humanity of others. I don't think there's anything wrong with having that sort of expectation, especially from a nationally-respected institution that is based on spreading enlightenment and nuturing the minds of others. I've worked in so-called "inner city" public education for years and completely understand "understaffed and underfunded" programs and employees. Yet that never caused me to excuse myself to behave caustically towards others.

My impression of this thread is that this was the appropriate place to vent about not getting in somewhere.

Which is what I was doing: venting about rejection letters from a place I didn't get into.

What's the big deal? Geez, Louise.


BlueVelveeta


Mar 13, 2007, 12:23 PM

Post #340 of 1632 (8757 views)
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Late bloomer [In reply to] Can't Post

I got a little nervous about my "applied" status on the UMass-Amherst web site and just got off the phone with admissions; the secretary said that she had not yet received a decision from the committee yet.

It's weird---Oregon is basically perfect for me, not only because of the funding but because Eugene appeals to me and allows me to stay on this side of the country. Still, most everyone in my life has told me to wait until I hear from all of the other programs. Which seems vaguely pointless, as I'm not expecting much; my acceptance at UO feels like something of a fluke considering that I've been roundly rejected everywhere else, whereas my fellow acceptees seem to have racked up some impressive offers.

I'm overthinking this, right?

Screw it, I'm going to go eat a cookie.


Mainer


Mar 13, 2007, 12:30 PM

Post #341 of 1632 (8744 views)
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Re: [papichulo] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

My intention was not to attack or make judgments about anybody as a person or a writer. That line was in direct response to the post that implied Michigan was making an assessment of applicants based on the terse letter sent to rejected applicants.

I merely felt that MFA programs, in general, have been unfairly characterized in this thread (and others) as faceless bureaucracies who gladly gobble up application fees. If I offended you in the process I apologize. My posts have never been written with ire or as personal attacks.

It's not a big deal to me. Venting is fine, but I thought my experiences working in a program might shed some light on the realities of the situation.

Again, I apologize for any offense resulting from my posts.


papichulo


Mar 13, 2007, 12:36 PM

Post #342 of 1632 (8730 views)
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Re: [Mainer] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

Understood, and thanks for your response.

Peace.


mrsriley72


Mar 13, 2007, 12:44 PM

Post #343 of 1632 (8719 views)
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Re: [papichulo] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Understood, and thanks for your response.

Peace.




Not for nothing but, first and foremost a University is a business.
And, as such, they have PR people and etc. Those who follow public trend and
present the face of the univeristy to the public. They also have staff to design websites, brochures and etc.
Why, not, then have one of these "experts" construct appropriate letters to potential future students (future donators!). It would seem time and money well spent.

instead, you have some hasitly constructed email from a secretary.

They are busy in this process and I guess that is to be expected.

I got one letter with a glaring typo/incorrectly spelled word.

Whatever. You cant take it personally-- ANY of it.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 13, 2007, 12:49 PM

Post #344 of 1632 (8706 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Late bloomer [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm with you Blue. On the one hand, I am beside myself that I got in somewhere, as it was looking pretty bleak. I'm in my 30s, I have yet to find a job related to my interests and I can scarcely afford another round of applications. It was bad enough this year.

On the one hand, I feel like the ugly girl who finally got asked to dance (oh, how telling this analogy is...), but on the other, I think the admissions gods can be wiser than we. I was so confused about what programs would be good for me, but then look what program I got into. Like you, I'm still holding out a final decision based on the other schools I'm waiting on and funding. It's not like I'm sitting on a bunch of acceptances, of course.

I'll be glad when this month is over!


wilmabluekitty
Wilma Weant Dague

Mar 13, 2007, 12:50 PM

Post #345 of 1632 (8704 views)
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Re: [a2poet] early in the game still [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Kansas (not sure about funding but I wouldn't go there anyway).


Hey! What's wrong with Kansas!

Actually, I know what you mean. I was going to apply, but when Rebecca Curtis left, I lost heart. And Kansas was my only viable option, I felt. Next year I'll apply to ten programs and drag my hubby and kids along if I get in.


