Nov 10, 2009, 8:37 PM
Post #595 of 1018
I really like the University of Alabama (and they're my alma mater's biggest rival, so that's saying a lot). It is well funded, open to experimental writing, and well-respected. They respond quickly to applications - late January for poetry - and apparently handle the application process cordially and with professionally. Tuscaloosa is a smallish town, and is not as nice as other Alabama college towns like Auburn, but it's a 45 drive into Birmingham, which I personally think is a very nice Southern city. It does have it's issues though, for sure. The weather's great, snow maybe once a year, distinct seasons, hot humid summers that are relatively short. It's a three hour drive to the beach and a four hour drive to the mountains. It's pretty hilly/mountainy too compared to other parts of the state.
Re: [lindsaay] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) & (2010)
[In reply to]
One downside to the program is that it is very intensive and difficult to finish in three years. It requires a lot of lit classes, at least from what I've heard, and I think the teaching load is rough. I like taking lit classes though, although the heavy teaching load is not exciting.
Also, if you're not from the South, it might be a challenge, especially at a school like Alabama, which is as Old South as it gets! Them and Ole Miss. Southern Belles and Bama Bangs. The hipocracy and corruption, the good ole' boy crap, the sexism and the racism can be overwhelming at times, so can the obsession with Christianity. My mom lives in Alabama and her boss uses the N word, especially when talking about Obama, and I knew someone in college that was told by their boss not to hire too many black people because "they didn't look like the clientele of the business." I got in an argument with a frat brother about how women should be allowed to divorce an abusive husband, regardless of whether "God didn't intend for women to lead." Apparently, the "sexual revolution is over." Yeah, I couldn't make this stuff up. I don't know what graduate school is like though, that's just my experience at Auburn, a public school in Alabama. *By the way, Auburn is way more progressive than Alabama*
That being said, living in the South has completely changed my writing. I find the place fascinating and disgusting at the same time and I want to write about the people I come across. The South is also developing and progressing, although very slowly, and it's interesting to see the conflict between old and new South. It's like a Flannery O'Connor story! There are also a ton of wonderful people in the South that will welcome you with open arms. And people know how to slow down and live life, which is nice.
Just food for thought!