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rrc2
Rhonda Cutler

Jul 28, 2000, 3:01 AM

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Just to correct David Harris' posting. To be precise, tuition at
Goddard is $4,912 per semester! The residency is also only 8 days so
if the amount of time away as translated into childcare expense is an
issue, this might be worth considering. Just returned to Australia
from the July residency. The faculty is extremely strong. There is
been some turnover, but the new faculty is incredible, talented and
extremely committed. The student body is impressive as well. I know
Goddard has the reputation for being a very gay school and it is and I
realize that turns some people off, but it shouldn't. It is also an
extremely tolerant place and for a middle-aged straight woman who left
her 20 plus year career in banking to pursue her real love, it's a
very comfortable place for me. The student body is in fact incredibly
diverse, gay, straight, all ages and from a staggering variety of
backgrounds. It's a place to form real friendships. As for the 8 day
residency, it seemed more than enough to me. The real semester is the
one that begins when you're back home, faced with your computer or
your sheet of paper. I suspect all the low residency programs cost
about the same. There is no student aid at Goddard that I am aware of,
except a modest travel stipend for out of state students. However, I
believe some sort of fellowship is in the works, but I could be wrong.
Rhonda


pongo
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Jul 28, 2000, 10:22 AM

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Rhonda, I may well have misremembered the tuition. But for U.S.
residents there is a loan program, and the state of Vermont gives a
grant of about a hundred bucks to everyone. Vermont also gives
discounts on a student loan over the life of the loan, something like
1% a year. Incidentally, I was there for the July residency, with the
Clockhouse Writers' Conference, and I think there was at least one
other Speakeasy person among the incoming students. dmh


islander
Tamara Kaye Sellman

Jul 28, 2000, 1:32 PM

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Thanks, everyone. This has been enlightening. Goddard does sound like
a good place, and an 8 day residency would definitely make the trip a
little less burdensome. And you're right, the real work begins when
you land back on home turf, eh? As far as it being a "gay" college,
all the more reason to go, IMHO. Tolerance is a very good thing
indeed. Anybody give on what average room and board might run per
semester? (Mostly room, I can feed myself on practically nothing)
Would you stay in student dorms, etc.? Tamara


pongo
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Jul 28, 2000, 2:15 PM

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At Goddard you do stay in the dorms, and you eat in the cafeteria.
These charges are built into your fees for the term, as best I recall.
But for the Clockhouse (an alumni conference that overlaps the summer
residency) I paid about $220 for five days and nights. If I'd taken a
double room rather than a single, it would have been less. (And
students only rarely get single rooms. The place is close to capacity
at the summer residency.) dmh


rebliv
Rebecca Livingston

Jul 28, 2000, 4:32 PM

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The room and board costs are also part of your tuition at Bennington.
Everyone get's their own dorm room and shares a bathroom on the same
hall (with 3-5 other people). Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served
in the cafeteria. Just like your undergraduate days. (I think most low
residency programs include room and board in their tution, although
I'm not sure about Antioch because they don't have a regular campus in
LA and I heard the students there stay in hotels). For the last
residency (when you're graduating and not paying tuition) the cost is
around $500 which is taken straight from your deposit you pay when you
enter the program. Reb


pongo
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Jul 28, 2000, 6:14 PM

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For those considering Goddard, a residency there ought to include at
least one off-campus breakfast. In downtown Plainfield (walking
distance from campus) there's a restaurant called riverrun (or maybe
Riverrun), which the NY Times said was one of the five best places in
Vermont for pancakes. Their other food is good, too, and they make
their own hot sauce. dmh


islander
Tamara Kaye Sellman

Jul 29, 2000, 11:46 AM

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David, you sold me on Goddard. Food talk always lures me... ;)
Seriously, this is good information. I'm thinking about the residency
in a couple of years, when my kids are a bit older and money opens up
for us. In all honesty, I am such a northerner than a trip to Vermont
will always have more appeal to me than one to LA. And it sounds like
there isn't much more to pay for beyond tuition, air fare and, of
course, child care. Except for books, but I always have a budget for
books. I do feel, too, that I made the mistake of not being as
selective about colleges as an undergraduate--in part because I didn't
have the money to afford the dream of Northwestern, say--and now I
think that, as long as I can afford it, I should really attempt to get
into the best school I can afford. Bennington and Goddard are both
quite reputable and more affordable (to me at this stage of my life
anyway) than I had expected. A pleasant surprise. Warren Wilson--where
is this college located? And are there others besides these three (and
Antioch) that I am missing? May as well survey the whole field. Thanks
very much for everyone's help. It's much easier to come here and ask
than it is to do all the research on my own, trust me! My gratitude to
those who share their recommendations and research. Tamara