Aubrie


Mar 13, 2007, 1:03 PM

Post #346 of 1632 (8676 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Late bloomer [In reply to] Can't Post

Blue - I know what you mean, too. This has been a rough process for me, after full rejection last year and a lot of rejection this year. I keep thinking that perhaps The New School sent me an acceptance letter by mistake. But then again, the more I look into the program, the more I become enamored with it, and I get that comfy "this is what was meant to be" feeling.

I will say this though - I feel like admissions were tough this year, more so than the past couple years that I've obsessively scoured the PW boards.
I'd like to think that says something about the increasing number of MFA applicants - and not the applicant pool here at PW. :)

Congrats again to everyone who's found a writing home, and I have my fingers crossed for those who are still waiting.

I too, will eat a cookie. And make some chili for the cold, grey day.


SweetJane


e-mail user

Mar 13, 2007, 1:21 PM

Post #347 of 1632 (8645 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Late bloomer [In reply to] Can't Post

Isn't it funny? I'm feeling the same way about University of Florida, which is my only full acceptance so far. Although I feel a little wounded at not getting in to some of the other programs I applied to, I also have a feeling that they wouldn't be too high on my list if I had gotten in! (Not that they're bad programs, of course, but honestly, all along I wasn't too confident that Iowa was really the place for me, anyway, for a variety of reasons). Maybe we're just patching up our egos through this kind of self-preservation, but I really do think that if the program is right for you, really right, it works out, anyhow.


In Reply To
Blue - I know what you mean, too. This has been a rough process for me, after full rejection last year and a lot of rejection this year. I keep thinking that perhaps The New School sent me an acceptance letter by mistake. But then again, the more I look into the program, the more I become enamored with it, and I get that comfy "this is what was meant to be" feeling.



SJ

"Oh, all the poets they studied rules of verse
and those ladies, they rolled their eyes"


jargreen

e-mail user

Mar 13, 2007, 2:07 PM

Post #348 of 1632 (8602 views)
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Re: [papichulo] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll add my two cents two hours too late. I've got to side with the folks who require a well crafted rejection letter and an actual signature penned by either the person who read my manuscript or the director of the program (and, thus, ambassador to the unaccepted).

As I look to applying next year, I'll remember the indelible impression these schools have made on me. Johns Hopkins apparently thought it unnecessary to let applicants know that the centerpiece of their program (Stephen Dixon, the most prolific American short story writer) would be leaving, and that they'd be accepting only two people this year. If I hadn't read it on Speakeasy, I wouldn't have known about it a month after I'd applied. My application to Michigan was a royal disaster, though I accept nearly all the responsibility. However, even before the troubles I'd helped to create for myself, I found their office people to be unresponsive, unhelpful, unfriendly. They also lost several of the materials I hand-delivered to the proper departments, which I found out by calling them to see when their decisions would be made. I never received responses to the pleasant, few, and hardly demanding emails I sent to Florida and Southern Illinois. It was harder than hell to get anyone at Florida on the phone, and when I finally spoke to that delicate peach, she was a real meanie. Finally, Washington University sent the most formulaic rejection letter I could ever imagine. I was embarrassed for them. It's as if they didn't have any good writers on campus to pen something halfway decent.

On the other hand, I had tremendously positive experiences with UMASS Amherst, Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, and Bowling Green State. COMPLETE CLASS ACTS. Sylvia Snape at Amherst, Mary McGowan at Bowling Green, and the kind lady who answers the phone at Illinois whose name I regretfully forget, are the type of program secretaries that sell a program nearly as effectively as location. To think they have to put up with all our demands, procrastination, desperate phone calls, and impending anger and disappointment, and they're still committed to answering every question with a smile and a friendly tone!! I would add to this list the importance of an informative, up-to-date, and attractive website and brochures, which has been discussed in-depth elsewhere on Speakeasy. But after I get my rejection letter and cry myself a river, it is the human touch that the program may (should) have had that leaves me thinking positively or negatively about that particular group of people in Ann Arbor, Amherst, and so on.

Now, I certainly don't believe that I can expect to encounter only civil and forthcoming institutions in the future. Lord knows I know from experience that they are rare. The whole idea of higher education used to be that you could be so esteemed that you could be rude and demanding of students (See: "The Paper Chase," dir. James Bridges, 1973). But there are some institutions that dedicate themselves to an honesty and competence that has raised the bar for the communication between young poets and storytellers and the giants with whom they wish to study.

The rejection letter is a final handshake before I hit the road. It's always good to have a firm handshake and to look 'em straight in the eye.


BlueVelveeta


Mar 13, 2007, 2:15 PM

Post #349 of 1632 (8586 views)
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Re: [SweetJane] Late bloomer [In reply to] Can't Post

Speak of the fu#@ing devil.

I just (as in precisely 2 minutes ago) got an e-mail from Davis McCombs in Arkansas, telling me that I'm very high on their very short waitlist. My life is sometimes like a really, really bad indie flick.


Lglabor


Mar 13, 2007, 3:01 PM

Post #350 of 1632 (8543 views)
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Re: [jargreen] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

Courtesy and kindness rank high with me too, in MFA programs and in life. As a university secretary at a graduate school program, though, let me add two tiny thoughts. One is about the personal signature. In my department, as at some of the top MFA programs, we have occasion once a year to send out about 1,000 letters that the administration does strongly suggest be signed in ink. The director, however, would not dream of spending about one full day -- and yes, that's about how long it takes, and by the way it results in much hand pain for a couple days thereafter -- signing letters. His name is signed, but by the clerical staff and/or student aides. This is just the way it is. And two, regarding how the secretaries treat callers: I'm sure this doesn't apply to anyone here at Speakeasy, but oh my what nasty, arrogant, elitist, supercilious calls we have to deal with all the time, students and admission applicants who are certain of their intellectual superiority and who know they're either richer or soon will be than the lowly secretary they can't stand having to talk to in the first place. In general I think most of us, despite all provocations, grit our teeth and stay calm and courteous. But it isn't always easy.


jaywalke


Mar 13, 2007, 3:03 PM

Post #351 of 1632 (9327 views)
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Re: [jargreen]Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'll add my two cents two hours too late.


What can I get for my thirteen cents and a handful of green lint?

I agree that a friendly response can make a lot of difference. If I don't get into the one close-to-home program to which I've applied, I'll be going the low-residency route. Despite the fact that a lot of the LR schools seem identical, Spalding already has taken the lead in my mind simply because of their helpful office staff. It's nice to believe (whether or not it's true) that the ivory tower cares.

That said, let me play devil's advocate for a minute. Let's say you're Michigan or Johns Hopkins or any other sought-after program. What's in in for you to make the application process easier/friendlier? If you already get scads of applications for a few spots, and you can find within those scads enough good students, why open the gates even further? Why would you want more applications?

I can tell you that your application fee, although large to you, is a drop in the bucket to a place with a $5 billion dollar endowment (UM). Also, I've done enough CBAs on similar processes to know that it doesn't even come close to covering the administrative costs of processing an application. Let's not even talk about the faculty's time, since everyone seems to think that's free. The fee is mostly there to see if you are serious.

It is entirely possible that some of the hoops are there for the same reason. I am not saying that they are maliciously throwing roadblocks in your way, but there is just no good reason to remove any either. If you want in badly enough, you'll jump. If not, someone else will.

Until the supply and demand model changes, I doubt that these application process will either.


Arkinese


Mar 13, 2007, 3:45 PM

Post #352 of 1632 (9289 views)
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Re: [papichulo] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I know someone already commented on the snotty tone of Michigan's: it's completely mean-spirited, implying that those who were rejected were definitely not part of a small group they found "exceptionally well prepared and compelling"

As jargreen said: two cents and two hours too late... I'm one of the ones who commented about Michigan's tone and out of the five rejections I've received, I do still think that letter had the worst vibe about it while the majority of the others had a "Pat-Sajak-on-'Wheel-of-Fortune'" conciliatory tone. However, I'd already rejected Michigan in my mind for various reasons and by January 1st, I was actually sorry I'd bothered applying there. Then I got the letter two months later and that sealed the deal. GO Buckeyes! :)

And, yeah, when we get rejected, it's disappointing and even hurtful to have someone see us as just a computer-generated piece of paper that they didn't want. A kind and helpful secretary/assistant/department office in general can be an awesome sparkling side effect even if it ultimately ends in rejection (the UIUC lady, as someone pointed out, was wonderful!). But I also agree with those who have spoken up from the working side of the English/MFA programs about trying to deal with the hundreds and sometimes thousands of applications/phone calls/emails, etc. and still remain positive to everyone all the time. Overall, it's a maddening process for everyone and, like a sixth-grade slumber party, more than one person always ends up with hurt feelings (that would be me with Arizona!).