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Jul 29, 2000, 2:16 PM

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Warren Wilson (which used to be the Goddard program, but it moved and
Goddard started another one) is in North Carolina. Southampton College
is on Long Island. Bard College (I think you spend the whole summer
there, and the rest of the year at home) is in the Hudson Valley. I
bet you could get some information at the AWP site. At the very least
they have a list of the members, with links to web sites. dmh


islander
Tamara Kaye Sellman

Jul 30, 2000, 11:18 AM

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Thanks, David. I've checked AWP but it's going to take some digging.
Tamara


islander
Tamara Kaye Sellman

Jul 30, 2000, 11:20 AM

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Now, about Vermont. This is going to irritate you guys, my ignorance,
but how many colleges with low-res are there in VT? It seems to me
there are three, but I could be mistaken: Bennington College of
Vermont Goddard I hear colleges referred to in different ways, just
making sure. This will be my last stupid question, promise. Tamara


pongo
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Jul 30, 2000, 1:47 PM

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It's called Vermont College, but otherwise as far as I know you've got
the three right. And I have seen some stupid questions around here,
but yours haven't been among them. (Another food digression. Vermont
College is in Montpelier, and Goddard is about ten miles away. NECI --
the New England Culinary Institute -- also has a campus in Montpelier,
and it runs a couple of restaurants there. I've only had the brunch,
but it was pretty damned good.) dmh


rrc2
Rhonda Cutler

Jul 30, 2000, 5:20 PM

Post #487 of 2652 (16509 views)
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The New England Culinary Institute also caters the meals at Goddard,
which are surprisingly good and plentiful, particularly (and
unfortunately) the desserts. The residency is really an extraordinary
experience - while the work really begins at home - the residency
binds you to the program and bonds you to one another - and in a very
strong way. Your fellow students really do become close friends. For
years, when I thought I would be returning to the US, I thought only
of full time writing programs, but I am happy things turned out the
way they did. I feel comfortable in this sort of program, because of
its diversity. The number of previous or current professions is
amazing, from doctors to farm hands, and yet the talent and passion
for writing is shared by all. I also do not want to waste precious
writing time attending class several times a week. David, I wish I had
known you were at the Clockhouse, and I would have loved to have met.
If you are planning on returning please let me know. Just to confirm,
at Goddard, room and board are included in your tuition. Rhonda


islander
Tamara Kaye Sellman

Jul 31, 2000, 10:42 AM

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David, See, now you make me want to get that culinary degree I wanted
back when I was a cookbook editor. Sigh. Rhonda, thanks for your
thumbs up on Goddard as well. Many people speak of Bennington as being
the best, but you really describe Goddard as the college that would
suit me best. I love the idea (truly) that I might be taking classes
with farm hands (!). I guess I have only one question (and even I
don't think this is a dumb one)--is it fairly competitive getting into
low-res programs? I understand there is the application process--a
show of work, letter of rec, resume of credits etc.--but are these
programs popular enough that I might have to apply for several years
to get in, as I've heard of full-time university programs? Tamara


pongo
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Jul 31, 2000, 12:19 PM

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I am not a big fan of Chef Jorge, the current chef at Goddard, but I
suspect his term may be running out. His predecessor, Chef Rick, was
around for two years, and Jorge has now been there for two years also.
dmh


rebliv
Rebecca Livingston

Jul 31, 2000, 12:57 PM

Post #490 of 2652 (16509 views)
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Tamara, It's getting more competitive to get into low-residency
programs each year. One reason is because some of them are rather new
(less than 10 years old) and people are just beginning to hear about
them. Even the ones that have existed a little longer get more
attention when new ones pop up. Last semsester Bennington received a
very high number of applications (many more than they were expecting).
BTW, I wish I could, but I can't brag about the food at Bennington.
Some residencies are better than others. :) Reb


champa
Champa Bilwakesh

Jul 31, 2000, 1:55 PM

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Hi Tamara I don't know exactly how competitive these programs are but
I do know the people I met at the residency at WW are extremely
talented. The work of the graduating students who gave a reading and
also teach a class was impressive. But don't let any thought about
this hold you back, just send in your application, write from your
heart why you want to write, submit your best work. WW also required a
lit. crit sort of an essay on a book. WW is heavily into annotations
so if you are considering WW, bear this in mind. I think Vermont
College also is catered by the Cullinary Institute, at least when I
went for the open house the meals then were. It was pretty good I
thought. Champa


islander
Tamara Kaye Sellman

Jul 31, 2000, 7:01 PM

Post #492 of 2652 (16509 views)
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Okay, now you've appealed to my afternoon calorie-crash... It has
nothing to do with anything, Champa, but you have a most poetic name.
Well, the low-res program for me is a two-years-down-the-road goal, so
I think I will just start sending away for all the appropriate
materials and start the ol' file. I hope it doesn't get much more
competitive by then, or that I get some more good publishing credits
by then. Rejections from journals already wear on the morale, more
from academic institutions would be even worse! Many thanks to all of
you, I shall lurk in this topic in the meantime. Now I am off to have
a snack, thankyouverymuch... Tamara


samh
Sam Howie

Aug 1, 2000, 10:15 PM

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Yes, Champa, you're right. The Culinary Institute does cater at
Vermont College. The food is good and the student servers are
enthusiastic about their jobs.