But the ultimate reason for this post was to relay the little anecdote my mom told me when I complained about the Michigan letter. Back in 1971, she got her Bachelor's in education at Washington State and then she and my dad moved to the Seattle area. So my mom called UW about applying for the Master's program. After making her wait in the office for an hour past her appointment time, Mom got into the meeting and told the director she was interested in applying. The director looked at her and said: "Well, what makes you think we want you?"

Michigan's paper rejection paled in comparison....


jargreen

e-mail user

Mar 13, 2007, 4:38 PM

Post #353 of 1632 (9241 views)
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Re: [jaywalke] Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

Jaywalke--

One of my favorite professors, Crystal Wilkinson, got her MFA from Spalding. She speaks extraordinarily highly of it.

Your feeling welcome at Spalding by their office staff is a perfect illustration for why all MFA programs should make an effort to treat stellar applicants with respect. "If you respect them, they will come." Forgetting my rejection from Michigan and my impending rejection from Florida, I have acquired an unpleasant taste in my mouth when thinking of how they treated me. Even if I were accepted, I could imagine having the distinct feeling that I didn't belong there. You do have a point though, that Michigan, Hopkins, Iowa, Columbia, etc., already get a gajillion applications, so why would they want the word to get out that applicants are treated warmly? I guess I don't mind so much if the process is rather sterile ... but there were moments when my impression of Michigan and others was colored entirely by hostility and hassles.

I'm going to take this moment to exorcise some demons.

To the MFA programs with whom I've been thoroughly unimpressed--

After I've been courting you for several months, and we've been winking across the table (though I realize now that I may have imagined this), to send me a boring, formulaic rejection letter that is not signed by either the director of the program or the faculty member who read my manuscript is PURE LAZINESS and POOR BUSINESS PRACTICES. It leaves me cold, baby.

(Sorry to shout, and to sort of mix metaphors there.)


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 13, 2007, 5:30 PM

Post #354 of 1632 (9188 views)
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Re: [Lglabor] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

LG, here here! I have worked as an admin for years and I try to keep that in mind when I make calls, especially if I've made some snafu and need help days before the deadline. I know I'm not the only loser who procrastinated, so why be a jerk about it, too?


easter


Mar 13, 2007, 6:48 PM

Post #355 of 1632 (9103 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Late bloomer [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I got a little nervous about my "applied" status on the UMass-Amherst web site and just got off the phone with admissions; the secretary said that she had not yet received a decision from the committee yet.

It's weird---Oregon is basically perfect for me, not only because of the funding but because Eugene appeals to me and allows me to stay on this side of the country. Still, most everyone in my life has told me to wait until I hear from all of the other programs. Which seems vaguely pointless, as I'm not expecting much; my acceptance at UO feels like something of a fluke considering that I've been roundly rejected everywhere else, whereas my fellow acceptees seem to have racked up some impressive offers.

I'm overthinking this, right?

Screw it, I'm going to go eat a cookie.
____________________________________________________________________________________________
I'm concerned about my "Applied" status as well.... I'm expecting the worst. It does say that the status won't change for 21 days so applicants can be first notified via post... great.. another letter lacking luster, a luster-lacking letter or something. I'm all for the cheapest notification - say it in one word online. Accepted. Rejected. Waitlisted... or better yet, Yes. No. Umm.

I wouldn't worry about UO or anywhere else... everywhere is different.

Can i have one of those cookies?


BlueVelveeta


Mar 13, 2007, 7:00 PM

Post #356 of 1632 (9089 views)
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Re: [easter] Late bloomer [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, easter---the Arkansas waitlisting helped. I was honestly convinced that Oregon had put my name on someone else's application and thought they were admitting that person. But I am at times deeply psychotic, so.

As for UMass, according to the department secretary, if your status says "applied," it means that no decision has been made yet. I presume she speaks the truth, since several people have reported being told of rejections and acceptances via calls to the admissions office. I have a theory: I decided I'd never get in anyway and didn't submit the T.A. application, and suspect they reviewed T.A. applicants first (to figure out who would get what), and non-T.A. applicants last. Anyway.

Cookies for everyone!


easter


Mar 13, 2007, 7:12 PM

Post #357 of 1632 (9070 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Late bloomer [In reply to] Can't Post

i know other programs admit applicants first and foremost, then review their TA applications... I'm hoping UMass did the same, mainly because I didn't submit a TA app for them. Then again, the UMass paper application said that accepted students who didn't submit TA apps at the time of their admission, may apply for a TA during their first year, for their second and third years in the program.

UMass sent me LOTS of information - I really wonder why.


ouibet9


Mar 13, 2007, 7:43 PM

Post #358 of 1632 (9037 views)
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Why Do I Feel Like The Hand of Doom is Waving at Me While It Eats The Last of My Cookies? [In reply to] Can't Post

Scene One: Cornell Rejected letter. Not too sad, after all, it's cold there. Resume humming a merry tune. Also, they win for the best rejection letter of the bunch. I honestly felt like I'd been hugged by an old friend right before we had to say goodbye for ten years.
Scene Two: The Whammy Day. Hopkins, Iowa. Thumbs down. Michigan, everyone's devil, decided to waitlist me, but I get the sense I'm at the bottom of the pile, and frankly, I hate their rejection letter by proxy.
Scene Three: Michener, Texas, I'm sorry, completely wins for the worst rejection. Online. It was like in a movie where they stamp DENIED on some poor sap's job application, telling them they're unfit to feed chickens, or something. There are a large handful of people who still don't even know from that school, and I know they've emailed everyone who needs to know.
Scene Four: NYU today proceeded to call everyone in the vicinity but me.

I have three schools left, and I'm not hoping for anything, really, cos they're still in the long shot category, as far as I can tell. I know people apply more than one year, I mean, I know it's done, but how often is it done? and is there anyone else who can attest that it's worth it two years in a row?


One Sad Cookieless Monkey,

Lis


Arkinese


Mar 13, 2007, 8:05 PM

Post #359 of 1632 (9013 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Late bloomer [In reply to] Can't Post

Mail I Received Today:
1. You May Already Be a Winner in the Publishers Clearing House!
2. No, Really! Here's Another Letter to Try to Fool You!

So 5 rejections, nothing else. Don't count yourself out yet, Lis! As someone on here wisely said, "If you don't have a rejection in your hand, you're still in the game."

I'm having myself a fricking Girl Scout cookie. Or two...


whiskeytown



Mar 13, 2007, 8:28 PM

Post #360 of 1632 (8989 views)
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Re: [lishamilton] Why Do I Feel Like The Hand of Doom is Waving at Me While It Eats The Last of My Cookies? [In reply to] Can't Post

Lis,

Is it worth it to reapply after a wave of rejections? Absolutely. Last year I didn't go about the whole thing very intelligently. I applied to just 5 schools--all in the mid-atlantic/southeast--, got into 2, but neither could offer good funding. So this year I applied to 9 and so far have gotten into Oregon, Wisconsin, and Maryland (all funded), been waitlisted at Michigan and Minnesota, and rejected from Cornell. What did I do in the time between? Mostly wrote poems and got one published, taught composition at a small college nearby, applied to almost twice as many programs, and knew that it was a craps shoot again. Believe in your work and know that you certainly don't need an MFA to write. Good luck with those last few schools. Here's one less person on that devil of a Michigan waitlist.

Ryan


bastedos


Mar 13, 2007, 9:51 PM

Post #361 of 1632 (8922 views)
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Another rejection [In reply to] Can't Post

Received a letter in the mail today from UMass with a rejection. But yesterday I received an email that I am having a story published in a lit. magazine. The email actually was tagged as junk and thrown away, so I am glad I checked the trash bin.


waiting


Mar 14, 2007, 12:46 AM

Post #362 of 1632 (8839 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Late bloomer [In reply to] Can't Post

If it feels right and is a good fit, then there must be some reason. My attitude with all of this is that what is meant to happen will happen- maybe Oregon was just meant to happen for you. I'd say go for it if you feel like that is where you belong- you are the one in the program, not your friends and family.


commanda
Amanda

Mar 14, 2007, 8:50 AM

Post #363 of 1632 (8750 views)
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Re: [BlueVelveeta] Late bloomer [In reply to] Can't Post

RE: Umass...