rrc2
Rhonda Cutler

Aug 2, 2000, 6:40 PM

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Tamara, re how difficult it is to get into these programs, when you
are ready to apply, call the admissions office and ask what percentage
of applicants get in, they will tell you.But then if the program
appeals to you, apply anyway. For it really is hard to say what
criteria the admissions committees use. The whole thing is rather
subjective. At Goddard, there are people who have published several
books already and comparative neophytes like myself. The programs are
becoming more competitive as the appeal of the low residency concept
grows. But don't let that discourage you. As they say, nothing
ventured, nothing gained. Another very important point is - and it is
the most important (I believe anyway) so take note - what matters most
is not the prestige of the program, so much as whether it has
committed, enthusiastic advisors who are experienced working with
writing students. For the truth is, what ultimately will matter, is
how that relationship between you and the advisor goes - not whether
you're at Bennington or Antioch or anything. Remember, the work really
happens at your own desk. And the quality of the advisor is not
necessarily correlated with how widely known they're work is. The best
advisors are those who are passionate about working with students and
the only way to find that out is to link up with low-res students and
get their view on the faculty. Hope this helps. Rhonda


dansaffer
Dan Saffer

Oct 19, 2000, 3:39 PM

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Has this thread died, or can it be revived? I hope the latter is true,
cause I'm very interested in low-res programs starting next summer.
From reading these posts, looks like I've narrowed my selections down
to WW, VC, and Bennington. Anyone in these programs now or starting
them up soon?


lynda

e-mail user

Oct 19, 2000, 7:31 PM

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Dan, I'm going to start at Warren Wilson College in January. I was
admitted to the July residency/term, but I had to defer to January for
personal and financial reasons. Drop me a line if you have any
questions, though I'll check back here again. Lynda (there are quite a
few "Lyndas" on the message boards, so watch out which one you're
chatting with on what post!)


lynda

e-mail user

Oct 19, 2000, 7:42 PM

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Champa and Robert, How about coming back to this posting and telling
us how you like the program at Warren Wilson College? (I'm dying to
hear what you have to say, especially since I will soon embark on the
same adventure in January.) Now only could you better prepare me for
my first residency there, but you could help Dan (above) with his
questions. Lynda


robt
Robert Thomas

Oct 19, 2000, 8:25 PM

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Im in the middle of my second semester at WW, and overall I love it.
My impression is that most students are equally enthusiastic, but that
is not to say that no one has complaints. If someone has decided they
want to do an MFA program, particularly a low-res program, I think
its a great choice. Of course thats a big if. I know everyone has to
decide for themselves whether theyd rather use the money just to buy
themselves some time to go off and write, and forget the MFA. But my
supervisors both semesters have been great. Ive gotten far more
personal attention than I ever got in school before, and the criticism
of my work has been both insightful and open-minded, which is not to
say I always agree with it. I dont feel the academic side of the
program has been overly burdensome, though there is some intensive
reading involved as well as writing, but I think even people (like me)
skeptical of MFA programs would usually agree that the one way to
learn how to write better, other than just doing it, is through
reading good writing. I dont want to start the old MFA argument,
though. Of course you dont need an MFA to be a good writer. I just
felt a desire for some intensive feedback on my work. I have probably
failed to answer any of your questions, so feel free to email me.


champa
Champa Bilwakesh

Oct 19, 2000, 9:18 PM

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Hi Lynda, Hi Dan, Lynda, hope to see you there in Jan. I had started
on a novel when I started WW and I am very glad I had this focus -
work on my novel. That is one suggestion I was given which I found
useful - to know what YOU want to be working on and use the program to
serve your needs. Some advisors, i think,, prefer to work with
novelists and it worked out great for me with mine. If not a novel
have a bunch of short stories that you would like serious criticism on
and revise and write new ones. The annotations - I have to admit I
sweated out each one. It took some time to get the hang of it to suite
WW dictate but even then I had to work quite intensely to get them
out. But it was worth it, it forces you to read closely, and work on
an aspect of craft intensely. And what I learnt I used. I was also
more productive and write everyday. I was quite open about who I
wanted as an advisor and it worked fine for me. I have not decided if
I would be more selective this time and ask for particular faculty. i
don't know who are going to be there yet. If you have any other
questions feel free to ask. Champa


rebliv
Rebecca Livingston

Oct 20, 2000, 12:50 AM

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Dan, I've posted a number of messages on this thread about Bennington
during the past year or so. I'm in my last semester and I graduate in
January. If you have any specific questions about Bennington feel free
to post them here or e-mail me at rebaroni@aol.com. Reb

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