Just to let y'all in "applied" status know, my status changed to "pending" a few days before I got the rejection letter. So if it's still "applied," then that may or may not mean something...


eesa


Mar 14, 2007, 9:42 AM

Post #364 of 1632 (8728 views)
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Re: [lishamilton] Why Do I Feel Like The Hand of Doom is Waving at Me While It Eats The Last of My Cookies? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, I'm pretty confused about the Michener thing. I haven't heard a thing and the website tells me nothing. I guess I'm in very good company.

My status, so far, cause all the kids are doin' it-- and I'm fiction by the way--

IN: Mason, U. Washington (Seattle)
NO: Cornell, Hopkins, Syracuse
I DON'T KNOW: Virginia, Irvine, NYU, Florida, Texas

Anyway, my question is, and I'm sorry if I'd know this if I paid better attention but I'm lost in this forum, I know four out of five of those who haven't contacted me have sent out acceptances, and I know Texas sent out waitlist and rejection notifications but not to everything, but what about the rest? Any rejections?

I'm getting antsy to know where I stand by the time I need to make a decision. Which is fast approaching.


(This post was edited by eesa on Mar 14, 2007, 9:47 AM)


piratelizzy


Mar 14, 2007, 11:05 AM

Post #365 of 1632 (8679 views)
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Program Admin Assistants [In reply to] Can't Post

Teresa Abney, at Indiana, is extraordinarily cool and great at her job. I'd rank her at the top, in my experience communicating with programs this year. Always prompt, always friendly, and very together.

The least heartwarming of the bunch for me were the people at Michener and at U of F. Cold-fish, one-line replies were the norm with those.

By the way, I'm in at FSU and feeling absolutely pleased as Puck. I need to call Mark Winegardner back, so trying to get my head together.


'sup?!


amday8


Mar 14, 2007, 2:18 PM

Post #366 of 1632 (8562 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Program Admin Assistants [In reply to] Can't Post

Props to Lisa Bertini at UNCW...she was very nice even when there was confusion over a missing transcript that they didn't need anyway...always responded within 24 hours to all emails. No reponse from U of F when I had to call them.


In Reply To
Teresa Abney, at Indiana, is extraordinarily cool and great at her job. I'd rank her at the top, in my experience communicating with programs this year. Always prompt, always friendly, and very together.

The least heartwarming of the bunch for me were the people at Michener and at U of F. Cold-fish, one-line replies were the norm with those.

By the way, I'm in at FSU and feeling absolutely pleased as Puck. I need to call Mark Winegardner back, so trying to get my head together.



mp213
Maryam Piracha

Mar 14, 2007, 2:24 PM

Post #367 of 1632 (8547 views)
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Re: [Arkinese] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know. My pre-application and post-application process with U of M has been very good. I was in communication with Peter Davies who was kind enough to answer each and ever question I posed with detailed answers. Sure, it hurt when I got rejected, but I'm not taking offense with the fact that the signatures were jpegs - hell! I didn't even notice it and this was a program I was very interested in.

I personally found the phrase "exceptionally well prepared and compelling" interesting, especially in regards to "well prepared". It wasn't a standard run of the mill rejection letter I was expecting.

Although I was rejected, I don't regret my application and will be re-applying this year for next fall, along with a bunch of other schools.




green sneakers

e-mail user

Mar 14, 2007, 2:27 PM

Post #368 of 1632 (8544 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Program Admin Assistants [In reply to] Can't Post

Ditto on Teresa at IU, and Sylvia at UMASS. Terri at Syracuse was my favorite, though. She was quick, friendly, and more informative than any online status-check thang I used. I think I even miss her.


traveler474


Mar 14, 2007, 3:41 PM

Post #369 of 1632 (8468 views)
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Re: [green sneakers] Program Admin Assistants [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, I'm posting this in both threads (I'm in & damn I didn't get in..) Hopefully I can compile the results and be somewhat useful..


For those of us still waiting to hear, how soon (as in estimated weeks from initial deadline) did you hear from your schools?

(anxiously staring at the wall...)

thanks!


bighark


Mar 14, 2007, 3:56 PM

Post #370 of 1632 (8440 views)
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Re: [traveler474] Program Admin Assistants [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Traveler, welcome to the forum. In the future, please don't double post again. This is an active board, so you don't really need to worry about someone getting to your post.

So when do you hear from schools?

Generally, it's the last two weeks of February and first two weeks of March. Generally, the schools with the earlier deadlines (December 15 through January 1) will notify first. Generally, the schools with the later deadlines (January 15 through February 1) will notify later.

Of course, stuff happens, so the general rules don't always apply.

In any case, I think you'll find the following a useful resource: http://sethabramson.blogspot.com/2007/02/2007-creative-writing-mfa-rankings.html

This blog, run by Seth Abrahamson (umass on this site), details the notification dates from last year and as well as those from this year.

Another useful admissions tracking site is this one: http://mfaincreativewriting.blogspot.com/index.html. This blog tracks notifications as well.

Good luck to you.


traveler474


Mar 14, 2007, 4:03 PM

Post #371 of 1632 (8431 views)
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Re: [bighark] Program Admin Assistants [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry for the double post, I'll avoid it in the future - I just didn't know which one to post in.

Thank you very much for the information, generous and more than expected.


medusashair


Mar 14, 2007, 4:21 PM

Post #372 of 1632 (8402 views)
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Re: [papichulo] Michigan Gets the Rudest Rejection Award [In reply to] Can't Post

Re rudest rejection-- I think I win... last year I got a smudged mimeographed (yes, I say mimeographed bc it felt like a carbon) sheet from UNLV, "Dear applicant." No name, etc, and it was replete with misspells. (and I believe the app fee was 70 bucks)

And listen, y'all, I got into a fairly prestigious place (I'm not there any more...long story.... you can pm me) and I can tell you from the caliber of workshop writing there that I don't know what the F this place was basing their acceptances on. So, it ain't the quality. Keep on believing in yourself!


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 14, 2007, 5:25 PM

Post #373 of 1632 (8336 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Program Admin Assistants [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats Lizzy!

I forget the name of the assistant at UNCG at the moment, but she called me when the university was closed for snow and she just happened to read my email, so I was able to make the 2/15 TA deadline. I'd planned to apply around 2/15-20, luckily checked a day early, only to discover their site had been built and had that deadline.

Mathew at Cal Arts has been helpful and responsive as well.


(This post was edited by tenderloner on Mar 15, 2007, 1:02 AM)


stellalovers


Mar 16, 2007, 4:28 PM

Post #374 of 1632 (8061 views)
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montana reject [In reply to] Can't Post

i emailed montana and the assistant emailed back with news of my rejection. so now i'm: one acceptance, two waitlists, and four rejections. i'm starting to feel lame and something else too ... embarrassed? oh well. at least i'm in somewhere.


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 16, 2007, 5:33 PM

Post #375 of 1632 (8002 views)
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Re: [stellalovers] montana reject [In reply to] Can't Post

You're 2 waitlists ahead of me, Stella. I didn't hear a peep this week. In fact, I didn't even have mail Tuesday, Thursday or today. It's official, no one loves me!

I have one admission (whew!), 4 rejections, 3 presumed rejections (NYU, Brown, Hunter) and then it comes down to the rolling nature of UNCG admissions and, finally, Irvine.


piratelizzy


Mar 16, 2007, 5:38 PM

Post #376 of 1632 (9375 views)
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Re: [tenderloner] montana reject [In reply to] Can't Post

Brown has news on their front CW page. They say everyone's been notified that was accepted or waitlisted.


'sup?!

(This post was edited by piratelizzy on Mar 16, 2007, 5:43 PM)


tenderloner
Geary'n Hyde

Mar 16, 2007, 6:06 PM

Post #377 of 1632 (9337 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] montana reject [In reply to] Can't Post